Free bass guitar tablature patterns

Patterns for bass guitar

Here are a few common bass guitar patterns that can be useful. They are arranged with sheet music and tabs in PDF format. They are only intended as suggestions that you can modify according to taste and style of music!

Free bass tablature scores (PDF)

Bass guitar lines (bgi-l)

The Bass Guitar Solo

By Ricky Sharples

The bass guitar is an integral part of any band these days. It started life in the nineteen thirties as a more user-friendly alternative to the double bass but never found its feet until the nineteen fifties when it took its place as the rhythm section of rock and roll bands. Since its initial use as a bass instrument there have been a number of musicians and composers who have felt moved to compose solos for the bass guitar. Even though the bass guitar is descended from the double bass, a solo instrument used in orchestral music, rock and roll bass guitarists seem to have been inspired by their counterparts in jazz when it comes to soloing.

Probably the most recognizable bass guitar solo was performed by John Entwhistle of The Who in the song My Generation recorded in 1965. This is an outstanding example of a bass solo inspired by double bass solos found in jazz music. It is typical of many bass solos in that it is unaccompanied. It was always the standard mode of presentation of jazz bass solos to do them without other instruments or only drums played with brushes so the solo could be easily heard.

The list of bass solos in modern music in rock, funk, jazz and fusion could go on and on but it is in pop music that bass solos have been successful as musical works in their own right. In the early nineteen sixties the first musician in England to own an electric bass guitar was Jet Harris who was the bass player in an instrumental group called The Shadows. Inspired by the American solo guitarist, Duane Eddy, Jet Harris left the shadows to pursue a solo career. In 1962 he had a hit single with the 1940 song, Besame Mucho played as a solo on a six string bass guitar. Another hit bass guitar solo was by The Shadows themselves with Stingray recorded in 1965.

Meanwhile in America in 1963 a young composer and arranger named Jack Nitzsche made a lush orchestral single called The Lonely Surfer. The orchestra was merely the backdrop for a simple melody played on the bass guitar. The Lonely Surfer never climbed higher than number thirty-nine on the charts, but that is pretty good for a bass guitar solo!

If you are interested in playing bass guitar, the most common course of action to take is to learn to play a regular guitar first. Strictly speaking this is not necessary but it seems to be where most bass players come from. For someone with a grasp of the basics of guitar playing, it is not difficult to make a smooth transition to bass guitar. There are plenty of bass guitar tabs available on the internet to help you to learn the music. You might need to get a teacher in order to grasp some of the techniques involved in bas playing. For a start you can choose whether to use a plectrum or just your fingers. Slapping and popping techniques can be found on video clips on the internet but one-on-one tuition is probably best. But if you are not able to buy lessons there are some available for free on the net.

Once you have sorted out which techniques you want to use to play bass, it is just a matter of practice and developing some kind of individual style before you begin working out your own solos.

Ricky Sharples has been playing guitar his whole life, and is presently engaged in building a blog called Learn How To Play A Guitar For Free. Ricky's blog features free tools, lessons and resources for guitarists of all ages and stages. Ricky updates the blog regularly so if you are interested in learning to play guitar there will be an enormous variety of tip, tools and tutorials for you.

Back to top of page