Bass Essentials

Now we will shift our focus to the electric bass. For the most part, the body is composed of alder wood, the neck of maple wood, and the fretboard of rosewood. Similar in appearance and design to an electric guitar, the bass constitutes part of the rhythm section of a band and is an octave lower than the lowest pitch of the E, A, D, and G strings of a guitar. Additionally, the fretboard on a bass is spaced (or separated) by semitones, just like that of a guitar. It is very important for bass players to have a good sense of timing and develop a positive rapport with the drummer to establish solid rhythm. Most commonly, the electric bass has four strings, but five-string basses have grown in popularity and grant the user five additional low notes (low B, C, C#, D, and E-flat). Bass guitars use magnetic pickups; the vibrations of the string cause a flux in the pickups which converts into an electric signal and is played through an amplifier. Some of the newer basses have pickups on both the neck and the bridge, and it is possible to play using both at the same time.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when learning the bass is how to strum it properly. There are two primary reasons for stressing technique: 1) It will increase playing efficacy, and 2) It will help to reduce the chance of injuries to the wrist and tendons (and minimize the likelihood of developing carpal tunnel syndrome).
Proper Technique
The right elbow should be parallel to the floor, and I like the thumb to rest on the string directly above the strummed string. I encourage the aspiring bassist to practice by tapping the first two fingers (index and middle) on a table. Alternate between your index and middle fingers, and try to establish a rhythm in the process. When you do pick up the bass, let the strummed string ring for a prolonged period of time. Now switch fingers and do the same. After you feel comfortable in your technique, alternate strumming in succession with your index and middle fingers. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of setting a good rhythm, so it is recommended to count off while you're playing, or play along with a song.

Let's move on to the fretboard of an electric bass. In due time, you would do yourself a great favor by knowing exactly where each note is on the fretboard.
Here are the notes:

String 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
G G# A B-flat B C C# D E-flat E F F# G
D E-flat E F F# G G# A B-flat B C C# D
A B-flat B C C# D E-flat E F F# G G# A
E F F# G G# A B-flat B C C# D E-flat E