Before you can learn how to play bass guitar, you need to familiarize yourself with the different parts that the instrument is made of as well as its respective functions and characteristics. If you don’t, the learning process will be similar to attempting to write a novel without being familiar with terms and concepts like premise, plot, and climax.Strings
Strings are the most essential music-making part of the bass guitar or any other string instrument for that matter. As with the banjo, violin, and the like, the strings of a bass guitar vibrate in order to create sounds.
There are four strings on a bass guitar and each one corresponds to a specific note as well as being able to produce a unique sound. The thickest string on your bass guitar is referred to as the E string. This is followed by A, D, and finally G, which is the thinnest string as well as the one farthest from your chest.
Do you see small strips of metal on your bass guitar? These are called frets, and they divide your guitar into two sections – top and bottom – just as strings divide your bass guitar between left and right sections. Pay closer attention and you’ll see that frets and strings combined create a grid which covers the guitar neck.
You’ll be able to create a sound with your bass guitar when you put your finger on one string and in between a pair of frets. The higher your “position” is, the higher your notes will be as well. Generally speaking, you go up by half a note with each fret.
A bass guitar generally requires the use of an amplifier in order to have its sounds properly heard. This will probably be true for your own guitar as well unless, of course, you’re using an acoustic or upright bass.
If you do not have an amplifier yet then go and shop for one immediately! Your music will be better appreciated with it than without. Be sure to shop for amplifiers specifically designed for bass guitars as well. Anything else won’t generate as good as a sound as it should and not to mention the fact that you risk having your amplifier incur damage simply because it’s not designed to receive the kind of sounds that bass guitars produce.
There are many other parts of your bass guitar but you can learn them as you go. These include but are not limited to your guitar’s pick-ups, tuning pegs, nuts, headstock, and, of course, the neck and body.