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Is knowing how to play Rhythm guitar a prerequisite for playing bass guitar?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Innadi, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. Innadi


    Feb 2, 2013
    Hyderabad, India
    I've been playing bass since one year. I recently came across a guy who told me that it was necessary to be able to play Rhythm guitar before moving on to bass. Is he right?
  2. Short answer. No
  3. But id guess a rhythm guitarist would likely be better at bass than a lead guitarist. :)
  4. Steveman


    Jun 25, 2010
    There is no pre-requisite for anything. Will learning rhythm guitar help? Sure! Necessary? No.
  5. Good rhythm guitar playing is a highly neglected art.
  6. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
  7. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    It's as necessary as dry-humping is for **********.
  8. zenrad

    zenrad Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bergen County, NJ
    I first touched a string instrument as a 13 year old. I took classical guitar lessons for three years and that has done more for me as a bass player through the decades than anything else I learned on guitar. I play rhythm and some lead on my recordings and the way I view it is that all of the sounds live in different areas of the song.

    Let's also think of what exactly is rhythm guitar? Bob Weir? Tom Petty? David Rhodes (Peter Gabriel's band), Prince, Jimmy Nolen - all of these players are worlds apart IMO and masters at what they do. If I had to learn to play like each of them I'd have no time to play bass ;)

    So the short answer is no :D
  9. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    Can you play your bass pretty well? Then You have your answer. I didn't learn Guitar until after 20 years of playing, gigging and teaching Bass. To me 6 string guitar is pretty simple to learn but can take a lifetime to master. Same with Bass.
  10. Being good at rhythm guitar isn't a prerequisite by any means, but it sure doesn't hurt!
  11. ZenG


    Dec 13, 2013
    Near the fridge
  12. Session1969

    Session1969 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    Are you trying to get a rise out of me ?
  13. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    guitar? no.
    Rhythm? yes.
  14. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    What no one ever talks about is the internal metronome rhythm guitarists develop. That plus having played with other people, in a band situation, helps when we come over to the bass.

    Can you be successful on the bass with out that experience. Of course, just takes you a little longer.
  15. Not at all. What a strange idea.
  16. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    He's full of kaka. Wouldn't be the first or last guitar player that thought he knew everything.
  17. Spent

    Spent Supporting Member

    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    It's his opinion and I think it has merit. I was a rhythm guitarist for many years before switching to bass. I played both for a while, but bass just felt better. I still play guitar and just bought a new acoustic (Epiphone DR500 MCE, awesome guitar IMHO). Anyway, I don't always have a great ear, but I can easily identify the chords the guitarist is playing. I believe it helps my timing as well, not to mention that it's useful to play songs from all perspectives. It is necessary? No, but anytime you stretch as a musician, it's beneficial.
  18. jmverdugo


    Oct 11, 2012
    Katy TX
    Isn't guitar and bass guitar pretty much the same thing? I mean music theory wise? Maybe he just meant that if you learn guitar you are also learning bass guitar and with with a little bit of musical common sense you can go the other way around too.
  19. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    No! Not at all. I play guitar (not because I think I should, but wanted to learn how), and if I am playing something the guitar player knows and I don't (on bass), I can look at his hand and know what chord he's playing. That's the only advantage I can think of. Bass is a different instrument than guitar entirely and most guitar players who try to play bass play it too hard (which creates a lot of needless fret noise among other things).
  20. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    What if you play a 5 string bass. Then it's not like a guitar at all.