Octave Chart for Bass

@kwt7667 asked me to repost this chart that I had posted some time back. I made this as a study guide for myself a couple years ago when I was first learning the fretboard. It’s for a 5 string with 21 frets, which is what I was playing at the time, but it can be adapted to a 4 string. The white cells represent the white keys on a piano (naturals), while the black cells represent the black keys (sharps and flats). It was a great learning tool for me to understand the logic of the fretboard and how it relates to the piano keyboard.
It doesn’t hurt to post it again if it helps more people.

P.S. I know the 1st column under zero should be white keys, but I can’t find my original Photoshop file to fix it. Sorry 'bout that.

17 Likes

This is one of my favorite charts of all time because it shows octave numbers. All the charts I was initially given just had note letters. This really shows how the overlap in notes between strings goes. I think this is a terrific way to get a mental model of the neck going.

11 Likes

Yeah, I had not seen it before this, so thanks for posting again.

5 Likes

Here’s a link to some more fretboard charts for 4/5/6 string basses in different tunings https://www.fatpick.com/tuning There’s also a generator to create new ones.

5 Likes

I just made a print out your chart @PamPurrs . As a beginner, it’s gonna be really helpful to me. Thanks for putting in all the work it took to complete it.

4 Likes

Link to the 24-fret 4-string version, based on the above image:

3 Likes

Hey Pam. I could tell you were a bit annoyed about not being able to fix the image and I was in bed ill and bored so made a new version for you. Hope you don’t mind. I see this as a spreadsheet (I spend all day with spreadsheets), so just re-created it as an editable Google Sheets document. I don’t want to take any of the credit for it though as it only took me 15 minutes since you did all the hard work. I’ve put credit to you with a link to your website on the document.

I made a separate tab for 4-String and 5-String as well. Here’s a preview of the 4-string one:

Here’s a link to the full file. If anyone has a Google account, they can go to “File -> Save a Copy” and have their own editable copy.

11 Likes

Thanks @JT. I don’t mind at all as long as it helps people. When I first made it a couple of years ago, it was intended for my own use and not for sharing, so I wasn’t as focused on quality control as I should have been.
Good job @JT!

7 Likes

On the other hand (literally), I found a fretboard illustration online specifically for left-handed basses/guitars at LeftyFretz.com. It doesn’t relate to the piano keyboard, but is a mirror image for lefty players. LeftyFretz is one of a few sites I’ve found which cater to left-handed guitarists and basses. Here you can find:

  1. If you have a need for blank bass chord charts, this site has a page with links to several layouts of them (no string numberings, etc., so can be used by both lefties and righties).
  2. A page discussing an actual 24 fret Left Handed Bass Fretboard Notes Diagram (be still my heart!), shown with both flats and sharps layouts, and a link to a full sized .jpg image of those fretboards.

Which brings up a suggestion: I’d like to see a specific sub-forum at BassBuzz as a place for threads for “lefty bass” type of discussions. Is that too specific, or too exclusionary? I find it hard otherwise to find references to topics about left handed basses, or other topics about left handed playing. What do @JoshFossgreen, @Gio, and others think about that possibility? I’m not sure under which forum heading it would best fit, though; Bass? Gear? Technique? Perhaps its very own? :star_struck:

5 Likes

Hey @Never2Late, I’m guessing a lefty category would be pretty minimally used, since most topics relate to playing either way, so just sticking Lefty in the title when appropriate is probably the easiest move. Plus you can always search by keyword to find lefty threads.

Although I would love to see what a “Left Handed Music Theory” thread would cover. :stuck_out_tongue:

4 Likes

Isn’t music theory pretty much non dexterous specific anyway?

3 Likes

Well, I never mentioned “Left Handed Music Theory,” and I can’t even imagine it. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: I know you were only joking, @JoshFossgreen. Thanks for replying.

Yes, I have searched by keyword and found some lefty threads. But there are times when it is hard to find something (even for searches not specifically about lefty whatever) using keywords.

I’ll use Josh’s suggestion to put “Lefty” in the title of topics where appropriate.

6 Likes

Left-handed music theory is for people with left-handed pianos. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

5 Likes

I’m left-handed in everything but I thought I’d tackle the bass as a righty. I may be in for more challenges that most of you, but I’ll get it down…eventually. :weary:
:laughing:

5 Likes

If it’s any comfort, @JoshFossgreen is lefty and plays righty…

5 Likes

I didn’t know that!!

Maybe there’s hope for me after all. :rofl:

4 Likes

I’m a righty and play like I’m a lefty trying to play righty.
:laughing:

10 Likes

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

3 Likes

:joy::joy::joy:

2 Likes

You might actually have an advantage - your dominant hand is doing the “hard” work… Seems to me (without trying it) that your way may be the more natural way to do it… Or, I could be totally wrong. :slight_smile:

5 Likes