The bass keyboard design as you might not expect

Help! The tabs are drawn differently!!!

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a person who had just downloaded the 5 STEPS, all alarmed about an alleged error in the PDF regarding the design of the bass keyboard.

I quote it here in full, because it gives me the cue for an important clarification on all the material revolving around Planet Contemporary Bassist, 5 Steps included (i.e. the introductory course).

Let me preface this by saying that the person who wrote was in total good faith. Only, as is always the case, new things destabilise at first and one tends to reject them 😀

"SUBJECT: Serious error in PDF

Good morning Ms Anna, Yesterday I downloaded the 5 steps course for bass guitar and I realised that the drawings representing the bass guitar strings in the exercises are drawn backwards, i.e. the thickest coincides with the first string and the thinnest coincides with the fourth. Actually it's the other way around, the farthest string (the first) is the G string and the thickest (the fourth) is the E string. I don't know if anyone has already pointed out this error! The thing is, when you read tablatures you get quite confused..."

I therefore thank the person in question, because with this misunderstanding he has given me the opportunity to definitively clarify a fundamental concept of this method.

A method that for a number of very specific reasons is all its own way.

THE BASS KEYBOARD in the Contemporary Bassist Planet

Here is a short passage from the 5-step PDF, which I assume you have already read if you have downloaded it.

"4. Keyboard graph. By keyboard graph we mean the exact drawing of the keyboard as we see it if we stand in front of a mirror. This way of depicting the instrument has nothing to do with tablature".

And even within the Contemporary Bassist (especially in the first lessons), you will find the keyboard graphic with the same explanation.

What is its characteristic?

Basically, it is the design of the keyboard as you see it if you stand with the bass in front of a mirror. Get a mirror and try it!

Figure 1



So you tried the mirror? And what did you see?

I'll tell you. If you go to a mirror with the bass, you see the neck exactly as it is drawn in Figure 1, i.e. the highest string is the low E (E) and the lowest string is the G (G).

So as you may have guessed there is no ERROR! !!

By the way, the same strings are drawn with a different thickness precisely to remove any doubt. So please stick to this visualisation, which is correct like this.

In the 5-Step Method, the CONTEMPORARY BASSIST and the ONLINE COURSE, you will find no other views of the bass fretboard.

If you turn the keyboard graph upside down you mess everything up!

This system has nothing to do with tabs, nor with schemes used in other books. At the same time, however, it remains consistent throughout the series (up to volume 4).

We know that from time to time someone interprets this graph at will, inverting the strings as if they were Tab.

However, this blows up all the reasoning on which the method is built, including the 5 Steps.

So it is absolutely essential that you respect this approach.

What benefits do you get from this method of working?

Let me remind you that the Contemporary Bassist (of which the 5 Steps is the preparatory course) has been around for 30 years and has been tested and continuously improved up to the current version.

Used successfully with hundreds of pupils, it is no match for the other books in circulation here.

Its approach inspired by the classical double bass is actually revolutionary from its very basics. It will allow you to develop a very precise and deep knowledge of your instrument.

After you have learnt to read music very well, and at the same time hear and recognise sounds by ear, what do you do with tabs?

You'll be able to read any score, you'll be able to interpret acronyms from a harmonic point of view, plus you'll be able to pull pieces down by ear. Better than that...

I understand that you may be used to it differently. But I hope you still want to give yourself a chance with this method of working, which will challenge you a bit at the beginning but will give you many more advantages than you have had so far.

But again, you have to follow its setting. Only then can it give you all the benefits for which it was created. Take care 🙂

P.S. Actually, there are a few little mistakes in the 5 STEPS. In the pieces I mean... And someone very good and very diligent has found them and communicated them to us. Did you find them?

P.P.S. If you have finished the 5 Steps and want to move on to Contemporary Bassist, you can simply send an email to info @ (spelled all attached). You will receive all the information you need to proceed as soon as possible. Or go to this link ==> to find the list of shops that distribute it.

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  1. I'm sorry, I don't understand how one can send such e-mails. Try to make an effort to 'observe', no?

    • Contemporary Bassist

      Eh, indeed... it is also true that the keyboard design is inverted, and one does not expect that. But as soon as you get used to it, you discover that it is very very comfortable and advantageous!

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