View Full Version : Need bass sheet music

04-22-2011, 10:12 PM
My husband is learning to play bass guitar and double bass while I learn ukulele. We want to play together but have a hard time finding music for him. I don't know where to look. I have been using the Daily Ukulele and he can make up parts to some of them. But it would be better if he had the real music. Tab doesn't give him enough information about the rhythms.

04-24-2011, 12:48 AM
Try doing a search for bass tabs and the name of the song on Google. Works for me.

04-25-2011, 02:58 AM
Thanks, he has found lots. But tabs are hard if you can't hear the bass part well. I wish there were more guitar/bass sheet music!

04-25-2011, 04:29 AM
My husband is learning to play bass guitar and double bass

Let's assume the music is 4 beats (4/4 or 2/2).

Well,I would stick to the very basic. If the sheet music says C chord, you hit C note on beat 1 and on beat 3. That's basic. Your can hit C on 1, 2, 3 and 4. It's always the case. You hit the root note), unless you see a slash chord. If the chord says "C/E", you use the E as bass.

A bit more advanced - On C chord, you hit C on 1, G on2, C on 3 and G on 4. Here, it's called 1-5-1-5 (and 1 indicates the root and 5 means the fifth note above the root). Unless the chord is augument (sharp 5) or diminished (flat 5) or flat 5, this works like a charm.

To me, the key to the bass playing is to keep the rhythm and "don't screw up". The bass does not have to be fancy but the bass holds everyone together and the bass cannot make a mistake.

Once he masters the 1-5-1-5, he can experiment a bass run and other variations.

You usually don't find a sheet music written for bass, and it's more useful to be able to look at chords and play bass out of the chord.


12-10-2011, 06:17 AM
Many thanks for this simple suggestion. Sometimes, it's good to just play something and this will help me get started on U-bass.

12-10-2011, 06:39 AM
When the chord is a C then playing C on beats 1 and 3 with a G on beats 2 and 4 is good. To add to the good advice from Chief, I avoid playing the G on beat 4 if the next chord coming up is a G and will instead play C G C C, or maybe C G C F#. The F# leads to the G for the first beat of the next measure.

For rhythm patterns think of a drummer that plays the bass drum, listen to the bass drum part of a song to understand the rhythm used. A string bass player is like bass drummer who also gets to choose a pitch. The pitch choices are defined by the current chord, and the upcoming chord.

There are many ways to look at it though.

12-10-2011, 12:20 PM
Basically, what the others have said but I'll add - as relative beginners you should be playing music you are really familiar with. I.e. if you just find simple "lead sheets" (chords and lyrics) for songs you listen to and could sing in your sleep then learning to play them will be much easier because you'll know when the rhythm doesn't sound right, etc.

Second, sing (even if only softly to yourselves) the song as you play - again, if you know the song and you can't sing it then you'll know something isn't right with the rhythm.

On youtube there is a whole series of bass lessons (can't remember the fella's youtube account but his name is Mark if I remember right) that are very good for beginning bassists.

Finally, your hubby should learn "the box" ASAP. With the exception of flashy solos by guys like Victor Wooten, etc., most bass playing is done in the box. Once you know the box and a few simple patterns and walks you can play almost any song that you know simply by applying the box to the chord chart and a rhythm pattern appropriate to the song. The exceptions are songs that have a very specific bass "riff" that makes the song - "Stand by Me" for example. "Stand by Me" is still played mostly in the box but because the riff is so distinctive you pretty much have to play it like the original or people think you're "doing it wrong." For most songs, though, just follow the chords with an appropriate rhythm pattern and you're golden.

One final warning - don't get too hung up on the blues walks. It seems like everybody and his brother has a youtube video showing the R,3,5,6,8,6,5,3 blues walk as if that was the holy grail of bass playing. It's a cool walk, but appropriate for very, very few songs even in the blues genre. You'll find a more generic pattern like R,R,R 8-5 much more useful in most modern western music. It's far less distinctive, but can be played over almost any style. I.e. it's a good meat and potatoes rhythmic device.