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Guitar easyer than Bass???

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Danny E., May 8, 2006.

  1. Danny E.

    Danny E.

    Apr 16, 2006
    First off, I'm going to get a bass weather not it turns out to be easyer or harder than the guitar.

    Well my friend says that playing the guitar is harder than playing the bass. I'm sure there is not clear cut answer for this question but what do you think? I can;t really judge for myself becasue I've haen't played a bass at all.
  2. JKwo


    Jan 12, 2006
    Well, take a certain lick, say, from a guitar solo or something, and compare trying to play it on bass and guitar. It will almost certainly be more difficult to play on bass. With bass, you've got to deal with wider string gaps, strings 4x as thick, and much longer frets to manuever across. So from a technical standpoint, if anything, I'd call bass more difficult to play. But that was just my analytical side going off... the whole above paragraph really shouldn't matter.

    Anyways, I can only assume that he would be talking in terms of technical difficulty, because choosing bass or guitar doesn't make a difference in other aspects of playing like improvising/reading/grooving.

    But really, in the end, the whole discussion is pretty silly. It shouldn't be a contest. You can argue and banter about it, make points one way or the other, but the music is the important part. It sounds so cliche, but the reason it's said so often is because it's true. You can make an instrument as difficult or as hard as you want it to be.. from Sid Vicious to Billy Sheehan, from C.C. Deville to Yngwie Malmsteen...

    You are what limits the amount of skill behind your playing.. not the instrument. And that skill doesn't necessarily have to be manifested as nasty chops.. it can be a flawless sense of time, a well developed ear for harmony, sharp reading skills.. etc etc etc. You get out of the instrument what you put into it.
  3. Normally not into feeding trolls, particularly really bad trolls, but I wanted to offer this as ammunition for my fellow bassists in future arguments of this ilk.

    The guitar would have to be the single most amateur abused instrument in history. Hundreds of millions of people (probably) call themselves guitarists, and thousands more join them everyday when somebody shows them an E chord.

    So, if bass is so easy to play, why doesn't everyone learn to play it instead of showing their talent by torturing "sweet child of mine" out of a $20 nylon string at every opportunity?

    I'll tell you why. Guitarists can hide their mistakes, and do so regularly, often by reaching for the whammy bar or stomping on an effects box. Bassists on the other cannot do this. To be a good bass player requires precision, timing, elegance and tact to name a few attributes. If they play a dud note, or miss a cue - EVERYBODY notices. Even the Go Go Girls.
  4. artistanbul

    artistanbul Nihavend Longa Vita Brevis

    Apr 15, 2003
    yeah. that's sad. when you play correct no one notices...
  5. mvw356


    Mar 2, 2006
    all instruments are equally difficult to play, as the real difficulty is to bring emotions and feelings across. the rest is technique imo
  6. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
  7. Fajah


    Apr 30, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    I can understand why someone would assume that playing the bass may be easier than playing the guitar, for at the very basic level, playing chords on the guitar versus single note lines on the bass could lead someone into making a statement like that. However, within the context of a tune and the application of both instruments, I quickly learned that you can't compare the two.

    Assuming that one has some basic theoretical understanding of music in general as it applies to all instruments, one would find that the guitar and the bass each require a unique set of skills to play a tune with some proficiency. I've been taking my bass playing more seriously as of late and now split my practice time equally between jazz guitar and bass. I'm also taking bass lessons to improve my technique. This is after three years of jazz guitar study.

    One thing for sure though, if you're buying and taking up the bass, I hope you have as much fun with it as I am.


    PS - I just joined this forum and it's my first post :)
  8. morf

    morf Banned

    Feb 17, 2006
  9. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    It's harder to play a chord on guitar than one single tone on the bass, yes... it's harder to play chords on bass than on guitar...
  10. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Idunno, is flute harder than Trumpet harder than Tuba?

    Apples and Oranges. It's difficult to be good at any instrument. Just play what you like.
  11. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Guitar easyer than Bass???

  12. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Not harder, just different - different techniques, different physical challenges, and a different mental approach.
  13. lazer
  14. Hell, I'll come out and say it. Bass is easier than guitar.

    Now, that's just me. Maybe it's just because I'm better at bass, more intuitive. Maybe it's the instrument I'm meant to play. But I have been playing guitar longer, and I do think guitar is harder.
  15. Danny E.

    Danny E.

    Apr 16, 2006
    Well thanks guys. I do realize that there is not a yes or no answer and that this is mostly a question of oppinion, Just wanted to know what you think.
  16. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    It's not a yes or no... but consider this.

    I've been playing bass for 2.5 years, it's been my first instrument, and the first year and a half I didn't really play any guitar at all.

    After which I picked up an acoustic and more recently I had my uncle's USA strat for about a week.

    In that one week my dad complimented my playing (on guitar) more than he's complimented me playing bass in two and a half years. I guess it's just easier for me to make pleasing noises on gutiar than with bass. It's easier for me I guess, but bass is the one I love.
  17. Stingrayz


    Jan 15, 2006
    Both instruments can be hard, its just how you play them..

    Its down to preference in the roll that a bass player plays in a song, and what a guitar player plays.

    both instruments can be easy, and also be hard... Bass players role in the song can be as simple as providing a steady rythmic bass line, or play basic root notes, or even play your own different bass line which can be harder that what the guitarist plays...

    I do agree that picking up a bass and playing single note riffs are easy, but look at people like Stu Hamm, or Victor wooten, or even Flea, they take the instrument to a whole new level..

    There is a saying that goes something like this... A band can squeek with a bad guitarist, but cannot with a bad bassist..
    I personally disagree... in most songs these days, you cant even here the bass, its all loud guitar... so imo, bands can get by with a bad bassist, but then again, what is a bad bassist ?
    a person who stiicks to root notes ? cant keep a rythem ?
    sorry for rambling on

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