Great Bass Players
to Check Out

Tony Levin
Victor Wooten
Marcus Miller
Larry Graham
John Patitucci
Geddy Lee
Paul McCartney
Les Claypool

Bass Toolbox

Musical Dictionary
Guitar & Bass Tuner
-Bass Worksheets

A little about the Bass…

  • Tuning: Basses most com­monly come in 4 string models but can also be purchased in 5 and 6 string versions. 4 string basses are tuned E-A-D-G. 5-string basses are typically tuned B-E-A-D-G to pro­vid­ing an extended lower range. 6-string basses are tuned B-E-A-D-G-C providing both an extended lower and upper range than it’s 4 string counterpart.
  • Pickups: Most electric bass guitars use magnetic pick­ups. The vibrations of the instrument’s metal strings within the magnetic field of the permanent magnets in magnetic pick­ups produce small variations in the magnetic flux threading the coils of the pickups. This in turn produces small electrical voltages in the coils. These low level signals are then amplified and played through a speaker. Since the 1980s, basses are often available with battery powered “active” elec­tron­ics that boost the signal, provide equalization con­trols to boost or cut bass and treble frequencies, or both.
  • Amplification: Like the electric guitar, the electric bass guitar is often connected to an amplifier and a speaker with a patch cord for live performances. Electric bassists use either a “combo” amplifier, which combines an amplifier and a speaker in a single cabinet, or an amplifier and a separate speaker cabinet (or cabinets). In some cases when the bass is being used with large-scale PA amplification, it is plugged into a “DI” or “direct box”, which routes their signal directly into a mixing console, and thence to the main and monitor speakers.
  • Notation: Bass music can be written in traditional notation using the bass clef or can also be written using bass guitar tabs as in the example below.

Steel Guitar Tab