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Bass Finger Board Layout

If you are not familiar with the layout of the bass finger board, I would recommend that you memorize the charts below.  And here is a good tip on memorization: Copy the charts by hand.  This will place the information you need in your brain in different location, and by a different method.  Also print out the PDF versions (located at the bottom of this page) and place them in your practice area and on the refrigerator, next the picture of the fire truck drawn by you when you were in first grade.

This chart below shows the notes on the finger board as laid out according to Sharp Note designations, on the left.  On the right side the finger board is notes are laid out according to Flat Note designations.   Remember, G# is the same note as Ab, A# is the same note as Bb, C# is the same note as Db, etc., etc.  The bass is a stringed instrument, and string players generally think of notes in terms of sharps.

 

Bass Finger Board Layout

You should realize that once you move past the 12 fret, the note patterns are identical to the ones which started at the nut.  This is why I did not continue on with these diagrams.  Some basses have 20 or 21 frets, some have 24 frets (two octave scale necks), and some have 36 frets (three octave scale necks) like the Cort Curbow basses.

 

Below are some common harmonic locations on the bass.  These can be helpful and you should familiarize yourself with these too.

 

PDF Downloads

Bass_Fingerboard_Layout_Sharps.pdf

Bass_Fingerboard_Layout_Flats.pdf

Tuning_With_Harmonics_Bass.pdf

Common_Bass_Harmonics.pdf

 

 

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