Guitarist Possibly Taking up Bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by jm3sb0nd007, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. jm3sb0nd007


    Sep 22, 2006
    Hey everyone, i started out on an acoustic guitar for bout a year learned on it, then made a switch to my ibanez gsa60 6- string electric and been playing that for a couple years. My friend and I have a coo lil alternative/progressive/rock band goin and since we aren't really plannin on doin live gigs, mostly just stick to laying tracks and recording stuff like that. So i figured it might be cool for me to take up bass, learning a new instrument is always a plus. My first instrument was actually the piano so i have some back round in music theory, was also taught music theory a bit while i played guitar.

    Right so mostly I want to know is, what is a good starting bass guitar for me? Something like around 150-200 range. From what i can gather starting on a four string fretted basses is perferable for beginniners. I like the company Ibanez and was lookin at Gsr200 ibanez on guitarcenter. ne one kno nethin bout that?

    I also gathered that its probably better to play fingered rather then with a pick right? I'd also like some one to clear up for me, on a bass guitar how you play chords? do you strum? do you just play single notes? am a little fuzzy on that. Also just give me some basic info on what it'll be like and the things i would need to work on most if i take up bass. Feel free to recommend ne sites or products that give info. thx alot everyone, i look forward to the responses.
  2. First off, welcome! Second off, great!

    There are many great options - like the brands you mentioned - as well as Squires, used Fenders, SX (from what I hear, I have no personal experience with them) and many more.

    You will hear THIS A LOT HERE - USE THE SEARCH - IT IS YOUR FRIEND! Ok, that is the obligatory, "use the search" statement - hopefully you won't get too much more of that.

    Finger = good
    Pick = good too
    Chords - much like a guitar only 2 or so less strings to deal with :)
    Strum - sure, sometimes
    Single notes - Oh yes, most of the time
    What to work on? First off I would strongly recommend a teacher. Just like golf or running or anything that is a practiced skill, it helps NOT to start off with bad habits. A good teacher will make sure you get moving in the right direction quickly and help you NOT develop any bad habits.

    Otherwise, there are lots of beginning bass method books. I see folks recommending Hal Leonard - but again, I am not a expert in beginner books - so use the search here on that one.

    I would also recommend strongly putting on your favorite bass-driven songs and getting your ears to it. Start trying to pick out those basslines and learn them by ear. Try to envision what that bass player is doing - is he playing up in the middle of the neck? Is he using a pick? Lots of tone? The more you try to think like you think they're thinking, the closer you will get to playing what they're playing, I think.

    Good luck!
  3. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    Dont be affraid to use your imagination, you can strum chords, picks chords with your index and middle, use a pick, they all have there own sound, dont just do one thing like just play single notes all the time

    just my 2 cence lol
  4. I'm just glad he doesn't assume he can play because he plays guitar!

    I started on an SX bass and will recommend it for bang-for-buck.

    Remember, don't play it through your guitar amp!

    It certainly varies from song to song, but bass is often played by playing the root along with the guitarist for beginners. You can also play out the chord progressions with each note individually. This gives it a much groovier feel.

    I'm seriousluy over-simplifying it, but thats how I came to understand the bass and something more than an easy guitar.
  5. jm3sb0nd007


    Sep 22, 2006
    Thx for the number of responses so far, :). Yeah i'll be sure to not play the bass through my guitar amp. I do have a PA system tho, just making sure, i'll be able to play it through that right? I think i read some post sayin some bassist used a pa system. By the way, since we're on the topic of using certain equip with bass guitars. I have a boss me-50 pedalboard for my guitar, I kno that boss has a version of the me-50 specifcally for bass guitars. I'm guessing that it would not be wise to use the me-50 i have with my bass guitar, I don't want to mess anything up. What would happen if i plugged it in it? Would it work fine with it? Would it simply not play? Would i get feedback? Would i get a nuclear meltdown? lol.

    Also, I know with guitars, especially with rock/metal, they use lots of distortion usually as a generic effect. Do bassists usually use effects on their guitars? or do they most of the time keep it clean? either way i'd probably start off clean anyways. just wondering. Thx again everyone for postin, kee p the tips/advice comin. im startin to get really excited bout takin up bass.
  6. Hey jm3sb0nd007, I'm in sorta the same boat as you: started learning bass a few months ago so I could play in the church band, after about two years on guitar. Also like you I was pretty comfortable with basic music theory (esp. chord construction) and had a good grasp of the guitar fretboard, and those have really helped with transition to bass. Turns out bass is much more fun than I ever expected!

    For a low-priced started bass, I'd look at Yamaha or Ibanez. Can't go wrong with them, and you can find them used and save a few bucks. Or better yet, find their $300 models used and you'll get a better bass within your price range. Never played an SX though they get favorable comments on this forum.

    As far as the ME-50 is concerned, there is no problem running your bass through it (at least, there was no problem when I ran my bass through mine! :) ), but many of the presets won't sound very good. The "mod" effects (chorus in particular) work well, and depending on your musical style even some of the ODs or distortions can work with bass.

    Best of luck!
  7. The ME-50 is simply EQ'd for guitar. With some tweaking on the pedal you should be fine.
  8. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    The problem most guitar player have when they play bass is they play it like a guitar they don't get the feel right. So work on understand the approach/feel of bass versus guitar.

    In fact playing with fingers versus pick might help in the beginning to think differently on each instrument. Plus being flexible and being able to do fingers and pick will be good for the long run.
  9. jm3sb0nd007


    Sep 22, 2006
    awesome good to know. thx. So from what i think i know so far, the standard tuning of a bass is like a guitar *high to low*, g, d, a, E just with two less strings. and the notes on the fretboard are of course set up the same as a guitar, so really i would mainly just need to get use to the thick strings, getting use to how a bassist plays by listenin to some bass influenced songs, and transposing what i know from guitar into a bass form. hope i'm not making it sound too simple or nething but thats what i've gathered. And i think i'll try playing the bass to start out usin both a pick and fingerin n see how i like both. been listenin to alot of songs with bass in them and really training my ear on the bass lines so hopefully i'll be able to pick this up fairly quickly. Just need to earn bout 50 $ more to get the guitar.
  10. Corona_Clyde


    Sep 10, 2006
    I started off playing acoustic guitar as well. Then my buddies, who were trying to get a band together, lost their bassist. So, since i'm such a team player, I decided to give it a shot. I ended up loving it. I also found out that there was alot of opportunity in the instrument because everyone in my town plays guitar. So here I am today, keeping the rythym alive!
  11. jm3sb0nd007


    Sep 22, 2006
    haha yeah i know what you mean, there's like maybe one bassist that i know of around where i live. everyone i know either plays guitar or drums. i think bass really is an underated band position, really think it ties the music together.
  12. jm3sb0nd007


    Sep 22, 2006
    thx everyone for the posts been helpful. I went to guitar center today and tried out the ibanez gsr200. Was first time i actually played a bass guitar in a while, and was suprisingly easier to play. Playing with the two fingers was alot more easier then i expected, my friend *Drummer in my band* said that I sounded like i'd pick it up pretty fast so im pretty optimistic right now.

    Since i've saved up quite a bit of mulla i should have the gsr200 within the week :).
  13. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    Don't let anyone tell you that if you play guitar and add bass to your arsenal that you can't play bass. If you're a musician (sounds like you might be) you can play anything you put effort into. All instruments are different and fortunately few have more crossover than standard guitar and bass guitar. For me picking up bass was no different than picking up guitar after studying piano for 4 years. If you can hear music and then play the music like you hear it, you've got it...our new drummer told me that playing together the first meeting was no different than any other bass specific players he's played with in the past 20 years and even better than some of them. He mentioned that he was worried in advance when he found out that I changed over within the last 6 months, and had we not told him upfront there was no way he would have picked up on it. Moral of the story - don't get intimidated, if you have the ability to play music, you have the ability to be a bass player.
  14. jm3sb0nd007


    Sep 22, 2006
    Thx, appreciate it. I had my first band pratice and my drummer and i did just some improvision with me on bass, picked it up pretty fast, was havin lots of fun on it. was able to keep the rhythm and it sounded good. i felt very comfortable playing it. would interchange using a pick and using two fingers, would use a pick for faster playing and fingers for more slower parts but ne ways yea :D
  15. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    That's exactly what I do - pick for faster songs, fingers for slower songs. You get a little different sound between picks and fingers so sometimes either / or is just better suited to a tune.

    The PA - yes, you can play through the PA if you don't want to haul gear, etc...
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