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does playing piano help you with playing the bass?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by airrick, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. airrick


    Dec 4, 2005
    not theroy wise, but like finger devopment and stuff like that?
  2. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Personally, I don't think so, if anything, it helps your hands work independently. It might also help you prepare for the stretching you'll have to do with your fretting hand.
    But then again, I started teaching myself how to play piano after I'd been playing bass for a while.
  3. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    i guess doing anything that uses your finger a lot (eg piano or typing). should help a bit.
  4. I think it could help a lot with tapping. Wooten has made a similar comparison with the bass and a saxaphone. Your fingers are doing the exact same motions, but your hands are in a different position. There isn't that much difference really.
  5. i dont think it does physically.

    Knowing the fundamentals has helped in writing songs more than i ever though though - YOU CAN SEE THE THEORY!! AHHH
  6. bobalu

    bobalu Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    Physically, playing the piano has done nothing for my bass playing (fingering and so on). Theory wise, it's been absolutely indispensible.
  7. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    I agree with your comment regarding Theory completely.

    Regarding the physical aspects of piano playing, since I took up piano after a 2 year hiatus, I have noticed an increase in my left hand's strength and my right hand's fingering speed. Also, I have noticed that my left hand is much more flexible and I have a longer reach.

    Learning the piano has also helped my ability to have my hands working independently.

    Of course, that is IME.
  8. Dude piano is completely beneficial. If you want to TAP, you're miles ahead of a all of us. Thats a big one.
  9. airrick


    Dec 4, 2005
    what is tap?
  10. GregHolmes


    Mar 3, 2006
    Niagara, Ontario
    Dealer of: BassLab, Eminence, Acoustic Image, MIDIjet
    Playing scales (e.g. Hanon) on the piano is a good way for me to warm up my fingers if I don't have a lot of time before a gig. It increases the independance and strength of the individual fingers, and it helps to build independance of the hands for tapping styles. Also, it helps with visualizing theory. I think it helps in all areas.
    p.s. "Tapping" is playing with both hands on the neck of the instrument, striking and holding down notes on the fingerboard. Although there are some parallels with piano playing, tapping is more direct, since the fingers directly touch the strings (whereas a piano has the mechanics). Tapping is harder, since there is no sustain pedal!
  11. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    In my experience, I only see theory value in it. I've learned how to play 9 instruments (electric bass being the last) and that has helped me. I think.
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Theroy, izzat leroy's brother?

    The thing that piano helps with is mostly "stuff like that". Music is an aural art and playing piano helps you hear harmony (chords), helps you see relationships (cause it's all laid out right there on the keyboard), helps you work on singing and ear training etc etc etc etc. Hearing a CHORD played as a chord on the keyboard/piano helps you hear a CHORD when what you are doing is playing a bunch of individual notes on your instrument.

    Playing bass is more about your ear than about your fingers, piano helps your ear.
  13. need4mospd


    Dec 22, 2005
    I've played piano for almost 18 years (since I was 6) and I can say, without a doubt, that it has helped me in every aspect. Theory being the #1 thing, but physically, my hands/fingers were already stretched out, strong, able to work independently, etc...

    However, the physical benifits only come after years of deicated practice. So if you are considering piano to improve finger strength and dexterity, I would not pursue that. It might be benicial just to learn the theory on the piano and keep working hard on your bass to improve physically.

    All this of course is just my uneducated opinion. ;)
  14. Yes, any extra insterments that you play will help you with your bass playing. Piano will help you with tapping and theory.

  15. Jonboy11290


    Feb 22, 2006
    yes, because if you are a bass player that reads sheet music (the music is bass clef) then reading piano music will help you because piano has treble and bass clef...
  16. jbt68


    Jul 31, 2005
    Fayetteville, NC
    I agree with the piano advocates. I've been playing bass for over 20 years - and mostly playing by ear. Llast year I decided to finally begin learning piano. I wish I had done it long ago, if not BEFORE learning base. Knowledge of chords, progressions and scales is invaluable to truly develop...
  17. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Piano allows you to further your understanding of chords and lays them out linearly so you can see the shape of chords, that has got to help you as a musician not just a bass player.
    +1 for piano
  18. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Ant instrument will help you play any other instrument.
  19. airrick


    Dec 4, 2005
    im not considering it, i've played piano for 10 years, since i was 4:)
  20. MikeRS


    Aug 16, 2005
    Clinton, MA
    I've played the piano since I was 7 (bass since 10), and I find it's helped incredibly. I usually practice 3 hours of piano a day then 2 hours of bass, singing while doing both. I can't feel in my left hand from a wound in a car accident two years ago that killed my sister, it was cut down to the bone and never treated correctly so I still can't feel it.

    This caused a huge problem on both the piano and bass but with heavy 7th and 9th chord work on the piano my accuracy on the bass was restored. I also find it builds finger strength, as long as the keys are weighted, despite the fact I can't feel it.

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