Start here on the section-of-the-day plan.

 

 

Day 1.

 

 

Lesson I.

 

 

Definition: fret: one of the thin metal bars embedded in the face of the neck of your bass.

When you place a finger on a string just behind a fret and depress the string until it

touches the fret it shortens the length of the vibrating section of the string (assuming

that you've plucked or picked it) and makes the note sound higher.

 

 

The first thing you must do after you've tuned up is learn where all the notes are on all

four strings at each fret on the fingerboard. This is extremely easy and will take you no

longer than a minute or two. First, memorize the notes of the four open strings (strings

played while not fingering any higher frets): low to high, E, A, D and G. Then, starting

from the lowest open ('open' means not fretted) string, note, E, move up the string at

each successive fret and label it in your mind with the next higher note: F, F# (sharp),

G, G# or Ab (flat), A at the fifth fret (which is equal in sound to the second lowest

open string, A), then, continuing upwards on the E string, A# or Bb, B, C, C#, D, Eb,

E, F, F#, G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C.

 

Play each of these notes on your bass. Use any fingerings for now. Mix them up.

Experiment. Go up and down. Say the names of the notes in your mind or out loud as

you play them.

 

Likewise, on the second lowest string, the open A string, note, A, move up the string at

each fret and label each higher fretted note with a higher letter: Bb, B, C, C#, D, Eb, E,

F, F#, G, G# or Ab, A, Bb, B, C, etc . . .

 

Play each of these notes on your bass. Use any fingerings for now. Mix them up.

Experiment. Go up and down the string. Say the notes' names . . .

 

Do the same with the third or open D string, note, D: Eb, E, F, F#, G, Ab, A, Bb, B,

etc . . .

 

Play each of these . . . etc.

 

And the fourth and highest string, the open G string, note, G: G# or Ab, A, Bb, B, C,

C#, D, Eb, E (about the highest note you will usually use), etc . . .

 

Play . . . etc.

 

You'll note that on each string the notes, starting with the note on the fifth fret, sound the

same as the note on the next highest string five frets lower on that string. The bass is

designed this way in order to make it easier to use multiple strings and closely spaced

fingerings in small groups or 'blocks' or 'squares' in order to increase the range of notes

that you can play in a small area on the fingerboard. Try to discover which notes sound

the same on any string as notes on the next higher string. And which notes on any two

strings sound the same.

 

 

As you can see, by memorizing the notes E, A, D and G of the four open strings and the

musical concept or idea that each higher fret sounds a note just one note higher, you can

easily know where to find all the notes on the entire fingerboard. Simple, eh ?

 

 

This sounds like an awful lot of knowledge to learn, and it is, but knowing just these

two musical concepts or ideas, you can know all this within a few minutes! Easy! Fast!

And you really don't have to memorize every note because, once you understand the

two ideas explained above, the four open strings' notes, E, A, D and G, and the idea of

moving up the frets (or down the frets) you can easily find any note anyplace on the

fingerboard.

 

 

Stop here. Go over the above material several times. This info is very important. Do not

go on until you thoroughly understand it. I mean it.

 

 

End of day 1.