Bass Guitar for Beginners
By: James L. Preston
Bass guitar looks like an electric guitar but they have longer neck and scale length and with four, five or six strings. A lot of well-known and successful bans have bass guitar in their group. This instrument often holds the music together whether it provides the low-end notes or the rhythmic pulse that drives the music forward. Although mastering the bass guitar may take years of practice and playing, there are tips that should give you a concrete foundation from which to build your knowledge of the instrument technique and theory.
The first thing you should do is to get to know your instrument. Here are the basic parts of your bass guitar:
- Strings. The strings of the bass guitar produce vibration to produce sound. The usual bass guitar has four strings. Each has a different note value. In standard tuning, the bass guitar strings are tuned as follows: E is the thickest string and closest to your chest when playing; A is slightly thinner than an E; D is thinner than the second one and third string away from your body; G is the thinnest among the four strings and the closest to the floor when playing.
- Frets. If the strings divide the guitar from left to write, frets are small metal strips that divide the bass guitar into sections from top to bottom. Looking at your guitar from the top, you can see that the strings and frets form certain grid that covers the entire neck of the instrument. Putting your finger on a string, in between two frets will enable you to play a note. The lower your get on the frets, the lower the note sounds. In general, each fret is a half step higher than the previous one.
- Amplification. Amplification is needed in order to hear the sounds that are coming out of your bass guitar. This is not needed for an Upright Bass or an Acoustic Bass Guitar. If an electric guitar uses a pickup to capture the vibrations of the strings and an amp to convert them into sound, a bass guitar also needs an amplifier in order for a player to hear what they're playing. If you don't have one, you need to buy or borrow one. Though it is possible to play the bass guitar through a normal guitar amplifier, the quality of the sound will be greatly reduced and you will endanger your amp. Amplifiers that are specifically made for bass guitars have larger, heavy duty loud speakers to compensate the low-frequency sound waves the bass guitar produces.
- Body. Body is the large base of the guitar and the most bulky part. This is attached to the neck.
- Neck. This is the long, thin part of the instrument that contains the frets and strings and where the fingers are placed to play a note.
- Headstock. The top-most part of the instrument where the four tuning pegs are found.
- Nut. This is a little piece of material that is seen where the headstock meets the neck. There are usually four small grooves carved out in order to direct the strings up to the tuning pegs.
- Tuning Pegs. These hold the strings in place and allow the player to adjust the pitch of the string.
- Pick-ups. These are metal strips that catch the vibrations of the strings and aids in the conversion into electrical signals that are then amplified.
Courtesy: Articles Factory