#1
So im quite confused what to do, i started taking bass guitar lessons around 4 months ago, i really liked the sound of the bass and the playing it's self, (the feel of the deep sounds and vibration in the air) but i've come to a point were basically im not quite sure the bass is for me, usually what i like the most of the bass isn't the actual playing of root notes or basic playing, i guess most people are like that, i took up the bass mainly since of some riffs or songs i heard, including, tool - schism, metallica - for whom toss the bells, led zeppelin - ramble on, the majority of the songs i liked are where the bass isn't really doing it's "designed job" but more like taking a semi-lead role so i thought to my self, if i enjoy mainly the lead parts of the bass maybe i should consider taking lead guitar or guitar overall? i mean the guitar typically even rhythm guitar is usually more "lead" than the bass, i truly understand how much the bass contributes to a song but maybe im not made to be that person, i don't enjoy being the spotlight but i don't enjoy either be always in the back and just playing to "support" or to make the guitars sound stronger and bigger. I listened to songs without bass and they sound really bad but i also listened to songs without guitar and they sounded so boring and weak. I'm quite not sure if to quit the bass lessons and maybe take up guitar instead, i just can't resist to the eletric guitar it just seems so much fun, even when your not playing seriously and to just improvise while watching tv which i think IMO not that possible with the bass since bass without melody is just sounds unless you play slap or more lead like but that's not what the bass is meant for, why not rather take the guitar no?
I dont mean to offense any bass players, im just a stupid confused teen.


Edit: i also find so many songs and video's that make me want to learn the guitar example:
[url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=4gDsbOraiqg"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gDsbOraiqg

tho with the bass i barely even find or want to
Last edited by eitanlich at Mar 24, 2016,
#2
What prevents you from playing bass like Cliff Burton and Justin Chancellor? Even if more lead like playing isn't the traditional job of the bass guitar, why shouldn't you do it if you want to? There are plenty of genres where bass is a strong, almost leading instrument (take funk and fusion for example) and in all honesty you can play the bass anyway you like.

Or, you could just play both.

Quote by eitanlich
i also listened to songs without guitar and they sounded so boring and weak.


Triggered Hail incoming in 3, 2, 1...
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#3
For me a good bass player holds the band together. The heart of the band for me is when the bass and drums are locked together. To make that happen is not just a matter of the bass playing certain notes, it's a matter of feeling the rhythm, the dynamics of the song and holding down the bottom end while accenting with the drummers kick bass. I have played with all kinds of bass players over many years of playing and the best ones held the band together with simplicity, perfect timing and dynamics. It isn't an easy role to fill and I am not good at it myself.

There are genres of music that allow for more extreme bass playing but I personally don't like "lead" type bass players. That's a matter of personal preference as a guitar player. Maybe bass just isn't your thing but after just a few months you probably haven't had the opportunity to experience the real essence of how it feels to be locked in and holding down the bottom in a live band situation. As Kevathuri mentioned, try another style. See if you can tackle Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" the way the Chili Peppers (Flea)play it. That's a performance that really depends on the bass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ADTPb2f_44
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 24, 2016,
#4
Quote by Rickholly74
For me a good bass player holds the band together. The heart of the band for me is when the bass and drums are locked together. To make that happen is not just a matter of the bass playing certain notes, it's a matter of feeling the rhythm, the dynamics of the song and holding down the bottom end while accenting with the drummers kick bass. I have played with all kinds of bass players over many years of playing and the best ones held the band together with simplicity, perfect timing and dynamics. It isn't an easy role to fill and I am not good at it myself.

There are genres of music that allow for more extreme bass playing but I personally don't like "lead" type bass players. That's a matter of personal preference as a guitar player. Maybe bass just isn't your thing but after just a few months you probably haven't had the opportunity to experience the real essence of how it feels to be locked in and holding down the bottom in a live band situation. As Kevathuri mentioned, try another style. See if you can tackle Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" the way the Chili Peppers (Flea)play it. That's a performance that really depends on the bass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ADTPb2f_44



That's exactly the same way i feel about lead bass, i like that there are songs that i can play more lead, i just find it more fun to have a lightweight and cheap guitar to play around with than a heavy and deep sounding thing that is more dependent on background music aswell.
#5
But also for some i reason i really dislike the acoustic and classical guitar, i may sound very childish saying so but i truly only like the electric guitar
#6
Why cant you play both? Is there a rule that I'm unaware of? Can't you do whatever you like and enjoy? I didn't know that was not allowed. Because if so, someone needs to report me.

"Attention all units, guitar teacher last seen playing the break from Sir Duke on bass, headed West on Mockingbird...."

Best,

Sean
#7
Sounds to me like you're not really a bass player - you really have to like that background support role, not taking any lead role (maybe ever), but getting your kicks from creating grooves with the drummer, and knowing that without you holding down the bottom end those singers and lead guitarists out front would look (even more) like total dorks.

I suggest switching to guitar. And no reason not to start straight away on electric, IMO, if that's what you like.
Keep the bass - it will come in handy when you can't get work as a guitarist (because there are too many of them, and not enough bass players ).

Of course, there are half-way choices, like 6-string bass, or baritone guitar, if you like the bottom end but want more of a lead role. And the very rarity of solo bass playing makes it a niche where you could make a name for yourself.

Here's some inspiration before you give up bass entirely:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PgnbtWvp4o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu-bjr1leM4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnq3ZW6OyTI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgffDVO2UyA
#8
^ Yeah, to be a good bassist, you need to also enjoy just playing grooves that make the song "feel good" but don't necessarily stand out on their own. Because that's what you will be playing in a band most of the time.

But yeah, if you want to play guitar, just get one. I think it's good to be able to play both bass and guitar. You don't need to choose one over the other.
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
#9
modes are a social construct
Last edited by Hail at Mar 24, 2016,
#10
i really liked the whole bass concept of supporting and feeling the "groove" but i'm quite tired of it and maybe even somewhat bored? i don't know, on the one hand i really like guitar but i feel maybe im giving up too early on the bass, obviously i can play both but for now i rather start with one
#11
^ Have you tried playing in a band? Playing grooves alone can be kind of boring. But playing them with a band is another thing.

Also, when you start, you need to start with really simple things. At 4 months I don't think you know your instrument well enough to tell whether it is actually boring or not. The same applies to guitar. In the beginning you will be playing boring things. The same applies to any instrument. To be able to play cool stuff, you need to be able to play boring stuff first.
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
#12
Don't worry! Keep at it! As others said, it takes time to become familiar and comfortable with the instrument. You have push by the "boring fundamentals" to get to the stage of playing whatever you'd like. If it were easy to do, everyone would be virtuous musicians.

Also, from what you mentioned, you can play whatever you like on the bass. Whether it's straight root notes in an 8th note rhythm or a "lead-esque" bass line like For Whom the Bell Tolls, play whatever you like. Remember, keep practicing and remain versatile. Even if you prefer one type of bass playing over another, be sure to become comfortable in all aspects over time.

You have to have patience and diligence when it comes to practicing, and you'll eventually get to where you want to be! Don't lose sight on your long-term goal: being a competent bassist. Anything in life, especially musical instruments, takes time to become good at them. Don't give up!
Skip the username, call me Billy
#13
Quote by MaggaraMarine
^ Yeah, to be a good bassist, you need to also enjoy just playing grooves that make the song "feel good" but don't necessarily stand out on their own. Because that's what you will be playing in a band most of the time.

Absolutely! Which is why - given what he said in his post - I suggested he was maybe not cut out to be a bass player. Not everyone is, even if they like that low sound.
I was pointing out other ways to play the bass that he might not have thought of. Meanwhile...
Quote by MaggaraMarine

But yeah, if you want to play guitar, just get one. I think it's good to be able to play both bass and guitar. You don't need to choose one over the other.
Agreed. What you learn on one will support what you learn on the other.
#14
You sound like a guitarist.

"I don't want to play the boring supporting role, I want to play the interesting lead parts."

But that mentality is why a lot of really technically talented guitarists suck. 90%* of the time their job is to play a supporting role.

So yeah you're probably a guitarist.

*completely made up statistic
Si
#15
I think it's unfair to call bass "supporting" instrument, as if some instruments in a [good] ensemble are carrying less weight than others. Every instrument has a distinct and necessary role. Nobody is just "supporting" the lead players. Any decent player must be able to carry the full weight of their position, if not also know the rudiments of the others.

And in a lot of music where the bass is "just supporting" and playing the same thing with the same rhythm as the guitar, it's really the guitar that's just supporting, because the guitarist is playing the bass line. It adds texture, but not harmonic content.

As a bassist, you are a rhythmic specialist. You and the drummer set the stage for what is possible for everyone else. The feel of a song comes almost entirely from the rhythm and basic harmony. Whether people are dancing, partying, and digging music they've never heard before... a lot of that's your decision.

Lots of bands get by without any guitarist. If there are multiple singers or strings or a keyboard, then guitar can be redundant. But hardly anyone gets away without a bassist (except pianists). Why? Because the bass isn't just an instrument - it defines an entire range and function within the music. A lot instruments can play the harmonic accompaniment and the melodies, but outside of keyboards and tubas, only the bass plays the bass part.
Last edited by cdgraves at Mar 25, 2016,
#16
Quote by 20Tigers
You sound like a guitarist.

"I don't want to play the boring supporting role, I want to play the interesting lead parts."

But that mentality is why a lot of really technically talented guitarists suck. 90%* of the time their job is to play a supporting role.

So yeah you're probably a guitarist.

*completely made up statistic


this
modes are a social construct
#17
Quote by 20Tigers
You sound like a guitarist.

"I don't want to play the boring supporting role, I want to play the interesting lead parts."

But that mentality is why a lot of really technically talented guitarists suck. 90%* of the time their job is to play a supporting role.

So yeah you're probably a guitarist.

*completely made up statistic
This +1.
#18
+1 to 20T again

Bass is like the skeleton of the band body: you don't really perceive it as well with the senses (unless you're inclined), but the band's pretty empty without. There are some times when a more protrusive bassline is called for (as Kev said before, funk and fusion, as well as prog), but otherwise it sounds as awkward as a public boner looks. ;D

Having said that, guitar has a purpose, not just as a lead melody, but also rhythm backing. You still have to lock into a band feel (even as a solo artist, with the other backing musicians). Try to play with other people and listen to each other, and hopefully you'll improve your musical hearing as well as your view on the instruments.
Glad to cross paths with you on this adventure called life
Quote by Jet Penguin
lots of flirting with the other key without confirming. JUST LIKE THEIR LOVE IN THE MOVIE OH DAMN.
Quote by Hail
you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#19
You can improvise in a band just as much as a bassist or a guitarist, you just have to perform within certain parameters. But improvising rhythmically on the bass is just about the most fun in the world.
#20
yeah honestly any gigs i've played with established bands on bass i was able to learn the songs within one rehearsal. a lot of people just want the bass to be there, and it's up to you what you do with it. you'll hear a lot of "do more" and "do less". ideally, you want to hear the former rather than the latter, but you'll rarely any more specific guidelines once you know what you're doing and can play by ear. figure out the key, tempo, rhythm, and vocal queues, and maybe a riff or two and you can learn 99% of music on bass

guitar is so upfront and distinctive you can't get away with that
modes are a social construct