Bass Guitar Hangout

Learn How To Play Bass Guitar

Bass guitar notes and their location can be tricky without the necessary information. If you are struggling to get to grips with mastering fretboard then this article is for you. With so many different bass guitar notes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed…

If getting your head round the different notes is giving you problems it’s not your fault. You just haven’t had the correct information yet. Keep reading this article and you will have a much better understanding of the whole thing.

Below is a diagram with the all the bass guitar fretboard notes included. You will see on the far left are the notes of the open strings. These are the names given to the bass guitar strings when you play them without fretting any notes. They are E, A, D and G. The E string is the thickest of your bass strings and the G the thinnest.

Now that we know the names of the open strings there is one more thing that we need to know to full grasp the notes on bass guitar fretboard… the Musical Alphabet.

The musical alphabet on bass guitar is constructed from the first seven letters of the alphabet. After you get to G you start back at A again.

So we have:

A, B, C, D, E, F, G and then A again.

Now the next thing I’m going to share with you might sound complicated but please don’t panic.

In between some of the notes and ‘Sharps’ (Represented by the # symbol) and ‘flats’ (Represented by b symbol)

So if you see a C# it is known as a “C Sharp”
If you see and Db its name is a “D flat”

Ok now don’t let this scare you. You may have heard of these terms before.

Ok, so with the musical alphabet some notes has sharps, some have flats and some don’t.

Here is the musical alphabet in full:

A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A

As you will see some notes have two names for example an A# is also a Bb. They are the exact name fret on your bass guitar.

Now we need to spend some time getting familiar with the musical alphabet. For this we are going to apply it to our bass guitar.

Ok now pick up your bass and follow along. (Make sure your bass in is tune)

So first play your open A string (The 2nd thickest)

Now if you fret the first fret of the A string with your index finger you have an A#/Bb. Next play the second fret of the A string you have a B, Third fret a C.

Each fret you move down you simply move one step along the musical alphabet. Fourth fret C#/Db, fifth fret D and so on. When you get to A on the Twelfth remember to start over again.

This works on the other three of your bass guitar strings too. You simply start on the name of the open string and each fret down is the next step in the musical alphabet. Just remember when you get to G#/Ab to go back to A again.


Learning the bass guitar notes is something every bass play should do. Just spend a few minutes each day getting to know your bass guitar fretboard notes and it won’t be long until you have them memorized. I hope this has helped.

To your bass playing success,

Tom Boyd

Bass Guitar Notes, Online Bass Guitar Lessons

87 Responses so far.

  1. Stephen says:

    Thanks for the tips on learning the fretboard, it really helpped me :)

  2. annabobic says:

    I am new here (actualy i am new on internet) you have a nice community here and i
    want to make some friends :)
    My name is Anna Bobic i am born in Croatia. oh i am 19 years old. I love rock music and animals :)

  3. nick says:

    thanks man this helped ALOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Tom Boyd says:

    @Stephen Glad it helped!

    @annabobic – Welcome to the Internet! I love rock music too :)

    @nick You’re welcome!

  5. dankeydoo says:

    Very helpful.


  6. juliakknightt says:

    Hi all

    I`m Julia, 22yo girl from New York. I`m working in library and I like hip hop.


  7. LesopevaWhepe says:

    Just wanted to say hi to everyone

    I spent 7 hours searching in the web, until find your forum! I think, I shall stay here for a long time!

    Glad to be a part of the community :)

  8. funteedausa says:

    Its great to be here, looking forward to this site.


  9. whowweiny says:

    Good work!

  10. StephenLK says:

    Just an introduction. Glad to be here, I’m new. Saying hi to all you all. ;)


  11. Tom Boyd says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Welcome to the site!

  12. Chris says:

    Yes, finally something simple and easy to follow for peope new to music like me! Love it. Thanks Tom!

  13. Mitch says:

    Very helpful for those of us in a lifelong struggle to play any instrument :)

  14. tha says:

    thank you for such good tips.may god bless you

  15. randy says:

    this was great- hitting myself with the bass wondering I never thought of this before (lol)

  16. Zach says:

    I just wanted to say thank you so much,this has helped me a lot. I got thrown into being a bass player for a band before i even owned a guitar,so i am already in a band and i know NOTHING about thye bass,but this helped me a lot =)

  17. geloman says:

    thanks a lot brotha:D
    Jah bless!:D Peace

  18. Dazmon says:

    Thanks May God Bless

  19. Dazmon says:

    Thanks Very Much May God Bless You

  20. Brian says:

    Thank you, thank you ,thank you!!!! This arcicle has helped me so much, now i understand my fretboard and all the notes, your explanation has made it very easy to remember the notes now.

  21. coby says:

    tanx so much cos u are a so good

  22. Juan D. says:

    Not new to bass but this site was helpful. My main instrument is guitar, but I help out on bass when needed, and this is a good source of info. Good job explaining things. Keep up the good work.
    Hello to all in the community.
    Oh, I’m located in deep South Texas. Go Cowboys! (maybe next year)

  23. Riley says:


  24. Joseph says:

    Thanks for the tips, I just got this bass guitar, so this website will really help me learn how to play.

  25. BigK says:

    Thanks a whole bunch Tom!!!! I’m Gerry involved in music and I’m only 13, I sing bass and also play bass! I used to play the guitar and just ended up not having time for it so I stopes for a few years, now I started playing bass but I learned using fret numbers and I knew that wasn’t going to cut it because I am in 2 bands playing bass! Your advice made things a lot clearer!! Thanks again man and my God bless

  26. Jason says:

    Holy sht, I just learned that sht in 10 mins -_O omg, after reading this everything was soooooo simple insane!!!

    So B and E don’t have Sharp or eb, bb?

  27. Godspower Iserhienrhien says:

    thanks alot Bro

  28. Shannon Porter says:

    Very cool because I have been learning the bass on my own ,and struggling for many years.. I am good but I quit at one point because I could not comprehend certain things..This chart made me understand how the notes progress on the fretboard.. Instead of trying on my own by learning techniques ,music theory ,and notes bassackwards!! :P I am grateful for the library of knowledge the internet has to offer ,and I am so ready to advance my knowledge,and skills ..Peace!

  29. Connor says:

    I know how to play the bass but it has been a while since I played farther than the 5th fret on the strings and I am learning how to play the song stereo love it is the song with the cool accordion part and when I found that music sheet it sounded too low and spaced out when i forgot all the notes closer to the body of the bass so thank you so much for this because I can play it now

  30. hezekiah says:

    thanks man U have helpd me discover some new things about the bassguitar.

  31. Aniefiok says:

    Tanx man! Ur lesson is helping me alot

  32. John says:

    Thanks for posting, cleared things up for me, should help now onto playing.

  33. Obiri says:

    Thanks man. Am now beginning to understand somethings. Thanx alot.

  34. Riley says:

    Good stuff

  35. Geoffrey says:

    Sir Tom Boyd …
    I’m 16, i really love to know about bass guitar
    thanks to you sir for helping newbies ^^..

  36. Peter B says:

    Thank you!

  37. kaylee says:

    Helped so much. I was always confused about the whole not system for a bass. but I get it now. :D

  38. Zinock says:

    Hello everybody

    I’m just new and need some help to play Bass, and found this page as a right one. From Ohrigstad

  39. ak says:

    thanks this helped in reunderstanding frets again!

  40. Mikey says:

    thank you its helped me a lot to understand the fretboard on the bass ive got it memorized didnt take long if you think about it, its in order so basically if you start off with the string E – F- F#-G-G#-A-A#-B-C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G and after that all you have to do is remember that B and E dont have sharp notes :)

  41. Neil says:

    More thanks and praise to Tom the bass teacher.
    Your videos have been a massive help in letting me achieve 2 of my bass playing goals when i only picked up the bass in april this year.
    Rock on Tom
    All the best.

  42. Soji adejumo says:

    Thnks Mr Tom, it really helped me. Soji adejumo

  43. Alexander says:

    Hi tom you have help me discover my tallent on how to play a bass guitar thank you very much.

  44. tinabina says:

    Omg…Tom, you are my HERO! I’ve been playing bass for about a year or more and NEVER have I understood where ALL of the notes were! This has seriously been the BEST lesson anyone has ever, ever given me! And the whole A# is the same as Bb! Genious! Thank you soo soo much! God bless you! :)

  45. Victor says:

    Tom u are wonderful i love ur tutorial keep it up i’am in Africa, and i want to make friends here.

  46. Dustin says:

    Hey I am 13 and it helped me alot

  47. Goroh says:

    Thanks for the basic tips on bass frets notes and their names and positions. I have played the bass guitar for over 28 years, but never knew things basic aspects to shared. I played from my hearing, but did not know the different keys of the bass guitar strings. It may sound kind of strange, but you will be surprised how many bass guitarists out there play without knowing these basic tip. Thanks to god for the inventors of the internet. It has made things pretty easy, as the world has become a little village when we can learn from each other’s knowledge. Thanks TOM!

  48. Joanne John says:

    Thanks alot…It really helped me:)

  49. BlakeIron says:

    dude, sweet, you sound like you know what you’re talking about, i mainly play wind instruments, like bari sax and bass clarinet. and i wanted to learn bass guitar, and this helped me out, a lot.

  50. Noah says:

    Thanks man this helped alot

  51. Madi says:

    Thank you! This really made it simple and nice! I learned to play my bass by ear, but this really made it better for me! So thanks! A lot!! :)