#1
Hi,

This is my first post on this forum, but I've read a lot already, and I really like it.
Anyways, here's my post:

I currently play acoustic guitar for about 8 months. I can play about all barre chords + open chords pretty well. I can easily strum along with all top 40 pop/rock songs.

Now I am planning on buying a bass guitar. I'm going to use it just to put a bass line under pop/rock songs. So not for solos / difficult patterns, just for playing regular chords etc.

So I was wondering how hard it will be for me, to learn how to play the bass (for my usage). And am I right that I can play most top 40 pop music on bass by just playing normal single notes on the bass? Or do I really need to learn the pentatonic scale etc etc?

And I'm looking for a bass guitar < $350. Is there anything I should take into account whilst buying one?

Thanks in advance!
#2
Well.... You aren't going to be a Les Claypool or a Cliff Burton so I think you are safe on the difficulty. Now the part about you wondering which bass you should buy... I have no clue.
#3
I find that Squier basses are always good value for money. I always enjoy them when I go to music stores.
#4
All I can really say is to try before you buy, if possible. You should find what you're comfortable playing with, which may be a little difficult, as it may not feel very comfortable going from acoustic guitar to bass, but try it at least.
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#5
Quote by guitarmaniac88
All I can really say is to try before you buy, if possible. You should find what you're comfortable playing with, which may be a little difficult, as it may not feel very comfortable going from acoustic guitar to bass, but try it at least.
Hmm, but I never played bass guitar so I dont really know what's comfortable or not. And why do you mean with: "not feel very comfortable going from acoustic guitar to bass" ??? Is it very different then (acoustic/bass (apart from thicker strings))?
#6
Quote by The Known
Hmm, but I never played bass guitar so I dont really know what's comfortable or not. And why do you mean with: "not feel very comfortable going from acoustic guitar to bass" ??? Is it very different then (acoustic/bass (apart from thicker strings))?


it would be similar in regards to comfort. if it 'feels' nice and easy to play for you, it may not for other people. try different neck widths, string gauge, weight of bass, strap size, everything. for example, I feel a lot more comfortable playing basses with 24 frets or more. no idea why, but it feels right, whereas my friend much prefers say 21. of course there are more variables than just number of frets. try stuff out, as much as you can.
i would recommend yamaha rbx basses if you are after a light bass.
best of luck.
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#7
A squier P bass is the standard, nearly any pop punk recording is probably using a P bass or something close. you don't really use chords on bass (you can but I doubt much top 40 pop does) and it's always good to learn theory, but if your just digging up tabs to play the latest Bieber hit, you don't have to worry to much.
#8
If you're a guitarist, you may want to try a short scale it'll be easier on your hands as a transition.
#9
The important aspect of a starter guitar is playability. If your hands feel comfortable playing a guitar, you will play more and you will feel better and play better.
#10
For starter basses, check out the FAQ. There is a tonne of info in that on starter gear that should get you started.

Ultimately, get your body into a shop and try out some basses. You are going to have to play the instrument and yes, it needs to feel "playable"to you.
#11
Forget everything you know about guitar, well almost everything. Despite looks bass is a DIFFERENT instrument to guitar and should be treated as such.
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#12
Quote by ChemicalFire
Forget everything you know about guitar, well almost everything. Despite looks bass is a DIFFERENT instrument to guitar and should be treated as such.

Well... At least you want to believe in what you said but I wouldn't say so. They are very close to each other, that's why it's called bass GUITAR, they are different but pretty same kind of instruments. If you can play guitar it's pretty easy to start playing bass and vice versa. Good example: me. First I played bass (I've never owned a bass guitar), then I got a guitar and now I play bass in a band (and guitar in another band), learning other of them helps you learn other of them. You just have to remember that bass is primarily not a solo instrument. But playing classic rock songs on bass is much easier than guitar (think AC/DC). Because bass usually only plays the root notes of the chords (in top 40 pop/rock).

But TS asked about learning pentatonic or other scales. You don't need to learn any scales before you start playing something. But if you can find notes on your guitar fretboard you will find the same notes on bass fretboard. And I have never even learned the scales only playing them up and down. I just have played songs that have used them and now I can play them. But as I said, the basslines on top40 stuff aren't very complicated. It always helps if you know the theory but playing that simple stuff doesn't need any theory. You just have to be able to read tabs or notes or chords and that's it.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#13
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Well... At least you want to believe in what you said but I wouldn't say so. They are very close to each other, that's why it's called bass GUITAR, they are different but pretty same kind of instruments. If you can play guitar it's pretty easy to start playing bass and vice versa. Good example: me. First I played bass (I've never owned a bass guitar), then I got a guitar and now I play bass in a band (and guitar in another band), learning other of them helps you learn other of them. You just have to remember that bass is primarily not a solo instrument. But playing classic rock songs on bass is much easier than guitar (think AC/DC). Because bass usually only plays the root notes of the chords (in top 40 pop/rock).

But TS asked about learning pentatonic or other scales. You don't need to learn any scales before you start playing something. But if you can find notes on your guitar fretboard you will find the same notes on bass fretboard. And I have never even learned the scales only playing them up and down. I just have played songs that have used them and now I can play them. But as I said, the basslines on top40 stuff aren't very complicated. It always helps if you know the theory but playing that simple stuff doesn't need any theory. You just have to be able to read tabs or notes or chords and that's it.

Okay cool! Thank you so much for all comments. Guess I'm gonna have to go to a store to check out what feels best to me. I also heard there are 4 strings and 6 strings bass guitars? I think 4 strings is standard? Why is there a 6 strings one? And I also heard there are 21 fret and 24 fret bass guitars? I guess 21 works fine for top40 hits?
#14
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Well... At least you want to believe in what you said but I wouldn't say so. They are very close to each other, that's why it's called bass GUITAR, they are different but pretty same kind of instruments.


technically it started as the Fender precision bass guitar, because it was fretted, allowing you play play notes precisely and play sitting with it in your lap like a guitar. Other than that, basses might now look similar, but the attitude and feel is different.

TS, a 4 string bass is fine even with 21 frets.
#15
Quote by The Known
Okay cool! Thank you so much for all comments. Guess I'm gonna have to go to a store to check out what feels best to me. I also heard there are 4 strings and 6 strings bass guitars? I think 4 strings is standard? Why is there a 6 strings one? And I also heard there are 21 fret and 24 fret bass guitars? I guess 21 works fine for top40 hits?

5 and 6 string basses have lower notes (5 string has low B and 6 string has low and high B strings). But 4 strings is OK and you don't even need more than 12 frets for that top 40 stuff.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#16
Quote by MaggaraMarine
5 and 6 string basses have lower notes (5 string has low B and 6 string has low and high B strings). But 4 strings is OK and you don't even need more than 12 frets for that top 40 stuff.


High C generally, not high B. And 'top 40' basslines can certainly be a fretboard workout. Example: Tinie Tempah. He's got some great bass going on- on a 6 string Warwick Streamer for the most part. 'Top 40' is so broad, and not all of it necessarily has bass guitars involved, but can be adapted to hold down, say, keyboardist's left hand. Bass isn't an instrument, it's a role, and that role covers a lot of frequency range in 'top 40' stuff.
#17
Quote by Deliriumbassist
And 'top 40' basslines can certainly be a fretboard workout. Example: Tinie Tempah. He's got some great bass going on- on a 6 string Warwick Streamer for the most part. 'Top 40' is so broad, and not all of it necessarily has bass guitars involved, but can be adapted to hold down, say, keyboardist's left hand. Bass isn't an instrument, it's a role, and that role covers a lot of frequency range in 'top 40' stuff.


Agreed.

I've met a few guys who play for "Top 40" bands, and they are hellishly good. They don't get hired for no reason. They tend to be the best musicians in their cities.

And most of the them play 5 strings... Just saying.
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Last edited by Nutter_101 at Jan 1, 2012,
#18
My bass of choice is a Jazz Bass. Fender or Squire. If you're playing top 40's, then a cheap squire is good, cause all you'll be doing is playing one not lines. Like sitting on an A for a few bars then chord change to a D# for a line or two. I also recommend that you try to see which one feels right. You'll know when it does. Like the first time I started bass (played bass before guitar), and the bass I bought was a Squire J Bass. The P bass sounded good, but the J Bass just felt right. It felt like meeting my bass soul mate. Then about 3 years later I dumped it for a Fender lol.