1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Anyone make/not make a complete transition from guitar to bass?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by _Some Dude, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I go back and forth between guitar and bass and keyboards. I studied bass in college, but always had a guitar. Just my opinion, but if you play long enough and put in enough effort, eventually you become a musician and can play music, not an instrument. At that point, it doesn't matter what instrument you are playing. Currently I'm not playing bass in a band, but I'm sure I will again at some point.
    JRA, BBox Bass, RyanOh and 2 others like this.
  2. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Bass is my main (getting old, we looking at ~20y experience) but I got into guitar for writing when my guitarist moved away. Enjoy guitar, I do what I want with it- have a sick setup (Tremoverb/Emperor cab) not too concerned about being a guitarist in a band. I mainly play odd time progressive metal and sludge/d00m and tune my 7 to F#. More interested in recording.

    I jammed with some cats (after putting a d00m angle on everything for 30 mins) and said- "I have a limited range on guitar, and this was it."
  3. yes! I agree completely!!!!
    lfmn16 likes this.
  4. IMHO every bass player worth his salt should know how to play guitar. Not necessary lead (I can't), but know how to play it. This will really help you see both the rhythm of the drums and the melody of the guitar.
    bassdude51, bpmben and BurnOut like this.
  5. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    Went to college for guitar, now I only play bass. Still love guitar and have a bunch, but bass gets me the gigs.
    BurnOut likes this.
  6. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    I've played guitar since 1978, only rhythm primarily. Never been in a band, only jamming with people. One thing we were always lacking was a bass player. I still didn't take the hint till 4 years ago. Made the switch to bass, got in a band almost immediately. I don't try to play "lead bass" because I never played much lead guitar.
    I still play guitar pretty regularly, and our guitar player has been teaching me how to play lead. I still love playing a solid rhythm for people. Actually wouldn't mind doing a Paul Stanley kinda vocals/rhythm guitar thing in the future.
    I also picked up a sub gig for a major band here in town as a bass player. So bass is definitely the instrument that's gonna get me stage time.
    Peace N Chicken Grease
  7. I started playing guitar over 45 years ago with a few short stints as bass player. Recently the band I played guitar in ended. I auditioned for bass player in a classic rock band and got the spot. My new love is playing bass although I still like to play my guitar once and awhile. If anybody asks tho, I'm a bassist.
  8. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    I never made a full transition to guitar FROM bass, but merely added it to my skill set. There is really no reason you can't be proficient on both as there is alot of similarity between the instruments. They can also play off each other...learning certain guitar skillsets might help your bass playing and vice versa.

    I've now added upright bass to my tool belt as well. I find even if i am not practicing guitar or electric bass as much, the skills never really go away, you just need to practice for a few weeks to shake off the rust and you'll be about back to where you were before you took a break from it.
  9. bpmben


    Jan 13, 2018
    Hertfordshire UK
    Started out on drums, added lead vocals when the singer stopped turning up, learned guitar and now gigging on bass and vocals. I think that a basic understanding of the other instruments goes a long way in helping communicate ideas.
  10. Totally agree. I was a drummer and gigged on drums for 20+ years. That may be some of the most important lessons for bass that I had, learned about tempo and how to stay in time.
    bpmben likes this.
  11. _Some Dude

    _Some Dude

    Sep 14, 2016
    I agree.

    For the same reason I think it’s useful for bassists to also know how to play the drums. Don’t need to be great at it, but understanding rudiments and being able to produce a few common fills goes a long way to being able to lock in.

    Agree. I spent about 13 years playing side and bass drums in various highland bands. I think this has been more valuable to me as a bass player than being a guitar player.
    bpmben and WI Short Scaler like this.
  12. Redaxes


    Aug 8, 2015
    This came home with me today
    Sold my MIA Tele when I got more into bass ( wish I had kept it).
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 12:19 PM
    _Some Dude likes this.
  13. Uncle K

    Uncle K The bass player doesn't get a sandwich Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I fully transitioned from drums to bass.
    Artman likes this.
  14. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    After the better part of two decades playing mostly guitar (and some drums), I was recruited to play bass by a band about 20 years ago. And I've played bass more consistently than any other instrument since then. That said, I still mess around on guitar and I took up playing steel guitar (pedal, lap, straight, resonator) about 5 years ago. I've probably bought and sold 5x the number of guitars of all types than basses in the last 20 years.

    Have I made a complete transition? I tell ya when I get there!
    bpmben likes this.
  15. Artman

    Artman Supporting Member

    Almost five years ago, I stopped playing bass completely. I played only guitar until recently when I realized that I simply do not have enough free time to become nearly as good a guitarist as I already am a bass player after all of these years. I would probably stick with it longer if I was significantly younger than I am. I did finally become comfortable with using a flat pick as a result of my guitar fling, so that’s good.
    I’ve just sold my guitar amp, and the electric guitar will be next. I might keep an inexpensive acoustic guitar around just for some occasional strumming but I might not even bother with that. I don’t know if making a 100% transition to guitar for a few years, then gradually transitioning to 100% bass counts, but there it is.

Share This Page