This week we’re looking at three methods for learning the notes on the bass fretboard

Method #1 Exercises:

Test sheets are a great way of learning the notes on the bass fretboard. As an example, here is a simple test for the notes on the 3rd, 5th and 7th frets of the E string:

This a simple example but these test sheets can be created for testing any set of notes on the bass

Method #2: Chord Charts:

Chord charts are a great way of learning the notes on the bass while practicing musical content.

Chord charts can be found in many flavours like the lead sheet and slash notation below:

Lead Sheet:

Slash Notation:

In both cases we create a bass line using the provided outline of the harmony – the chord progression. For a beginner I’d advise using a simple pop chart and playing the root notes along with the original recordings.

Method #3: Reading Music

Reading standard music notation is the ultimate way of learning the notes on the neck. As you progressively develop your skills you will learn every note on the fretboard on an almost instinctive level.

To get started you have to learn in simple steps. Begin with a single E string in one position before moving to the A string and then combining both strings. This can be done with simple pitch reading sheets like the following example from Simple Steps To Sight Reading here at Talkingbass:

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