Hey Everyone

I've been playing guitar for 7 years now. I truly love it with all my heart and soul and i've gotten very good in that time period.

But now i've gotten it into my head to take up bass as a way to...

a)Give me an even better sense for rhythm
b)Give me something new to work on
c)Increase demand for me as a mucisian (i'm a way better then most guitarists but there's still faaaaar too many of them out there)
d)Learn a new instrument, which is never a bad thing
e)Because bass is f*cking awesome

I already listen to large amount of music that has an emphasis on bass. Lot's of funk, that sort of thing. One of my favourite musicians is Victor Wooten (bows reverently).

There's only one problem.... i have no idea where to start.

I know one or two things about bass but no-where near enough to be confident about making purchases etc.

Here's my questions...
-Are there any finger exercises i can do with or without my guitar that could help me get ready to handle a bass. (I use really thick strings for my guitar so my callus is already a lot thicker then most guitarists, but still not base-worthy yet)
-Which companies should i be looking at to try to find a good quality 4-string bass that has great bang for it's buck. How about bass amps?
-Could i get ANY form of helpful information that would allow me to avoid any common mistakes.

And in case your wondering, i would be playing Blues and Funk mostly. Possibly with some Classic Rock and the occasional Jazz. Also note that i'm not going to be giving up guitar.

ALL help is appreciated. Thanks very much for putting up with me.

Last edited by Falcatarius at May 8, 2006,
7 Years of Guitar, and you don't know what bass to buy?

And it is spelt Bass, not Base.

Want to build a Jackson, to be fairly freaking honest.

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Well you have the right attitude already, bassists are in high demand and it will make you a better musician in general. If you're already a good guitarist then you will take to the bass like a duck to water, your left hand will probably be good but your right hand will need work, it will be a challange getting your 2/3 fingers to move properly and slapping will be a whole new ball game for you. and if you use a pick you'll find it difficult to play as fast as you did on guitar because the strings are further apart, they have more tension on them and they're thicker. Just try to teach your right hand to play at a reasonable speed than play the excersises you do on guitar untill your right hand catches up with your left. Very soon you will be a competent bassist and your new skills on bass(hand strength and speed) will help you out a lot on guitar.
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Last edited by lost_it_again at May 9, 2006,
7 Years of Guitar, and you don't know what bass to buy?

Nope, i didn't get to meet to many bassists, and the ones i did were always associated with a punk or metal bands (which i'm not a huge fan of being around), or were very new to it so i couldn't really have a really learned.

So essentially i was totally bass-deprived for all my years of guitaring.

And it is spelt Bass, not Base.

Spelling error, my bad. (and i know how to spell it, the rest is correct) Cheeky fellow.

Just don't treat it as a guitar. Approach it as if you are learning a completely new instrument, not just guitar-ing and octave down. Otherwise you will be mroe likley to get bored with it, but as you listen to Victor Wooten that shouldn't be too much of an issue.
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best advice to anyone buying a guitar/bass go to the shop and try everything out within your price range, and some things above to have an idea, seeing as you been playing for a while you will tel apart good tone from bad so even better, same with amps, going down to the shop and sitting down is a must
Quote by IndieLee
7 Years of Guitar, and you don't know what bass to buy?

How the hell is he supposed to know what to look for in a bass, guitar is a completely differant instrument.

Quote by lost_it_again
Well you have ... and you're new skills on bass(hand strength and speed) will help you out a lot on guitar.

I second that. I started in a similar position to you (thought you're probably a better guitarist than me) and that happenned to me.

Like Yertle said, think about bass differently. Make sure your rythm is solid, especially when playing with a band. And when I write basslines I tend to think in arpeggios, intervals, and the notes in a chord. So knowledge of chord construction helps. And definatly learn how to read music if you can't already.

It's a learning curve, and it's a whole lotta fun.

As for basses, I dont know too much, but I've never played a great Squier, SX, or any other bass that comes ina a pack. Avoid packs like the plague. I got myself a Stagg active jazz bass type guitar (not sure on the model as it is not written on, but I think it's a Fusion) that I like. And good bassists that know tone say I get a good sound. BUt I played about 6 of them and the other 5 were crap, right out of the box, so it is a bit of a risk. Definatly play as many as you can, even if they are the exact same finish and model like I did. There are always lots of duds with cheap instruments.

On an amp, if you know that you will stick to it and you wanna play with a band, don't skimp and get a little combo. Even though I was starting out, I spend over a grand on my amp so that I had something that sounded decent, was gig worthy, and would last. I've never regretted it, even though it meant that I couldn't buy a new guitar. You'll save money by not constantly upgrading.

The catch is that you only really know what you want after playing bass for a while, and you need to develop an ear for tone just like you do for guitar. So go and play as many rigs as you can.

And lessons with a good teacher help tons, don't neglect that.

EDIT: Just reread your post to make sure I didn't miss anyhtign I could answer.

About callouses, on your left hand it shouldn't be a problem. I play .011's and I used to play a .012's (Ernie Ball not even slinkies, they were .012's but they were heavier than SRV's .013's ) Anyway, I haven't had any improvement in my callouses on my left hand. My right hand is another story. After long band practices it used to feel like my finger tips would fall off, but after a few months it gets alot better. And don't pop blisters, let them go naturally.

Oh, and you might wanna know about bass setup. I do it pretty much the same as I do it for my guitar, with great results. After I restrung my bass (using the same strings that it came with) it sounded, played, and stayed in tune alot better. If you want tips on setup, and on cleaning strings (since they're so expensive to buy) then feel free to ask.
"You can practice to attain knowledge, but you can't practice to attain wisdom." - Herbie Hancock
Last edited by TGM at May 9, 2006,
I was in a similar situation as you a year ago. I had been playing guitar for about 6-7 years, but I decided to take up playing bass aswell.
I must say from my guitar experience the transition to bass came fairly naturally (well the basics at least, as I still have loads I need to learn about bass playing) But it's wierd I still love playing guitar, but I seem to be picking up the bass alot more recently. I don't know why, I just really enjoy the emphasis of rhythm and the driving nature of the bass in the band. (I always enjoyed rhythm guitaring over lead anyway)

The best way to learn about bass imo is definatley just to listen to your favourite bassists playing, and see how they work with the rest of the band, and try and replicate that idea with your own riffs.
Personally I find all these books and online lessons way too tedious.

Anyway being a guitarist taking up bass is definatley a good move. You will now have much more band oppertunities, home recording oppertunities, knowledge about music, and the bass will improve your guitar skills too, as long as you don't neglect your guitar playing.
But also whenever you are bored of guitar, you can pick up the bass instead, and vis versa for the bass.

P.s. ignore the bass elitists who will slag you off for being a guitarist first
Last edited by radio_schizo at May 10, 2006,
Quote by IndieLee
7 Years of Guitar, and you don't know what bass to buy?

And it is spelt Bass, not Base.

annnd don't post just to pick on and/or laugh at someone's one typo.
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How much are you willing to pay for a new bass? Then we should be able to give you a few good choices.
Fender Jazz Bass
Squire Stratocaster
Yamaha RBX 170(Custom Paint)
Yamaha MagicStomp
Dunlop MXR Distortion +
Morley Dual Bass Wah
Peavey Basic 112