Bass Guitar Lessons – Notes on the Bass Guitar –> Below are diagrams showing the notes on the bass guitar.
For help learning and memorizing the notes see the next lesson “How to Memorize Notes on the Bass Guitar”
Open Notes for Each String of the Bass
The open notes for each string on the bass are:
- 1st String-G
- 2nd String-D
- 3rd String-A
- 4th String-E
The 4th String-E has the lowest pitch, and the 1st String-G has the highest pitch.
Important Point: When actually playing the bass, the 4th String-E is facing up (towards the ceiling) and the 1st String-G is facing down (towards the floor). When reading music, tabs, or note charts like the one below, the 1st String-G is on the top and the 4th String-E is on the bottom.
Below is a chart showing the open notes on the 4 strings of the bass:
Natural notes are those without any sharps or flats. There are eight natural notes: A B C D E F G
Important Point: All natural notes are two frets apart (whole steps) except between E-F and B-C which are one fret apart (half steps).
Natural Notes on the 4th String – E:
Natural Notes on the 3rd String A:
Natural Notes on the 2nd D:
Natural Notes on the 1st String G:
In between natural notes are sharp and flat notes. Sharp notes are one-half step above a natural note.
Important Point: A note can have two different names, but be the same, exact sounding note. For example, G# is the same note as Ab
There are sharps between all natural notes, with the exception of B-C and E-F. Recall that there are only half steps between these natural notes, and therefore no room for sharps or flats!
Natural Notes with Sharps on the 4th String E:
Natural Notes with Sharps on the 3rd A:
Natural Notes with Sharps on the 2nd D:
Natural Notes with Sharps on the 1st String G:
Flat notes are one-half steps below a natural note. When identifying a flat note I will use the lower case b on my keyboard – for example Ab.
Important Point (again): A note can have two different names, but be the same, exact sounding note. For example, G# is the same note as Ab. Notice that the Ab’s below in the flat charts are the same exact note as the G#’s in the above sharp charts.
Natural Notes with Flats on the 4th String E:
Natural Notes with Flats on the 3rd A:
Natural Notes with Flats on the 2nd G:
Natural Notes with Flats on the 1st String G:
Memorizing the Notes
As I mentioned above, memorizing the notes takes time. There is no magical method for learning them. But you can still go about learning other aspects of playing bass without memorizing all of the notes. So don’t think you have to learn the notes before you can do anything else. Just be sure to include learning them as part of your regular practice routine.
To help you with memorizing the bass guitar notes check out my lesson, “How to Memorize notes on the Bass Guitar”
Related Lesson – How to Tune Your Bass – Part 1
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Bass Guitar Lessons – Notes on the Bass Guitar