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#1
Hi there,

I have been playing electric guitar for 5 years now and I have been thinking of taking up the bass too.

I wonder if there would be any benefits for a guitar player?
#2
yep sure

it lets you sort of see what the whole band is doing, helps your finger stretches and strength, etc. etc.

if you think you'd like it it's worth a try
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#3
Plus it'll improve your timing and rhythm, your general musicianship, it'll give you a greater appreciation of the low end, and it'll make you an overall better person in general!

Branching out and learning to play new instruments can only benefit you. Other than the monetary investment, there aren't any downsides or reasons not to.
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#4
It will teach you to work better as a guitarist with the bass player and how to work with the rhythm section as a whole

I've played with too many guitarists that like to drive through songs only focusing on what they are doing and not the rest of the band. Being a bass player will teach you to listen to the rest of the musicians around you and work with them to the benefit of the music.

And Tositos is right. You'll be a better person for it
#5
^ + ^^ Yeah. I dunno about being a better person, I'm still a dick

But yeah the rest of the stuff, definitely.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#6
You'll reap the biggest benefits of improving as a musician by putting yourself in a situation where you're being utilised as a bassist- second band, side project, that kind of thing, rather than just learning how to to pluck the strings. Learn how to be a bassist as opposed to learning how to play bass, if you get my drift.
#7
^ Yeah. I mean, I'm still terrible, but from the get-go I went in with the mindset that I wanted to be a bassist, not just a guitarist who dabbled a little with bass. I'm not ever going to be the best bass player in the world considering I started a bit late (plus I still like guitar, I'm not giving up guitar!), but I think you can normally tell (as you implied) guitar players who play a little bass on the side versus guitarists who actually genuinely play bass too.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#9
you should be able to switch to any instrument with relative ease if you have a rudimentary understanding of theory. from there it's simply introducing new music memory. granted, it's obviously going to be a lot easier to learn bass than trumpet, but it should all be pretty much a natural progression mentally

if it's not, yes, learn as many different things as you can. pick up a piano and learn to sing while you're at it.
#10
Following on Hail's point, bass is similar enough to guitar that another benefit is that you're still practicing one while practicing another. I haven't picked up a guitar in a while now but when I do, I'm still better at it than I was previously because although I'm practicing fingering on my bass, it's still practicing fingering.

On the other hand...

Quote by Hail
pick up a piano and learn to sing while you're at it.


If you can actually pick up a piano, might I suggest seeing if the local circus needs a strongman?
#11
^ beaten to it. I was gonna say singing was hard enough without trying it while holding a piano at the same time...
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#12
Quote by CarsonStevens

If you can actually pick up a piano, might I suggest seeing if the local circus needs a strongman?


Playing piano CAN require a certain...stamina.

#13
Playing bass is quite a bit different than playing guitar; you're actually part of the rhythm section, and, in my experience, tied a lot tighter to the drums than to the guitars. It's easy to spot a guitar player moonlighting or pretending to play bass. It's a different mentality from a real bass player.

It's also a good place to begin to learn arranging. Most guitar players emerging from their bedrooms try to fill every second of every piece of music with guitar. When you learn to *arrange*, you learn to create holes/spaces for each instrument. Usually your guitar playing becomes much more spare, and what you DO play is much better and more purposeful.
#14
I'm a guitar player who just got a bass a month ago. Definitely helps improve your timing as all you do on bass is stay in the groove. Improves your finger strength too.
#15
It helps with plenty of things. As stated, your timing will get a lot better,especially if you have a reliable drummer to work with. Also, it will help a lot with your understanding of theory and how chords work against each other. Any beginner guitar player can throw a bunch of chords together and claim they wrote a song, but it takes a great bass player to harmonically connect those chords to make them sound copacetic. Plus it's good for the soul.

I just hope you're not too attached to attention and nookie.
#16
One thing I noticed completely changing from guitar to bass are the dynamics, depending on your style of music you might notice that playing each note with just the notes with just the right amount of strenght is more important and you have less room for excuses.

Another thing I noticed is that you can play the bass in many different positions, concerning the right hand, and you have to develop a feeling what playstyle suits the part you're about to play best.

Granted, I was a mediocre guitarist at best, but I never found myself constantly switching playstyles, even within a single riff.
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#17
Quote by CarsonStevens
although I'm practicing fingering on my bass, it's still practicing fingering.


just leaving this here

Quote by dspellman
Playing bass is quite a bit different than playing guitar; you're actually part of the rhythm section, and, in my experience, tied a lot tighter to the drums than to the guitars. It's easy to spot a guitar player moonlighting or pretending to play bass. It's a different mentality from a real bass player.


i don't like seeing bass as part of the rhythm section. that's a mentality that's been done to death, just like the intro->verse->chorus->verse->chorus->bridge->solo->verse->chorus->chorus BS we've seen for the last 40 years. i hate this "real bass player" crap - it's closed-minded and usually a sign of somebody who might be able to play bass but as a composer is incredibly weak. i mean it's good advice for amateurs to an extent but the idea that music has limits needs to be broken within a few years or new musicians are just gonna make the same lame rehashes for decades

Quote by thorbor
One thing I noticed completely changing from guitar to bass are the dynamics, depending on your style of music you might notice that playing each note with just the notes with just the right amount of strenght is more important and you have less room for excuses.

Another thing I noticed is that you can play the bass in many different positions, concerning the right hand, and you have to develop a feeling what playstyle suits the part you're about to play best.

Granted, I was a mediocre guitarist at best, but I never found myself constantly switching playstyles, even within a single riff.


this is because a pick is a natural compressor. it's the same with using a plectrum for bass, really.
#18
Quote by Hail
this is because a pick is a natural compressor. it's the same with using a plectrum for bass, really.
This is too simple of an explanation, it sounds like the main reason the bass has a wider dynamic range is because it's not usually played with a pick, disregarding all other factors involved which I deem more important than the pick. If you're saying that playing a simple guitar riff on bass with a pick is just as easy when it comes to steady playing, then you never seem to have actually played the bass.
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
#19
Quote by Hail
i don't like seeing bass as part of the rhythm section.


It don't really matter what you "like". Part of playing music is that there are different roles that have to be followed. Of course, the roles depend heavily on the genre and the style, but for the most part all of the roles are to be filled (sometimes with one instrument filling more than one roll at once).

As a bass player, you are relegated to the standard bass instrument role because... you're really the only one in the band that can adequately do the job, unless you happen to have a tuba or organ player. You gotta lay down that low groove as sort of like... the link between the drums and guitar, the glue that holds the other two parts of the rhythm section together (unless you are playing bluegrass, in which case the guitar is the glue).

Playing in an ensemble is all about doing what ultimately serves the group the best, rather than everyone playing what they "want" to play. It's similar to how not everybody can be a Quarterback or big scoring Wide Receiver on a football team. Everybody has to do their job, or else the whole team would fall apart. The bass is kind of like the Center in that aspect. Not the most glamorous role, but at the end of the day, they're the one who keeps the offensive line together and the Quarterback on his feet.

And similarly to how the bass instrument has to fill the bass instrument role because they are the only one that can, the Center plays that position because he is the biggest guy on the team (usually).

But I suppose you're going to say that having the 6'7", 350 guy playing Center has been done to death and we should start having them play Wide Receiver or Punter or else football is just going to be the same rehash for the next 40 years due to people not breaking your so-called "limitation" or something like that...
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#20
I just got a bass from a friend who didn't use it

and is boring as hell, played a few minutes, and went back to guitar lmao

the bass is hanging on my wall collecting dust
#21
Bass can be really cool and fun to play. I don't think it will benefit guitar in any way. Guitar might benefit bass though. But, if you really wanna get incredibly skilled at guitar, stick to guitar. It's different muscle groups and callous areas and stuff like that going from guitar to bass. They are basically the same from a layout perspective, but I don't find playing bass has had any effect on how I play guitar.

Piano I would say has, but again, I would not suggest picking up piano, if you want to get amazing at guitar. Any time you spend practicing another instrument, could be time spent practicing on your main instrument.

But, if you just want to song write, and don't care to become greatly skilled, then go ahead and spend time on playing bass. But I wouldn't do it with the expectation that it will make your guitar better.
#22
Quote by theogonia777
It don't really matter what you "like". Part of playing music is that there are different roles that have to be followed. Of course, the roles depend heavily on the genre and the style, but for the most part all of the roles are to be filled (sometimes with one instrument filling more than one roll at once).

As a bass player, you are relegated to the standard bass instrument role because... you're really the only one in the band that can adequately do the job, unless you happen to have a tuba or organ player. You gotta lay down that low groove as sort of like... the link between the drums and guitar, the glue that holds the other two parts of the rhythm section together (unless you are playing bluegrass, in which case the guitar is the glue).

Playing in an ensemble is all about doing what ultimately serves the group the best, rather than everyone playing what they "want" to play. It's similar to how not everybody can be a Quarterback or big scoring Wide Receiver on a football team. Everybody has to do their job, or else the whole team would fall apart. The bass is kind of like the Center in that aspect. Not the most glamorous role, but at the end of the day, they're the one who keeps the offensive line together and the Quarterback on his feet.

And similarly to how the bass instrument has to fill the bass instrument role because they are the only one that can, the Center plays that position because he is the biggest guy on the team (usually).

But I suppose you're going to say that having the 6'7", 350 guy playing Center has been done to death and we should start having them play Wide Receiver or Punter or else football is just going to be the same rehash for the next 40 years due to people not breaking your so-called "limitation" or something like that...

because all music has a bass and guitar player and singer and drummer, right?
#23
I want to learn to play the bass so I can fight world hunger, strive for world peace, and uphold the ideals of the Miss America Pageant!
#24
Quote by Hail
because all music has a bass and guitar player and singer and drummer, right?


Much of the music with a bass guitar in it has guitar and drums. Rock, punk, metal, jazz, country, funk, RnB, reggae, etc are all examples.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#25
how many of those genres are still utilized in a way that makes use of a bass guitar, or are relevant at all in today's context?

it's more and more popular to program bass, use keyboards, use samples, detune guitars, or just go without a bass. why can't the purpose of an instrument be reinterpreted? all it is is a tool to create a variety of timbres and i don't see why exploration of an instrument is limited because "bass is all that can do it" as that's simply not true

there aren't a huge number of examples where the bass steps out of the pocket outside of the virtuoso realm and choice quirky songs you'll write off as exceptions, but the entire point of that is that people try and stifle creativity as if music adheres to a formula

we're not doing contrapuntal harmony. we're not doing schillinger method. we're not voice leading. there aren't rules to writing or performing music, especially with the myriad of tools we have at our disposal in terms of technology for recording, reproducing, arranging, &c.

i mean you can stay in the stone age if you want but if i were to say that banjo was only meant to be the equivalent of a harpsichord in baroque (a throwaway harmony instrument at large, necessary for the genre at times - done well by some, but used inappropriately very often because of "limitations" compositionally at the time) you'd be just as annoyed as i am when people assume that there's no exploratory joy left in the realm of bass outside of playing the occasional fill and sitting in the back
Last edited by Hail at Aug 25, 2014,
#26
Quote by Hail
how many of those genres are still utilized in a way that makes use of a bass guitar, or are relevant at all in today's context?

it's more and more popular to program bass, use keyboards, use samples, detune guitars, or just go without a bass. why can't the purpose of an instrument be reinterpreted? all it is is a tool to create a variety of timbres and i don't see why exploration of an instrument is limited because "bass is all that can do it" as that's simply not true

there aren't a huge number of examples where the bass steps out of the pocket outside of the virtuoso realm and choice quirky songs you'll write off as exceptions, but the entire point of that is that people try and stifle creativity as if music adheres to a formula

we're not doing contrapuntal harmony. we're not doing schillinger method. we're not voice leading. there aren't rules to writing or performing music, especially with the myriad of tools we have at our disposal in terms of technology for recording, reproducing, arranging, &c.

i mean you can stay in the stone age if you want but if i were to say that banjo was only meant to be the equivalent of a harpsichord in baroque (a throwaway harmony instrument at large, necessary for the genre at times - done well by some, but used inappropriately very often because of "limitations" compositionally at the time) you'd be just as annoyed as i am when people assume that there's no exploratory joy left in the realm of bass outside of playing the occasional fill and sitting in the back


The thing is though, is that the space in the frequency spectrum decreases at an exponential rate. This means that in the higher ranges you can have more different pitches, and more going on, without the waves interfering and sounding all muddy. And you will hear that in modern produced music, where they have a real hissy and airy high end, as they exploit that.

But in the lower frequencies you have to cut space for your kick drum, or side chain compress or whatever, and roll off the lows of all your instruments so that your mix doesn't sound all crap and muddy.

It's the same reason why you can make nice lush chords in the mid and high range of a piano, but if you play a maj9 down on the lowest E of your piano it will sound like ass. Or, you can play a maj7 inversion where the 7th and the root are a semi-tone away, and it sounds good, but not so much down low.

It's properties of physics of sounds.

I'm with you, that people should be as creative as possible with music, and there are definitely songs out there, where the bassline is the focus of the song, and really carries it. But at the same time, you are limited in what you can do with bass because it is easy to sound like crap in that frequency range. Even just chords on the bass don't work so well. A root and 3rd is alright, but even then you need to be kind of careful with it.

It's not rules you have to follow, but the instrument has certain characteristics that limit how you can use it, without muddying the crap out of everything. It's more than just timber. But, the bass does extend into high enough range where you can get real creative with it, and that's a place I like to be a lot. However, you need to be careful there again, so you don't step on toes. The focus of a song with a vocalist, in general needs to be the vocalist. That's just where you normally want your focus to be. Usually there is always one focal point at any time. One instrument or voice.

You can go a bit complex, but it's really tough to go a little nuts and not take away from the vocalist, especially on bass.

That's one of the magic tricks for which I find carter beauford so incredible. He's the drummer for dave matthews. That drummer is amazing. Even if you, or whoever, doesn't like dave matthews, I recommend to listen to some of their tunes, just to listen and focus on the drums what they are doing, and you notice how intricate it is, and how you can listen to just that, and be entertained, but then you listen to it as a whole, and he steps on nobody's toes, causes no confusion, and doesn't take focus away from where the focus should be. It's real impressive to me, how he manages that.

Bass is more imposing of an instrument, and it's a harder trick to pull off. Dissonance doesn't work so well. That's why it is often used as a rhythmic accent, or to fill out and make other instruments more lush. But some bassists will dipsy doodle pretty damn nice also, more in the funk real of things. Jamiroquai has a bassist that will do that often enough. Flea will be like that at times as well, and victor wooten even has some tracks where he's just bass, and I think some solo albums. Some of the skill in playing in a band, I think is to shutup correctly, or kind of know your role, and don't step out of it. But what your role is, isn't set in stone it change mid song. Bass though generally takes a simple complimentary role, because of the physics of sound.
#28
^ like I was saying, lol. That there was some cringey bass.

As always music is subjective, and the cringey bass fits the style of this tune, but this tune will not make its way into my playlist.
#29
Quote by fingrpikingood
I don't think it will benefit guitar in any way. Guitar might benefit bass though.


I'm curious to hear why guitar benefits bass but the reverse is not true.
#30
Quote by Vlasco
I'm curious to hear why guitar benefits bass but the reverse is not true.


because nobody cares about bass lol
#32
Quote by Vlasco
I'm curious to hear why guitar benefits bass but the reverse is not true.


Because guitar will force you to learn chords, and you will be more likely to learn arpeggios, and a more chordal approach, which can be useful on bass. I mean, you can learn that on just bass as well, but from my experience if I was learning bass alone, I would stick much more to a single note frame of mind, because chords sound so muddy.

I might do some stuff like play a root and a third rooted on the low E string. but that's about the extent of it.

So I find just from a fretboard visualization learning guitar can help you on bass.

But on guitar you solo anyway, so you'd learn that fretboard visualization no matter what. I guess if you would want to play a sort of bass/chords style guitar, like joe pass does his walking bass, maybe bass might help you out a bit. But for me, if I had never played bass, and instead replaced that time with guitar, I'd just be better at guitar.

So, I would recommend sticking to just the bass anyway, if what you really want to do, is become awesome at bass. If you just want to songwrite, and play good bass, but not like victor wooten caliber bass, then I think it's safer to play some guitar and some piano and stuff it's not such a big deal, but I don't think playing bass would really improve your guitar.
#34
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Then it is your experience of playing bass that you feel hasn't helped your guitar playing. My experience is very much the opposite.


Of course. I can only speak from my experience. In my experience bass will not help you much in playing guitar, and I would not recommend to anyone to okay bass in order to improve their guitar.

If you don't plan on being as good as you can be, then it doesn't really matter.

That's my opinion based on my experience. Other people may have different experiences. But that is how I would teach, that is the advice I would give, if someone wanted to be a student of mine, they'd have to follow what I tell them, and if I am on an internet forum, I will state my opinion and my beliefs based on my experience.

I find bass helps more than nothing, I mean bass and guitar are similar. If you start out playing bass, you will have a head start on guitar. If you start on guitar, but don't learn scales, and move to bass, and learn scales, then your time on bass would have helped you on guitar. In many ways they are interchangeable.

But in terms of the sort of dexterity you have to build, what muscles you have to build they are very different. Because of that, It is my opinion that if you want to learn guitar, playing some bass for a while will not be a fast track to get better at guitar. Whatever hours you spend on bass would have been better served on guitar.

That is my opinion speaking from my experience having become proficient at a number of instruments.

I recognize a number of people have different opinions on everything. I recognize that some people might have had a different experience. I also recognize that what makes one teacher better than another, is the opinions they hold one versus another. I also recognize that some teachers will be more suitable for some people and other teachers for other people.

All I'm giving is my opinion. Some people might follow it, some might not. That's ok.
#37
Quote by fingrpikingood
That's a more standard typed bass. In this sort of music, because of distortion, the bass is generally kept even more minimal and following the tonic of the rhythm guitar than other styles, because otherwise it's a big mess.


theres no guitar in this
#40
Quote by Hail


I see. I'm not sure how he get's that tone exactly for those high things he is doing. Maybe just rolls off the bass a lot or something? idk. But this is only bass and drums. So, he is sort of playing the guitar parts with his bass, which he is able to do because of his gear. He may have a chorus going as well. Idk exactly what, but there is something go on FX wise with his bass.

But he is getting a nice clean distortion sound, a harmonious one so he is not playing chords in the conventional sense. Maybe a couple strings at once, but in the lower end if you play chords it will sound like ass. Although frequency space increases exponentially, when he plays in the higher end, since, it still sounds really thin for just that on a bass, so I think he must have the bass way cut off.

Just bass and drums means the bass has no toes to step on really. So, it give more freedom, but even at that, his style, is very rhythmic power chord sort of things, mostly, which always work better with heavy distortion, and better with bass as well.

He is still not playing low full chords either not like the first cringey video. I get the impression that you're submitting videos with the belief that they are contradicting prior statements I've made, but so far you've only been proving my point, if you go back and read the posts I made.

I'm not denying that there are a number of ways to play bass. I play bass. I just recognize physical limitations it has, and the way arrangements work well, which means bass is generally used a certain way. But obviously not always.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEyEu-hS0fA
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Aug 31, 2014,
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