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#1
Alright, I'm on the point of giving up finding a spot as a guitarist in a band until college. However, I was talking to some friends, and their bassist may be quitting soon. The drummer has a bass in his house.

I was considering offering my services on that bass. I don't own a bass, just a guitar, and I've played bass for like five minutes in my life.

Is this a good idea?
#2
If you have a general guitar knowledge, bass is pretty easy to pick up. Now, it's hard to master. But if it's gonna be for a short period, I'd totally recommend, and it's gonna improve your musical abilities.
Last edited by Deagle-Eyes at Mar 8, 2009,
#5
yea, but play with the style of a bassist not that of a guitar player playing a bass
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#6
do it! this is exactly what i am doing right now. it can only be for the better if you decide to do it. who knows, you may turn out to be a mad bass player.
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#8
Quote by BrianApocalypse
No reason why it isn't. Playing bass is another string to your bow!


Two less isnt it?

Go for it, but remember playing bass is a lot diffrent than playing guitar. Also you'll need an bass amp.
#9
Good luck finding a spot in a band in college as a guitarist. The ratio of guitarists to other musicians at a university is the same as it is at your high school probably, just many more kids at university. I'd say trying to pick up bass full time. You'll always find your way into bands as a bassist (really if you are anything other than a guitar player you will generally find it easier to join bands). Just listen to some bands with awesome bassists. THE BAND. Listen to them and you will fall in love with bass.
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#10
Playing bass is physically easier, but musically much harder. Your gonna need some experience before can work it in a jam setting. Now, having said that, if these guys are your freinds or cool or whatever then they'll give you time to pick it up and your set.
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#11
Quote by gabcd86
Alright, I'm on the point of giving up finding a spot as a guitarist in a band until college. However, I was talking to some friends, and their bassist may be quitting soon. The drummer has a bass in his house.

I was considering offering my services on that bass. I don't own a bass, just a guitar, and I've played bass for like five minutes in my life.

Is this a good idea?

This happened to me and I found I had a talent on bass, but don't just play root notes and call yourself a bassist, anyone can do that.
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#12
I'd thoroughly encourage taking up bass. It's a valuable skill (a very different instrument, despite all the bad bassists out there and the ignorant people), it will make getting into bands a lot easier, it'll help emphasise a different part of writing songs, and it will almost certainly improve your ear and help develop your ability to hear the different parts of a song.

And you might also move towards liking it as a main instrument.
#13
Quote by The_Sophist
Playing bass is physically easier, but musically much harder. Your gonna need some experience before can work it in a jam setting. Now, having said that, if these guys are your freinds or cool or whatever then they'll give you time to pick it up and your set.


I do not share this opinion, to me, in playability a Guitar is much easier. If you were to transpose a guitar solo you could play onto a bass, chances are it would not be as easy (due to longer fretboard, thicker strings), bass in my opinion requires more finger strength than a guitar does. It also much more difficult to play chords on a bass. I would not say it is musically harder either, just very musically different. Everything else I agree with, you can't just play roots and call yourself a bassist as someone else said. You have to understand how the bass works as an instrument in a band setting. This is just my 2 cents though

Btw I am a bassist, and I say I much prefer it to guitar. Guitars are to small for me
Last edited by adaeha at Mar 9, 2009,
#14
To me, playing the guitar is just like playing the bass. The only difference is that guitar has 6 strings. GO FOR IT.
#15
I don't think anyone has mentioned this so I'll say it right now:

It's an ok idea if you understand that you'll have to buy a bass you arent' going to become even passable just playing the bass at band practice a few times a week, you aren't even going to build up the strength, stamina, and reach to properly thump out root notes. You cannot go home and practice your bass lines on a guitar.

If you want to plug in while you practice, you'll also need a bass amp as I'm sure you don't want to destroy your guitar amp by playing bass through it.
#16
Is there anywhere I can learn about how to be a bassist, not a guitarist playing a bass?

Cos currently just play guitar riffs and random slap stuff...or tabs.

I don't get how it's different? But Im aware I'm not a good bassist.

Any good links?

Cheers.

NL
#17
Quote by NinjaLamppost
Is there anywhere I can learn about how to be a bassist, not a guitarist playing a bass?

Cos currently just play guitar riffs and random slap stuff...or tabs.

I don't get how it's different? But Im aware I'm not a good bassist.

Any good links?

Cheers.

NL



Start by listening more closely to the drummer. Play in the pocket, play tight in the pocket, don't start to experiment and start leaving the pocket until playing in the pocket comes so naturally that you don't have to think about it at all.

I'd say that's the best way to start getting a handle on the difference.
#20
Playing in the pocket means to play in time with the drummer. To hit the right note as the drummer crashes on the cymbal. Making sure the bass sounds smooth within the context of each bar.

It sounds like common sense, but you'd be surprised at how many "musicians" cannot stay in the pocket. The most important thing however, is to make sure that your drummer can stay in the pocket, because without rock steady drums, theres no pocket to even stay in and then everything just sounds like a cluttered mess.
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Last edited by trey-col89 at Mar 9, 2009,
#21
Quote by dullsilver_mike
I don't think anyone has mentioned this so I'll say it right now:

It's an ok idea if you understand that you'll have to buy a bass you arent' going to become even passable just playing the bass at band practice a few times a week, you aren't even going to build up the strength, stamina, and reach to properly thump out root notes. You cannot go home and practice your bass lines on a guitar.

If you want to plug in while you practice, you'll also need a bass amp as I'm sure you don't want to destroy your guitar amp by playing bass through it.


Thank you, this was my main concern. I'm too broke to buy a bass atm, so I doubt it'll work out unless they're desperate.
#22
Quote by gabcd86
Thank you, this was my main concern. I'm too broke to buy a bass atm, so I doubt it'll work out unless they're desperate.

Why don't you borrow your drummer's bass?
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#23
Hmmm, fair point. Anyway, I spoke to them, and they're not sure what's happening with their bassist yet, so ???
#24
Quote by gabcd86
Hmmm, fair point. Anyway, I spoke to them, and they're not sure what's happening with their bassist yet, so ???

Youtube some instructional bass videos, then if you do get the gig as bassist you'll have some clue. I highly recommend searching for Dmanlamius on youtube as his bass lessons are the best in my opinion.
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#25
More on playing in the pocket: The easiest way to start this is to do root notes and hit them when the drummer hits the kick drum. From there, move up to following the snare, and throwing in some fills...you can listen to whatever type of music the band plays to know what type of fills/lines to use. Keep with it and you'll be grooving in no time.

Also, the bass forum here, and the folks at Talkbass.com can definitely help you out if you do decide to take up bass.
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#26
I reccommend listening to reggae and funk. The bassists in those genres are generally quite talented and you will see how the bass is there to get people on the dancefloor. It will help you learn the "groove", and the lines for the most part aren't very techical so it will be somewhat easy to start with, even if that's not the style your band is playing.
#27
i'd say go for it
i did it a while ago mainly playing on where the double bass pedal came in and putting in fills
also if other members leave it is more convenient to change your position to guitar
also happened to me
our rhythm guitarist left so i moved in to fill the breach
as i played bass i already new the songs inside out and they felt easier on a guitar
and on the whole is bass harder debate...
it's physically harder due to its size if you dont have that wide a hand span or strong fingers.
however musically your essentialy just a funky metronome as your role is to keep time
if your putting in fills make sure they do still stay in time
#30
Good bassists are not easy to find so only do if you want to be good at it. You will be pretty much head-hunted and grovled two, and maybe asked to join more than one band
#31
As a bassist myself, I'd highly reccomend going for it. Even if it doesn't work out with this band, give it a shot anyway. You might like it.

As many people have said here already, there's a million and one guitarists out there starting bands left, right and center. But decent bassists (let alone really good ones) can be difficult to find. When I went to university (oh so many years ago) I wound up playing in three different bands, playing three different styles of music, all because there was a lack of bass players.

The myth surrounding bass playing is that the bassist tends to sit back. While this is true for a lot of bands, there are many great bassists who step up and drive the band. Get good at it, and you can pull some funky lines over your bands music and really get noticed.

Good luck!
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#32
i played guitar for a few years before picking up bass for the same reasons your giving, i ended up falling in love with the instrument. It's not as easy a transition as you might think but its not terribly difficult as you should already have the required dexterity to actually play, just takes getting used to the style change
#33
Go for it. That's how I got my bassist: she played guitar, I offered her a spot as a bassist. She fell in love with it.
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#34
Quote by alex0203
To me, playing the guitar is just like playing the bass. The only difference is that guitar has 6 strings. GO FOR IT.


dont take this seriously.
#35
Go for it. A gig is a gig and knowledge of bass might make you a better musician and songwriter. The more people you play with the more you can learn from them.

Ok. Being a bassist (and not a guitarist playing the bass) is all about knowing what to do when. Don't plug root notes exclusivly. Anyone can do that. At the other end of the scale there is no need to wank the fretboard endlessly either. Be tight with the drums and do what suits the song best. You should eventually get an instinctive feeling as to where a run should be, where to put in some octaves or where to crack a solo. Do what suits the song. You are the link between drums and guitar. Do your job, and you'll be a great bassist.
#36
Learning bass? Please. Just buy a cheap one and play unplugged during practice and gigs. Nobody will notice that you are playing random notes because they can't hear you. Just dance around a lot and people will probably compliment you on your playing.


#38
Quote by The_Sophist
Playing bass is physically easier, but musically much harder. Your gonna need some experience before can work it in a jam setting. Now, having said that, if these guys are your freinds or cool or whatever then they'll give you time to pick it up and your set.


Are you kidding me? Maybe if you use a pick, but if you use your fingers, it is much more physically demanding, trust me.

Being a bassist is really fun, I'd recommend you try it out. I play guitar, drums, keyboard, and bass, and bass is by far my favorite. You get the best of both worlds, you can create some cool melodic basslines or lay down some solid, deep grooves. Just remember to play the bass like a bassist, not like a guitarist. Best of luck man

EDIT: actually, I guess it is more physically demanding if you're playing faster music. My bad, I guess it could go either way
Last edited by Another bassist at Jul 7, 2009,
#39
Do it, it'll be a good experience.

Now as I am a bassist I'm biased, but I know I'm right.
Don't listen to the guys who go "dood, u already play guitar, bass'll be easy all they do is play root notes lol";

It's a crock of shit.

There's a difference between a bassist and a guitarist playing bass. Learn to play with your fingers, it'll make you a more versatile bassist.

And now for something completely different;

Know your place. As in, know where you fit in the sound. If the guitarist(s?) are soloing, don't be wailing on the higher frets as well. Just don't, it won't sound musical, and all it will do is make you look like a showoff. However, this doesn't mean you can't be at the forefront too. And wailing on the higher frets is okay in a crash ending, as long as you come back down for the last note. The reason you should nearly always come back down for that, is because it gives a conclusive "end" feel to the final note.

What I'm trying to say (in a nutshell):

Don't think it will be a walk in the park.
Don't stand at the back playing solely root notes, but don't try to be the center of attention the entire time.
Experiment with new sounds. Just like you would with a guitar.

And above all, have fun. (Wow, that sounds really cheesy)
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