How to Read Bass Guitar Tabs

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To read bass guitar tabs, be sure to figure out which string goes with the proper notation. Identify the different sounds of frets on the bass guitar with advice from a musician in this free video on the bass guitar.

Part of the Video Series: Intro to Guitars
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Trevor Marty, and I've been a musician for 25 years. We're here in my recording studio. Going to talk to you today about bass tab, learning bass tab. Bass tablature is a way of learning the bass while not knowing music notation. It's a way of communicating what you're supposed to play for any given song. So, in this example I've done here, it's a basic blues bass progression in G. So, this would be the G section of the bass, and these lines each represent a string on the bass. So, this would be the lowest toned, and this would be the highest toned string. So, this would be the E string, the A string, the D string, and the G string. And, numbers on each of these strings or lines represent which fret on the base you're going to play. So, in this example, this would be the third fret twice. This would be the fifth fret twice. The third fret on the same string, and then the fifth fret. And, you can see it goes, it continues on. This would be the C section here. So, you go down, it's the same formation as you can see. The third fret on the A string, the fifth fret on the D string, the fifth fret on the G string, the third fret on the G string. You see, and it just continues on all the way. It's a great way of communicating music. So, this is the base part I was just talking to you about. So, the third fret. So, I'm Trevor Marty, and I'd like to thank you all for coming in to my studio to learn about a bass tab, and learning bass tab.

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