How to Write Bass Tabs

Writing actual music notation requires an understanding of music theory, writing tabs for guitar and bass is a lot easier. The basis of bass guitar tab is having four horizontal lines which represent the four strings on the bass. The bottom line represents the E string, the line above it represents the A string, the line above that represents the D string and the fourth line represents the G string.

Just as when reading normal text or music notation, bass tab is read starting at the left of the page and moving across to the right until the end of the line. You then move down to the next line. The numbers of the frets intended to be played are simply written as numbers, from left to right, on the relevant line or string. For example, if you saw a “5” on the second line from the bottom, you would play fret 5 on the A string. Whereas music notation also depicts the rhythm and timing of the notes intending to be played, with bass tabs and guitar tabs the notes are usually spaced out in the relevant format to give you an idea of the timing. However, tabs are usually accompanied by the proper music notation for those who can read music. This would therefore give an indication of the correct timing.

Most of the time, basslines and guitar riffs written in tab are also accompanied by the key that the bassline or riff is played in. For example, if a bassline or riff is in the key of A, an A may be depicted above the relevant riff. If the piece of music changes key, this would also be depicted at the relevant point. If a full or partial chord is ncluded in the piece, this would also usually depicted.

Acoustic guitar tabs are generally no different to to electric guitar tabs. However, whereas bass tabs would only use four horizontal lines to represent the four strings, standard guitar tab has six lines to represent the six strings of the guitar. To the left of the four strings presented, an indication of the open tuning of each string would shown (i.e. E, A, D, G).

How to Read Bass Tabs

Bass tabs are written to represent the lower range strings on the guitar and each line represents one string. The strings represented are usually strings numbered four and six. The highest pitch strings are on the lower part of the guitar. Most tablatures will show you the tuning of the guitar by looking to the letter tuning of the string generally on the left side of the bass tab. The bass tab is usually to the right in tablatures.

Use an electronic tuner to begin learning how to read bass tabs. Tune your guitar as closely as you can and your top strong should be tuned to E. The next string should be tuned to A. The next string should be tuned to D and the fourth string down should be tuned to G. The top string is often shown at the bottom of the tab graph and the top string on a bass guitar is displayed at the bottom of the bass tab.

Frets have numbers and they are the spaces on the neck of the bass guitar. The first fret is the space below the head of the guitar. When you hold the top string against the guitar neck you will be playing an F. There are many step by step guides online to show you exactly the charts and graphs of the bass graph to make it elementary in learning for your new hobby.

You can learn to read Bass tabs very easily as you start to familiarize yourself with the terminology that is presented in the tabs. This will help you learn to read bass tabs with ease so you can begin reading and learning how to write bass tabs for composing music on the guitar.

Playing Bass Tabs

Playing bass tabs is basically a case of being able to read through a piece of bass tab, whilst being able to play out the notes at the same time. If it’s the first time you’ve ever looked at a piece of tab for a relevant piece of music and you attempt to play it, this would technically be sight-reading. It takes a bit of time and patience to learn bass tab and to become accustomed to it but considering that it’s only a collection of strings and numbers, it’s a lot easier than learning a new language or learning how to read music.

Of course, there are multiple other techniques involved in playing bass but when it comes to learning bass tab, these are pretty easy to pick up and learn as you go along and a lot of them are self explantory. Learning to read and play bass tab really isn’t as difficult as you would think.

Free Bass Tabs

There are sites on the internet where you can find bass tabs, including free bass tabs, such as Ultimate Guitar, eChords, Music Notes, 911Tabs and eGuitarTabs. Many of these websites allow their users to upload their own bass tabs and guitar tabs, therefore if you can play any pieces which are not already on the site, you can transcribe them into tab and upload them for others to learn how to play.

What Are Bass Tabs?

Bass tabs are essentially the same thing as guitar tabs except that whereas guitar tab is specifically tailored to standard six string guitar, bass tab is tailored specifically for standard four string bass guitar. The word tab is short for tablature with guitar tablature being an easy and simple way of transcribing music into a written form, so that it can be read or performed by either yourself or by others. There is no requirement to be able to read music in order to be able to read tab.

Bass tablature are the notes that appear in the lower range of the scales and often carry the song with a deep rich rhythmic beat. This adds the foundation of the songs that you begin to learn as you learn the ultimate guitar. Learning how to read Bass Tablature or Bass Tabs is also the beginning key to learning to write bass tabs as you grow and compose your own music on the guitar. Many things that are not taught in music courses you can learn in your home may not impress the importance of learning bass tabs. But learning how to read bass tabs along with the rest of tablature is the building block to begin upon so that you can learn properly.