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Bass Lessons — Reading latures bass tabs


Reading bass tablatures.

Tabbed by Marcos Prieto (marcrow_ps@yahoo.es)

First of all say that i'm not English speaker, so sorry for my
English.


Well, let's start learning. Take your bass and take a look to
the neck.
You can see the four stings. If you write this four chords with
characters
you can see this:

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Each chord from your bass represents a note (if you let the chord
ring sounds
this note):

The string 1, first string from below (the thinnest) is G.
The string 2, second string from below is D.
The string 3, third string from below is A.
The string 4, first string from below (the thickest) is E.

If you write the name of the chords in the tablature use this order
(from 1
to 4, from G to E, from up to down) you can see this:

G|————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
D|————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
A|————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
E|————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

It's written in this order because is the easiest way to read
the tab, since
the string from down of the tab is E, that is the most nearby in
the view of
the bassist.

The neck of your bass is divided by frets (thin metallic bars).
Too is called
frets the space between this bars, were you put your finger to
play a note. The
easiest way of search a fret is to use the white points over the
neck of
the bass. Now you can see a scheme, were all the '|' represents
the frets (bars)
of your bass, down the scheme you can see the number of fret, and
'' represents
the white points of the bass:

G|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|
D|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|——|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|
A|———|———|——|———|——|———|——|———|——|———|———|——|———|———|——|———|——|———|———|
E|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|———|...
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

If you play the fret 3 from the E chord (4), it's represented
on the tab like this:

G|———————————|
D|———————————|
A|———————————|
E|—3—————————|

If you play the fret 2 from the A chord (3), it's represented
on the tab like this:

G|———————————|
D|———————————|
A|—2—————————|
E|———————————|

If you play the D chord (2) without put a finger on the fret, it's
represented on the
tab like this:

G|———————————|
D|—0—————————|
A|———————————|
E|———————————|

If the tab is a good tab, the tab is separated by '|' (generally
in 4 bits).
Each bit represents each beat from the song. Generally each
beat fits with
the guitar chord. Let's see an example:

G E D Bb
G|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|
D|————5—5—————————|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|
A|————————————————|——2—2—2—————————|5———————————————|1—1—1—1—1—1—1—1—|
E|3—3—————————————|0———————0———————|————————————————|————————————————|

Now you can see and play a very easy bass line, "With Or Without
You", from U2:

G|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|
D|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|
A|5—5—5—5—5—5—5—5—|0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0—|2—2—2—2—2—2—2—2—|————————————————|
E|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|3—3—3—3—3—3—3—3—|

Sometimes you can see the rhythm over the tab. Well, you are a
beginner,
ignore the rhythm if you like (also i think that follow correctly
the
rhythm is a very inportant part for playing bass). There are
a lot of
types and variations:

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
G|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|
D|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|
A|2—2—2—2—2—2—2—2—|————————————————|5—5—5—5—5—5—5—5—|————————————————|
E|————————————————|2—2—2—2—2—2—2—2—|————————————————|3—3—3—3—3—3—3—3—|

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
G|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|
D|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|————————————————|
A|2—2—2—2—2—2—2—2—|————————————————|5—5—5—5—5—5—5—5—|————————————————|
E|————————————————|2—2—2—2—2—2—2—2—|————————————————|3—3—3—3—3—3—3—3—|

If you reach to be a good bassist you will learn to follow the rhythm
of the song.

In the tabs the time between two notes is represented by the space
between two
numbers in the tab; more space, more time:


G|———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————|
D|———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————|
A|5———5——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————|
E|———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————|


G|———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————|
D|———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————|
A|5————————————————————————————————5—————————————————————————————————|
E|———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————|

***

Now let's see the symbols of the tab.

*** HAMMER ON ***

To make a hammer on let's see an example. Put your index finger
on this position:


G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|————————————————|
E|7———————————————|

Now play this note, let it ring a second and inmmediately slam
your ring finger
down onto the 9 fret. The symbol of the hammer on is 'h':

G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|————————————————|
E|7h9—————————————|


*** PULL OFF ***

Now let's make a pull off. Put your index finger on this position:

G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|————————————————|
E|7———————————————|

and your ring finger on that:

G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|————————————————|
E|9———————————————|

Well, now let ring the chord (9) 1 second with your ring finger
on the chord and
raise quickly this ring finger, so there's only the index finger
on the chord (7).
The symbol of the pull off is 'p'.

G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|————————————————|
E|9p7—————————————|

You can fade in a lot of hammer on and pull offs:

G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|————————————————|
E|7h9p7h9p7h9p7———|


*** SLIDE ***

Put your index finger on this position:

G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|————————————————|
E|2———————————————|

Let ring the chord and now without raising the finger of the string
move it quickly
to another fret, for example from 2 to 7:

G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|————————————————|
E|2/7—————————————|

If you make a slide up the symbol is '/', if you make a slide down
the symbol is '\':

G|————————————————| G|————————————————|
D|————————————————| D|————————————————|
A|————————————————| A|5\3—————————————|
E|2/7—————————————| E|————————————————|

The slides also are represented with 's', no matter if it's up
or down:

G|————————————————| G|————————————————|
D|————————————————| D|————————————————|
A|————————————————| A|5s3—————————————|
E|2s7—————————————| E|————————————————|

*** Bend ***

To make a bend put one or two fingers on the fret, let ring the note
and bend
the string a bit up or a bit down. The bend is more usual in the guitar,
but it's
also used in the bass. The bend symbol is 'b'.

G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|——————12b———————|
E|————————————————|

If your finger is on fret 12, you bend the chord and sounds like
fret 13 (or higher)
is represented by:

G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|——————12b13—————|
E|————————————————|

If you bend the chord and release the chord is represented by 'r':

G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|————12b13r12————|
E|————————————————|

*** MUTE ***

Now put your finger softly on the string but don't press the chord
on the neck.
If now you play the chord sounds a deaf and low sound. It's 'x':

G|————————————————|
D|————————————————|
A|————————x—x—x—x—|
E|x—x—x—x—————————|

*** REST ***

The music is composed by sounds and silences. Generally in the
tabs a
note sounds until the following one is played:

G|————————————————|————————————————|
D|————————————————|————————————————|
A|2———————————————|————————————————|
E|————————————————|————————2———————|

but other times this sound is cut, and a silence is produced:

G|————————————————|————————————————|
D|————————————————|————————————————|
A|2—r—————————————|————————————————|
E|————————————————|————————2———————|

The rest has a lot of symbols, generally is 'r' or 'rest':

G|————————————————|——r———r—————————|
D|————————————————|——e———e—————————|
A|2—r—2—r—————————|——s———s—————————|
E|————————————————|2—t—2—t—2———————|

***

Well, the Palm Mute ('PM'), the Slap ('S') and the Pop ('S') are
other
symbols in the tabs. If you are a beginner you don't need to know
it now,
if you are an average player there's a lot of Slap and Pop lessons
on this web.

Is there's any question email me or send me a message. Hope it
will be useful.

__ _ __ __ _____ _____ _____
/ | / | / | / `\ / ___/ / __ / ( __/
/ |/ | / /|| / /) / // / / // \ \
/ /| /|| / /^|| / /|| //___ / / // ___) )
/ / | / || / / || / / || / / / ^^/ / /
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Tablature player for this song:

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