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Guitar and bass?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by spade2you, Dec 17, 2011.


  1. I still plan to put most of my free time towards racing for another 2-3 years, but I'm curious if anyone plays both. I originally started on guitar and switched to bass because my area was guitarist heavy at the time and there was a bassist shortage. Years later, it would seem that this isn't quite the case any more.

    I don't plan on quitting bass, but I'm curious to who plays both and how one might find a healthy balance.
     
  2. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I started on bass and after 15 years switched to guitar. I played guitar for about 10 years and then switched back to bass. I never developed a good balance, I either played one or the other. I think my guitar playing days are over; since coming back to bass I'm working on incorporating what I learned from 10 years of playing guitar in a funk/Motown/blues band (nothing to do with lots of notes or playing with a pick).
     
  3. I started out on the electric guitar back in 1997 and then started playing the bass a couple years later and have been playing bass ever since. I still have and strum on the electric guitar, but it has become kind of a secondary hobby at this point. Someday I hope to really get into playing it more again.
     
  4. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    I've been playing both since 1967. A wise friend told me, "if you want to be popular in music, play the guitar ... if you want to be PAID, play the bass". He was right. ;)
     
  5. Lee H

    Lee H

    Nov 30, 2011
    Redding CA
    there is no balance when you are juggling other things while trying to focus on racing

    Just trust me on this. I was involved in drag racing for a lot of years. It is almost impossible to juggle a relationship and racing. You can not even imagine how many times I heard "You love that care more than you love me!" followed by a slamming door. Other interests just distract you farther
     
  6. I play mainly guitar at church, and switch back and forth between guitar and bass in my band. I'm not awesome at either one, but good enough that nobody notices. Bass was first instrument, upright then electric, and then guitar later. I focused on guitar for along time and have recently gotten back into bass (mine was stolen and I replaced in the spring after about 5 years), but have never had an issue with playing both. Actually, knowing guitar has made me a better bassist because knowing chords helps me write better bass lines, and knowing bass makes me a better guitarist because I try to leave room for the bass in the mix and in songs. My bandages are doing a little switching because I play guitar on some songs, but they seem to be taking to it fairly well. They both use picks, but only because they are guitarists and it's a hard habit to break when it's all you've known (I do occasionally when the song calls for it).
     
  7. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I play both.

    I only started playing electric guitar in public about 3 years ago. I owned an electric, but never played in a band as a guitarist. I played a little acoustic, but nothing noteworthy. For many years I was just a bassist in terms of gigging.

    But, I will say that playing bass has definitely helped me as a guitarist to get gigs. I learned from the other side not to overdo solos, not get too loud, stay in my sonic space, play in a way that compliments the rhythm, and be in tune. Now, I'm about 50/50 for playing guitar and bass gigs. It's fun, makes me a better musician, as well as more marketable.
     
  8. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    +1

    Even though I was not a smoking guitarist I was very popular because 1) I played short solos, 2) I encouraged every other member to have their time in the spotlight 3) I didn't try to overpower the band with volume and hijinks 4) I made sure the credit was spread equally among everyone in the band.
     
  9. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I play both, but I haven't played in a band as a guitarist in about a decade. I just play at home for the fun of it.

    A few months back I was actively looking for a gig as a lead guitarist, but then band I found needed a bass player more...so that's what I play now.
     
  10. Well aware of that. I'm barely getting enough time on bass these days. I really enjoy racing. With a bun in the oven, I figure I only have about 2-3 years left of serious training. I figure after that I'll train almost exclusively for time trials.

    I'm trying to incorporate some guitar playing on the off chance I find something on guitar, even though it has been about 8-9 years since I've played guitar in a band setting. With good bands being on the rare side, I'm hoping guitar opens a few more doors. Naturally, if I find something, I'll focus primarily on that instrument.
     
  11. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

    Jan 27, 2010
    Nashville
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    I've played both for about the same amount of time, but I'm definitely a bass player. I'm not so great at soloing on the guitar, but I'm sure I could hold my own as a rhythm player. I doubt I'd be a guitarist in a band ever again though, it's just not where my heart lies.
     
  12. I play both - with every instrument I learn, I find myself being better at the ones I already know. . . everything transfers over!
     
  13. scott123

    scott123

    Jun 25, 2008
    Oklahoma
    I play both. When it comes to playing in a band situation its almost 100% bass. I tell myself I would be better served if I concentrated on just one, but I don't think it will ever happen.
     
  14. HeadyVan Halen

    HeadyVan Halen

    Jun 11, 2010
    I'm in a trio and we both play both..we switch during the night depending on who is leading the song...crowd loves it..Guitar is different if you sing while playing. That's a whole 'nother practice there.
    There is:
    1. Bass practice
    2. Guitar practice
    3. Voice/Guitar practice

    Have fun!
     
  15. stambroker

    stambroker

    Aug 12, 2011
    NoVA
    Justin Meldal-Johnsen said in an interview,

    I think that sums up my feelings on playing a "lead" instrument as well as bass. I've been playing bass and guitar since I started out, and I really feel that playing the acoustic guitar has taught me more about the bass' place in the mix.
     
  16. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I have played guitar, bass and, drums for many years at a time becoming proficient on all having gigged in every position for many years.

    Thus, when I play with others it is at times annoying to see less effort at those positions from the musicians I have found myself auditioning for or sitting in with.

    I am looking for musicians who are exceptional thus, I will have to work harder to be on par with.

    Playing consistently with substandard musicians will only drag you down.
     
  17. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Playing guitar with an unexceptional bass player will have you hearing the baselines that COULD BE played if you were in that position. So, this exercise could be useful.
     
  18. Bass has influenced my guitar playing. Playing guitar helped a little when starting on bass, especially the semesters of classical I took.

    I'm still in the process of building up a legit guitar rig. I'm finding that I was spoiled with my bass amps in terms of flexibility.

    I recently picked up a 7 string guitar, which made sense after having a low B on bass for many years.

    Also picked up one of these. At this point, some day I should find an excuse to use this in a band setting. :smug:

    steinberger.
     
  19. I learned guitar before bass, and I've always played guitar more - I almost never play bass alone, but I do play guitar at home and use it for writing songs. However, I rarely perform in public on guitar, but I earn my living playing bass.
     
  20. I don't know if there's really a 'balance', but you can make it work. I was thinking about it more, and I think there are three parts to me playing guitar and bass, compartmentalized if you will. There's the part where I play guitar that is separate from bass in which I learn mostly rhythm parts and focus on my strum technique, the part where I play bass and focus on simple but interesting lines and timing of notes, and the section where they cross and I use the other to enhance my playing on one. Hope that answers your question a little.
     

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