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I'm torn between Bass and Electric guitar

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Vika, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. Vika


    Feb 5, 2014
    I absolutely adore the sound of bass guitar but I also love guitar's high notes! I don't know which of them I'm willing to pick up the most. Any advice/ point of view on it? As subjectively as it can be. I know many of you happen to play both instruments, I'd love to, but for the time being I'll fully commit myself to make the most out of one.

    Thanks in advance, everybody!
  2. Both?
  3. wild4oldcars


    Jan 22, 2012
    Garner, NC
    I started on acoustic, then moved to bass. I had an electric and an acoustic guitar for awhile, but I played bass the most. I feel like over the 4 or 5 years I have been playing, I have begun to favor higher notes more than lower notes. I generally play alone, so this is acceptable for the most part (I can be a real bassist and keep low end in the mix in a group setting). In the last couple months, I have been enthralled with harmonics, and being able to play notes that are usually in the sonic space of an electric guitar. When I play with one of my guitar playing friends, he often complains about this, but when he solos, I can fill up that area with chordal harmonies that most bass players do not do. So basically, I compromised and play bass very similar to the way a rhythm guitarist would, while still maintaining low end when it needs to be present. It may not work for everyone, but I enjoy it.
  4. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    Yes, play both. I play bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, and keyboard/piano. I don't gig as a keyboard/piano player or drummer, but do on the other three. Because my time is limited, I just pick one to focus on whenever I have a gig coming up and then do the others with whatever time I have left, just to keep my skills up.

    If you aren't gigging you could easily do both--just practice guitar one day, then bass the next...alternating every other day. If you are practicing correctly, you'll make good progress with each.
  5. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central Jersey
    Without basss, there is no band!

    Play bass!
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    +1. Why choose?

    Start with whichever you feel like you have a stronger connection with. Go play both at the store and see which speaks to you.

    I feel like bassists that pick up guitar have a better respect for it, and guitarists that pick up bass usually do it because they think it's easy.
  7. I would continue to play both. You will likely find that by playing guitar, it will help your bass playing and vice versa. As a guitar player, primarily, I've discovered that I'm more comfortable playing a short scale bass but I also play a regular 34" scale bass as well and it helps with my stretch on guitar. If you practice efficiently and smartly, there is no reason you can't become good at both instruments.
  8. And like me, they find out quickly that they are sadly mistaken ;)
  9. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    When I was about eleven years old, I told my mom (a drummer in an all-women rock band) I wanted to learn guitar. Her first counter-proposal was, "Why don't you learn bass?" After listing a bunch of practical reasons (four strings vs. six, don't have to deal with multi-string chords until waaaaay later, a good foundation for learning six-ers later, etc…) she capped it by telling me, "Guitarists are a dime-a-dozen. Everyone tries to play guitar, but there will always be a demand for a good bassist."

    And she's right about that. Just think how many bands' bassists are frustrated guitarists who, when faced with the prospect of having no low-end, raised their hands and said "<sigh> Alright, I'll be the one to play bass." How many bands do you know of who's rhythm section contains a "pure bassist"?
  10. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Like most have said, play both. I played guitar for around 15 years before picking up bass, and I've found that my guitar playing has improved dramatically since then. Plus you're more useful to a band!
  11. Reddog01


    Nov 3, 2013
    Georgetown, TX
    Either instrument would be a good choice. However, they are different in right hand technique and different in left hand playing. My advise to you is whatever you learn to play, learn to read music on that instrument. That's what separates the hackers from the musicians.
  12. Ironbar


    Aug 24, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    That's what I was going to say. Why do you have to choose one or the other? Play both!
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Me too :bag:
  14. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Another vote for "both".

    I play both, albeit I play bass MUCH better because I "love" bass, but only "really like" guitar.

    I feel like switching gives a better perspective of the other, and often opens up new ideas and creativity.

    When I'm practicing in the house my spouse MUCH more prefers to hear me play guitar, and I agree as a solo instrument of course for the obvious reasons.

    However, my real joy is playing LIVE MUSIC, and bass guitar is my passion. I know what gets folks up, moving, dancing, and gyrating their tail feathers, it is not a guitar.

    I really like when folks who are not used to hearing live music get to experience a full band for the first time, particularly a driving and thundering bass. I've had numerous occasions where someone tells me they finally understand what a bass can/should do and be about. :bassist:

    Yep live bass is as visceral as it is audible, and so many people don't really "get" that only listening to pre-recorded music through their home or car systems, or even a good dj rig doesn't tell the whole story.

    So, yeah, OP you gotta follow what speaks to you. :)
  15. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Great thoughts here. I play both but I played bass first and it is by far and without question my first and only love. I picked the guitar up about 6 years after I started playing bass to help me write songs. Playing the bass for that time and picking the guitar up did indeed make me appreciate the guitar more. And the bass for that matter. But I do feel that you either feel stronger and or more passionate about one or the other. Quite honestly the bass took a back seat to me playing for about 2 or 3 years ago for about a year. I just enjoyed playing the guitar a little more. But my passion for bass, that never really went away, just lacked for a little bit there and I was playing guitar a lot more. I think it had to do with where I was in life at the time. I wasnt in a band at the time and I was writing a lot at that time and the acoustic guitar really helped me get through some things. But that gradually died off and my bassdom grew back with a serious vengeance and it was on from there. Then I joined TB and I was back in full swing.
  16. R&B

    R&B Both kinds of music: Rhythm AND Blues! Supporting Member

    I play bass only. I chose it because it combines rhythm and melody, and because the booming low sounds have always made me happy.

    Fingerstyle only, no pick, no slap. I do read music thanks to the Hal Leonard Bass Method. Yet I often work from chord charts or tab. P&W music, Motown and now blues. I've come pretty far in less than two years, or so people tell me.

    Every band needs a bassist. The bass provides the foundation. And it makes the booties shake! Including mine. :bassist:
  17. I say both also!

    Welcome to TB!
  18. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Both....you can always infuse your bass playing with melodic guitar riffs, like Geddy Lee.
  19. randyripoff


    Jul 12, 2008

    +1 FTW
  20. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Try an Extended Range Bass. Or play baritone guitar! Great fun to be had there too.