I realize a lot of people learn guitar and then switch to bass at some point and play both. I started with bass, and now I cannot play guitar for the life of me. I've only been seriously trying for about a week, though, compared to playing bass for 2 years. But that whole pick thing...defiitely not for me. I can tolerate for 2 minutes and then I drop it and try to play guitar like it's a bass. And chords sound awesome, but I honestly did not expect them to be so hard to pick up. I really hate how close 6 strings are. I'm always muting crap I'm not even trying to fret.

So yeah, what about you people? What did you start with and how long did it take for you to play guitar half-decently if you can at all? I think I'll always prefer bass for the fact that it not only sounds awesome but is 10x easier. Although arthritis sucks when trying to play ither instrument...
then fingerpick. i never touched a pick for the first year i played guitar, did me wonders.
I play both bass and guitar, started on bass though. I can play equally as well with both fingers and pick. I kinda prefer fingers when playing fast stuff over several strings, like the solo part in 'Dazed & Confused' by Led Zeppelin, on bass that is.

When i picked up the guitar, i felt like it was bare ass that the strings were so close, but you will get used to it, pretty fast.

So i guess that the whole thing culminates in, that you should just keep at practicing everything.
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Personally I took up the guitar and was horrific at it for two years so then lost interest. Then my father bought me a Bass guitar and I could'nt keep the thing down, then my uncle used to play guitar and asked me to try it and now i'm really back into guitar as well and play both usually at equal amounts.

I suppose it's a matter of practice, once I changed back to guitar I had the same problems but you get used to the frets being smaller and the strings being closer together after a while. I also find if you learn to pick on a 6 sting then you can also develop a pick-style on the bass more easily. So do not despair because it only takes time.

Hopes this helps..

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I started bass at age 12, eventually went to guitar, now I can play both at a decent level.

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i started on bass as well. i started off with a lot of single note progressions, not chords. and like the guy above me, i learned a lot of finger picking stuff. just remember how bad u were at bass when u first started. ur simply going through that again. give it a chance.
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I started bass at age 12, eventually went to guitar, now I can play both at a decent level.

I also started bass at about 12, then a year later started to play guitar, & now I play guitar a lot more but I can play both at a fairly decent level too
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I also started bass at about 12, then a year later started to play guitar, & now I play guitar a lot more but I can play both at a fairly decent level too

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I started out on guitar, but I always wanted a bass. I'd lie and say it would just be for recording purposes, but I knew it was what I really wanted to play. I must say though, that guitar picking is nothing like bass picking, which took me about two weeks to get good at.
I started out playing the guitar actually and considered myself to be decent enough,
but one day I got a hunch and felt like playing the bass, and soon bought one. Now I'm the bassist in my band and I consider myself more a bass player than guitarist, even though I still play the guitar
I started playing the bass and continued.
I invested in an acoustic guitar and swapped one of my non-used basses for an electric guitar.
I cant play guitar half as well as I play bass but I only ever use guitar for recording purposes anyway.
I played guitar for several decades and I am a competent rhythm guitarist to the point I did play in a few bands. I took up bass about 4 years ago and I am at the point where my bass skills are fairly even with my guitar skills. And I can play a mean uke as well.
I picked up guitar a year after bass as my bass guitar was being repaired. I can play metal, punk stoner rock, new wave, etc. All the important stuff but whenI comes to real chords in slow songs. I'm cursed/gifted with gigantic fat/manly hands that make complex chords very difficult. I'm surprisingly good at playing solos though.
i started on guitar played on off for 2 years, switched to bass couldnt be more happy tbh but i did get a good starter bass and i still love her :P couldnt say the same for my no name strat copy it feels like a plank tbh :S.

I might get a cheap Ibanez guitar and a better amp for my guitar but im looking at some bass gear again so it goes further to the back.

But knowing chords and stuff like that helped me settle in on bass better gave me understanding of that kind of stuff glad i had a cousing and a good mate who play bass :P they help a lot with theory and that but when it comes to gear they just are like i dunno ampeg? xD
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I've played bass for about 10 years now, and guitar for 6. They complement each other quite a bit. Knowing how to play bass beforehand helped me with note recognition when I went to guitar...and now that I've played guitar for awhile, I'm more comfortable with the fretboard on a bass and I'm able to spice up my lines.
iv wanted to learn bass for a while so like three years back i got a really really cheap bass but i didnt realize that you werent supposed to play a bass through a normal guitar amp lol and i always end up spending all my money on six string death machine shit so i still dont have an amp to play it through. it would be awesome to know though, i also would love to learn the violin.
I started on guitar then fell in love with bass. I have phases where I play one or the other more. I'm not that good at either but I'm not too terrible sometimes.
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I actually started out on a ukulele, which then inspired me to pick up a guitar. Played terribly on and off, completely non-seriously for a year and a half before picking up bass. Now, five, almost six(?) years later, my bass skills reign supreme by far. I'm ok at guitar, but being as I play guitar mostly in an acoustic setting (only have an acoustic), I play "acoustic" rock, mostly blues on it. I'm only really just passable with guitar.

Funny thing is, my ukulele skill rivals my bass skills, and far outweigh my guitar skills
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When you pick a guitar, the learning curve is initially very steep, but once you get through the teething period it's very straightforward. Just practice and give it time, after a while you'll probably notice that the guitar is in many aspects, the easier of the two instruments.

I personally started on bass, before moving on to guitar and it's done me no harm whatsoever. Obviously they're 2 very different instruments with different playing techniques, but as long as you bear that in mind you'll be fine.
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I started playing guitar then after a year n half I bought myself a bass
I prefer playing my bass to my guitar although my guitar gear is better.
I would say I'm better on my bass than I am on guitar.
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I started on bass, and then moved on to guitar. But bass is still my main insrument. I'm pretty good at guitar, but I'm alot better at bass. I also find that playing bass makes me better at guitar.
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I started on guitar and was forced to play bass (literally lol) now i love more bass and even though it is now my main instrument i double on both instruments depending on the situation hehe.
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Got a guitar 6 years ago (I was in grade 5 :P), played it on and off, was more of sort of a thing to play around with rather than an actual hobby. About two years ago I decided to get into it deep, ended up getting more interested in bass. One year later, bought my bass and I've been playing ever since.

I'm alright at guitar, I can play basic chords and etc. It's kind of scary though, after practicing bass then moving to guitar. You're just sort of like "Okay..whoa wait..uh..why are the strings so close...uh..what?"
I do something similar to this. I've been playing bass guitar for five years, all with finger picking technique. Last summer I bought an electric guitar, and it's extremely different. It took a while just to get used to the pick, but it comes with time. It's all about practice more than anything else. I was in a guitar class at school, so I often played there and at home for up to 20 or 30 hours a week. While I don't have that time now, I still make it a big point to play guitar for at least an hour after school every day.

As for actually learning to play with a pick, I found it somewhat easier to take a pick on bass as well. If you play bass with a pick, you kind of get into the idea of playing a guitar with a pick, and it's easier for electric guitar.

Unfortunately, the small/close together strings are just something you have to get used to. >_< But if you can get good at both instruments and have sound knowledge of music theory, you could make some good stuff.
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I played bass for 2-3 years, then had a phase of playing only guitar, then moved back to bass for a main instrument. I'm more impressive on guitar than bass, but more proficient at bass. I like making the floor shake

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I've played bass for quite a while (I started because I knew two people who played guitar, but grew to love the instrument), and am getting a fender strat soon because I've recently picked up my dad's acoustic guitar (well......8 months ago...).

I try not to judge myself but according to various musician freinds I am quite good at guitar (definately better at bass though) and have been asked to do some work for a jazz group already, so you can go the other way.......it just takes some initial practise, but after you have spent some time not playing bass (and getting back into those habbits) then you can play both quite easily.
I started on guitar, for about 3 years, and got a bass because the only band that was going that i knew of in a local area needed a bassist, and have been playing bass as a more main instrument since then (2006), however i've been playing guitar & singing lead in a 3 piece band for the past 3 months and we're a lot better than the band im in on bass, and have been getting some good attention. So I might be starting to update my guitar rig for a while.
Started seriously on bass, then guitar came later. I think my skills are close to even, although my experience is definitely more extensive on bass.

To TS: Go ahead and play guitar without a pick. In my opinion it sounds great, and if it feels more comfortable, that's definitely going to be the better option. I'd say learn to play with a pick too, but you don't have to use it if it's not as comfortable.

Quote by Billy M
I think I'll always prefer bass for the fact that it not only sounds awesome but is 10x easier.
I prefer bass too, but I totally disagree that it's easier.
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Last edited by food1010 at Nov 11, 2009,