Re: Regarding how to start playing bass guitar

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Posted by Rob Pasley on January 05, 2000 at 09:08:29:

In Reply to: Regarding how to start playing bass guitar posted by jacob vijay on January 03, 2000 at 21:18:30:

Well, the first thing is tuning. Most people have 4 string basses, which are tuned (low to high); E,A,D,G. If you have a 5 string, the extra string is either tuned to a low B, which is above the E string, or you can tune it to a high C, which is below the G string. Also on a 4 string, you can make the E a lower D, which will sound better when playing newer heavier metal stuff. And also on a 5 string bass (with the low B string) you can make the B string an even lower A, which lets you play stuff like KoRn. Another tuning for a 5 string with the B string is A,D,G,C,F (the only band that I've ever seen use this one is KoRn). So, the possible tunings are:


The next thing is that, unlike guitar, you only play bass one string at a time (unless the song calls for you to hit more than that), which means that on a bass, there's no such thing as chords. Each fret represents the same note it does on guitar. For example, the 4th fret on the E string is A flat, just like on guitar.

You can either play bass with your fingers (pointer and middle finger), or with a pick. I find playing with your fingers more comfortable, but since you used to play guitar, you'll probably find the pick easier.

A method of playing bass is called slapping. It's where you hit the string with your thumb (which means no pick), and it gives it a cool sound. This what KoRn and Coal Chamber. I'm still not too good at slapping, but there is a lesson on it at They also have more lessons there that teach you other stuff, but this should get you by for a while.

Email me at if you have any other questions.


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