4 Tips for Bass Guitarists

Bass guitarists surely deserve more recognition. After all, there’s so much more to a song than the lead guitar solo. Together with the drummer, the bassist lays out the song’s foundation. Continue reading to find out how!

1) Learn music theory

This will help you get creative. With practice, you’ll get better at critically listening to music and telling the difference between keys. You should also play the notes in the scale of the song’s key. For example, if the key is D, then play along the notes of the D major scale! Dance along that fret board.

2) Play with others

This will help you practice improvising and staying on time. You can also lock with the bass drum for an emphasized sound. Perhaps you and the drummer can create catchy rhythms together and inspire the other members of the band. This was the technique that Artic Monkeys front man Alex Turner used to write songs for the AM album.

3) Learn slap bass

Though not for everyone, this is a fun, bouncy technique that will add more variety and funk to your sound. It involves “slapping” with your thumb and “popping” with your index finger. This iconic style was made famous by Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers and made him really stand out in the band.

4) Keep it simple

Though perhaps counterintuitive, your main role as the bass guitarist is to supply groove and support the song. Learning various techniques and scales will build your inventory, but don’t throw in too many notes. Sometimes, simple is the key to catchy.

You may even want to turn that amp volume up higher. Those bass tones add warmth that is soothing and absolutely essential to music of all genres.

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Michelle Nguyen is a writer whose passions include music, sports, health, and wellness. She loves playing drums and bass guitar, as well as swimming. If she indirectly helps you write the next “Stairway to Heaven,” she will be very happy.

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