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Can you also play guitar?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Bass_Poet, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. Bass_Poet


    Jan 20, 2016
    I have tried learning to play guitar and I can't seem to get my short fat fingers angled enough to not mute strings. I have watched every video and tried every method. But! I can pick up a bass and play just fine. It was mostly the reason I went with bass. It is the physically most comfortable of guitar and piano. I was wondering what you guys thought, are you just bassist or also multi talented?
    bassplace and Oldschool94 like this.
  2. I'm skinny and have long, thin, spider hands like Mr Burns. But that doesn't help me much. I can play single notes and very simple chords on a guitar, but anything more complicated seems incredibly unnatural to me. It's no wonder most guitarists I know have wrist problems.

    I'm also a pretty mediocre bassist, so I wouldn't even claim to be "singly-talented".

    I recently built myself a Warmoth Bass VI, which is a nice challenge to play. Sounds like a bass, plays like a guitar. Mind blown! :wacky:
  3. I could play some basic chords. That's about it.
  4. Hey Bass Poet,

    Guitarist (and sometime guitar teacher) turned bassist here.

    Regarding the muting issue, this problem you describe, are you having more trouble when trying to play chords, or are you trying to play single note lines (i.s. licks and solo-style phrases)?
    schenknasty likes this.
  5. Bass_Poet


    Jan 20, 2016

    Chords and most single notes. every once in a while I will get a lick to come out but I might screwing that up cause I don't know those extra two strings very well. I have been trying to play guitar for a year. I literally spent 2 weeks trying to just get the G chord and never got it once.
  6. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i started out on classical and then fingerstyle acoustic guitar in 1968, and started on bass in 1994.

    try lighter strings or lower action.try lighter strings or lower action. a really good site for guitar beginners
    BC-000 • Justin's Beginners Guitar Course | free guitar lesson from justinguitar.com
    fretter likes this.
  7. Torrente Cro

    Torrente Cro

    Sep 5, 2013
    I also have fat fingers and have no problem in playing guitar. I started on guitar and it sure helps.
    There is difference between guitar and bass playing in fingering angle.
    While playing guitar your fingers should be more vertical to fretboard.
  8. twinjet

    twinjet AJ, you're the MAN! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I think "play" is a bit of an exaggeration. I can noodle bass lines octaves higher on guitar... that's it.
    Intothevoid567 likes this.
  9. So here's the number one tip I give to beginner students regarding this (very common) issue.

    When you fret a chord, hold the position, and then use a pick to sound each string individually beginning with the low E.

    For each string that comes out muffled or muted, adjust the finger holding down that string (or the adjacent finger that happens to be inadvertently muting it).

    Repeat different types of chords, and you will eventually get it :)
    viper4000 and bushbass like this.
  10. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    anyone can play a frickin guitar, imo. playing a bass properly is harder for me, especially an upright. ymmv
    btw,.. i learned watching this lil guy! :bassist:
    comatosedragon likes this.
  11. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I'm primarily a guitar player at heart, but get many more gigs on bass. I play fingerstyle acoustic guitar (only) and sing ... blues (Piedmont style, mostly), country, jazz standards of the 30-50's. Mostly solo. I'll occasionally get a call to fill-in on rhythm guitar in a band. I also play keys (just bought a new-to-me Kurzweil PC3 synth earlier this week). I consider myself a musician who plays several instruments, rather than a bass player who plays guitar, too.
  12. yes, some keys and very little drums enough to convey what I am looking for, to a drummer :)
  13. jchrisk1

    jchrisk1 Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    Yes. I'm no lead virtuoso, but I can play fairly well. Drums and keys(to some degree) also. Use to play horns too.
    Basically what I say is, "I know how to play music". Doesn't matter much what it's on. I may not be the best at every instrument I pick up, but I can make music with anything.
  14. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Weeeell, I can play some riffs with lots of distortion... Because distortion makes you sound good, y'know?

    I think keyboards and drums are easier. Guitar? You've got to have contortionist fingers!
    DeaconBlues09 likes this.
  15. Michael B

    Michael B

    Dec 16, 2015
    Lowell, MA
    Not very well but enough to say yes.
    matdras, MCF, azmati and 1 other person like this.
  16. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    I can but prefer to play bass. Over the years, I've found that when I do play guitar, I find myself keying in on the bass lines instead of the rhythm/lead guitar. Told me that my heart belongs to bass.
    Cat-A-Tonic likes this.
  17. I was working on what some would consider the simplest song around, Smoke on the Water, yesterday.

    My wrist is in pain when I reach out for the F note on the E string, which I find strange, since bass guitars are longer still than guitars.
    the second phrase in that song is a simple arpeggio of a power chord, but I just can't make the transition from 3rd position to 1st & back again fast enough.
    I am too slow to be a lead guitarist, or perhaps even a rhythm guitarist.
  18. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Whenever I try to play chords on a guitar, it feels like my fingers are playing Twister!

  19. Michael B

    Michael B

    Dec 16, 2015
    Lowell, MA
    Nut need filing?
  20. EdwardofHuncote

    EdwardofHuncote I Still Dream of Jeannie Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Southwest Virginia
    I learned to play guitar while recovering from tendonitis... under doctors' orders, I had to take a break from (upright) bass, but not playing music was driving me crazy. Had to do something musical, and guitar seemed a natural progression. It took about 6 months to get back to condition, but the guitar experience I retained has been helpful on several occasions.

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