My StudyBass

On any string instrument, the notes go up each string in the same order as they did on the piano. The difference is they are not color-coded like the piano keyboard. That makes finding the notes on bass guitar a little more mysterious and will require some memorization as you study how to play bass guitar.

The Musical Alphabet on Bass Guitar

Frets are little metal wires in the fingerboard that divide the notes up for you. On bass, each fret is one of the 12 notes of the musical alphabet. It's just like one key on the piano.

Looking at the diagram above we see an open string tuned to the note A. (An open string refers to a string that is not pressed down.) The notes of the musical alphabet follow their basic order on up the frets just like they did on piano. Open A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D and so on.

Notice you have two dots on your 12th fret fret marker. That is where the 12 notes of the alphabet start to repeat.

Every string works in the same way. The only difference will be the note to which the open string is tuned.

If the string is tuned to “E”, the musical alphabet starts on E and goes in order to the next E on the 12th fret. Open E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab, A and so on.

Follow this link if you want to see and print out the notes on the fretboard for bass, guitar or any other string instrument.