Bass (guitar) Software

Hi folks,

Having just turned 70 and with numb fingers and hands extensively damaged by peripheral neuropathy--I decided to learn the Bass (guitar). But I'm new--I have never played a musical instrument in my life, other than vocals.

Other than YouTube videos and Fender Play, I'm very limited in instructional and musical scope. I need more help. I did find TuxGuitar in the AUR and it looks very promising. After I install and try using it, I'll report back with my results.

My questions are related. Does or has anyone here ever used TuxGuitar and, if so, was it useful? And if you were a beginner bassist (or other) did it help you with playing, learning and tabulation? My final question is, are there other guitar-related software applications anyone would recommend?

I have also posted this request in the Endeavour Forums to give it a little wider exposure. Since many of us are members of both forums, please disregard this post if you’ve already read or answered there. It is specialty software and not in huge use. So please forgive my internet gaucherie. :smiley:

It’s a beautiful beginners Squier Affinity PJ Bass. I have fallen in love. :smiley:




Yes. Very useful for learning and tablature. I was not a beginner when I started using it. I view it as "priceless" for newbie & seasoned player(s) as well.

So there are countless apps for musicians on linux. We will talk about a couple here.

Guitarix ---

While TuxGuitar is your tablature software, Guitarix is your amplifier & all FX combined. Guitarix is for plugging using/plugging-in to your computer with your bass or standard guitar instead of a normal stand-alone amplifier.

You should learn how to make audio connections & routing with jack (which is simulated with pipewire) pipewire does it all now (a drop-in replacement for jack).

I suggest installing one or both of these patchbay apps:

  • qpwgraph [ A qt pure patchbay for pipewire ]
  • Carla [ A patchbay -plus- plugin host for FX ]

Both have the same end result, making/controlling/viewing finely-detailed audio routing/connections. You will need this knowledge & tools.

Note: Carla has an extra capability (compared to qpwgraph) of having a built-in FX Rack with loads of plugins for sound FX that you can patch around to anywhere/anything in your workflow). qpwgraph is a patchbay only.

As far as recording/mixing/mastering goes the King-Head-Honcho of the opensource DigitalAudioWorkstation is Ardour. This DAW will take you from idea to final release & everything in-between. BUT, don't let that spook you. It may be overkill in many situations, but I say learn it... at least basics. It will teach you low-level audio routing and such. The more your playing progresses the more you will have a need for ardour (or some DAW).

I suggest using:

  • TuxGuitar (for tablature)
  • Guitarix (for your amplifier & FX)
    You may want to just use a standard stand-alone amp (versus plugging into your computer) which makes guitarix an "As-Needed/Required" solution.
  • qpwgraph and/or carla (for patchbay audio signal routing)
  • Ardour (for recording/mixing/messing-around-with-sounds/etc/etc)

Stuff you may want to put on your radar as well...

  • ZynAddSubFX (synthesizer with tons of sounds + kitchen sink)
  • Qsynth (some say the defacto linux synth)
    Note: Qsynth requires a Virtual Keyboard
  • Hydrogen (defacto linux drum machine)

Disclaimer: Yes Ardour seems overkill (for just a player) but my advice is to learn the basics as it can get you out of a crack many times over. Basically you learn how to handle audio on linux in general with Ardour. Sound samples... everything. One could say "Ardour is the heart of your Recording Studio". (Compare to Pro-Tools in Windows)

Ardour is a multi-track-recorder/mixer/mastering-capabilities --- (the big 3) --- This type of software is referred to as a DAW (DigitalAudioWorkstation)

Random Hint: I use Qsynth and/or ZynAddSubFX to lay down bass tracks all the time (recorded in Ardour) without a bass guitar. I connect Qsynth or ZynAddSubFX to ardour with qpwgraph or Carla, then record it on a track in Ardour. Both have many preset bass sounds. Because sometimes I may want to play the bass part on the computer keyboard. :wink:

Ardour Use-Case Example for bassist::

For a beginner using Ardour (one such example) would be ...
Import a song you are trying to learn into ardour... you can actually practice along and record/add YOUR practice track to the original then listen back at how YOU sound with the band. :wink: Priceless in the long run. You can hone your sound & playing skills here.

There are many DAWs for linux, not just Ardour.

Ok, this is my arena so I rambled on a bit. :wink:

Good luck and practice/practice/practice.

:peace_symbol: :dove:

ps: sweet bass! =)


Thank you very, very much. :smiley: Much!

I'm already glad I've got leather-like finger tips. And it's not practice if practice is fun. Then it's play. :smiley:

My new hero is Victor Wooten.


You are very welcome! Feel free anytime to DM/PM me with thoughts/questions. I'll be glad to assist. I gave lessons for years because I like teaching music. It's enjoyable, fun & satisfying to me. I seem to have a knack for it. It's a Win/Win situation for me. Something I love at my core, music, ofc. I am truly contemplating giving lessons or tutorials again (online) real soon if not for anything else other than getting myself more involved in the music world again, plus, it keeps my hands on the fret-board & my ears stay tuned-up. :wink:

And rightly so! A true Monster on bass. A bass player's bass player.

Check out Jaco Pastorious. A high percentage of musicians give Jaco the Title of "The World's Greatest Bass Player" ...ever. :wink:

You will enjoy Jaco. He is on the same technical level as Wooten, at a minimum.

Rock On brother!


Thanks, it seems I'm rediscovering gods like Sting, too. And discovering players like Flea & Jaco. I missed out on the 1990-2010s music--was still stuck in the '60s/'70s. Funny how ones ears tend to pick out the bass lines. Right now I'm still working with two-fingered plucking...bump, bump, bump. I can't wait until it's bumpity, bumpity, bumpity. :guitar: :musical_note:


It's too late for you to join a band and get yourself a bunch of groupies old dude, but I guess it never hurts to try.

Hope springs eternal.



Not sure if you're into progressive jazz, but whatever you do, don't listen to Adam Nitti.

I only play 5-string basses, BTW.


bass - YouTube Davie504 [email protected]!
This guy is entertaining. Davie504 is supposedly the "King Of Slap". Could be, the guy is good. Funny, too. He is into challenges from unknowns and pros alike. Bass Slap challenges.

Btw, I wonder if garuda forum here could have a place to post about personal hobbies and such?

Maybe with a few sections like Art/Music/Whatever/Hobbies/blah... :wink:

Personal Interests/Hobbies

hmmm it may even help when forum topics/posts go astray, this section could be a good detour for that.


These are already in the forum :slight_smile:

Personal Interests, Hobbies and blah are not aloud :smiley:

Wait, there is something with "chit chat" in the forum :wink:

Here is about (unsopported) software, not your hobby :smiley:


This is what I needed to know. Thanks!

Yes I thought about us going astray here and brought this up.

I guess we can post about hobbies and such in chit-chat. ?

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Never too late to jam. Gigging's different. :wink:

I look much younger than my age (w/o beard). Unlike some old dudes. Dude.

If it did not, I'd never get out of bed.

Working in my favor is that my wife and I used to manage the world-infamous Alaskan Hotel & Bar in Juneau, a hotbed of live musical talent from all over the world. In the course of doing so I make friends immediately, and even had the pleasure of being the singer--live, on-stage--with one trio.

So now I'm old, no teeth, and my voice is pure gravel. It's time to let my palsied, diabetes-ridden fingers do the walking & talking. I don't have the years left to ever be like a Victor Wooten, but maybe I can be old-fashioned like Jack Bruce.

There are so many styles & genres that it is a difficult choice, but blues bass is what resonates most in my gut. I love those simple, very powerful progressions.


In a way I'm not surprised. We have so many talented folks here. And not with just one thing, either. :slight_smile:

5-strings is 100% mo' trouble for little ol' me.


Funny story, but the short version is that I got tired of keyboard players being able to play lower than me.

I still get bothered they the keyboard player insists on playing a bass line. I've been known to stop playing during rehearsal then look at the keyboard player and say "hey, don't let me step on your solo"....


Just remind 'em that you're the one that can make their playing sound bad. :wink:

I like Sting's philosophy. He leads singing tenor (to be heard), but plays bass. So he controls the entire upper-lower "bandwidth" as he puts it. But I'll never be a Sting. I'll be happy enough just to stand and play common 4/4 or maybe experiment a little with 3/4. I love 3/4. A metronome phone app is required in either case (for me).

Right now my left hand fingers are still grooved and my right arm aches from plucking for only 4-5 minutes without rest. I practice for an hour every day--or more if I'm getting into something new and cool. I'm amazed at the endurance a band needs to play a complete set.

What I don't like is having to learn reading music--once again. I've been in multiple choirs and choruses--even one stage play--in the past 55 years, but they have been far in between timewise, and each time I have had to re-learn. If it were something I did daily--or even weekly--no problem. So I'm working against that, too, but that really is the easiest part.

My voice may have gone from a tenor to gravelly baritone, but I've also been thinking about joining one of the local church choirs to help me get back into the swing of stuff. I'm tired of being cooped-up. Let's see how well I do with no teeth. I can still sing on-key. :wink:

All-in-all I'm excited. I haven't had a project like this in front of me in a long time. I may be 70 and possibly already living on borrowed time (I don't remember my 20s), my fingers are palsied and seemingly work independent of my brain, but I now have a learning project to ride on out to the end. :smiley:

Back to stretching exercises. :smiley:

Nice chat. :guitar:

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