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How easy is it to learn bass

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Kaj, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. Kaj


    Jun 24, 2007
    i realy want to learn an instrument i have tried guitar in the past but i have a lack of cordination. is the bass easier?
  2. nope.

    not if you lack coordination.

  3. From a non-teachers perspective...

    In the sense of fretting the strings yes, bass is easier than guitar once you learn to do it (it's harder at first, being a bigger instrument).

    Also, with mainly playing single notes on bass against the chord instruments it's often "easier" complimenting them in a jam in some respects. It's also easier to notice bassists mistakes too, a lot of the time. ;)

    But in the sense of how complex you want your music to be, or how you choose to express it, or how accurately you cover someone elses song, then no it's not. Learning any instrument from a musical standpoint is as easy or difficult as your ability to absorb and convert the information, and what level you wish to achieve, and the work you put in to achieve it.

    And in the sense of place in a band no I do not feel bass is easier than guitar. In that regard I think it's more important to understand and respect the various instrument roles than judge complexity in thier learning...

    One example, I still struggle to learn and play the bassline to Layla (Eric Clapton), yet was blown away with the ease of the opening guitar riff after mentioning it must also be difficult! So that must mean bass is harder ;)
  4. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    All instruments are equally easy to learn. The only things that can impede one's excelling at playing a musical instrument are a physical handicap that limits one's ability to play a certain instrument, desire, or commitment.

    For example, if one has a skin allergy to certain metals used in guitar strings another instrument would be a better choice. Along the same lines the trumpet is usually a poor choice for an asthmatic. Most often there is nothing to be done about a physical handicap other than to choose a different instrument.

    The second handicap is desire, or more specifically the lack of desire. If one does not fervently desire to become proficient then it will never happen. The desire to play an instrument is not passing fancy. It is a consuming preoccupation, sometimes to the exclusion of many other things. Sometimes desire alone will overcome physical limitations.

    No matter how much one desires to become a player none of it will happen without commitment. One may have all the tools and desire necessary to succeed but without commitment to the hours of practice it will never happen. The first commitment one must make is a commitment to time. Every day they have their instrument in their hands for a certain amount of time. The second commitment comes later when the new player finds the reason to play and commits to excellence. At that point the initial commitment to time becomes meaningless. The student now practices for as long as it takes to get to their goal of perfection.

    When all of these things exist together the student may achieve mastery of the instrument.
  5. steve66


    Sep 17, 2005
    South Florida


    Very well said.

    If you spend alot of time learning the basics and making reading music a part of your practice, you will become a better player with more understanding. You may also want to get with a teacher for a few lessons to prevent any bad habits right from the start. The coordination will come with practice. Identify your goals. Good Luck
  6. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    No its not easier than guitar,its probably harder from the aspect you have to tie together everything that everyone else is playing and still want to make people dance and groove.Just because a bass has 4 strings doesnt make it easier than guitar.Try riding a unicycle it must be easier than riding a regular bike cuz it only has one wheel instead of two!!:rollno:
  7. Naminator01


    Oct 29, 2005
  8. BassChuck

    BassChuck Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Most people really like the idea of getting up on stage and performing, or playing with a band. But you aren't going to do very well if you don't really love to practice (that is, you and axe all by yourself working out the technique). If you wake up in the morning knowing when and what you are going to practice, and looking forward to it, you'll be just fine.

    As Ellington put it, "Music is my Mistress". And you gotta spend the time to keep her happy.
  9. ric1312

    ric1312 Inactive

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    Depends on your goal. Do you want to be a good bass player who really knows his stuff and can hold it down or play some flashy techniques?

    Or do you just want to play some songs and be needed by a band but not really get any kudos for being the star and upfront.

    The thing about bass is, as long as you have some internal meter, you can just plunk the root notes and back up the rest of the band. some bands want that, and often if you are in a 2 guitar band with wailing distortion you wouldn't be able to get anything fancy heard anyway. Most people can play at this level, using tabs, well within a month.

    The thing I liked about bass when I started was that I could start off on it very basic and not piss anyone off as long as I was playing the right notes and in time with the drummer. But, then as I got more skill I could add some new techniques to my basic playing.

    coordination builds quickly if you keep practiceing.

    I wouldn't look at it as, "how long to learn, or how hard to learn." Just keep practicing, no point in even starting if you don't enjoy it from the get go. You won't magically one day go yaaa I'm decent now its fun.

    Most of the players that I know, that get good and enjoy their instrument, have a mindset like it's video game to beat and master and enjoy the process of mastering it. They aren't thinking of the end result constantly, they enjoy getting down hard pieces and the feeling of making them simple to play.

    IMO at a begginers level bass is easier, past being a beginner it's not as easy. I know a lot of guitar players that are good, but when filling in on bass don't play any better than a noob on bass.

    I think the best thing you can do is learn some songs at first to make it fun. I made the mistake of first trying to learn scales and theory and I almost put it down because they bored me all to hell.
  10. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's all about desire if you really want to play music you will take the time and effort to do it. As the saying goes.... The Journey is the reward.
  11. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I agree 100% with Depthcharge and Ric1312. I disagree with 202dys first paragrah. I'd really like to know what "QFT" means. And sorry to say I agree with Mon. You may have jumped the gun on saying you lack coordination though. May just be a chord playing thing - which ya don't have to do on bass. :)
  12. forte

    forte Inactive

    Jul 7, 2006
    don't let these people ******** you. they're just digging around trying to convince themselves. full of **** anyway.

    yeah, it's easy to learn. and you can get far with very basic theory and all that ****. and guitar and drums are much, much more difficult, especially drums. and because of that it's very fun to play when you're in a band (original, not cover! covers aren't for real musicians).

    so yeah it's a good instrument to pick up dude. definitely go for it.
  13. I can't agree with that. I play guitar and bass well, and the drums to some degree, and I'd put them all at about the same level. You want a hard instrument, try out the brass family or the bowed strings.
  14. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006

    I couldn't play guitar either when I 1st started, because I thought I didn't have the muscle memory required to play the chords, nor did it feel comfortable to play/practice.

    Well, the truth is this: you must have finger calluses to play either guitar or bass, and it takes time to learn either.
    But, really, the things that make the two differen is the THINKING/UNDERSTANDING behind the function of both instruments It's totally different.
    It's like the difference between piano and tuba.

    So pick one.

    Guitar will get you more chicks, but guitar players are a penny a hundred. And most are bad.
  15. Disregard the verbosity above. I've played for thirty-six years. Is bass easier? Duh.

    People think my signature (below) is a joke. The joke's on them.

    The answer to your question is yes.
  16. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    It's easy in the sense that you can get a useable sound out of a (fretted) bass guitar immediately and don't need much technical proficiency to play bass parts for most pop and rock tunes.

    That said, if you don't have a somewhat decent sense of time, I'd recommend steering clear of bass and drums entirely. As I've discovered, in some people, this sense of time can be trained and developed; in others, it can't.
  17. chasfr


    Jan 4, 2005
    Easy enough that you should start right away. And hard enough to last you the rest of your life, so you should start right away.

    Have fun!
  18. Like anything else, bass can be learnt as slowly or as quickly as you want to learn it. The more practice you put in, the sooner it will become easier.
    It took me quite a few years to finally grasp it all, but on the same note, I was happy plugging away at the tunes I could work out straight away because I didn't want to practice. But, that didn't stop me playing in 'garage' bands. I could barely hold a song together, luckily the drunker people got, the better it sounded. And if I wasn't confident with a song, I'd turn the volume down a bit so the drums would drown me out, to an extent.
    But, back to the point, if you are determined to learn, and practice, bass is an instrument that will keep challenging you til you die.
    chasfr said it well "Easy enough that you should start right away. And hard enough to last you the rest of your life, so you should start right away."
  19. I had to look QFT up myself:


    I'm siding with Quoted For Truth :D

    And there's a saying in BJJ - just because something is simple doesn't mean it's easy ;)
  20. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    QFT BBG LOL KMG KJU HGF FFF and IUY!!!!!!!!!!!! LMAO

    And I agree 100% with peekstar.
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