1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

I can play Bass but I can't play Guitar

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by mancefine, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. mancefine


    Jul 7, 2013
    Endorsing Artist: Orange Amplifiers and Spector Basses
    I was just curious to see how many people out there were like me. I'm pretty dang good at bass, I know all my keys, notes etc, mainly play an agressive "Geezer-esque" fingerstyle but can play with a pick, but put a 6 string guitar in my hands and it may as well be a clarinet, as it seems that foreign. I can wail on bass all day but I just simply don't get guitar. I've never had any desire to play guitar, but recently I figured I'd try and give it a go. Anyone else have this issue, and are there any good methods from translating bass to guitar? I have big hands, so that's always made it a bit more difficult for me on guitar.
  2. JVbass


    Feb 15, 2009
    Cleveland OH
    I can't play guitar and never had a desire to learn. For me, it's always been bass!!
  3. i can barely play a guitar, and when i do prefer an acoustic... and even further i like the sound of a classical, but i only know about 4 or 5 chords... other than that i end up playing it like a bass, lol. I can write solo's pretty well but again that just comes from the single picking bass knowledge
  4. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    My college bass instructor couldn't play guitar and as far as I know still can't. He's an amazing bass player, though! One of the best! I can play guitar, but I only do so in the privacy of my own home because I'm not very good at it.
  5. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Yeah I'm really not a good guitarist, I've never practised it. I've still had to show guitarists how to play chords before though... :rollno:
  6. KeddyLee


    Nov 12, 2013
    I used to play solo acoustic shows with a 12-string so, yes, I can play. Definitely not lead or anything to fancy but I can strum or pick my way through a couple hundred tunes.

    It makes writing music so much easier.
  7. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Never learned to play guitar. I need to correct that.
  8. Marginal Tom

    Marginal Tom

    Apr 28, 2010
    O'Fallon, IL
    I had just started guitar lessons when my ring finger and pinkie went numb (cubital tunnel syndrome). No more guitar lessons for me.
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    If you learn to play guitar, eventually you succeed at it.
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    i would ask you to compare the hours you logged learning to be a bass player vs those spent learning to play guitar. I expect the answer will be pretty clear for you. i'm a bass player who loves guitar. just not as much as I love the bass. That is quite clear in my playing of each.

    I would also say that it isn't a race. What is true today, might not be true a few years from now. The beauty of our passion is that there is always more to learn and achieve. There is no destination, just the journey...
  11. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    Yeah, I suck at guitar. Everything's too small and too close together. I can't get out of my own way.
  12. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    Same here!!!
  13. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    For many of us, bass was our natural instrument of choice. It was for me.
    Guitar being a stringed instrument is truly an entirely different instrument. I play guitar, but feel much more comfy on good 'ol bass. The switch in your head between bassist & guitarist can sometimes be difficult to flip.
  14. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Los Angeles California
    I started out on bass but maybe 3 years in I picked up guitar. I am obviously more a bass player but I have been a better guitarist then some of the guitar players in my bands. When I audition guitar players I am rather frank about it and say if you call yourself a guitarist you should be able to play better then me. For the record I dont consider myself a guitarist. I cant play crazy solo's but can get by on guitar if need be.

    I look awkward as hell playing a les paul, but a strat fits me well. Just like a bass you have to find a guitar that fits you.
  15. I can't pick or play chords to save my life. :oops:
  16. davegt666


    Jun 30, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I started out learning guitar for about a month. Learn a few chords and stuff. Then my friend traded a spare tire to his neighbor for a squire p bass. I tried it and it's been all bass for me ever since. I can barely play guitar, just power chords and stuff, but on bass I'm like a different person. I can really attack that bass pretty well with both fingers and a pick. I love it.
  17. I can play guitar a little but I am much better at bass. Like KeddyLee said above it makes writing much easier.
  18. In response to the first thread in this post.

    I think it is important to recognise that bass is a completely different instrument than a 6 string 'treble' guitar

    I use to joke with a lead guitarist that whilst he could play skinny strings fast I could play fat strings slow....

    And it was true because whilst he could flair on lead, he was totally incompetent in belting out a bass groove...and vice versa

    There is art to both...
  19. hand size means nothing... itzhak perlman has huge hands and could be defended as the greatest violinist of all time. consider the size of a violin. if anyone can play that, you can play a guitar.

    it's just tuned unevenly. if you can play the bass, with a relatively small amount of work you can learn any other string instrument- guitar being one of the easier ones. learning a new instrument in the same category is not that hard. not necessarily easy, but easier than starting guitar / a string instrument from scratch.
  20. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    Me too.
    Too tight, It may as well be a mandolin.