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Guitar players turned bass players

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Lowner, May 21, 2005.

  1. Lowner


    May 14, 2005
    Over Here
    I've been a guitar player for the last 4 years. I am terrible. I have a hard time with certain techniques though I practiced them constantly and even took lessons, but had a bad experience. My teacher didi not teach me any theory behind what I was playing. he just said put your finger in this string this string and this one now strum. Never even bothering to tell me what I was Playing. I also cannot play in time to music.
    Bass though is a much differnt story . It seems to come much more naturally. i can play in time with the music and I spend more time practicing atleat on hour more.
    how may guitar players turned bass player are out there. I'd like to have your thoughts on turing bass player. What do you like about playing bass? Why did you switch, etc?
  2. Wademeister63


    Aug 30, 2004
    Denton Tx
    There are lots of us!

    I'd guess about the most common switch story is what happened to me. Couple guitar players get together and jam, decide to form up a band but don't know anyone who plays bass. I jumped for the bass and have been a happy camper since. I wouldn't say I was terrible with the guitar, but I was pretty undisciplined. Musically, I've grown more in the last year of playing bass than I had in the last 20 years noodling around with the guitar.

    Lovin it!
  3. i started out in guitar in seventh grade in school, and then a couple years later decided to pick up the bass. ever since then, i've primarily played bass, as i just feel more at home to it and music comes more naturally to me on it. i have to think about what im doing more on guitar, but on bass it just kind of flows. i do still pick up the ol guitar and jam once and a while though, its good to be able to be multi-instrumental.
  4. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    You had a guy teacher named Didi? Weird. :D

    I'd venture to say that most of us started out playing guitar - probably in a high school folk group or some such thing - or piano. IMHO, piano players make much better future bass players than do guitarists - especially if there are rock solid music theory lessons behind it. There's just something about learning the keyboard and then being able to apply it to any other instrument.

    There are, however, many notable exceptions. And it sounds like you're one of them.
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I played guitar for about 15 years before making the complete switch to bass. I was a fairly decent guitarst but always battled with it. Practicing guitar was "practice" for me, I rarely touched my guitar unless it was rehearsal, a gig, or I HAD to work something out. The guitars I owned were usually ones given to me, never thought too much about sound, effects, hated stomp boxes.... then, a band I liked needed a bass player.

    There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that I was a misled, born bassplayer. I go to sleep and wake up just about every night and morning thinking about bass. I can't pass by one of my basses without wanting to pick it up. I can sit for hours noodling by myself on bass. I want to know everything I can possibly know on bass. I love the feel of the bass. I could go on and on.

    I also knew I could be a waaay better bass player than guitarist - and that has already proven itself true. There are a whole lot more opportunities for bass players than guitarists - and one of my favorite thing...

    Bassists only have to tune up once before a gig. I freaking HATED tuning guitars.
  6. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I'm another one. I was in a band in 8th grade with two friends, one played guitar, the other drums. I played rythym guitar and sang. We couldn't find a bass player to save our lives, so my friends consipired to get me to switch to bass. Actually all it took was loaning me Cliff Em All for a week, I begged my parents to buy me a bass and amp for my birthday and have been a bass player ever since (I still play guitar too, but I will ALWAYS be a bassist at hear).
  7. Me too!

    I played drums and switched schools. They did not have a marching band but did have a jazz band. We had 2 drummers and no bass player. I switched to bass for the jazz band. Learned how to sight read and did that for 2 years. I was starting to play guitar and lost my bass (long story) and never bothered to buy a new one. I went 14 years I think playing guitar and I still play and teach guitar as well. I picked up a bass at a jam session a little over a year ago and fell in love with the bass all over again. I really only play guitar now because I teach it and for laying out jam tracks so I can play bass too them. And now I am a 1 in 10,000 bass player instead of a 1 in 1,000,000 guitar player which is bonus... but I still just love the bass better. I like bass lines and grooves and I like how much more natural the bass feels playing without a pick.
  8. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    :D I love that aspect.

    I started on bass at 14. I've since picked up a little guitar here and there, starting this past summer when I was 16 -- mainly for theory application to chords and chord voicings, as well as comping and other rhythmic chordal playing.

    Personally, I think there's a LOT to be gained by picking up even the basic rudiments of other instruments. I remember talking to one of my brother's friends a while ago (maybe when I was 15) and he was talking about how much you can gain from learning to play other instruments -- not so you can perform on them, but how it can help you understand music as a whole, and how all instruments fit together. I was cruising his site last night and found this mini-article he wrote a while ago...he doesn't go into quite as much detail as he did in that dicussion when I was in grade 10, but it's pretty good nonetheless.

    PS: I swear, I'm not pimping his stuff, but do check out his song "Looking Outside In," in the "Listen" link -- great song. Also, if you ignore the blatant Incubus melody-quoting, "Compassion for Pride" is also excellent.
  9. Broach_insound


    Jan 25, 2005
    New York
    I think as a bass player you should be able to play guitar aswell .
  10. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    I started playing classical guitar. I also got an electric, but I sold it to be able to afford a bass, IIRC.
  11. 'JC'


    Mar 14, 2000
    My reasoning was different - get a chance to go play in New York
    There was no room for guitarists in high school band, but there was bass, so like a stereotypical guitarist, I thought "it can't be that hard - it's only 4 strings. I'll do it."

    I actually took up guitar in middle school and continued at it throughout high school. I wasn't great, but felt good enough to tackle most stuff. Hell, I played Steve Vai's "The Audience Is Listening" for my senior talent show (sans one solo) and even had my principal do the teacher vocals. :)

    The demand for bass players over guitarists was much greater though, and I meshed better with drummers as a bassist. I went to a Catholic school that actually had masses, so guess who was always pegged as the bassist?

    It was hard to abandon guitar since I had invested so much time and money in it. My reason for sticking with bass though was it came much more naturally and I enjoyed it more - especially locking in with drummers. It took me years to get truly comfortable with guitar. It took 3 months with bass. I think the support from my high school music program (instructors, students, environment) was the biggest reason why.
  12. Lowner


    May 14, 2005
    Over Here
    Iam the same way.I couldn't have said it better.
  13. I started on guitar, but I never "switched" (in the sense that "switched" implies you stop being a guitarist in some way). I'm still a guitar player, just as much as I'm a bass player.
  14. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I started off as a bass player. But somewhere in between then and now, I did alot of guitar and less bass (I didn't stop bass since I was the bassist in my school jazz bigband). I became pretty good at guitar, not that good, but I was able to play lots of different chords, and solo too. But I realized that I was truely a bassist the whole time. I sold my Squier Guitar and Amp starter pack and my effects pedals (and my crappy Samick P-bass), and I bought my Fender Jazz and rig. It was a good move. Although I have learned a lot of positive sdtuff from the guitar, and it still is my second instrument.
  15. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    when i was about 15 me and my friends wanted to form a band, and i decided i would play bass........wanted to take bass lessons, but the teacher insisted i learn to play guitar before teaching me bass, which i am very thankful for today. we played at my friends house for several years just jamming and messing around......eventually we quit playing. I hung on to my bass gear for a year or two then finally sold it all becasue i never used it. Started getting more into playing acoustic guitar since I could do that by myself. Me and one of my buddies that were in the first band started playing acoustics together on a regular basis, and still do, which got me to learn a lot of songs on guitar which overall improved my timing, speed, and overall technique. Did that for several years and here about 8 months ago a guy I knew who I had jammed with before called me up saying that their bass player was about to leave their band and they were looking for a replacement. I told him I hadn't played bass in years but I'd def. give a try, especially since they had paying gigs which was something I had never had before. Here I am 8 months later a re-converted bass player. Over these past 8 months I feel like I've become 10x better than I ever was before and I think it had a lot to do with really learning to play the guitar well and keep time. Also learning new songs on bass with the band has made me be able to learn song much quicker and made me rely a lot more on my ear than my sight.
  16. I started as a bass player, but also play guiter. Thetrouble with my guitar playing is that I always seem to play the same things and have no great desire to break out and do something else. My bass may have 2 fewer strings, but I play a hell of a lot more music on it, and can play all day without ever getting bored.
  17. I started with accordian at age 8, added guitar at 10, dropped accordian at 11, added dobro at 12, picked up bass at 19 and steel guitar at 50. The instruments I love best are bass and dobro. As with a lot of us, I started bass because we needed a bass player for a band. I have always preferred the E, A and D strings on guitar, emphasizing the bass strings particularly in chord changes and the turnaround and only using the treble strings for melodic accents. While I can use a flatpick, I have always been primarily a fingerpicker. So I guess I am a more natural bass player. I am not a natural performer in that I don't like the limelight. I am more comfortable standing in the back of a stage, keeping the groove going, being part of the music and letting someone else show off for the audience.
  18. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I started a bassist... now I'm playing a little guitar.

    ... I said a little dammit :mad: :D
  19. kilgoja


    May 26, 2005
    somewhere deep in your soul you are meant to be a guitar player or a bass player...it's some kind of cosmic thing....maybe something to do with your personality or something i don't know....i can play piano, guitar, drums, and bass...probably more if i tried....the bass is the only thing that ever felt right..which is why i'm better on the bass than i am on those other instruments....drums would be my second choice...then guitar...then piano...it's just wierd but deep inside you know what you're supposed to play...so play it
  20. Interesting. I didn't know there were so many bass players trapped in a guitar player's body out there.

    I started on trumpet myself. I think music theory is important to learn. So much easier to work things out in a band if everyone speaks the same language. But I can understand that there's so much to learn, takes so long, its hard to get started. Looks like its a huge waste of time up front before you learn enough to be useful. But it is worthwhile, no question.


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