Bass Guitar Chords

 

The relationship between bass guitar chords and six string
guitar chords is similar in theory but can be very different
when it comes to technique.  Bass guitar has the same 4
lower string names and tuning as a regular six string guitar. 
However, it is tuned an octave lower.  As music becomes
more progressive, we’re seeing more and more 5 and 6 string
bass guitars.  If you’re one of the many who want to learn to
play bass, this opens up a whole new dimension when it comes
to bass guitar chords and tuning possibilities although in most
cases players prefer the normal tuning that you find on a
regular six string guitar.

 

Bass Guitar Tablature - Basics
Bass guitar tablature, or bass tab for short, is a simple method 
for writing bass music that you’ll find extremely valuable if you 
want to learn to play bass guitar. There are several different 
versions of bass guitar tablature, but the following features 
are common to almost all of them.
 
Bass guitar tablature is written on four-line staves. In text 
interfaces these are usually written using dashed characters. 
Each space corresponds to one string on the bass: the lowest 
space corresponds to the E string, the next lowest to the A
string, the next to the D string, and the highest to the G string.  
A number on a given space represents a note played at the 
given fret on the corresponding string; thus, to indicate 
playing a G at the third fret on the E string, one would write:
 
G------------------------------------
D------------------------------------
A------------------------------------
E----3-------------------------------
 
Notes are played from the left of the staff to the right; 
thus, an ascending G major scale might be written:
 
G------------------------------------
D-------------------2--4--5----------
A----------2--3--5-------------------
E----3--5----------------------------
 
Or, using open strings, it might be written like this:
 
G-------------------------0----------
D----------------0--2--4-------------
A-------0--2--3----------------------
E----3-------------------------------
Chords can be written by writing two numbers 
in the same vertical bar. Thus one might write 
a simple A major chord as:
 
G-----9------------------------------
D-----11-----------------------------
A-----0------------------------------
E------------------------------------
 
which means to play an open note on the A string, 
to play a C# at the 11th fret on the D string, and 
an E at the 9th fret on the G string.
 
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Basic Guitar Chord Structure
Guitar Major Scale
Bass Guitar Chords
Learning Easy Guitar Chords
 
 Various fingering techniques can be noted in TAB 
as well. This is done by writing a single character 
after the note being fingered. The most common 
of these are:
   h - hammer-on from previous note
   p - pull off from previous note
   \ - slide up to note
   b - bend note
   S - slap the note with the right-hand thumb 
(left hand if left-handed)
   P - pop the note with the right hand (ditto)
   t - tap the note with the right hand (ditto)
   H - harmonic
 
Thus a funky bass line might be written like this:
 
G---------5P-7h-5p-------------------
D------------------------3b----------
A---0S\5-----------3S-5S----5S-5H---
E------------------------------------
 
A muted note (one that is not fingered cleanly and 
makes a percussive sound rather than a clear tone)
 is written by placing an x on a line instead of a number:
 
G------------5--7--------------------
D------------------------------------
A---5--x--x--------5--x--5-----------
E------------------------------------
 
Similarly, a rest is indicated by writing an r on a line 
(any line will do):
 
G------------5--7--------------------
D------------------------------------
A---5--r--r--------5--r--5-----------
E------------------------------------
 
When it is not obvious which left-hand 
(right-hand to lefties) finger should be used to 
to fret a particular note, this may be indicated by 
writing a number under the note, with 1=index finger, 
2=middle finger, 3=ring finger, 4=pinkie finger, and 
rarely, 5-thumb:
 
G---------5--7--5--------------------
D------------------------------------
A---0--5-----------------------------
E------------------------------------
    1  1     3  
 
It is becoming popular to indicate time in TAB by 
writing over each note a letter indicating the time 
value of the note: s=sixteenth note, e=eighth note, 
q=quarter note, h=half note, w=whole note. It is possible 
to add dots to this system as is done with normal notes. 
In addition, vertical bars are usually used to indicate 
measure breaks. TAB noted this way might look like this:
 
    w   q  s  s  e  q  h   q. e  e  e  s  s  e   h
G-----|----5--7--5-------|-------------5--7--7-|----
D-----|------------------|-3--3--5--7----------|----
A---0-|-5-----------8--5-|---------------------|-5--
E-----|------------------|---------------------|----
 
 
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