#1
Is their anything I really need to know about bass guitars before I get one? I mean it's just a guitar with 4 fat strings. How similar will a electric bass be to one of my electric guitars? Thanks for the help.
#2
Read the FAQ. Please...I beg you and then come back and see if you REALLY want to ask that question that particular way.
#4
okay that aside the bass plays a different way and just depending on what you are playing if metal harder rock or jazz hard it s fun and the main fact is you can put as many effects on
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#5
Threadstarter, mind telling me why a bass is a guitar with four fat strings, while a guitar is NOT a bass with six thin strings tuned in a totally stupid way?
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..
#6
Ha, sorry thefitz. I didn't mean it to be taken that way. I respect bass guitars, which is why I want to start playing one. But saying that to myself makes me feel less foreign to a bass by saying it's just like a instrument I can already play, just a little different making it it's own entirely different instrument.
#7
Quote by Duhduhdadanny
Ha, sorry thefitz. I didn't mean it to be taken that way. I respect bass guitars, which is why I want to start playing one. But saying that to myself makes me feel less foreign to a bass by saying it's just like a instrument I can already play, just a little different making it it's own entirely different instrument.


Thing is, it pretty much IS a completely different instrument. There's no way around it.
#8
Well, the first thing you have to do is STOP thinking like that. Sure, the electric bass is deceptively similar in appearance to a guitar, but in my opinion, if you want to be a successful bassist, you need to distinguish between the two.

I've said this before, but I'll truncate it for you:

There are a bunch of people on-forum who, when discussing technique, love the old "if it makes you happy, do whatever you want! Play with no hands! Hail USSR! There are no rules!" adage. However, personally, I think certain techniques lend themselves to speedier learning - ESPECIALLY when switching over. The former point of view is not helpful to anybody.

Approaching the bass as it's own instrument as if it were a piano, drums, or a violin IMO would be much more superficial to concise learning, as opposed to retrofitting guitar techniques onto the thing. When you use your guitar skills on bass, you're going to develop sloppy habits that are going to be hard to break.

My idea is to totally get out of your comfort zone as much as you can. Ditch the pick. It'll be a valuable tool later on, but right now, I think it'll do you more harm than good. Try playing fingerstyle - it should be totally Martian to you, and that's the idea. You'll start to feel the bass as it's own thing, instead of a big, low guitar.

Now, guitar players tend to have the worst bass left-hand technique going - get that thumb off the fretboard! Your thumb should be a pivot point at the back of the neck, and you should have one finger over a fret at all times - with your fingers parallel to the frets/perpendicular to the strings. None of this John Mayer nonsense.

Now, just those two relatively simple adjustments will shake you up enough to get you thinking (AFTER YOU READ THE FAQ). That'll keep you busy until you have concise questions to ask.

Or, "do whatever you want man. Nothing's wrong. Inefficient, yes, detremental, definitely, but if it's not totally wrong, it's totally valid." Whichever you prefer.
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..
#10
Quote by Deliriumbassist
^the former point of isn't helpful to anybody.... well, it certainly helped me, and it helped Larry Graham, didn't it?

Get your basics down, then do whatever the hell you want.

Larry Graham is a special case, and the music world was much different back then. I think styles are saturated enough that coming up with a new, innovative technique is a bit archaic and unrealistic.

You, and probably me learned by doing what we wanted, but (this is a bit presumptious) I'm willing to bet that our styles have converged, and if we learned to play the way we do now from day one, we'd be much better players. You can learn things yourself, or you can learn them from others. Regardless of that, however, I still say that just winging it and playing how you want is very, very inefficient as far as practice goes.
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..
#11
Quote by thefitz
Larry Graham is a special case, and the music world was much different back then. I think styles are saturated enough that coming up with a new, innovative technique is a bit archaic and unrealistic.

You, and probably me learned by doing what we wanted, but (this is a bit presumptious) I'm willing to bet that our styles have converged, and if we learned to play the way we do now from day one, we'd be much better players. You can learn things yourself, or you can learn them from others. Regardless of that, however, I still say that just winging it and playing how you want is very, very inefficient as far as practice goes.


I've been winging it from day one, and I've been very, very happy doing it If your goal is to go out and be the best technically proficient, fair enough, knuckle down and do stuff by the book. To me, that isn't fun, it's a chore. I love finding out how to do stuff myself, and I don't feel it's been detrimental. But ah well.
#12
Well there you go. I think it's a case of how one wants to learn. Threadstarter, I leave it up to you - however, I think being TOTALLY self-taught at times doesn't keep you super-motivated, especially when trying to learn unpleasant things. Nobody WANTS to be lost playing an instrument - however, you might find yourself better because of it. That's just my thought.
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
Let me explain this very simply, in a way a person with a guitarist mindset can understand.

A bass guitar is like a rythm guitar, but with the utmost focus on rythm. Sure, a rythm guitar can shake things up and play lead for a few parts of a song, but a bass does not have such luxeries. Bass soloes are very rare, and even frowned upon in certain circles, so do not expect to be the center of attention as you are with the guitar.

Another preconseption people have with bass is that since it has less strings, it is easier. Technically, they are right. In they're mindset, a bass player is someone who just thumps away roots. This is probably the most important concept you need to know learning bass, bass guitar is as hard as you want it to be. You could be perfectly happy doing a cover of Fall Out Boy, or you may want to try a cover of Woolten.

Either way, play bass to have fun with it, or else there is no point of learning it at all.
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#14
Quote by kranoscorp
Let me explain this very simply, in a way a person with a guitarist mindset can understand.

A bass guitar is like a rythm guitar, but with the utmost focus on rythm. Sure, a rythm guitar can shake things up and play lead for a few parts of a song, but a bass does not have such luxeries. Bass soloes are very rare, and even frowned upon in certain circles, so do not expect to be the center of attention as you are with the guitar.

Another preconseption people have with bass is that since it has less strings, it is easier. Technically, they are right. In they're mindset, a bass player is someone who just thumps away roots. This is probably the most important concept you need to know learning bass, bass guitar is as hard as you want it to be. You could be perfectly happy doing a cover of Fall Out Boy, or you may want to try a cover of Woolten.

Either way, play bass to have fun with it, or else there is no point of learning it at all.


I find this to be untrue.
I find it sad to say but most bassist don't have the skill to solo. You have to get a feel for it not just messing around in pentatonic scales like guitar.

All my bands have been for my bass solos.
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#15
Quote by Woogles
I find this to be untrue.
I find it sad to say but most bassist don't have the skill to solo. You have to get a feel for it not just messing around in pentatonic scales like guitar.

All my bands have been for my bass solos.

I saw one TV show (some sort of a battle of the bands), in which a band did solos with every member in the band for a song, and the judges shot them down entirely because it had a bass solo in it. While I agree a bass solo is nice, it is not nice for most songs.
-Instruments-
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1960's Banjuke
#16
I found that you have all helped me especially thefitz theory on completely forgeting what I know about guitar and treating it like a completely other instrument, thank you for that. I am truely grateful.
#17
I'm not completely convinced about this "forget everything" business.
I use chord shapes and scales that i picked up from playing the guitar.

Having said that, i do agree that they are completely different instruments, when playing bass, you have to be tight with rhythm, tighter than a rhythm guitarist, it is essentially a percussion instrument in many ways (hence the name "rhythm section" for the drummer and bassist in a band)
It's kind of analogous to a piano player changing to organ - the music and the way you play it, pedals etc, is completely different, but the white and black keys still represent the same notes.
#19
Let me try to put a slightly different spin on this, and try to clarify DeleriumBassist's point a bit.

I always go back to an analogy that smb used once. Instruments are like languages. Think of theory like basic grammar rules (verbs nouns, past / present / future tense etc etc). For the most part the rules transcend languages and can be applied across the board. But saying you can play bass because you know guitar, is like saying you can speak French because you know English.

Long story short, I was once where you are now. Don't make the mistakes I made.Just think of bass as a totally different instrument from the get go and don't try to relate it to your guitar knowledge. If you try to translate bass as a guitarist, its a trap that will create bad habits and set you back.
#20
Quote by thefitz
Threadstarter, mind telling me why a bass is a guitar with four fat strings, while a guitar is NOT a bass with six thin strings tuned in a totally stupid way?


I never thought about it that way =o.


And to TS, bass isn't as easy as you'd think. I play guitar, whenever I go to a friend's house I use his bass. It's pretty hard, it uses different styles and techniques than guitar.
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#21
Quote by anarkee
Let me try to put a slightly different spin on this, and try to clarify DeleriumBassist's point a bit.

I always go back to an analogy that smb used once. Instruments are like languages. Think of theory like basic grammar rules (verbs nouns, past / present / future tense etc etc). For the most part the rules transcend languages and can be applied across the board. But saying you can play bass because you know guitar, is like saying you can speak French because you know English.

Long story short, I was once where you are now. Don't make the mistakes I made.Just think of bass as a totally different instrument from the get go and don't try to relate it to your guitar knowledge. If you try to translate bass as a guitarist, its a trap that will create bad habits and set you back.


Well, chord and scale shapes are pretty much all i use from guitar on bass, it's always been Bass before guitar for me, I didn't learn guitar before i learned bass, i just picked stuff up from guitar magazines etc, i kind of leart the bassics of both at about the same time, but I played bass in my band and own a bass, the most i can do on guitar is hammer out a few chords, I'm not a "failed guitarist" bassist, i genuinely prefer it.

oh, and a pick! but that's a personal preferance, I think it sounds better.
#22
^I'm not a failed guitarist either. I consider myself a very good rhythm guitarist who switched to bass and plays both. But they are significantly different in the mindset and approach.

The point I was trying to make is that too often if you are decent at a related instrument you try to "translate" your learning process through the instrument you know. Yes, you will get the gist but often its as kludgey and as successful as using Babelfish to translate a foreign language webpage into your native language. Also, you will try to skip the basics and miss a good part of what forms the important foundation of your skills.
#23
Quote by Duhduhdadanny
Is their anything I really need to know about bass guitars before I get one? I mean it's just a guitar with 4 fat strings. How similar will a electric bass be to one of my electric guitars? Thanks for the help.



Rethink that sentence. Two different jobs/purposes, two different mentalities. Think like that and I promise you'll never be good at bass.
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