#1
Can anyone who play guitar play bass too and vise versa ?
I dont want to play professionally just record some bass for my album.
#2
I play both fairly fluently. I can also spot a bass-playing-guitarist from a mile away.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
#3
Yes and no. From a technical point someone that plays one can pick up the other and play something, but both instruments generally have different musical roles and some difference in the finer mechanics of technique.

There is certainly some overlap, but there is enough small mechanical and stylistic difference that experienced musicians will be able to point out a bassist playing guitar or vice versa. That being said, the overlap is enough that a guitarist can play bass at a functional level and vice versa when it comes to in-the-pocket playing, which is probably what you are planning on doing.
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#4
Most guitarists can't play guitar.

But yeah, sort of.
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#5
I agree with Kristen. As a guitar player I know what notes go with different chord progressions and I do play bass on all of my own recording projects but I would never say that I am a bass player. Playing bass is a matter of feel and technique that I have not absorbed in my limited bass playing experience. I know I could become an acceptable if not pretty good bass player if it was my chosen instrument but it's not. I also play keyboards and can keep a fairly steady beat on the drums but I wouldn't say that I am a keyboard player or a drummer.
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#6
I'd say good bassists have an easier time at learning guitar than do guitarists learning bass.
My buddy here can do perfect flawless three finger bass but on a six string guitar, sounds really nice, I can't do jack shit on a bass with my three finger technique, I suppose I can do pick bass, but that's not really bass. Of course it's all up to how much effort you put into it.
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#7
Quote by timbit2006
I suppose I can do pick bass, but that's not really bass.


Why not?
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#9
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Absolutely baffles me when people don't consider using a pick on bass as being 'proper bass playing.' Christ, guitarists use picks, fingers and slides and none of those are considered improper.


I use both methods for playing bass. Neither are wrong and both are "proper bass playing". Each are good for different styles.
If I'm singing while playing, I need to use a pick, though.
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#10
I started playing guitar, then picked up acoustic bass and I play bass with fingers. Even though previous guitar experience may have helped from the theoretic point of view, it is absolutely different thing regarding physiology.
Now I play both guitar and bass and occasionally drums, and I have no problem switching instruments. Playing chords on bass really helps strenghten muscles for easier guitar playing.
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#11
Whoa, didn't meant to derail the thread. Pick bass is just as legit as finger bass.
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#12
To answer the actual question:
I started guitar 20+ years ago. A few years later, i got a bass. I took to the bass a little better, and now I tend to play it exclusively when I'm in band situations. It worked for me, although guitar is still my favorite.
One of the guitar players in a band, on the other hand, was completely lost when he picked up a bass. He couldn't even tune it (which makes no sense, but he may have been a little bit of a clod).
TL/DR: There's no easy answer. Some can do it fine, and others are lost. If you just want to add some bass to your recordings, you'll be fine most likely.
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Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#13
I just got my first bass a few months ago. Seems like a lot of the skills you pick up as a guitarist translate pretty well- especially the non-technique stuff like knowing how to carry a tune. Messing around with a bass could help you add to your guitar playing too. You're not really starting from zero.

Learn a bit of fingerstyle as well as playing with a pick. It's a completely different feel, and it's not really a matter of genre. Basic slap style looks harder than it is; I started playing some pretty gangsta rap beats the first week.
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#14
You can, but there are differences as Kristen has said. How great those differences are to you depends on how far you want to take your bass playing.

I only treat bass as a means to an end for recordings. I play like a guitarist that plays bass, but I just don't care very much for techniques that are exclusive to bass for me to practice them. I see little point when I could learn something that's far more inspiring and enjoyable (to me) on guitar in that same time.
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#15
I messed around with a bass several years back and was struck by the different styles. Michael Anthony from VH seemed to mainly lean on the root note while keeping a rhythm. While Dennis Dunaway from Alice Cooper did a LOT of expressive counter-melodies. Gene Simmons was also a surprisingly expressive bassist. I gained a lot of respect and appreciation for my 4-stringed brethren after that.
#16
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
You can, but there are differences as Kristen has said. How great those differences are to you depends on how far you want to take your bass playing.


Genre also plays a factor. In a some types of punk, hardcore, death metal, etc the bass generally tends to double rhythm guitar verbatim sans power chords. Not all types of those genres mind you, but a good amount. Heck, in technical death metal it is not uncommon for bassists to play 6 string basses tuned an octave lower than the downtuned guitars and play the same sweeping and tapping riffs as the guitarist.

Basically what I'm saying is that in such styles of music, the bass is essentially played like a guitar. Compare to jazz or funk or reggae or RnB, where the role of the guitar and bass are extremely different and require not only different techniques but also stylistically play completely differently than the guitars. Those tend to not surprisingly where the guitarist pretending to play bass or vice versa is most likely to stick out.
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#17
There's a theory that there is no such thing as genius, you just need to spend 10,000 hours practicing. I'm not sure that this is completely true but to be a good musician you need to practice and study. If you work at it you can be a decent bassist and a decent guitarist.

There's a lot of skills that are transferable so you have a head start. The notes in a chord remain the same as do the common chord progressions. You are used to your left hand doing one thing whilst your right does something else and so on.

There are differences too. Bass usually plays a different role in music and in most forms of music is more rhythmic and less melodic than guitar. The idea that less is more is even more applicable to playing bass than guitar, depending upon the style and genre of your music of course. If you want to do it well you'll need to study and practice, but you know that from guitar.

Go for it, a few months and you'll know if it is for you. The guitar gives you a head start but te rest is down to you. Have fun.
#18
Thank all of you guys.
I think it worths giving a try so I'll just pick one used for now.
#19
Quote by theogonia777
Yes and no. From a technical point someone that plays one can pick up the other and play something, but both instruments generally have different musical roles and some difference in the finer mechanics of technique.

There is certainly some overlap, but there is enough small mechanical and stylistic difference that experienced musicians will be able to point out a bassist playing guitar or vice versa. That being said, the overlap is enough that a guitarist can play bass at a functional level and vice versa when it comes to in-the-pocket playing, which is probably what you are planning on doing.


good response and sums it up pretty well. guitar players tend to play bass like a guitar and don't always get it's actual role in a song. more to bass playing than pumping out root notes to the chords (but that can work to a degree).

I play guitar and the only bass playing I do outside of dicking around is for my own recordings. would never claim to be a good bassist at all. still I like to have bass on my songs so I try to get at least a simple bass line going that works.
#20
Quote by monwobobbo
good response and sums it up pretty well. guitar players tend to play bass like a guitar and don't always get it's actual role in a song. more to bass playing than pumping out root notes to the chords (but that can work to a degree).


That really comes down to the style of music. In power metal, that pretty much sums up what the bass does. Funny thing is that most power metal bassists can rip, but they end up playing straight 16th root notes for 90% of the song with the occasional rhythmic variation during a big chorus. Meanwhile the rhythm guitar player does... the exact same thing, albeit with the addition of a power chord at the beginning of each chord change.
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#21
Quote by monwobobbo
good response and sums it up pretty well. guitar players tend to play bass like a guitar and don't always get it's actual role in a song. more to bass playing than pumping out root notes to the chords (but that can work to a degree).

I play guitar and the only bass playing I do outside of dicking around is for my own recordings. would never claim to be a good bassist at all. still I like to have bass on my songs so I try to get at least a simple bass line going that works.


I played bass for years, but it was on foot pedals while I was playing keyboards, or it was playing a keyboard bass or it was playing bass ON a keyboard (divided keyboard). Basslines I had figured out. Until I bought a bass, after playing guitar for a long time. My first instinct was to grab a pick and play it like a guitar. Took me a while (and a real bass player chattering in my ear) to get to a point where I treated it more like the pedals and keys and began playing basslines again. Dunno why that was.
#22
most guitarists can fake their way through bass songs, but actually being a bass player is a lot more different than some think
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#23
To answer the question in the OP, if you are competent at guitar then playing simple bass should be easy.

Actually learning to play bass properly, and use bass-specific techniques, takes more effort.

To chime in on the pick/finger debate, both are just as valid. Some genres (basically all modern metal) are dominated almost entirely by pickers, if not live then certainly in the studio. You need to be a ridiculously talented bassist to play that kind of material consistently with fingers.
#24
Quote by Random3
To chime in on the pick/finger debate, both are just as valid. Some genres (basically all modern metal) are dominated almost entirely by pickers, if not live then certainly in the studio. You need to be a ridiculously talented bassist to play that kind of material consistently with fingers.


I don't know about that. Pretty much all the tech death bassists play with their fingers and that's about as technically complex as metal bass gets and most non-technical subgeneres don't require a pick to play anyway.
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#25
Quote by theogonia777
I don't know about that. Pretty much all the tech death bassists play with their fingers and that's about as technically complex as metal bass gets and most non-technical subgeneres don't require a pick to play anyway.


I wasn't really talking about technical death metal because you are correct, I was referring more to the highly syncopated chugga chugga stuff. More often than not the guitarist will actually record the bass as well as the rhythm guitars to get it as tight as possible, or they will use a virtual bass. It isn't so much required due to the technicality, it is required to get the sound that is required in the studio.

There are exceptions, the technical virtuoso guys like Myung from DT, Dan from BTBAM, Amos from Tesseract, Arif from Protest and all the death metal guys you are referring to that I couldn't name, who will play with their fingers. But in the genre as a whole, they are an exception.
#26
Quote by codykilpatrickk
I play both fairly fluently. I can also spot a bass-playing-guitarist from a mile away.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.


I'm curious...how can you spot that? The way they hold the guitar?
#27
Quote by Random3
But in the genre as a whole, they are an exception.


In metal? I don't think that I could really believe that without some actual evidence. Besides, all of the "highly syncopated chugga chugga stuff" that you are referring to is only a small portion of modern metal.
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#28
Quote by theogonia777
In metal? I don't think that I could really believe that without some actual evidence. Besides, all of the "highly syncopated chugga chugga stuff" that you are referring to is only a small portion of modern metal.


Anything really that needs an extremely consistent low end, with the attacks of each note aligning perfectly with the rhythm guitars, will most likely be done with a pick unless you are ridiculously good with your fingers. And as I said, a lot of the time this will be done by the guitarist rather than the bassist.

I can't really provide evidence because I have not tracked any of these bands myself. I am going from the four years of education I have in music production.

This here is a bit of a generalisation, but the genres that tend to do this are any of the -core genres, djent, industrial, thrash etc. The ones that tend to have a very polished, modern, almost mechanical sound. The simple fact is unless you are stupidly consistent with fingers, the amount of editing needed to make the bass sound correct would be extremely time consuming and chances are would either be re-recorded or replaced with MIDI.

The genres I agree with you on are black metal, technical death metal, some prog etc. The kind of thing where the bass is doing it's own thing a lot of the time.
#29
Quote by Random3
I am going from the four years of education I have in music production.


Somehow I don't see that having an in depth look at recording metalcore or djent.

This here is a bit of a generalisation, but the genres that tend to do this are any of the -core genres, djent, industrial, thrash etc.


I'm still skeptical since you don't seem to have any evidence. Then again, I don't listen to that stuff anyway, but I suppose that it does make some sense and in fact studio players like Carol Kaye are a large reason for the spread of pick bass.

Honestly does anyone even really play industrial metal anymore?

The genres I agree with you on are black metal, technical death metal, some prog etc. The kind of thing where the bass is doing it's own thing a lot of the time.


The bass doesn't really do its own thing in death metal or black metal actually. In fact, the bass tend to follow the guitars almost verbatim other than other than when power chords or diads (in which cases it's usually the root notes), though there are exceptions.
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#30
Quote by theogonia777
Somehow I don't see that having an in depth look at recording metalcore or djent. .


I won't go into what I have and haven't studied because I doubt you care but I do have a fair amount of knowledge on music production.

Quote by theogonia777
I'm still skeptical since you don't seem to have any evidence.


I can give one example off the top of my head. Monuments have a phenomenal guitarist and bassist, and yet the guitarist records all the bass parts himself using a pick. The bassist will fill in here and there on the more natural sounding parts and he will use his fingers, but for any part where the bass and guitars are playing the same riff, picks are used. I have also spoken to guys who have produced/engineered multiple bands in and out of the genres we are talking about and discussed exactly this question.

Quote by theogonia777
Honestly does anyone even really play industrial metal anymore? .


The reason I mentioned industrial metal was because I thought of Fear Factory, who are a pretty perfect example of what I am talking about. Unless you are inhuman, you do not play that kind of music with your fingers.

Quote by theogonia777
The bass doesn't really do its own thing in death metal or black metal actually. In fact, the bass tend to follow the guitars almost verbatim other than other than when power chords or diads (in which cases it's usually the root notes), though there are exceptions.


True, but black metal doesn't really require the same degree of tightness that, for example, deathcore will. Black metal will often be totally unedited and will usually sound more natural. For that kind of thing, the benefit of using a pick isn't really necessary.
#31
It is easier to go from Guitar to Bass than the other way round, realising after 1 year that I was a failed Guitarist I switched to Bass on Saturday and gigged on Friday.
The main help I received was having learnt chord structures on my guitar followed by learning inversions.
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#32
Quote by TobusRex
I'm curious...how can you spot that? The way they hold the guitar?


Technique, tone, gear, note choices, a lot of stuff gives it away.

If I see, for example, a person playing an Epiphone bass, with a muddy tone and laboured technique using a plectrum with his thumb over the board, letting notes ring out simultaneously/playing chords, then I'm going to assume he's a guitarist.

To explain, Epiphone basses aren't terrible, but they're a bit more "niche" than some of the other options in that price-range. Most of the time that I see them, it's a guitarist who assumed that because they make decent guitar stuff, they must make decent bass stuff. There's nothing wrong with having your thumb over the board on bass at times IMHO but when it's constant and unnecessary it's a sign of a guitar player - it isn't conventional bass technique. Chordal work is again not wrong on bass, just has to be applied in particular situations (less sonically dense music, etc). Guitar players on bass will tend to do this when there's no call for it.

So yeah, there's a lot to work with.
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#33
One thing you may find useful is that you can use a guitar chord shape on bass. You just play notes individually. Root-fifth-octave are common bass lines, which is basically a power chord shape on guitar:

Hotel California:
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/e/eagles/hotel_california_ver2_btab.htm

Good Times Bad Times:
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/l/led_zeppelin/good_times_bad_times_ver3_btab.htm

Mysterious Ways:
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/u/u2/mysterious_ways_btab.htm

Wicked World:
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/b/black_sabbath/wicked_world_btab.htm

Sunshine of Your Love:
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/c/cream/sunshine_of_your_love_ver2_btab.htm