So like most of you I’m really a frigging know nothing idiot (well, most of you are probably better than that) so I’m hardly an expert. But I just bought Ariane Cap’s book music theory for the bass player. And just in the first 15 pages I’ve already picked up a bunch of eye opening tips, so I thought I would share them. Remember that Josh said that in his course music theory was what you need to know to start, so this is more in depth. I will try to update this as I go along.
The first thing I learned was (Josh also has a variation on this but this was actually a little easier for me):
Pick any note on your bass. Go ahead, do it.
Go up one string up 7 frets same note
Go up one string down 5 frets same note
Go down one string down 7 frets same note
Go down one string up 5 frets same note
Josh also told us to memorize the notes for:
E string dots 1,2,3: G,A,B
A string dots 1,2,3: C,D,E
Now skip up two frets to dots 2,3,4:
D string dots 2,3,4: G,A,B
G string dots 2,3,4: C,D,E
Symmetrical! Now you know almost all the notes on the top of the neck (and the bottom is the same!).
You could start your own course with this stuff
Hah! I’m just reading the book
Great stuff. Ariane Cap’s real good. I like her vids a lot.
You can follow along on your bass, if that helps.
so a quick review of what happened here. if you analyze the above post it covers every note above the 12th fret but F. but in the above we can see where E is on the A string and the G string, and we also know where the E string is. So we just go up one fret from there to find our F. so that just leaves the F on the D string. and we know where G is on the D string, so we just go down 2 frets to it (down to Gb, down to F). so now we have all the whole notes on all 4 strings on the top of the neck (above the 12th fret).
I haven’t bothered to memorize the sharps and flats yet because we already know where they are. but eventually I should know them in case the guitar player yells out A#, I don’t have to think “where’s an A” and its one fret up.
So now, let’s think about where these notes are all over the fretboard.
(If you have a bass that has 24 frets like my bongo, than this if for you. if not, skip this, because it will probably confuse you). if you have 24 frets, your bass can reach 3 octaves. this is rare. this means that on an E string you can play 3 E’s (open E string, 12 fret E string, 24 fret E string). the same is true for A, D, G on a 24 fret bass. otherwise, don’t worry about this.
So on most basses, on each string, you can only play a note 2 times.
(example: on the E string there are 2 G’s - 3rd fret G, and 15 fret G). And we already know that the fretboard repeats after the 12th fret. so, without even knowing it, we know the entire fretboard!!! we know where all the whole notes are A-G on each string on the upper fretboard from above. we know how to find the sharps and flats. we know the fretboard repeats after the 12th fret. ta-da!
@itsratso that’s a great book for learning music theory, I love it. Many people criticize it for being too much theory, but that depends on how important you think theory is to your development. I personally believe in music theory.
Ariane’s book is exactly the amount of theory I want to know and what I’ve learned in this course perfectly prepared me to jump in without fear or intimidation.
@itsratso Thank you for this post, I was looking on the forum for a book recommendation for theory and think I should get Cap’s book.
Are there any others that would complement it, or is this one book enough, certainly for a beginner?
I figure when not doing B2B I can be reading the theory and it can only be a positive thing.
When I was starting out, I read two books (in addition to watching a passel of videos):
Music Theory for Dummys, by Michael Pilhofer is a primer on music theory that takes the reader from the ground up. He writes it out in an easy to comprehend manner, and uses many easy to remember formulas and mnemonics (such as my favorite one for identifying key signatures, "Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle").
The second book I read (and still use as a reference), is Arian Cap’s “Music Theory for the Bass Player”, which takes what the Dummies book teaches to a higher level.
Thanks @PamPurrs I have ordered Caps book and the Dummy’s book, thanks for the recommendation
That’s awesome @Mark_UK
I would recommend reading Dummies first, as Cap’s book can be a bit heavy if you don’t have some basic knowledge of theory.