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How to learn the notes on the bass fretboard (written)

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How to learn the notes on the bass fretboard (written)

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:36 am



Ok, ok, this is a simple blog post, but I feel it needs to be in there!


I can't emphasize how important it is that you learn these notes, and where they are off by heart! It's one of the fundamental and first things you should learn as a bass player. Don't feel like this task is too daunting. It's more simple than it looks. There are only twelve notes to remember on each individual string, and our language is made up of a LOT more letters than that...

Firstly, know this:

When i'm teaching my students how to remember notes, I teach them the "Big Bass, Little Bass" theory that I invented. That being that the first twelve frets on your bass (The Big Bass) repeat themselves in EXACTLY the same way, once you hit the twelfth fret, and onwards (little bass).

So...an open E is the same note as the twelfth fret on the E string. The first fret on the E string is the same note as the thirteenth note on the E string. The second fret on the E string is the same note as the fourteenth fret on the E string. The third fret is the same note as the fifteenth note on the E string, and so on and so on. This applies to ALL strings.

Now, start with the E string. Remember that the first dot is "G' (for some reason not shown in the picture above, but you should have on on your bass!) The second dot is "A". The third is "B" and so on and so on. Once you have learnt what notes the dots are on the E string, all you have to do is then learn the notes in-between the dots! And of course, once is gets to the twelve fret, everything just repeats itself again.

Learn that, and then go onto the A string, then D, and lastly, G.

Now, as I mentioned in the "what is an octave?" lesson, which is right here, two strings down and two frets up of the root note you hit, is exactly the same note, just played at a higher octave. So, say you hit the A on the E string (fifth fret) go two strings down from that fret, and then two frets up, so you are hitting the seventh fret on the D string. That is the octave of that note. So once you know how to get an octave of a note, it will make this task a lot easier, trust me...

Ok, enough talking, start memorizing!
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Re: How to learn the notes on the bass fretboard (written)

Post  IPv6Freely on Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:11 pm

Hey man, would that then mean that the 2nd fret on the D string and the 12th fret on the E string are the EXACT same note? (same octave too?)

Thanks!

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Re: How to learn the notes on the bass fretboard (written)

Post  Dmanlamius on Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:15 pm

That's right man, they are both E's!

Without looking at the diagram, can you tell me the whereabouts of three more E's?

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Re: How to learn the notes on the bass fretboard (written)

Post  IPv6Freely on Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:24 pm

Dmanlamius wrote:That's right man, they are both E's!

Without looking at the diagram, can you tell me the whereabouts of three more E's?

Well, open E string of course. 14th fret on the D string, and 8th fret on the A string.

Clicking "Send", then checking Smile

EDIT: Whoops, I counted open A as first fret when counting. 7th fret on the A string.

The way I'm memorizing how the notes go up is that B and E are the only notes with no sharps...

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Re: How to learn the notes on the bass fretboard (written)

Post  Dmanlamius on Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:27 pm

Very close!

Ok, the open E...

The 14th on the D, which is the two string-two fret up octave of the E on the E string at the 12th.

And the last one, is on the seventh fret of the A. Obviously, there is another E using the two string, two fret octave of that as well!

Well done man. Cool

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Re: How to learn the notes on the bass fretboard (written)

Post  IPv6Freely on Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:41 pm

I always forget about the two string-two fret thing. I had actually just started at the 2nd fret of the D string (which I knew was E) and added 2, to make it the 14th fret Smile

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Re: How to learn the notes on the bass fretboard (written)

Post  fouadbassplayer on Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:02 pm

i am sorry i didnt know that the meter on the right is the rating one sorry i love the topic and the thread sorry again

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Re: How to learn the notes on the bass fretboard (written)

Post  Nuck81 on Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:45 am

Great tool D-man!!!

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Re: How to learn the notes on the bass fretboard (written)

Post  Zephyr on Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:19 am

Hey Dman. Great post. And awesome diagram. made it really easy to get started at memorizing the notes.

I took your concept and made my own. Mostly because I wanted to test myself and see if I could get the notes right, But also because I play a 5 string(yes, Im learning on 5 strings, not 4. Just a preference of mine, love that B string).

Im assuming it follows the same pattern on the B string. Is this correct?

url=https://servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=2&u=13773193][/url]

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