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Bass players MUST play electric guitar as well?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Thomas Kievit, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    So there's this guy I know for a while now who's playing electric guitar and as far as he thinks, I have to play both the bass guitar and the electric guitar so I could develope myself better..

    But thing is, I don't wanna play the electric guitar, I've choosen for the bass guitar cause I just like it.

    So do I have to play the electric guitar to get more out of my bass playing? :confused:
  2. Garrett151


    Mar 23, 2011
    Does this guy play bass?
  3. Russ Frost

    Russ Frost

    Aug 30, 2006
    Short answer, no. BUT the more you know about all of the pieces that come together to form a song or a band then the better off you are as a musician.
  4. basscase42


    Jul 12, 2012
    No you do not. I can see why one would think that, but in my opinion it might help but you don't absolutely have to.
  5. Gougedeye

    Gougedeye Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Central Washington
    That seems a ridiculous assumption on his part. Although, I will say as a frustrated guitar player and a pretty decent bass player, I wish I would have taken those guitar lesson a little more seriously.
  6. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    I mean...
    any cross training would improve your skill, and better understanding, musically, other instruments and pitch ranges is certainly useful

    But no, it is absolutely not necessary for any reason
  7. Zootsuitbass


    Mar 13, 2011
    I've recently started working on my guitar thang....

    It has definitely improved my ability to hear/execute single note melody stuff IE fills and solo phrases. Just doing it a lot.
  8. 66Atlas


    May 19, 2012
    nah, you'll just end up sounding like every single guitar player that thinks they can play bass :D
  9. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I found that learning a little bit about playing drums helped my bass playing more than learning a bit about guitar.

    I suspect dabbling with any other instrument will help your musical understanding in a unique way.
  10. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I've been playing bass for 25 years and I'm useless on guitar! Will playing some guitar help your bass playing? Undoubtedly. Will playing some piano instead help even more? I'd say yes. An advantage guitarists often have over bassists is that their knowledge of chords tends to be more developed. But you don't need to play guitar to work on your chords. You can do that on piano or (to a more limited degree) on bass. Having said that, I like the idea of a bassist who has spent some time studying drums and/or percussion more than I like the idea of a bassist who has studied guitar. :D
  11. Definitely

    Definitely Banned

    My bass teacher does both, likes bass better, but pushes me to bring in my guitar and learn more about the guitar's role and how chords are built and played etc. so I am better equipped for songwriting and even jamming. I fought him for so long, not wanting to miss any time I can get on my bass, but now I've started taking the guitar and I'm actually learning a lot. I think it's a good idea to know both, you don't have to intensely study the guitar, but it's good to know your way around the chords.
  12. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    I'm going to go against the rest here and say definitely yes. :bag:
  13. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Always overcompensating Supporting Member

    Jul 5, 2010
    I hate playing guitar. Unless there's some crazy broadneck guitars out there...I just can't play them. Everything is too damn close to everything, and I'm just useless if you want me to play anything that isn't an E minor chord.

    However, I can only see it helping if you know how to play both. The more music the better.
  14. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I played guitar for 3 1/2 years before I took up bass and it certainly helped me a great deal. But, it's not necessary.
  15. What an idiot. EVERYone knows you must learn kazoo & bass. Guitar goes w/oboe, drums w/koto. :)
  16. Coldmilk


    Jun 13, 2011
    San Diego
    Learning about other instruments is beneficial regardless of your chosen instrument. It's not just guitar. Knowing the capabilities and roles of other instruments can help you work better with them on your primary instrument. But you don't necessarily have to learn how to play guitar. Just understand the musical role it plays.

    Although, the electric guitar and the electric bass are pretty similar technically-wise, so you could transfer some of the techniques learned on guitar to bass, but I don't see why you would have to learn guitar just for that.
  17. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    No, but you would be well advised to study the piano.
  18. I play just about anything with strings. Guitar first, then mandolin, then bass, then banjo. Also a little uke and violin. Does it help me when I play bass? It helps with understanding the fret board, but that's about it. Do I think every bass player should learn guitar? Nooooo, just learn your instrument, no matter what you play!
  19. I've been a decent bass player for 40 plus years. If you heard me play guitar, you'd die laughing. I'm completely lame..
  20. BBox Bass

    BBox Bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Pennsylvania
    Is knowing guitar necessary? No. Does it help? Absolutely. It's great for when you aren't really familiar with a song; if you know what chords the guitarist is playing, you'll know what notes you can play that will fit. It also makes you more versatile.

    Example: I have been playing both bass and guitar since I was 13, but my 80s band knew me only as a bassist. A few years ago, the band booked a gig on a date that I was playing with my folk group (as a guitarist). Since they didn't want to give up the booking, I told them to find a sub.

    The night of the show, my other gig finished early so I went to the bar where my band was playing because I wanted to have a few beers and just listen. About half an hour before the show started, the rhythm guitarist broke out in hives and had to be rushed to the ER. I told the band that I could run home, grab my guitar rig, and probably make it back in time for the second or third song. They looked at me dubiously and said "Uhhh, well, okay." By the end of the night, they all admitted to being stunned that I was able to keep up. "How did you do that? We didn't know you had it in you!" the lead guitarist exclaimed.

    I replied "No matter what instrument I'm playing, I learn songs by chords. If I know the chord, I know what notes will work." Upon further discussion, I learned that they had been accustomed to playing with bassists who only knew notes and/or fingerboard positions.

    These days they like having me around because I also play keyboards and know how to fill in the holes since they booted the rhythm guitarist due to his excessive personal drama (I was not in the band when this happened).

    Incidentally, my ability to passably play drums has helped me understand how to work with a drummer. As someone mentioned above, cross-training is good for you!

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