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What Is an Octave on the Bass Guitar?

Learn how to understand octaves on the bass guitar from musician John Sutton in this online guitar lesson from Howcast.


I wanna talk about understanding octaves on the bass guitar. There are seven note names that we use in our musical scale. So every time we play the eighth note, it's gonna have the same name as the note name from the first note. This is basically an octave. So an A for instance, on the second fret of the G-string, an octave down is the open string A. So this is the note E in three different octaves. And that can be true for all of the notes that we have. C, C-sharp, D, D-sharp, E, F, F-sharp, G, G-sharp, and A. And that's the basics for understanding octaves on the bass guitar.

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