Music Theory for the Bass Player and Where to Begin

Open book of sheet music

How much theory do you need to learn for bass guitar?

As with most deep and thoughtful questions, the answer to this one is, “It all depends.” It really depends on what you want to do with music. Where do you want to end up on your music journey? If you pay attention to what most musicians will say about this topic, one thing becomes crystal clear. While some people debate exactly how much music theory for the bass player is actually necessary, almost everyone agrees that more musical knowledge is never a bad thing.

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Squier Bronco Bass Review – Why You Need One Now (2022)

Fender Squier Bronco Bass

After purchasing one of these awesome Squier Bronco bass guitars as a Christmas gift for my daughter, we knew we had to do a review and make some recommendations. If you couldn’t tell from the title, we really like the Squier Bronco bass guitar. Lots of people will get great use out of this bass, and some will fall madly in love with it. To find out if the Fender Affinity Series Bronco bass is right for you, read on.

TLDR: The receiver of this gift is lucky they still got it. We couldn’t keep our hands off of it, but it might not be for everyone. (But it probably is for everyone…mostly.)

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Flatwounds vs. Roundwounds

flatwounds vs roundwounds

I’ve spent some time, and money, holding my own flatwounds vs roundwounds experiment over the years, and I can say confidently which strings I like best. However, the sound you get from your bass is a really personal thing. So, which is the better bass string for you, flatwounds or roundwounds?

For the last few years, there’s been a shift in the bass world with many players switching from the more popular roundwound bass guitar strings back to the old-school flatwound strings.

When looking at flatwounds vs roundwounds, there are several interesting things to look at. From the history of the bass guitar industry to the musical style of individual bass players, the different types of strings have also played a big role in shaping the sound of each artist.

So what’s the difference between these two types of bass strings?

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Fender Goes Fretless

Sometime in 1970, Fender introduced a fretless version of their iconic Precision Bass model.

By all accounts, this bass was identical to any standard Precision bass, except all the frets and fret lines were removed.

However, being a fretless bass, the neck was designed and constructed a little differently than a stock fretted P-Bass.

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The Passive vs Active Bass Debate – What’s Right for You?

I have never been a big fan of active basses, although I have to admit that the idea behind them does seem pretty cool. The idea is to add a battery-powered active tone circuit so you can boost your signal and control the sound of your bass to a much higher degree. Since the passive vs active bass debate rages on, let’s take a look at the reasons why.

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Less is Better…Usually

In the bass community, we often hear the phrase “less is more.” This annoys some people to no end; they reason that less is less and more is more.

Of course, they’re missing the point, which is why I propose the “less is better” substitute.

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Fender Mustang PJ Bass: A Short-Scale Force

Fender Mustang PJ Bass

Introduced in 1966, the Fender Mustang PJ Bass is a classic short-scale instrument that is, despite its small size, a force to be reconned with. The original concept for the Mustang PJ bass was to offer a smaller-scale instrument for students and young bassists of smaller stature. However, due to its high quality and delirious amounts of fun, it gained popularity among many pro bassists and everyday players as well.

The Fender Mustang Bass was the last bass that Leo Fender designed before he sold the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company in 1965 to CBS. This fact alone makes it somewhat of a historic instrument.

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Maple vs. Rosewood Fretboard – Is there a difference?

maple vs rosewood fretboard

Fretboard wood is yet another hotly debated bass topic out there. And, it’s another topic that may have no real answer. While we can take a look at the different factors that play a part in the comparison between a maple vs rosewood fretboard, we’ve found that it comes down to a lot of personal preference and psychology.

However, there are still some very interesting things to consider regarding fretboard types, so read on. You may at least find out why time and time again bass players are still asking, “maple vs rosewood fingerboard, is there a difference in tone?”

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Paul Simonon: Punk Bass Legend

Paul Simonon: Punk Bass Legend

Born in Brixton, England in 1955, Paul Simonon was a student at London Art College when he joined The Clash in 1976 at the insistence of guitarist Mick Jones. Paul immediately realized that he enjoyed being on stage playing in front of people much more than painting alone in a studio.

Simonon is credited with naming the band as well as cultivating their look and stage designs. The Paul Simonon bass sound incorporated his love of reggae and ska. And, since he was still learning to play the bass as The Clash were forming, the simple and direct bass lines he created became a major aspect of the early punk sound of this iconic band.

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How to Buy a Fender Bass Online

Buying a bass on the Internet can be a risky and somewhat scary experience. Unfortunately, there are many dishonest people online selling bass guitars. Some are outright scammers, while others simply don’t know what they’re selling. Either way, the responsibility falls on you, the honest buyer, to find the right deals and reputable sellers. Hopefully, the information here can help you to understand how to buy a bass guitar, especially if you’re looking online.

I’ve personally bought several Fender basses online over the years, and I’ve learned some valuable tips on what to look for and what to avoid.

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