Is there a large demand for bass players? Maybe I should switch.


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08-24-2009, 12:37 AM
I was seriously thinking of converting from guitar to bass. I used to play rhythm guitar and sing a bit in a band many years ago. I'm 41 yrs old now, and getting back into music, and to be honest, there are just too many guys that are much younger and much better than me on the guitar. I was thinking about taking up bass just to find some work in a cover band. I've played just a little bass before, and it seemed pretty easy to me (classic rock and country).

It used to be that bands were always looking for a bass player, but good guitar players were a dime a dozen. Is that still pretty much the case.

Think I should switch to bass?

08-24-2009, 12:46 AM
In my opinion, it's harder to find a bass player that's at the same skill level as most guitarists. But then, that could be just my area. Personally, I'd suggest keeping guitar and adding bass, if you have the time to get good on bass while keeping decent skills on guitar. If not, whatever feels more natural, I would assume.

08-24-2009, 12:48 AM
Oh boy.

At your time of life (and yes, I know because, I'm there myself), you should consider what you enjoy playing because to get into bands is going to take a bit of time and effort. With a job and possibly a family, its a hard balance. Yes, there is a great demand for bass players in most cases, but for bass players who have some chops. When you reach middle age, the openings are not for people who are taking up an instrument as second choice, but for serious players and seasoned players. I know, I've been there, done that.

I don't mean to discourage anyone here, but seriously, if you are looking to pick up music for enjoyment and pleasure go for it. But if you are looking to gig, I think it over a bit. I've lucked out in some ways, but I've also been passed up on a few opportunities as well.

08-24-2009, 10:01 AM
I would say do whatever you think is best. True there is a demand for bassists, but dont switch just cuz another band needs one. I say stick to what you like, and if you wanna be in a band, try to build one around yourself. In time you may find a bassist, or you could have a friend learn how to play for you.

08-24-2009, 04:26 PM
Converting? Well I guess some people would consider their instruments as deities so...

Anyways, guitarists have seemed to multiply (as with their egos unfortunately) but skill... not so sure. However, switching is something you may not want to do. If you enjoy guitar but are upset that your skill isn't great, practice more. If you're looking to expand your horizons or are bored by guitar, at least give bass a try and see if it sticks. As with the gigging portion, don't try to join a band as bassist unless you really want to, and if gigging is something that fits in your schedule. My advice sucks in gigging.

Crazy Toad
08-24-2009, 04:34 PM
I switched from guitar to bass for similar reasons last year. At first it was because of the demand factor(not enough bass players on my course). Although I had more than one event where it just felt like I was enjoying bass a whole lot more,the first time I played onstage with the band I knew I preferred bass to guitar.

So Id say do what you truly enjoy the most. If the situation calls for more bass players and you think you could learn then go for it. I dont see any harm if youve been playing guitar for years to switch. Its not going to harm your guitar playing and if anything I find playing bass makes you more conscious of your timing so if anything I think it can only be a positive thing.

Also this is a big thing as well just because youve become a bass player doesnt mean your not "allowed" to be a guitarist anymore,I think some people when they switch instruments they feel restricted to it.Although obviously your practice time would need to be shifted more in favour of bass if thats what you were learning.

I say good luck to whatever you choose to do :)

08-24-2009, 04:50 PM
If you're gonna start bass. Prepare for a little bit of a different experience than guitar. Learn to use correct technique and position and learn things accurately at slow tempos then increase. If you're heard that before and don't want to, well the only reason you have heard it before is because its damn true. It's the only way to get better. Speed is a byproduct of accuracy. Remember that starting using correct technique makes it 1,000 times easier to start up and get better. Breaking bad habits is hard as f*ck. Trust me and many of the bass and guitar players (some who don't even break bad habits) on how hard and annoying is.

Crazy Toad
08-24-2009, 05:04 PM
Another thing to say which is kinda a continuation of what SimplyStrings is saying.

Try not to approach bass like guitar,this can take a while,but the sooner you start thinking in terms of a bass player the sooner you start sounding like one. Although of course any scales or arpeggios etc.. youve learnt on guitar Im not going to lie and say its not of any use.

08-24-2009, 06:39 PM
i picked up guitar and bass at roughly the same time. I played bass a ton at first, then put it away for about a year and got good at guitar. Then i picked up the bass again after that year, and it was like i never put it down. No rust to knock off. Now im doing a second audition for a big band out here in the tulsa area, and this all happened within the past 2 weeks. So just pick up a bass and continue to play guitar. Bass is very easy when youve already played guitar for some time.

08-24-2009, 07:44 PM
go for drums
drummers are hard to find :P

08-24-2009, 09:21 PM
Thanks for all the advice.

I'm gonna go ahead and give bass a shot and see how it goes. Never hurts to try, I guess.

08-24-2009, 11:16 PM
You shouldn't change instruments just because theres a large demand for people that play that kind of instrument. Choose whichever one you like more, or choose both if you've got enough money to afford a guitar and a bass. Luckily there isnt that much of a jump from guitar to bass, as opposed to say, guitar to saxophone :haha: Anyway man just go with whatever you feel is right for you, but it wouldn't be smart to switch instruments just because theres a current demand for bassists.

08-24-2009, 11:18 PM
go for drums
drummers are hard to find :P
GOOD drummers anyway. My friends started a band and the drummer can barely drum, he just bangs on everything, uses the double bass pedal too much and, ahem, marches to the beat of his own (:haha: pun intended)

08-26-2009, 05:44 AM
there is a huge demand for good bass players. i started playing bass around 15 years ago, after playing guitar for years. i discovered i loved the bass and played with friends all the time. then around 12 years ago, i put an ad in the recycler saying i was a fast hard bass player and i was looking to form or join a band. i heard from over 40 people in the first week, and within two weeks - and 2 ads - i heard from 82 people and played with 12 bands/projects out of those first 82 contacts. some people didn't actually need a fast hard bass player - they were desperate to find someone who could play.

it may be worth mentioning that i approached the bass more like guitar in some ways, and my style isn't typical on either. that being said, when i wasn't playing with friends in the first couple years it was easy enough to pick up stuff by playing along with some rage against the machine, alice in chains, nirvana, and a variety of punk and metal cd's to pick up their bass lines and apply the techniques i learned bu doing that to other songs.

i'm in los angeles, btw. other locations may not have the number of bands and musicians we have here, so may get a lot less responses.

08-26-2009, 09:48 AM
For you it i would say yes, from what youve wriiten, it could be fun for you, and somewhat a hobby et etc, with gigs and all, but i would say it'd be a bit of a hard old slug.

BUt most of the time i have a hatred of guitarists changing for one reason,

there are so many bands i could have ben in and ive even asked to join, and theyve said theyll think about it, and then what happens, one of the guitarists decides to take up bass, putting me out, meaning more playing at home. So yet again another ****(this is the general case) punk-indie style band is born, with a guitar flayling at a bass, and another guitarist trying to play everything. It really piss's me off, considering there are more bassist then you think, but they get so little opportunity, while there is such a great demand.

08-27-2009, 02:04 PM
I was in the same boat a few months ago. About same age and couldnt get in a band as rhythm no matter how much I looked. Saw an ad for a bassist with a group that fit what I wanted (casual 30-40's mostly fun, gigs here and there). Told them my situation and they gave me a chance, still with them a couple months later and first gig with them coming up next week! :cool:

Bass is a lot like rhythm guitar which makes for an easy cross-over. I always liked metal/hard rock though where pounding on one string is commonplace, so that probably helped alot being essentially the same for bass on those types of tunes.

I actually find I enjoy it more than I thought I would, its a very deep instrument. Use a pick at first but you'll find eventually fingers are the only way to play a lot of covers and get the right sound, I did anyway.

If your interest is there and you're willing to practice heavy at first you'll do fine and it may boost your enjoyment of music in general to new levels.

08-27-2009, 05:43 PM
Thanks for helping me decide.

I just ordered a Schecter Omen 5-string. :)