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Going from bass to guitar

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by stratovani, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. I've read a lot of threads here on TB over the years about how difficult the transition from guitar to bass can be for some people. How a player has to lose the guitar mindset and not overplay so much, how he has to serve the song more, and so on. I've noticed lately that when I switch from bass to guitar I tend to carry over my bass mindset, in other words the lines I'll play on the bottom 4 strings on guitar sound a lot like the bass lines I would play. Also, I'm a lot faster on guitar now than I was before I started playing bass, due to the frets being a lot closer. However, with that increased speed I also tend to play a bit sloppy at times. Anyone else notice that?
  2. They definitely require different mindsets. I switch between bass and guitar (though I'm more of a bassist than a guitarist) and the hardest thing for me (besides the "tiny" feel of a guitar vs. bass) is adjusting to the more melodic mindset required for guitar. So these days, I've saved myself the trouble and usually just play rhythm guitar - it just works better for me - I'll *never* be a "good" guitarist :)

    But guitar, for me, takes a lot more work to get going on a song. I can pick up a bass and play just about anything (as long as it's within my technical abilities) and make it work. Not so with guitar. If I'm writing a song, I'll usually cough up a bass line first, then work from there since the bassline really defines the chord structure of the song.
  3. Bloodhammer

    Bloodhammer Twinkle Twinkle Black Star

    Jul 7, 2009
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    I don't really have a problem going back and forth from guitar to bass, bass to guitar, etc.

    Like DeadHead, though, I play rhythm guitar. The hardest thing for me is using my pinky on guitar. My hand feels all crunched up in one small space...
  4. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    Quote "The hardest thing for me is using my pinky on guitar. My hand feels all crunched up in one small space..."

    --I played guitar for years before I ever picked up a bass...and I have always felt cramped on it. That was true before I ever picked up the bass and it's still true.
  5. DaDrew2112


    Apr 7, 2011
    I'm doing the same thing switching over and playing some guitar. It's funny how guitarists think that just because they play chords, guitar is far tougher to play. Chords are a snap lol. Memorizing the leads is where i get into trouble.
    As for the sloppy playing, I approach guitar with much greater caution as the frets are so darn close together. If I do encounter some slop, slowing it down and making sure it's in the hands is the best thing for me to do to combat this issue. Not that I'm so good I'm to be be emulated haha.
  6. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    I actually went in the opposite direction. I started playing guitar back in 1997, however switched to bass in the early 2000's. I still have my guitar and have actually thought back starting to play guitar again along with playing bass. I found the switch from guitar to bass pretty easy. Not sure how the other way around would go though.
  7. Bloodhammer

    Bloodhammer Twinkle Twinkle Black Star

    Jul 7, 2009
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    Maybe we just have big hands....
  8. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I have never played a guitar.
  9. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Adding bass to my (short) list of instruments has made me a better guitarist. It has strengthened my left hand, forced me to think more laterally across the neck, increased the use of my left pinky, and increased the fret span of my left hand. I sometimes stumble over the major third interval between the G and B strings on guitar when I get going fast, but I can't say I never did that before.
  10. Lead guitar has kind of been a struggle for me , I like playing rythm but like others say the b string is just not cooperating.

    I feel like some chops have passed over but yeah I end up saying screw it for solo parts of songs lol.

    Since quitting my band Ive just been playing drums and happened to get a strat for cheap about a month ago. I now have a gibby lp special lol just for the sake of tonal variety.I guess the g.a.s passed on too ha
  11. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I can switch back and forth very easily without even thinking about it. I really don't know any guitarists who have the mindset to over play all the time.
  12. ImNotJoel


    Jan 12, 2014
    Knowing both instruments is great just takes a little practice. I have been playing bass fourteen years and guitar for nine. I have no problem switching.

    It sounds like your learning or newer to guitar so obviously you would apply your music knowledge to guitar. Since your music knowledge is bass you will play it how you know as a bass.

    Just practice playing guitar and then you will become a guitarist too. Practice chords and scales play to bass tracks or with people.

    Soon enough it won't feel like a switch once you gain confidence. Not to mention it will help your bass playing understanding chord progressions better and seeing how bass effects guitar.

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