#1
It's not really that much of a switch because I only have 1-2 months experience with the guitar. The biggest reason I want to make the move is because me and my friend want to start a band and he already has years of guitar experience and for me to catch up to be band ready with the guitar would take quite some time and I want to get this project off the ground asap. The second reason being that I love powerful, deep, meaty, thick notes and always have, and love rhythm and a good sense of it.

The reason I never picked up a bass in the first place is because I was intimidated because I'm a small guy with small hands and I wasn't sure if I could handle the weight and the hand thing. I'm 5'4" and weigh 110lbs at most. I eat a lot and workout, but I have the metabolism of something not human. Anyways, is this going to be an issue. Also my hands measure about 6- 6.5" from the tip of my middle finger to the bottom of my palm where the crease is and have short, skinny fingers. Is any of this going to be a factor in playing the bass because I've seen a bunch of girls my size in bands that play full scale bases just fine. This is my biggest concern, so any help here would be extremely appreciated.

How long should it take to be band ready? I desperately want to get this thing going and don't want to be the one to hold us back. One of my friends said pretty much any idiot off the street can pick up a bass and play. Now I know that's not true...so what do you guys think? I'm not talking any crazy music either, just regular average stuff.

What the hell is bass theory like? How did you guys get started and learn the bass? I'm thinking of buying the Rock House beginner bass series. Also, I'm thinking of buying this bass to start out just to see...

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Dean-Zone-XM-Bass-Guitar-104601901-i1386319.gc

Ya, I know it's not the best, but I just want something to get started practicing on. Should this suffice for that purpose? Should it's neck size, being able to push the strings down, or weight be an issue?

Thanks guys, would appreciate an answer to these questions so very much as I really don't know who else to ask. Also, I guess it's not a total switch because I'll be practicing the guitar too.
Last edited by smon2pro at Dec 18, 2009,
#2
Size doesn't matter. Most people can't stretch their hands over huge intervals on bass anyway. I know short guys who are amazing bass players, don't worry about it.

Bass theory? There is no such thing as bass theory as far as I'm aware. I play a little bit of bass but I mainly use my knowledge from guitar. Theory is theory though. Music theory. It doesn't really change according to the instrument.

My instinct tells me that Dean basses are terrible, but I've never played them so I can't really judge. Are there any alternatives in your price range?
#3
bass is very very similar to guitar in terms of theory; its more or less a guitar with the top 2 strings chopped off.

in time you will learn to get around the neck with ease, no matter the size of ur hands, it just takes time.

if a song your band is doing uses a simple chord progression all it takes is for you to play the bass notes for those chords to follow the song, e.g. a chord progression of C-F-G-Am-C means you would play C then F then G then A then C.

thats a good beginners bass too, for what you would use it for, rock and metal i presume?

try to remain focused on improving, dont get frustrated with the strings being too heavy or the weight. generally the weight shouldnt be an issue, just put the weight into the strap or into your thigh.

hope this helped! (im actually a guitarist who dabbles in bass)
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5. become legendary guitarist instantaneously


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#4
Trust me size doesnt matter. Im 5 feet clean and I weigh 48kg. Theory is highly important if you wish to make this a career. Its just music theory. It transfers over to everything except just different clefs (duh ). Also Ive found Dean's are horrible for me but might not be for you. Pick up a bass and give it a swing see how it works for you. I find you just cant go wrong at all with a Squier at all.
#6
First off, your physical build does not determine your ability to play bass. For more info see:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=986625

The dean is OK, but there are better starter basses out there. Check the FAQ for more info on starter basses and just bass knowledge in general.

I started out trying to teach myself and then went the teacher route. Its paid off tremendously in my playing. Also, for some of us, getting the theory down with a teacher is easier than trying to do it yourself. There are some good resources (video and books) out there--my favourite is Hal Leonard's Bass Method I- III.

Good luck and welcome to the world of the low end.
#7
Searchbar, not be rude or anything, but there are so many of these threads already.

Your physical size shouldn't hamper you in any way, I'm a small dude (not height-wise, but when it comes to weight and mass...) with tiny tiny hands and its not a problem in any way whatsoever. You can be "band ready" relatively fast, in fact, you should be practicing with other people as much as possible, you get so much more out of jamming with others then practice by yourself. If you worked at it, you could be gig ready within a few months.

Music theory doesn't change, its the same for every instrument. Just make sure you learn your theory, and that you remember that the bass is its own instrument, its not a 4 string guitar, and you'll do just fine. And practice practice practice.

That rant being said, welcome to the wonderful world of bass!
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#9
It took my band [upon kicking out our crappy lead singer and having our rhythm guitarist take on Vocals] about 6 months to write 5 good songs.
Jonesin' For some Kool-aid. 3 minutes
Get Nasty. 5 minutes
Blood Makes The Grass Grow. 5 1/2 minutes
Beezy Fer Sheezy. 7 minutes
Notes of a Dead Professor. 8 minutes.

Search any of those songs titles on youtube [blood is the best], and give it a listen, they're pretty well put together songs

Bass isn't terribly difficult, if you don't mind just grinding on root notes most of the time. Once you want to get flashy it gets difficult.

I'm built the same way you do and I play a 20 pound 6 string ESP LTD B-206SM. I do squats with that on. I'm like 5'7" and 115 lbs, and I'm scrawny and I gain NO weight. You should be fine playing bass. You have small nimble hands that will treat you well. I wanted to play bass because I didn't want the competition of most guitarist to be in a band. I like the low end rumble, and I like it when I groove, I can REALLY groove. I just think bass sounds beautiful. I'm self taught for 4 strong years.

That little Dean doesn't weigh too much, and you should be very comfy with it.

I hope this has helped you out.
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And stuff...

^^^
On playing bass.
Gear:
ESP B-206SM
Behringer BRX1800H
Acoustic B115
Asher Custom 2x10
#10
You guys seriously helped me out so much. I've taken so much of this advice into consideration and it helped me make so many fricking decisions. I'm not worried at all about my size in general or my hand size. I read that other thread by anarkee and I literally have the same exact hand size. That was seriously all I needed to see and if you can play 5 and 6 string bass with my size hands, then I'm definitely good to go. Just gotta get the technique down, hehe.

I ended up not getting the Dean because I knew I probably wouldn't be fully satisfied with it even though I'm broke as a joke. I bought the Ibanez GSR200 and I think I made a dang good choice. What do you guys think? And tominator, what a great explanation of the basics of bass playing. That really explained to me in a nutshell what I'll be doing with the instrument. I ordered Rock House bass method DVD's so those should be here shortly. I can hardly wait to get started. Oh and obeythepenguin even though you played guitar for 2 years, that's nuts that you were asked to join a band after not even 1.5 months. That's extremely encouraging.
Last edited by smon2pro at Dec 18, 2009,
#11
Cool, welcome to bass man! The GSR200 is a really good beginners bass, I have one myself! If you can keep time, as you can pretty easily be ready for a rock band in no time, you can get away with playing root notes a lot of the time. But learn your theory, make your basslines more interesting and use your bass to the full; you'll really have a fun time Oh also listen to and play as many different types as music as possible