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Can playing six string guitar make you "lose" your bass skills?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by OakenZero, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. Okay, this is a sort of ridiculous question, but it has run through my mind.

    I just ordered a Les Paul Studio for Christmas because I'm getting a little more into writing music and expanding my horizons in general. I plan on splitting practice time between bass and "regular" guitar, and was just curious if any of you have found that the shorter fretboard and other things make a difference in your bass playing. Or does playing both make your dexterity a little better overall?
  2. when i started playing electric(which was after starting bass), i kinda stopped bass for about 3-4 months. when i picked up the ol' girl, i wasnt nearly as good. but, i soon realised its like riding a bike, you can never forget, just get a little rusty. after playing bass again for about an hour i got back in, and can now play both quite well IMO.

    so to answer your question, you may lose your skill, but it can be easily reaquired. i dont even notice the different sized frets or anything anymore. i just must go to a seperate mindframe for different instruments...
  3. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    As long as you don't put your bass down and stop playing it entirely, there isn't any reason playing guitar will hinder your ability to play bass... but I must admit that a guitar feels like a toy in my hands next to a bass due to the size differences between the two. :)
  4. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    the past couple of months i've spent a decent amount more time on my acoustic guitar than on my basses at home, teaching myself guitar chords and whatnot. And while i won't lie and say my bass skills didn't diminish - they have on electric quite a bit actually, but i'm still practicing upright alot though so that's ok - i've gotten to the point where i could definitely play guitar in a band of moderate difficulty, read guitar music, and (here's the best part) i can apply all those chord voicings to bass, so now my upper register work on bass has become quite interesting.

    so yeah, play guitar, but still play bass more.
  5. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002
    ...my room...
    nah man.. just dont put that bass down!
    or you must die...
    i play guitar somewhat for writing purposes.. heh.. im kinda figuring it out.. in the past 5 months ive learned most of the songs from my "allman brothers greatest hits cd"
    jebbuz im doing alright..
    my bass playing has improved too.
  6. For the last three months I haven't been playing my basses that much at all; I bought a six string and have been trying to get into blues guitar. While my progress on the sixer isn't as much as I'd like, I didn't loose anything on bass. In fact, it seems like I'm a little better (probably my imagination) but, I think going to another instrument is a great idea, like going on vacation; you feel so fresh when you return.

    I think switching between bass and guitar only makes your dexterity better. It does feel so good to get back to bass regularly though. I'd recommend it to anyone.

    Just my $.02

  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I think it enhances your playing, because now I can look at a guitarist hands and spot open chords, no problem. Plus, music is music, it may not always enhance your bass playing, but I think it helps to be a diverse musician. Play what you can, I say.
  8. I use to play strictly bass but after I bought a guitar and learned how to play it, I found my bass playing actually got better when jamming with guitarists because I understood them more.
  9. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
    I played a guitar for a long time before I played the bass (I know I'm going to burn in hell). That helped me with what i was doing on the bass. How to play with a guitar (or with other people) was a very good thing to learn. How to play a cord, where scales are, and how to tell key of song ect. ect. With that said it made for it to be easy to convert to bass. So I think it will only help you!:p :p :p
  10. I have people wanting me to give them bass lessons all the time. The first thing I tell them is to pick up an acoustic guitar and learn as many chords as possible and understand why one chord leads to another chord. Once you understand and feel chord movement, understanding bass comes much easier. I also tell them to stay away from lead guitar and just stick to chords and rhythm guitar. Like some of the other guys said, it does make life in a band much more enjoyable if you can play a little guitar along with some kickin' bass.
  11. Thanks for the relpies. I totally agree about the being able to learn more about chord relationships and spotting what a guitarist is playing more easily as a result.

    I was just worried I'd pick up a bass and find my fingers no longer work!

    Thanks for alleviating those fears :)
  12. I played guitar for a few years before seeing the light that is the bottom end. Now I only play guitar maybe once every month or two, but I find that after an hour or two of getting re-acquainted with the instrument I'm better at guitar now than before I started playing bass, go figure.

    And yes, it does feel like a toy in my hands compared to a bass, but the biggest difference I notice is the smaller strings.
  13. Alyn


    Dec 19, 2002
    Nicoli has just said everything I was gonna say, I started with guitar then moved to Bass and I think in the long run playing bass has actually dramatically improved my (still pittiful) guitar playing a fair bit, I play it almost as much as I play bass but I don't push myself forward as much as I do with bass, I know enough to mess around with freinds, that's enough for me, bass is my home. I don't notice the difference, I just think of them as two totaly different instruments, the only thing that scares me to play is an upright bass, I've got one but I can hardly play it, it's too big and scary, I like the bow though, that's fun, I've lost my Rosin though :(, I'll have to buy some new stuff now :(. oh well. It's not really my bass anyway, I'm borrowing it off the council.
  14. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I actually started off as a guitarist. On the last serius attempt to play I took up bass as well (got asked to join a band on bass).

    I own a fretless 4 a tight spaced 5 an acoustic with 13s in open D an electric with 10's and a cheap classical. I struggle with any of my instruments for the first 5 minutes. I then get into it. I also rotate a lot. I've just done two months on the 5 now I'm playing fretless 4. I 've just finished doing some acoustic slide recordings and now I'm back into the electric.

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