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Beginner Bass Lesson 1 - Your Very First Bass Lesson

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hey what's up you guys Marty Schwartz

here with Marty music you guys have been

requesting it so I thought I'd give you

your very first bass lesson now

obviously I'm a guitar player I just

more dabble in the bass little bass

dabbler so let's zoom in and I'm gonna

just talk about some basics and oh let's

get basing all right here's the bass now

first things first you gotta tune your

bass it's not gonna sound right if it's

not in tune but I want to get right to

the fun stuff so there's plenty of

videos out there on how to use a clip-on

tuner and you want to match up to the

proper notes and so that's what I'm

gonna start with now with bass

specifically even more than guitar it's

gonna be really helpful to be able to

find the letter notes on the bass

starting with the open strings meaning

you don't play any thing with your left

hand and by the way if you've never

played anything before these are frets

the frets are these little metal lines

here but when you say play the first

fret you mean the space this this first

space here is the first fret that space

is the second fret third fret fourth

fret fifth fret sixth fret seventh fret

the dots are there to help you start to

recognize little marker points like that

second dots the fifth fret 1 2 3 4 5 now

the oh the the open string notes when I

play a note like this for string bass it

goes as follows it's an e note the

second string down we're gonna call that

an a no when you play that open

then the next string down is a D

and then the final string down here is a

G and we have a little saying it's the

same on guitar and bass but there's only

four strings on bass and it's Eddie ate

dynamite good bye Eddie ate dynamite

good bye Eddie II ate a dynamite D good

bye g e a d g now the the notes on the e

string and the a string are gonna be

really really important because if a

guitar player says alright it's an e

power chord you're gonna want to be able

to know where your e note is on the bass

because the most important thing about

bass is we're playing the roots the

roots of the chords that a guitar

players playing the roots of the chord

that a piano players playing etc and

root meaning the lowest foundational

note of the chord or the progression so

we want to be able to kind of start to

identify the basic notes and there's a

pretty good way of doing it I like to

think of it this way I'm gonna show you

what's called a whole step and this is

the same on guitar it whole step is when

you play a note and you skip a fret and

then go to the next fret so if I was

right here on this dot and I said go a

whole step up you go this way and you

skip a fret so if I'm here and I went a

whole step up I would go to that that's

a whole step up I was playing this note

and I wanted to go another whole step up

I skipped that fret and then go to this

one so that's a whole step if I were to

play any random note on any of the frets

or strings like right here and I said go

a whole step down it's the same thing

skip a fret there so these are whole

steps a whole step from the open it's

the same idea you skip the first fret

and go to the second fret so a whole

step up from open

would be that second fret now the other

step that we want to learn is called a

half step a half step is when you go to

the next possible fret so if I was on

the fifth fret and I said going on half

step up

I said go a half step down another half

step down about a whole step down and

then how about a half step down

and how about a whole step down from

there well it doesn't exist the notes

not low enough but we can go a half step

down from there like that so so far we

have Eddie ate dynamite good bye and

then we've learned that a whole step is

one fret skipping a fret to the next

fret that's going up because the notes

get higher this is going down because

the notes are going lower and we've done

whole steps and we've done half step all

right so that's our starting point now

let's talk about finding the notes on

the E string

now the notes on any instrument I have a

little kind of a little formula and that

is this from one note to another note is

a whole step so from one letter you know

the notes have letter names

ABCD efg and to go from one letter to

another letter is a whole step meaning

skipping a fret but there's two spots

where it's only a half step and you will

look on a piano and it's the same thing

when you see on the piano there's two

spots in the sequence where there's no

black key in between the white note the

white keys are right next to each other

in two spots it's the same idea there's

two spots where it's only a half step

from one letter to the other so it's B 2

C and E 2 F those are half steps all the

other letters are whole steps so here's

what I mean start with this third fret

here I already know seven playing music

I'm going to tell you right now that's a


and I said from one note to another note

is a whole step so geez the last letter

before it starts over to an a so now a

is this fifth fret so that's an a

remember when I said Eddie eight so this

is an egg open a string if I play the a

that I found on the E string it should

match up in pitch to the open a string

so watch a and the open a you hear how

they're the same note okay let's go back

to this a don't worry about memorizing

anything and you can always go back and

watch this video again and again this is

an a no right here remember I said one

note to another note is a whole step so

a up to B is a whole step a B

but remember I said there's two spots B

to C and E to F so this is a B note B to

C is the other half step so B C C to D

is a whole step so D that should

actually match up and pitch to the D

note Eddie ate dynamite now D to E is a

whole step and remember the open string

was e and now this is a again that's

called the octave that means they're

same a notes all around on any

instrument A's b c d e f g and then when

you start over to the upper register the

frequencies being doubled so it's still

the same note


so that's an octave so remember I said

b2c e2f are only half steps so if this

is an open e that means F is a half step

up from the open so it'd be the first

fret so e half step to F F to G is a

whole step Cheeta a is a whole step

a to B is a whole step B to C is a half

step that's one of those spots C to D

whole step and then now we get to the

octave D to e a whole step back to open

e so where would F be it be a half step

and then GU whole step an egg and a

whole step then be a whole step then see

half step and now we've run out of frets

so if I said okay find a B note on the E

string you can at least start by going

okay I'm just gonna count up that

alphabet open E eat it ups a half step

so F F to G's a whole step G to azor

whole step A to B so whole step

okay seventh fret so that's a B note


let's say I wanted to find a B note on

the open a string I do that same

alphabet but now I'm start on my

starting point is an a note so B to C

and E to F or the half steps and I'm

looking for a B note on the a string so

that means open a whole step to B so B

the second fret and remember I found a B

note on the seventh fret of the low E so

the second fret a string B note should

sound exactly the same as the B note I

found right here on the seventh fret of

the e string let's test that theory


and they're the same so that's how you

start to find the notes it's really

important for a bass player to be able

to do that and especially when you're

starting out try and just focus on the E

and a to begin with because those are

those low roots that you're gonna want

so here's another thing some bass

players will use a pick like a guitar



most bass player like true bass players

would say don't do that and use your

fingers and that technique which I'm not

that great at but I certainly know what

it is is you you can rest your thumb

right here this is these are called the

pickups they pick up the sound of the

string vibrating you can put your thumb

right there on the pickup or even just

you know rest it somewhere but typically

it's on that pickup and then you use

your index and middle finger to

alternate picking on the string right so

so that's something you can do right

away let your fingers do the walking as

Jack Black said in school of rock we all

love that movie hopefully I do anyway so

you got that if you do it on the second


now if you're just starting off you

could use your thumb it's a softer sound

when you use a pick it's a little

brighter you hear the attack more then


so I'm gonna leave that up to you like

Duff McKagan from Guns N'Roses uses a

pick plenty of bass players switch

around depending on what kind of sound

they want so the truest like bass lesson

would tell you to rest your thumb and

use your index fingers but there's lots

of variations that you can do all right

so the next thing I want to do is just

show you a little thing you can practice

it's a recognizable little set of tones

and you can do it right here on the

fifth fret of the e-string and go


and so I'm hitting that fifth fret and

then the open e now I have a lesson here

at Marty music that's a bunch of easy

one string riffs for beginners all of

that in that lesson will translate to

the bass so anything in that lesson you

can go and translate it right on the

same fret same strings and everything

but so you have that five five four five

oh now you could do it on the a string

for practice okay so that's another

thing now here's a really fun riff

that's going to use the open E string

and then we're going to go to the third

fret and let's figure out what note that

is so it's opening half step to F whole

step to G so we're playing E

then we're playing G on the third fret

and use the tip of your finger to press

down on that third fret then we're gonna

slide it up a whole-step and that's an a

note you get a little rock progression

that's pretty classic it's used in a lot

of different ways but so we go 1 & 2 & 3

& 4 & 3 & 2 & 3 4 & 5 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 3 &

2 & 3 & 4 take it nice and easy



when you get that down

next thing you're gonna do is you're

gonna try to use two different fingers

on your left hand so you play that same

progression but when you get to the

fifth fret you can use your ring finger

and when you do the third fret use your

index finger and that's going to start

your coordination


and different combinations those three

notes go together really well okay so

now try this so that's another little

blues riff it's the open then fifth fret

then open so that looks like this and

you do the third fret then open so watch


really slow


don't so there we're going to add that

little dun dun dun

Oh five oh three oh oh oh as in fret

numbers oh oh oh oh oh oh five oh three

oh oh oh oh oh five oh three oh just

like that let me recap what we did so

far then I recommend you checking out my

easy one string riffs right here on the

same channel so we've got the bass we've

got the neck we need to tune it to Eddie

ate dynamite good bye

we got frets we move the frets around to

play different notes we learned the one

note to another note is a whole step

which means skipping a fret except for

two spots where it's a half step which

is just the next possible fret so the

half steps are B to C and E to F all the

other spots are whole steps so if I said

let's find a D note on the E string we

could climb up that formula e half step

to F whole step to G

whole step to a whole step to B but only

a half step to C and then a whole step

to D and that was our D note then we use

that formula to be able to find the

notes around the E and a string

especially then we'll put our thumb on

the pick on the pick up right here and

we can practice both fingers one finger

we can do a thumb we can do a pick if

we've been playing guitar all are valid

but the truest bass player would do that

let your fingers do the walking right

then I just gave you a little context

five five five five oh five five five

five oh four five five five five oh five

a fireboat you do right here then we

messed with the open the third and the

fifth and if you use your index and ring

fingers start stretching your fingers

out right then we had O 3 500 etc and

you're on your way

rome wasn't built in the day so you got

to start somewhere start with this and

try and have some fun alright thanks

again for watching you guys really

appreciate the support feel free to

subscribe right here to marty music hit

the bell up there request other lessons

and hope to see you again real soon