#1
Hi guys,
This is my first post; I've only signed up a few minutes ago because I think this forum will help me a lot along the way. I really wanna read what you guys think, as I am totally new to this (:

Anyway, I want to play the bass but (and you probably heard this before), many say that it's not exactly a stand alone instrument. I don't plan on being in a band anytime soon (I'm in my sophomore year of highschool). I absolutely love the sound of the bass alone, I also chose it because I feel that bass players are underrated, and everyone I know seems to want to play an acoustic guitar. I want to learn bass--I would play with friends but they either don't play an instrument at all, or play a whole other different instrument altogether. So, at the same time, I think a stand alone instrument (I've been thinking about an electric guitar also) will be beneficial.

I'm stuck. I've been looming over learning how to play an electric guitar instead, but I can't get bass out of my head. (is that weird?)

What do you guys think? Should I learn bass even though I will be alone playing it? This will be my first instrument (besides the clarinet but I was forced to do that...).

Thanks guys.
#2
Play bass if you want to play bass. A guitar is not a bass and therefore isn't a substitute if bass is what you really want. I'd encourage you to find other people to play with whichever instrument you choose, you'll learn more faster and it'll make the experience that much more fun.

You can also learn both instruments. Even if you only have the time/money to get into one right now, you can always pick up the other. There's no rule saying you have to pick just one, and there are lots of benefits to learning how to play both.
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#3
If its what you want to learn then learn it. Bass is as much of a stand alone instrument as most other instruments, listen to victor wooten, jaco pastorius, marcus miller, they use the bass as much as a lead instrument as anything else. Everybody plays guitar, try being more of an individual, do what you want to do. Purely down to the fact that you are asking strangers what you should do, may mean you need to follow your head more. What if I suggested that you should learn the triangle?
Bass is awesome, everybody starts alone, but at some point you will want a band. When it happens you will be much happier playing the instrument you want to and for every bassist there are 20 guitarists.
#4
You could play with backing tracks.

I would say it's true that bass doesn't usually work as a stand alone instrument as well as a guitar - it's not used like that a lot and the songs that sound good with bass only are pretty advanced. I bet most of your favorite songs are pretty simple on bass. But that doesn't matter - as I said, you can always use backing tracks and that way playing simple lines sounds good.

But yeah, any instrument always sounds better with the whole band. And if bass is your thing, start playing it. Maybe you'll enjoy playing simple lines (and at first you can't even play anything else than simple lines, no matter what instrument you play).

But yeah, most of the time in band songs bass is a more rhythmic instrument that supports the song. It's usually not the most stand out part in a song. But I enjoy playing the bass, maybe just because of that. I don't need to be the "most important" guy in the band (in the listeners' opinion of course - because every instrument is equally important). It's a fact that usually guitar and vocals play the most melodic parts. Bass just gives the song a groove (usually - there are of course exceptions but this is the case with the majority of bands).
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
#5
Well; there are plenty of solo bassists out there, and there are a number of versions of the electric bass that are clearly designed to be stand-alone or lead instruments. One look at a ten or twelve-string bass and you will get the idea.

The bass is first and foremost a rhythm instrument, but in the last forty years, virtuoso bass players have taken the instrument far beyond its humble origins. If you really go for it, you might become one of them. The world needs more great bassists. Why shouldn't you be one of them?

Music is music, so you can play the bass along with any instrument that you can think of. You need not confine yourself to the traditional bass/drums/guitar format. And as others have said, you can play to backing tracks and drum tracks. A number of looper pedals have dozens of built-in drum rhythms, and just noodling along to them can be a lot of fun. It can also teach you a great deal. And there are a number of rather inexpensive drum machines that you can program, or just use the built-in rhythms. Technology has come a long way.

So if you think the bass is for you, then by all means give it a try.

Welcome to the Low End, my friend!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#6
Thanks guys! I've decided to play bass even if I'm going to be playing alone majority of the time. The electric guitar was actually also something I was interested in playing; I just like bass better. I would love to be a solo bassist one day--for now I'll learn the basics and go from there. (:

Thanks again.
#7
Quote by xAnneB123
Thanks guys! I've decided to play bass even if I'm going to be playing alone majority of the time. The electric guitar was actually also something I was interested in playing; I just like bass better. I would love to be a solo bassist one day--for now I'll learn the basics and go from there. (:

Thanks again.

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with playing more than one instrument. Many guitarists learn to play the bass and many bassists learn to play the guitar - they are very similar instruments (at least when it comes to playing technique).

And yeah, as FatalGear41 said, it doesn't matter what instrument you play with. Maybe you'll come up with really original sounding stuff. Bass is used in all genres. You can also play double bass parts or whatever you want on bass. Not everything you play needs to be written for bass guitar.
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
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 26, 2013,
#8
i started off learning bass and then later picked up acoustic guitar. all of the music theory i learned from bass than transferred over. it felt good to look at an acoustic guitar with a bass guitar thought process. my biggest struggle was the concept of the B and high E strings, lol
#9
If you're interested, pick up Bandfuse for xbox/playstation. Its got a pretty good tracklist and it uses tabs which are primarily how all guitarists learn. I got it for christmas and my bass just came in through fedex but I cant play it for another 6 hours!!!
#10
Whether you play it alone or with a band is not relevant.

This is the ONLY relevant question: "Do I love the bass guitar?"

If no, then do not waste your money and time on it. If you do, then begin practising.

You can join a band later and bands are always looking for bassists because there are not that many compared to lead guitarists.

If you like the bass, why would playing alone make you dislike the bass?

Are you worried it would feel boring or unfulfilling? If so, then perhaps bass is not for you then is it.

Again, "Do I love the bass guitar?"

Yes or no. That will guide your answer.
Last edited by Jack69 at Dec 26, 2013,
#11
The reason why I can't play both, is because I don't have the money (sophomore year of highschool!) and I don't expect my parents to jump the gun and buy me both a bass and electric guitar. Because my parents are buying it for me, I really have to make sure bass is what I'm getting, alongside my situation--that's why I wanted secondary thoughts. Overall, I do take interest in the bass, so to answer your question Jack69, it's yes. I've talked about it to my parents; maybe ill pick up an electric guitar after bass, who knows. (:
#12
Quote by xAnneB123
The reason why I can't play both, is because I don't have the money (sophomore year of highschool!) and I don't expect my parents to jump the gun and buy me both a bass and electric guitar. Because my parents are buying it for me, I really have to make sure bass is what I'm getting, alongside my situation--that's why I wanted secondary thoughts. Overall, I do take interest in the bass, so to answer your question Jack69, it's yes. I've talked about it to my parents; maybe ill pick up an electric guitar after bass, who knows. (:


There you go. And yeah you can diversify into other instruments later on. For now, its best to stick to one ANYWAY because its less confusing to ground yourself in ONE stringed instrument then to go onto different instruments simultaneously.

I always hear people say, if you can play ONE stringed instrument, you can play them all and I am inclined to believe it.

Enjoy your new hobby/passion.
Remember, its frustrating as **** to begin with but, practice makes perfect, if playing guitar was easy then it would be a shit instrument to play.
Just like anything in life that doesn't challenge you or push you to your limit to unlock your potential, it is shit and not worth studying or practicing.
Last edited by Jack69 at Dec 26, 2013,
#13
Quote by Jack69
There you go. And yeah you can diversify into other instruments later on. For now, its best to stick to one ANYWAY because its less confusing to ground yourself in ONE stringed instrument then to go onto different instruments simultaneously.

I always hear people say, if you can play ONE stringed instrument, you can play them all and I am inclined to believe it.

Enjoy your new hobby/passion.
Remember, its frustrating as **** to begin with but, practice makes perfect, if playing guitar was easy then it would be a shit instrument to play.
Just like anything in life that doesn't challenge you or push you to your limit to unlock your potential, it is shit and not worth studying or practicing.

If you can play the bass, it's really easy to start playing the guitar and vice versa. The playing style is different but the technique and the notes on the fretboard are exactly the same (guitar just has two extra strings if it's a 6 string guitar and a 4 string bass). You don't need to learn anything else than how to use it. Things that work on bass may not work on guitar and vice versa. I know this because I play both. You just need to be able to think like a bassist and think like a guitarist. I also think that playing the guitar may improve your bass playing and playing the bass may improve your guitar playing.

But yeah, I agree, start with one and later buy the other. And you said you feel like bass is your thing - go for it. Don't listen to people that say bass is a "simple guitar" or boring to play. As I said, they are different instrument because they sound different and different things work on them.
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
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Dec 27, 2013,
#14
is it any different than wanting to play the drums?

Sure, sitting around a campfire you won't be playing a sing along session with your bass - you could, but i doubt you would. But you'd not do that with drums unless you took up the bongos.

And while a bass player rarely plays chords, so one less thing to learn, you need to learn other things. I'd like to play guitar but me, picks, strumming and getting fingers to make chords just is one big failure.

There is a lot to learn musically that once learned can be applied to many instruments. I took piano as a kid and since learning bass I can play it better. Bass clef and treble are different but if you can read music in one you can easily learn the other.
#15
Those 4 strings arent as limiting as you might believe...Ive written more riffs with the top two strings of my acoustic than i can count...Im interested in getting a bass as well
#16
If you want your future to be full of hot girls, play the bass. If you want average girls, play guitar.


But seriously...

I have never once thought i was limited on the bass. There is more than enough to keep you going, and if you want to play melodically you can.

And a bonus... if you decide you don't want to play anymore, it looks way cooler having a dusty bass sat around than it does a dusty guitar