#1
I've been playing guitar for about a year and a half and I want to switch to bass. I want to continue guitar, but keep it on the side, so I won't throw away all my guitar learnings. I take lessons, and I can just switch them over to bass. Would it interrupt all my theory learning, or can I apply most of it to bass still?
#3
The clef changes but you can use all your theory knowlage because theory is universal between all instruments. Going to bass is a great idea, there are so many guitarists and no bassists!
So it goes.
#4
Bass is just a guitar with heavier strings and less strings, to be very basic.
Everything you learned from guitar you can apply to bass. But bass is a rhythm instrument and guitar is more lead, so get used to not being the loudest instrument on stage. ;D
#5
^In essence, that's right. But the mindset of bass and guitar are so deeply different, that if you go into it that way, you'll fail. As for the theory question theory is theory. Whether you apply it to jazz, classical, saxophone, guitar or bass is your call, but it's all theory.
#6
Quote by foob85
Bass is just a guitar with heavier strings and less strings, to be very basic.
Everything you learned from guitar you can apply to bass. But bass is a rhythm instrument and guitar is more lead, so get used to not being the loudest instrument on stage. ;D


To a very minor extent, there's a bit of truth there. But its a dangerous truth and one as guitarist going to bass could be a huge trap for you.

I was where you are right now. I spent years playing guitar and thought that picking up bass was not going to be a huge transition. I also figured I could just use all of that technique and mind set (esp. since I was a "rhythm guitarist") and go forth in the low end. In short, I spent several years acquiring a host of bad habits and techniques that took a year with a teacher to unravel and correct, from my hand position to my timing. Sad to say, its a long enough list that there isn't time or space here to mention.

I've said it before, and I state it here again. Your mindset needs to be closer to the drummer's than the guitarist. Being in the pocket at all times and building that foundation for everyone else is your prime directive. There is less room for mistakes and fudging as a bass player, but when you are right there and playing well, you and the drummer have the ability to take everyone else in the band up a notch.
#7
Quote by anarkee
To a very minor extent, there's a bit of truth there. But its a dangerous truth and one as guitarist going to bass could be a huge trap for you.

I was where you are right now. I spent years playing guitar and thought that picking up bass was not going to be a huge transition. I also figured I could just use all of that technique and mind set (esp. since I was a "rhythm guitarist") and go forth in the low end. In short, I spent several years acquiring a host of bad habits and techniques that took a year with a teacher to unravel and correct, from my hand position to my timing. Sad to say, its a long enough list that there isn't time or space here to mention.

I've said it before, and I state it here again. Your mindset needs to be closer to the drummer's than the guitarist. Being in the pocket at all times and building that foundation for everyone else is your prime directive. There is less room for mistakes and fudging as a bass player, but when you are right there and playing well, you and the drummer have the ability to take everyone else in the band up a notch.

I switched almost 20 years ago because I was one of 10 guitar players at school. The notes are the same, but the bass is a different beast (which I love.) As a guitar player you can kinda "float" over everything, but as a bass player you have to lock into the kick drum and become a unit with the drummer. If you can't get used to riding the quarter notes for half the night with an occasional run, then you better go back to guitar!
#8
I play guitar, but I always have to play bass for my friends bands, and we always improvise, so I never read tabs or look up bass lines.

I thought that the transition was incredibly natural and easy. If you know scales on the guitar, you know them on the bass, and you can just use them on the bass for the same effect.

The only thing that's different is you have to change your mindset a bit. You can't think of doing ripping leads and playing fast, you have to think of bass lines that would sound good with what the guitarist is doing, and you gotta feel tha funk!

Edit - Oh, I agree with what people say about being with the drummer. When you're jamming, the drums and bass normally lead the jam, because they have the most power and everyone listens to you. However, I disagree with the person who said you do the same thing all the time with occasional runs. As a bass player you can be just as, and even more, creative than the lead guitarist. Listen to Phil Lesh and you'll know what I'm talking about.
Last edited by Shackman10 at Feb 2, 2008,
#9
Quote by shanetrain1973
I switched almost 20 years ago because I was one of 10 guitar players at school. The notes are the same, but the bass is a different beast (which I love.) As a guitar player you can kinda "float" over everything, but as a bass player you have to lock into the kick drum and become a unit with the drummer. If you can't get used to riding the quarter notes for half the night with an occasional run, then you better go back to guitar!


Tell that to Primus.

It just takes someone with a bass mindset to think of a groove that will work well with the song. Sometimes that may be driving root notes, but more often than not, simply changing the rhythm of the root notes can spice up the bass lines a lot.
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#11
Quote by gm jack
Tell that to Primus.

It just takes someone with a bass mindset to think of a groove that will work well with the song. Sometimes that may be driving root notes, but more often than not, simply changing the rhythm of the root notes can spice up the bass lines a lot.

I agree with your sentiment, but playing like Les Claypool won't work in 99% of the situations you will be asked to play in. Actually there are a lot of bass players I know that don't like his playing.
I didn't mean that every song just rides the root, just that playing bass is about laying down the foundation and if he switches thinking that the spotlight will be on him like a guitar player he will be disappointed.
I definitely am not trying to talk him out of playing bass, because I enjoy the role I play immensely.