Unleash Your Inner Bassist

Learn How to Play Bass Guitar

Bass guitar lessons and techniques for all experience levels

Bassists of any level can improve their playing with Yousician. Whether you’re a beginner hoping to pick up the basics or already advanced, our missions and exercises are perfect for developing a wide range of skills. Learn chords & triads, fretting, plucking, locking in, picking, pitch, grooving in style, and so much more!

Our bassists are motivated by a huge inventory of videos and lessons, Weekly Challenges against existing users, and comprehensive progress tracking as you learn. You don’t need any additional cords or cables for your bass, just a desire to play the bass!

Learn Bass Guitar

What does the Bass Guitar experience look like?

1. Fretboard
Here you can see which string(s) and frets you're meant to play. In this example, you would play the E string (the lowest) on the 5th and then 3rd frets.
2. Follow The Ball
Follow the bouncing ball to see when you should play a note. You'll get instant feedback on your timing and the quality of the note you play.
3. Song Bar
The song bar lets you know where you are in the song, as well as what's coming up. You can skip ahead, or set a loop for practicing the trickiest parts.
Follow the bouncing ball and hit the notes on rhythm to get more points. Make sure you practice a few times to get a top score and then compete against friends!

How To Play A Bass Guitar

What is an instrument that most of the people usually won’t notice until it is taken away? You are right; it is typically the bass. Even if bass lacks the valuation of the guitar, one needs skills to play it. Yousician gets you started with playing the bass. We will get you from plucking a string to grooving in style. Let us show how you can get started!

Tuning A Bass

Before we should get any further, let’s get that bass in tune. You do not want to make your practice sessions sound bad just because your bass was out of tune. Yousician’s built-in bass tuner will get you in tune fast. If you are practicing without an intent to take our lessons, you can use our bass tuner on your mobile phone to get your instrument in tune.

The standard tuning for a bass guitar starting from the top string is E A D G. The top string is the one closest to you, meaning the lowest note. You will naturally begin to recognize if a string is in tune.

Tuning A Bass Guitar

Bass Guitar Tablature

Bass tablatures are the notes for playing bass. You could play with regular notes as well, but tablatures are much easier, especially in the beginning. Yousician uses tablatures in its app, meaning that you will learn to read them as you practice. A number marked on a tablature indicates the fret that you are meant to play. If the number is zero, you will play that string open.

There are times when you can find special symbols from the tablature. These symbols can tell you to bend a string, slide to the next fret or to do a hammer-on. You do not have to be familiar with these terms yet; you will learn them as you proceed with your playing. Yousician will show you how to use those techniques.

Tablature layout in Yousician’s bass learning app

How To Play Bass With A Pick

For some people playing bass with a pick seems very forbidden, but for certain music styles, it can sometimes be necessary. It also helps to bring more attack and clarity to your sound. Every bass player has their unique style, so try and feel which feels the best way for you. Or you can learn both plucking and picking and change your technique according to the song.

When you are choosing a pick, pay attention to the thickness. For playing the guitar, thinner picks are fine. With bass, you want to use a bit thicker one. This prevents the pick from bending too much when you are hitting the thicker strings.

A person playing a bass guitar with a pick

How To Learn Bass Notes

As you play, you will develop an ability to remember what kind of sounds different fret positions will give you. To boost this learning process, we are going to use the musical alphabet, which consists of A B C D E F G. The distance between each note is a whole step, except a half-step for B-C and E-F. On a bass’ fretboard whole step is a two-fret distance. For a half-step, it is the fret next to your current note.

Bass strings were E A D G. You can start finding the musical alphabets from the A-string, so it will be easier to follow the notes. Yousician will give you lessons that are dedicated to finding the notes from the fretboard and memorizing the musical alphabet, but with these tips, you can already get started.

Bass Guitar Notes
Start Playing Bass

How To Play Bass Chords

With a bass, there are not that many situations when you are going to play chords, but it is still useful to have the basic knowledge about them. Playing chords means playing multiple notes at the same time.

Yousician will show you how to read chord diagrams and how chords are generally built. Watching our video lessons will get you familiar with the notes and the sound of the chords, making it easier to start practicing it right after. You will even learn how to play chord progressions. Even if you won’t need chords as a bass player that often, it will help you to understand the moments when guitar players and pianists are playing their chords.

How To Learn Bass Scales

Understanding scales will help you to build the chords that we talked about, but also to play good sounding bass lines and melodies. We will give you the basics of major scales, but you will gain more in-depth knowledge later when you are practicing with Yousician.

Let’s make a C major scale our example. The root note for this scale is C, which is also the first note when you start playing it. Follow the musical alphabet for one octave, and that is the C major scale.

Great Bass Songs To Practice With

Yousician’s song library offers you a range of popular songs to practice with. Each song comes with different difficulty levels, so you can even start to tackle more advanced songs right away. One perfect song for beginner bass players is The House Of The Rising Sun. The repetitive bass line is great for practicing your plucking and staying in the rhythm.

Do you feel like being ready for more advanced songs? In that case, you could have a look at legendary Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist Flea’s lines at Can’t Stop. Going through the different difficulty levels gives you a great feel of the notes on the fretboard, higher and lower.

The Best Way To Learn Bass

Are you ready to start your learning with the bass? You are going to learn a skill that will last for your entire life, and Yousician will help you to achieve that. Our exercises and missions will help you to develop from plucking a string to playing along with Flea’s bass lines. Our lessons are adapted to your learning stage, so the lessons and songs will stay relevant for you.

Get your bass ready and prepare for a learning journey. To get a proper start for it, we will give you a free trial for our premium plan. You will see that learning bass can be fun and motivating, we wish you the greatest success with your practice sessions!

Unleash your inner bassist. Download for free and start playing! Yousician is a fun and rich learning environment for all skill levels. Available on iOS, Android and Desktop.