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Tips on How to Play the Bass Guitar

Bass guitar tips are not just for beginners. Learning to play the bass guitar takes practice and commitment. These tips can help you become a better bass guitarist whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player.

Be sure to visit this site frequently to take advantage of all these bass guitar tips, especially if you are a beginner. Remember the rule of strings - you should review a lesson or tip at least once for every string on your bass guitar! If you have a four-string bass guitar or plan to buy one soon, then go over each tip four times in the course of a few weeks. It takes time to master the basic skills, and even intermediate and advanced players will benefit from reviewing basic tips from time to time.

Tips for Bass Guitarists

Ready to get better? Here some tips that have helped many players sharpen their skills, improve the quality of their performances, and become better bass guitar players:

  • Tuning is important. The tune of a note is determined by the tension on the string. You should adjust the string tension regularly, depending on how much you play. Always tune your bass guitar within one day of any public performance. Waiting until right before performing is not a good idea, though, just in case anything bad happens while you are tuning (such as a string breaking). Keep your bass guitar in tune by adjusting the strings at least once a week.
  • Buy a good tuner. Unless you are an experienced professional or have perfect pitch, you should invest in an electronic tuner. These are small devices that usually cost about $24. Electronic tuners provide valuable guidance when adjusting a string. I recommend getting a Qwik Tune QT-2 Chromatic Tuner. Your bass guitar will sound better and more consistent if you regularly tune it.
  • If you are playing in a band, one of the most important things is playing in unison. The sounds of your instruments should blend smoothly. Remember that bass guitar notes frequently form chords when combined with the notes played by other instruments. Sadly, the bass guitar is frequently not the main attraction in many bands. Keep this is mind, and be willing to play in a way that highlights the lead singer and guitarist rather than detracting from them. If you are a team player, the other members of your band will appreciate it and you should get your share of bass guitar solos.
  • Rhythm is very important. Even intermediate and advanced players should practice with a metronome from time to time. A good bass guitar player should have a precise sense of rhythm, and know the difference between 60 beats per minute and 50 beats per minute.

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Intermediate Tips

Been playing the bass guitar for a while? If you are no longer a beginner but still want to keep learning, then these tips are for you:

  • Get ideas from your favorite bands. Choose a song by a band that you like with a strong bass guitar. Listen to the song a couple of times, and then turn it off and try to play at the same rhythm. You can also try to incorporate some of the note patterns into your own playing.
  • Now is the time to upgrade your bass guitar. While a simple four-string bass guitar was enough when you were first learning to play, you may want to consider buying a more sophisticated model now. Check out the top brands of bass guitars on this website for some ideas, and visit the page on the best places to buy a bass guitar online.
  • Join a band. Playing with other musicians who are at the same level that you are will help all of you get better. Being in a band also gives you goals to work towards during your practice sessions. Bass guitarists are usually in demand as nearly every band needs one, so you should be able to find a band that is just starting out and become a member.
  • Upgrade your amplifier. - Now is the time to spend the money to get a better bass amp. Even small improvements in the quality of the sound that you are producing matter a lot. You can check out our page on amplifiers for tips on upgrading your bass amp.

Austin Bazaar 43" Metallic Red Electric Bass Guitar - This electric bass is ideal for players of any age and level. Whether you need another bass to add to your collection or just a little something for jam sessions in your garage, this bass is for you. It has 20 frets and a great looking basswood body. An excellent bass guitar for beginners, it sells for less than $100. Click here to buy an Austin Bazaar 43" Metallic Red Electric Bass Guitar

Advanced Tips

Are you a great bass guitarist? If you no longer need beginner and advanced lessons but still want to keep getting better, then here is some advice for you:

  • Meet as many professional bass players as you can. They can be valuable mentors, introduce you to other bass guitarists, and even recommend you to bands that are looking for a bass guitar player. Do as much networking as you can.
  • Write your own music. Whenever possible, try to compose and play your own songs rather than someone else's. Be creative and attempt new patterns and rhythms.
  • Experiment with different styles of music. If you have only been playing rock or metal songs for most of your career, then try a blues or jazz song. The most successful bands typically play in a few different styles, and blend them together to produce unique sounds. A good example of this is The Rolling Stones.
  • Balance your practice time with lessons. While most of your learning at this level will come from practicing, it is still important to have someone else listen to your playing and give you advice from time to time. Continue to go to a lesson once every week or two.

Austin Bazaar 43" Metallic Red Electric Bass Guitar - This electric bass is ideal for players of any age and level. Whether you need another bass to add to your collection or just a little something for jam sessions in your garage, this bass is for you. It has 20 frets and a great looking basswood body. An excellent bass guitar for beginners, it sells for less than $100. Click here to buy an Austin Bazaar 43" Metallic Red Electric Bass Guitar


Further Reading

Where to Find Bass Guitars for Sale Online - Discusses the best online musical instrument stores for bass guitars and other gear.

Beginner and Cheap Bass Guitars - Find out what you need to know before buying an inexpensive bass guitar.

Bass Guitar Resource Guide - Learn more and improve your bass guitar playing ability with online lessons, books, DVDs, CDs, and private lessons.

Beginner Online Bass Guitar Lessons - No Bass Guitar Required - Start learning the bass guitar right now, without an actual bass guitar, by studying music and notes. If you have a bass guitar, you can use these lessons to begin practicing as well.

Guide to Amplifiers - Learn how amplifiers and other sound equipment make the bass guitar sound louder and better!


Hal Leonard Bass Method - The Complete Edition


Learn to play the bass guitar with the help of this book. This is one of the best books that I have found for learning to play the bass guitar.

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