#1
So I've been reading on here that when you switch over to bass from guitar, you should make sure you "play the bass like a bass".
How exactly do I make sure I'm not playing it like a guitar?
Although I'm actually not too worried cuz either way it's fun but yeah.
#2
dont use a pick. start having a looooootttttt more groove
gear

Fender Standard Tele (with kill-switch)
PRS SE Custom
Fender Hot Rod Deville
Boss DD-3 Delay
Boss GE-7 Eq
Boss DS-1 distortion
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff
Boss CS-3 Compression
Digitech Whammy
Dunlop ZW-45 Zakk Wylde Signature wah
#3
Quote by rage6945
dont use a pick. start having a looooootttttt more groove

I agree with half of your statement. There are pick players out there that groove just as well as finger-style bassists. But I do agree that getting a sense of "groove" can help immensely in becoming a better bassist. Find a solid drummer (or even a drum machine) and just jam. Lock in with it, and go 'til you can't go anymore.
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#4
Quote by rage6945
dont use a pick. start having a looooootttttt more groove


Don't use a pick? Bad advice on all counts. A REAL bassist knows how to use many techniques in order to get the sound that fits the song best.

And on a personal note, I never felt like I hit the "groove" when I play bass. I just do what comes naturally and try and write a complementary piece that links the drums to the vocals. Then again, when I think groove I think funk, so that's just me.
#5
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Don't use a pick? Bad advice on all counts. A REAL bassist knows how to use many techniques in order to get the sound that fits the song best.

And on a personal note, I never felt like I hit the "groove" when I play bass. I just do what comes naturally and try and write a complementary piece that links the drums to the vocals. Then again, when I think groove I think funk, so that's just me.


you are correct, but a real bassist knows when to put the pick down. take that guy from fall out boy for example
gear

Fender Standard Tele (with kill-switch)
PRS SE Custom
Fender Hot Rod Deville
Boss DD-3 Delay
Boss GE-7 Eq
Boss DS-1 distortion
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff
Boss CS-3 Compression
Digitech Whammy
Dunlop ZW-45 Zakk Wylde Signature wah
#6
Quote by rage6945
you are correct, but a real bassist knows when to put the pick down. take that guy from fall out boy for example


But you completely disregarded the pick altogether, which is a huge mistake. I'm a huge advocate of using whatever means to get the right sound. Sometimes a 2p coin gets the right sound. Telling someone to stop using a pick is plain wrong.

Telling someone to learn how to use their fingers is a completely different story though.
#7
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Don't use a pick? Bad advice on all counts. A REAL bassist knows how to use many techniques in order to get the sound that fits the song best.

I agree with that multi-versed styles concept, but, the dude who said "ditch the pick" also has a good point - but only in this context.

When you're coming from guitar to bass, you'll find you'll retain much of your guitar licks and chops if you keep the pick, keep the strap low, and play it like a 4-string guitar. If you ditch the pick, ride the bass a bit higher, and move the fingers, you'll find yourself so out of your comfort zone that you'd need to "adapt" to the bass and learn things the proper way from square one, as opposed to trying to retrofit your guitar prowess to bass.
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#8
Quote by thefitz
I agree with that multi-versed styles concept, but, the dude who said "ditch the pick" also has a good point - but only in this context.

When you're coming from guitar to bass, you'll find you'll retain much of your guitar licks and chops if you keep the pick, keep the strap low, and play it like a 4-string guitar. If you ditch the pick, ride the bass a bit higher, and move the fingers, you'll find yourself so out of your comfort zone that you'd need to "adapt" to the bass and learn things the proper way from square one, as opposed to trying to retrofit your guitar prowess to bass.

fitz, your a genius.
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#9
Quote by hey_ugly
fitz, your a genius.


Don't tell him that. It gets to his head like champagne at the Bass forum regular's Christmas party

Although I'm going to disagree with Fiz on the "learn the right way" point. I don't think there is a right way. There's a preconceived notion of what a bassist should do to pay their dues. However, I don't think a bassist should have to pay their dues, just play. The way you learn should have no bearing, as long as you do what YOU want to do as a bassist. I know I said I love learning as many techniques as possible- that doesn't work for some people. Some people just want to rock out with a low hung bass and a pick. Doesn't make them any less of a bassist.
#10
No, hanging low with a pick doesn't, but when they're in the mindset of a guitar player, they might find themselves adapting and resorting to old guitar player habits that, after a while, can be IMPOSSIBLE to break. That, in turn, reduces the effectiveness of their playing.

I think in order for you to cross over efficiently to a new instrument, you need to get totally out of your comfort zone and learn there. Everything should be new to you, and I think that's the most effective and powerful way to learn, as opposed to "oh, this is the bass version of this" or "when I'm on guitar, I'd do this." I think the automatic easiest way to get out of your guitar player comfort zone is to move the bass to a different spot and play with your fingers - i.e. very little in common with guitar, so you don't get stuck in old habits. I think crossing over to bass from guitar should be around the same learning curve as crossing over to drums from guitar. Or piano. This may be a bit of a hyperbole, but you could use a pick on drums and use a pick on piano, and you might become a virtuoso, but you might have had an easier go at it had you totally started from the ground up and treated them totally differently. Picks are too remniscent of guitars if you're a guitar player and I think that limits your learning at first.

Hanging low and using a pick doesn't make you less of a bassist, but when starting out, I don't think it makes you any less of a guitarist, either, especially if bass is just a hobby.

BTW, sug!
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#12
Yeah, totally. I guess I'm a big proponent of getting the most out of your practice time. Efficiency is important to me.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#13
Quote by Your41Plague12
I agree with half of your statement. There are pick players out there that groove just as well as finger-style bassists. But I do agree that getting a sense of "groove" can help immensely in becoming a better bassist. Find a solid drummer (or even a drum machine) and just jam. Lock in with it, and go 'til you can't go anymore.

^^
great point about locking up. when i switched over i still found myself playing rhythm guitar-like parts. your now part of the rhythm section, but your going to want your playing to accent the drums and guitars. you can still go out on the edge and lay down some cools fills and stuff, but bass is about being the solid ground that the music revolves itself around. Anyway, thats my take on it all, and yeah, keep on groovin.
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#14
Im sure what he means when he says dont play your bass like a guitarist is not to play lead bass. A lot of times I've found a guitar player wants the bass line simple so he can play over it with more leadway to experiment, or perhaps to show off. In my opinion all members of the band should get their moment to shine and know their role the rest of the time. The best bands of all time seem to do this...for example, listen to the chili peppers or black sabbath or tool or zeppelin, pink floyd, etc. etc. When all members of a band incorporate their best ideas those are the results you get.

When jamming with my friends I try to play simple, supportive basslines when they are playing something complex, and if everyone is silent or not creating anything really standoutish I'll use the time to play a cool riff/line I came up with.

Anyhow, chances are whoever said that to you is a twit.
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#15
On the early Iron Maiden albums Steve played his bass almost like he was playing rhythm guitar, while the two guitars played lead harmonies.
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#16
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Don't tell him that. It gets to his head like champagne at the Bass forum regular's Christmas party

Although I'm going to disagree with Fiz on the "learn the right way" point. I don't think there is a right way. There's a preconceived notion of what a bassist should do to pay their dues. However, I don't think a bassist should have to pay their dues, just play. The way you learn should have no bearing, as long as you do what YOU want to do as a bassist. I know I said I love learning as many techniques as possible- that doesn't work for some people. Some people just want to rock out with a low hung bass and a pick. Doesn't make them any less of a bassist.



Man you are so right - whats wrong with wearing your bass low and playing with a pick - it doesnt matter how you play as long as you're happy. Why cant more people think like you? *Takes hat off to you*
#17
When I started playing bass I used to play it like a guitar, I still use picks sometimes for faster stuff but generally I use my fingers.

I'm still rubbish though haha.

It really doesn't matter how you play it, just as long as you are comfortable with the method you are using.
#18
I'm a terrible bass player, and I probably do play the bass like the guitar. But, I do advocate learning with your fingers.

Playing with a pick will give you a specific sound like Delirium said, however finger style is a must learn, atleast imo.
#19
often bassists play more guitar-like in bands with one guitarist, in order to fill out the sound.
#20
Quote by jimRH7
often bassists play more guitar-like in bands with one guitarist, in order to fill out the sound.

Meh, I see what you're saying, but I'm pretty sure it's very often the opposite.

In my personal experience, a bassist playing with two (or more!) guitarists has to be more of the filler, because there's simply not enough elbow room for the two guitarists to have their limelight AND the bassist. This, of course, is a gross generalization with many exceptions, but it often happens, and in fact did with me.

A bassist and a guitarist, on the other hand, can compliment each other a lot more easily. The oft-used and very good example is, of course, Flea and Frusciante. And I definitely also found that to be the case whenever I only had one guitarist.

Then again, a lot of that might depend on the genre, too. Hell, there are plenty of x-factors I guess. Whatever, there's my $0.02.
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#21
Quote by WhyLater
Meh, I see what you're saying, but I'm pretty sure it's very often the opposite.

In my personal experience, a bassist playing with two (or more!) guitarists has to be more of the filler, because there's simply not enough elbow room for the two guitarists to have their limelight AND the bassist. This, of course, is a gross generalization with many exceptions, but it often happens, and in fact did with me.

A bassist and a guitarist, on the other hand, can compliment each other a lot more easily. The oft-used and very good example is, of course, Flea and Frusciante. And I definitely also found that to be the case whenever I only had one guitarist.

Then again, a lot of that might depend on the genre, too. Hell, there are plenty of x-factors I guess. Whatever, there's my $0.02.



Tho Im guessing you're right most of time, my experience has been totally opposite, my old band had 1 guitarist,and it was always made clear it was HIS band, and he would only let me play simple, root note based bass lines, wouldnt allow me fills or runs and was generally the caricature of the cliched guitarist arse-hole

my new band ahs 2 guitarist,but encourage me to play less root note based, but complimetary bass lines, with much more freedom,and want the odd bass solo and fill, not soo much it becomes all about the bass, but enough to show off my skills (such as they are), the mindset of the bands are very different

but yea, it took me time to lock into drums, but now I feel comfortable with the bassists role in music
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#23
Well, thanks for all of the replies, but mainly what I want to know is what habits I shouldn't get into, I guess I worded my first question wrong.
#24
well, i'd say that the more notes you play won't make it sound any better, although alot of poeple say that about guitar as well.
#25
Quote by iamnotrabid
Well, thanks for all of the replies, but mainly what I want to know is what habits I shouldn't get into, I guess I worded my first question wrong.



I came to bass after decades of playing guitar and made many, many mistakes myself. So, with that in mind, you are now going to be blessed (or cursed) with anarkee’s personal list of …

Some items guitarists need to know about going from guitar to bass


1. Get a good wide strap and use it always. That thin guitar strap is not going to be sufficient; you now are in the possession of an instrument that has heft and substance. Bass also requires a bit more finger strength than guitar in the fretting hand; your fretting hand needs to concentrate on fretting not holding up that neck. A good strap will save your shoulder and allow your fretting fingers to fly powerfully up and down the fret board.

2. Look at your fretting hand and get that thumb where it needs to be. Your thumb should not be over the fret board. There should always be space between your thumb/index finger and your fret board. This will help you place your thumb correctly behind the neck, where it can act effectively as a pivot point. Also your fretting arm should be closer to the body than when you play guitar. Again, your elbow becomes the pivot point.

3. Watch where you fret the strings. There’s no fudge factor here. If you don’t fret correctly, you will be rewarded with fret buzz and sore fingers for having to press down too hard.

4. Finger style points. Watch the position of your plucking hand. It should be nearly perpendicular to the strings. (This is a huge correction if you played classical guitar or Travis picked guitar at some point).

5. When playing finger style alternate those fingers!!! Don’t hook (use one finger). Bad habit!!! Bad habit!! And one that will impede your speed significantly.

6. Remember method acting? When you were told to act like a tree you needed to think like a tree? Well. the same goes for bass playing. Don’t try to translate bass through your knowledge of guitar. Think like a bass player. You are a rhythm instrument and as one are closely aligned with the drummer. Listen to the drum and lock with it.

7. Which brings me to point #7. Get a metronome and a drum loop of some sort. Practice with them constantly. Locking your rhythm and timing is not important; it’s vital. Unlike guitar there is no forgiveness here. You need to be dead on and yes to repeat the above, locked with the drummer.

8. Learn your basics on bass. Don’t skip rudiments because you know guitar. Learn them in the beginning and avoid having to go back and learn them later on. Scales are your friend, make them part of your practice routing. You are not learning a “type of guitar” you are learning a new instrument, bass.

9. Don’t overplay your part. Less is sometimes more. Again you are providing foundation for the most part, not lead licks. You are the engine that makes the band move (and the dancers groove). If you provide a good solid bottom, everyone else sounds better. The listener may not always notice that you are there, but they should notice when you’re not!

10. This could be a discourse on guitar amps, pedals etc being used (mistakenly) for playing bass, but the FAQ does a marvelous job on this topic, so enough said.

And if anyone else wants to add or argue a point or two here, they are most welcome to do so...
#27
Quote by anarkee
I came to bass after decades of playing guitar and made many, many mistakes myself. So, with that in mind, you are now going to be blessed (or cursed) with anarkee’s personal list of …

Some items guitarists need to know about going from guitar to bass


1. Get a good wide strap and use it always. That thin guitar strap is not going to be sufficient; you now are in the possession of an instrument that has heft and substance. Bass also requires a bit more finger strength than guitar in the fretting hand; your fretting hand needs to concentrate on fretting not holding up that neck. A good strap will save your shoulder and allow your fretting fingers to fly powerfully up and down the fret board.

2. Look at your fretting hand and get that thumb where it needs to be. Your thumb should not be over the fret board. There should always be space between your thumb/index finger and your fret board. This will help you place your thumb correctly behind the neck, where it can act effectively as a pivot point. Also your fretting arm should be closer to the body than when you play guitar. Again, your elbow becomes the pivot point.

3. Watch where you fret the strings. There’s no fudge factor here. If you don’t fret correctly, you will be rewarded with fret buzz and sore fingers for having to press down too hard.

4. Finger style points. Watch the position of your plucking hand. It should be nearly perpendicular to the strings. (This is a huge correction if you played classical guitar or Travis picked guitar at some point).

5. When playing finger style alternate those fingers!!! Don’t hook (use one finger). Bad habit!!! Bad habit!! And one that will impede your speed significantly.

6. Remember method acting? When you were told to act like a tree you needed to think like a tree? Well. the same goes for bass playing. Don’t try to translate bass through your knowledge of guitar. Think like a bass player. You are a rhythm instrument and as one are closely aligned with the drummer. Listen to the drum and lock with it.

7. Which brings me to point #7. Get a metronome and a drum loop of some sort. Practice with them constantly. Locking your rhythm and timing is not important; it’s vital. Unlike guitar there is no forgiveness here. You need to be dead on and yes to repeat the above, locked with the drummer.

8. Learn your basics on bass. Don’t skip rudiments because you know guitar. Learn them in the beginning and avoid having to go back and learn them later on. Scales are your friend, make them part of your practice routing. You are not learning a “type of guitar” you are learning a new instrument, bass.

9. Don’t overplay your part. Less is sometimes more. Again you are providing foundation for the most part, not lead licks. You are the engine that makes the band move (and the dancers groove). If you provide a good solid bottom, everyone else sounds better. The listener may not always notice that you are there, but they should notice when you’re not!

10. This could be a discourse on guitar amps, pedals etc being used (mistakenly) for playing bass, but the FAQ does a marvelous job on this topic, so enough said.

And if anyone else wants to add or argue a point or two here, they are most welcome to do so...


Daaaaang, thanks, that was exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for.
#28
Quote by anarkee


2. Look at your fretting hand and get that thumb where it needs to be. Your thumb should not be over the fret board.



I sometimes use my thumb for fretting notes!

the rest is good stuff, though.
#31
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Phase that out. Your thumb is there for support reasons, to give the rest of your hand an anchor.


Well, you right in a way, the thumb is there for support reasons, but it is not the only purpose, try learning Always With You, Always With Me by Satch, and you'll see that you may also use your thumb for fretting.

Well, another info to support this is the two ways of handling guitars - the traditional and the baseball. In traditional you place your thumb in the middle of the back of the fretboard, this one helps you avoid lightly touching (w/c sounds bad) the string below the string that you are fretting. In baseball, you handle the fret board like a baseball bat, this gives you much support for bending.

Hope this makes sense.
#33
Quote by rage6945
you are correct, but a real bassist knows when to put the pick down. take that guy from fall out boy for example


Have you ever heard of John Campbell?
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#34
Quote by fleajr_1412
Have you ever heard of John Campbell?


enough of this pick/no pick argument, this kids learning bass, he's gotta learn how to use his fingers whether he uses a pick or not.

edit: your avatar is very risque, i like it haha
gear

Fender Standard Tele (with kill-switch)
PRS SE Custom
Fender Hot Rod Deville
Boss DD-3 Delay
Boss GE-7 Eq
Boss DS-1 distortion
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff
Boss CS-3 Compression
Digitech Whammy
Dunlop ZW-45 Zakk Wylde Signature wah
Last edited by rage6945 at Mar 8, 2008,
#36
Quote by domenic_665
Well, you right in a way, the thumb is there for support reasons, but it is not the only purpose, try learning Always With You, Always With Me by Satch, and you'll see that you may also use your thumb for fretting.

Well, another info to support this is the two ways of handling guitars - the traditional and the baseball. In traditional you place your thumb in the middle of the back of the fretboard, this one helps you avoid lightly touching (w/c sounds bad) the string below the string that you are fretting. In baseball, you handle the fret board like a baseball bat, this gives you much support for bending.

Hope this makes sense.


To an extent yes, but if you have smaller hands using your thumb for fretting is nigh on impossible and will restrict your other fingers from moving efficiently. I believe this to be true for bass players when they start out playing as well.

On bending--I bend using two fingers and anchor my thumb, pressing against the back of the neck. This also allows better transition to the next note as well. You can build the strength in the fingers for a good bend without having to death grip the neck as a counterbalance.
#37
All this "bassists should play like bassists and guitarists should play like guitarists" crap is nonsense. Play however the **** you want. As for the pick thing, a pick doesnt make you any less of a bass player. Was Jeff Beck any less of a guitar player for playing with his fingers?
If everyone played the stereotypical role of bass, itd be a pretty boring instrument. But in reality its one of the most versatile instruments ever, and anyone close minded to the people taking advantage of that fact is just plain and simple, an idiot.

/megoingofftopic25times

EDIT: Congratulations anarkee! I had no idea you were up to become a mod.
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