learning to play the bass guitar - arpeggios and bass patterns at different places on the neck is really important.
Learning about options, different fretboard positions and different patterns can be helped by learning to read bass scores. They can be pretty simple, but the fact that they are written on the bass clef means you will have to pay them special attention.
For someone like me who learned to read many years ago that has provided a special challenge. I learned trumpet music written on the treble clef and became marginally adept at it.
So switching gears to the bass clef took a fair bit of getting used to.
Obviously it can be done. Traditional piano players learn to read both clefs from very early in their formal training. In time it just becomes second nature.
I've put together a series of printable worksheets (in .pdf format) to help you learn the relationship between notes on the bass clef and different positions on the bass fretboard.
You can find them here: Level 1 Bass Worksheets and
Here: Level 2 Bass Worksheets.
There are a whole bunch of notes on the guitar fretboard, so if you are going to give it a go, you’d better give it a good effort.
Lots of guitar players think it is not worth spending a whole lot of time on learning the fretboard, especially if you just want to strum along to singing.
But if you want to improve your playing, and if you want to know your way around traditional music scores, learning more about the guitar fretboard will definitely make you more versatile. Rhythm guitar players, will learn chord options you didn’t see before – different chord shapes and root positions, chords on two or three or four strings, and so on.
Bass guitar players will have many more options. Having a good grasp of the fretboard will open up alternatives you didn't think of before. You will see new options for arpeggios and bass runs which can only make you a better, more interesting bass guitar player.
For lead guitar players, knowing the fretboard has obvious advantages. You'll see possibilities you didn’t think of before, note combinations you weren't aware of and your playing will be more interesting.
Finally, you’ll be able to play in any key. When somebody says “F” you’ll know exactly where that is in a bunch of different places on the fretboard, and you'll be able to make use of the most appropriate position.
Learn the fretboard to become a better all around musician.