Bassists that are also guitarists

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Nick Danger, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. I've been playing bass and guitar in bands for over 25 years.
    I auditioned as bassist for one of the classic rock bands I'm in now, got the spot and hit it off really well with the lead guitarist / BL. I played bass for over a year until one day when the guitar player invited me to jam with another band as a guitarist. He had never heard me play guitar live and when we were finished with the jam he told me he wanted me to move from bass to 2nd guitar. I love playing both so I said sure.
    Now comes the issue of replacing my bassist spot. We auditioned 5 people (a lot for this small city) but none of them were what we were looking for. We really want to be a 4 piece band with me on guitar but are also wanting to get busy gigging asap.
    I proposed that I move back to the bassist spot so we can hit the streets sooner, hopefully we find another bass player along the way. I can switch back to guitar anytime.

    Would you go out sooner as a 3 piece act hoping to find another bassist or hold out until new bassist is found and go out as a 4 piece band?
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    If you can play your material well enough as a 3 piece, I say start gigging. It’s usually a lot easier to attract quality musicians to a working band.
  3. Good point! We're already very tight as a 3 piece, we just need to add a few more songs to our repertoire so we can get the 4 hour gigs.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
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  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    It depends on the music. You do whatever sounds best. Why go out and get gigs if you don't have the sound you want?
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  5. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Probably easier to find another guitarist.
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  6. Start as a three piece. If you are like everywhere else, finding a bassist will be tough. Finding someone good enough on guitar to play 2nd will be like shooting fish in a barrel.
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  7. reverendboom


    Dec 10, 2019
    Sonora CA
  8. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    You would think so... but another guitarist versatile and willing enough to satisfy your particular needs? Not so much.

    I'm a pretty-good bassist and a pretty-good rhythm guitarist. When I'm the bassist, I find myself very often teaching guitarists how and what to play. There are many guitarists who play well in one or two particular ways but are totally ignorant of how to play in any other way. I think it's because they aren't very experienced in playing with a bunch of different people.
    RJI777 and Nick Danger like this.
  9. Normally I would agree but finding another guitar player isn't really an option as the others in the band (especially the BL) really want me playing guitar. That would be my preference as well but I want to get out and gig as much as I can while I still can. I also believe a working band has a better chance of finding the right person.
  10. 51PRI


    Aug 7, 2014
    Start as a 3 piece and start booking gigs ASAP. If a great bassist comes along then make the move to 2nd guitar. BTW what does "2nd guitar" mean in this case? Rhythm only, or splitting solos?
  11. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Yet, the still easier to find the 2nd decent guitarist you're "looking for" than the decent bassist you're "looking for".

    If his town is similar to most here in the US, there's always more guitarists that bassists. (of equal skill levels).


  12. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Go play as a trio ... if you're good finding a willing bassist will be much easier. Some posters have ignored the fact that you WANT, and the lead guitarist wants YOU to play guitar. I left a trio last year for much the same reason. I figured I'd just go solo ... acoustic guitar and vocals. During the break I worked up a setlist, but after laying off (not entirely, I had a band and a couple of duo projects) I found I was playing less and enjoying it more. Now I only have the band (30-40 gigs a year) and it suits me just fine.
  13. RJI777

    RJI777 Guest

    Jan 29, 2020
    Absolutely true. And the best example I know of? None other than the young man who, from the ages of 15 to 22, single handedly, developed a multifaceted guitar technique, that has been hailed as "saving rock guitar." He certainly had (and still has) a style, as we all found out in 1978, when his band's eponymous debut album was released. However, apparently he had great difficulty adapting to other styles of music. Of course, this might be expected from a typical, fledgling guitarist, but ED VAN HALEN? Well, apparently: "Yeah, him too"; which just goes to show that even Guitar Gods can have their limitations.
  14. Get a doubleneck like this guy and play both (and sing lead) .. LOL