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Old 03-29-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
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Accepting a bass gig as a guitarist?

Hey there!

I like to play guitar.
However, I play bass in a band sometimes. They already had two guitarists so that's why I don't play guitar. That bands not very serious though.

But... I know a band that needs a bass player! Do you think I should do it? I mean, I think all band experience is good, but I want to be a guitarist, not a bassist! So what do you think? Ofcourse I'll still be practicing guitar, but I'm afraid I'll throw myself of the path to becoming a guitarist.

Thx in advance!
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:56 PM   #2
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It's all up to your preferences. But, you can use your guitar theory and knowledge to come up with some very melodic and deep bass lines. Look at Paul McCartney, who (when the Beatles started) was their best technical guitarist. He used the bass as a lead instrument. Listen to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Something, Paperback Writer, and Rain (my personal favorite of the group) and hone in on the bass lines.

All I'm saying is, a guitarist, with guitar theory, could do great things with a bass guitar. But, that is all up to you. If you don't have the passion for it, don't do it. Music is art, after all.

Last edited by schirripar : 03-29-2013 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:32 PM   #3
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I would take a gig as a bassist. I need to actually buy a bass first though, haha.
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Old 03-29-2013, 01:34 PM   #4
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The only problem with doing gigs as a bass player is that people might over look your capabilities on six strings and think of you as a bass player.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cnemnem19
The only problem with doing gigs as a bass player is that people might over look your capabilities on six strings and think of you as a bass player.

who cares how people "see" you, if you enjoy playing the bass and can make some dough doing it then I say go for it! In all honesty, it will make you a more rounded musician....
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:16 PM   #6
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I do this a lot, as bassists are rare where I'm from. I consider myself a guitarist first, but I started on bass, and can still play to a decent standard and have a rig that sounds good.

If you're not that experienced in bands, why not just play bass, to get live experience and practice both in your spare time? Exactly what I do, and get a fair amount of money for it too.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:17 PM   #7
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The one thing you need to do is make sure you're not just playing guitar on a bass. As in, don't just do what you do on guitar, and expect it to sound great, because you're not playing a guitar anymore.

Start listening to the bass in songs you like, and learn about bass techniques. I've played with many bassist-guitarists, and knowing how to approach the two instruments is the main thing that separates the good ones from the bad ones.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:16 PM   #8
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yeah it is a whole different animal. I had played guitar for over 10 years when my brother asked me to do a tour with his band on the bass. Took a little time to adjust to not playing it like a guitar but I ended up having a blast. Tho don't worry about it too much as when you play live almost no one will pay attention to you beyond acknowledging that you are there, which can be good or bad. If the band is good it can be a sweet gig.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:01 PM   #9
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If you think you will enjoy yourself playing bass, give it a go. Playing bass in a second band will help you further develop your skills of playing in a band. It will also help you network with more people, so in the future you might be able to find a band looking for a guitar player. Or, you might actually decide that you like bass more. It all just depends on what motivates you to play guitar, ie. if you just play guitar so you can be in a band that plays awesome music you should be just as happy to play bass.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:47 AM   #10
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There isn't a wrong or right answer to this as I'm sure you know. I'd say do it, but that might not be right for you. It's not forever though, if something else comes up, and it is more likely to if you are in a working band, you can always move on then.

From my point of view there are two sorts of guitarist. Bedroom players and performing musicians. The performing musicians aren't necessarily any better than bedroom players who can have a lot of fun and very high levels of skill. This si an opportunity to decide which you are.

Do this for a year and you will learn so much. Being in a band is only partly about the mechanics of playing guitar or bass. Playing with other people involves a whole set of other skills. There's the whole technical side of using your gear, you have to listen to what the band are doing and constantly adapt and you'll learn how to interact with audiences. 80% of being in a band is about learning to work with other people, just scan down bandleading and you'll see most of the posts are about falling out with band members.

Most performing musicians will play in many bands in a lifetime, sometimes playing stuff they love and at others helping out mates and enjoying entertaining an audience, often playing in more than one band. You'll only know by trying it out.
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:56 AM   #11
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Wow! Thank you guys a lot for all the replies!
Guess what, I did it!
First band practice coming up in two weeks, very excited for it!
Thanks again for all the advice!
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:55 PM   #12
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I was recently asked to fill in for a tribute to The Beatles on bass. Since the show was for charity, I said yes, even though I've only fooled around on bass before.
While it's been difficult (as mentioned above, McCartney is phenomenal), it's given me a very different perspective on rhythm, and has definitely improved my guitar playing, in terms of helping me expand my vocabulary, and helping me think more carefully about what to play to leave room for the bass when writing songs. I said do it, as any kind of new experience will only serve to make you a better musician in the long run.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:00 AM   #13
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take the gig

every gig is an experience. and playing bass for a band which you dont do normally is also an experience.
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