Help choosing a second instrument

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jmone, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Guitar

    11 vote(s)
  2. Keyboards

    50 vote(s)
  3. Other - please specify

    12 vote(s)
  1. jmone


    Mar 1, 2010
    If you could do it over again what instrument would you learn in addition to bass? I'm dead set on bass being my main instrument but I find the instrument limited in certain areas, particularly in writing music for a band context as in most cases a song isn't written around the bass.

    That being said I guess it would have to be a chorded instrument so either keys or guitar?

    The other thing is I love playing with weird sounds/effects and they don't always sound the best coming from the low end. I actually bought myself a synthesizer and I get a ton of enjoyment anytime I get to play it with my band. That being said, I don't need to be a great keyboard player to be a great synthesist - I just need to be a great synthesist which is more about having knowledge than actually developing technique. So while I have no intention to trade my synth in, I don't think it would influence my decision.

    Anyway, any help is appreciated.
  2. Crusher47

    Crusher47 Tattoo'ed Freak

    Apr 12, 2014
    Fort Worth, TX
    Voted other - Drums or Mandolin
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  3. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Either keyboards or guitar, but I voted keyboards because playing it would make you think differently about chords, voicing, and progressions. Guitar does the same, but since the keyboard is linear it makes it easier to visualize, at least to me.
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  4. jmone


    Mar 1, 2010
    Mandolin is an interesting one. Why Mandolin?
  5. What's the band genre & members?
    Guitar driven or keys driven?

    Choose the one you'll stick to & have chances to gig on.
  6. jmone


    Mar 1, 2010
    I'm thinking more from a personal development standpoint. I'd like to be able to write songs and show them to other musicians. I don't think the style of music I like sways strongly towards either keys or guitar driven. Both are usually present.

    My role in my current band is very clearly to be the bass player and I'm content with that for this project.
  7. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    In addition to bass, I would learn electric bass. ;)
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  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
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  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Keys now, add guitar later.
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  10. jmone


    Mar 1, 2010
    Why's that?

  11. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I have played and taken lessons on other instruments such as violin, drums, keyboards, and guitar but never got good enough to be a main instrument. Bass became my main instrument in 1970 and is how I have been working steady ever since. I always wished that I would have gotten better on violin to be able to perform with it.
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  12. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Harmonica.......................Hohner Marine Band. Tons of YouTube videos on how to play. No other instrument for under $50 can touch a harmonica. No amp needed.
  13. pbassjbass


    Jun 21, 2013
    I don't think you need to stop with one more, and I think there are good arguments for getting as many musical perspectives as possible. I'd do keyboards, primarily because in the modern world of composition, sound creation, recording, mixing, etc. Being able to play keys is a bit like knowing how to type. You don't have to be able to take dictation, but if you can manipulate the keyboard, and learn to express chords, music theory concepts, and control concepts with it, you're in a good spot.
  14. jmone


    Mar 1, 2010
    Thanks for this, this was the most informative reply so far.
  15. Its always good to know guitar. Works well if you are playing live with a band and you are not familiar with the song the band is playing you can always peak over at the guitar player to see what chord he is playing.
    I am a very busy player but can take gigs on guitar and drums and even filled in on keys one night. For me I love to play just about any musical instrument.
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  16. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Keys are linear. Easy to get started. Learn all the chords and inversions. Read music and practice scales. Learn songs. Also good for ear training.

    Learn guitar chords and songs. Helps when following guitar player.
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  17. thetaxmiser

    thetaxmiser Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2002
    Cincinnati, OH USA
    Keyboards. Getting off the fretboard makes you think differently. You come at theory, changes, etc. from a different direction.
  18. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    I'd pick drummer, because when I am jamming, the 2 good drummers I have worked with look like they are having an absolute blast behind the kit....personally I wish I was a better sax player than I am..

    but voted Piano if you want to be more of a composer
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  19. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Paino/keys - comprised of rhythm and melody, provided you study theory you'll be able to read treble and bass clef as well as write/communicate music with anyone. Lots of jamming and gig opportunities too, as well soundtrack and as post-production, etc.

    Drums - obviously better comprehension of rhythm will apply to bass, and if you become competent the paying gigs will fall at your feel.
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  20. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    Torn between keys and guitar, but chose guitar only because of its portability.
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