learning guitar without slacking in my bass development

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by narcopolo, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. narcopolo


    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    i am learning guitar, but i don't want to stop getting better as a bassist. time is a precious thing, and so what i was wondering is if anyone knows good ways to get better at guitar that will also translate well to bass, and vice versa.
  2. bonscottvocals


    Feb 10, 2005
    Upstate NY
    Remember to look at them as differently as you would vocals and bass - they serve different purposes within the song. I play both and I remember that right now, I'm sitting in the rhythm pocket tying the melody to the drum because I'm playing bass. The fingering is different, hand positioning is different, I'm using my fingers, etc. Then I pick up the guitar and I'm 'emulating' vocals or tying the bass to the vocals. I'm using a pick, the strings are closer together and smaller, I have a higher voicing...

    If you see them as different instruments with different functions and focus on what they do well for the song, you will continue to play better in both instruments.
  3. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Learning/knowing guitar will help you out alot as a bassist. That's my experience. For one thing, when you play with along with a guitarist, you can recognize what chords he/she is playing instead of asking all the time.
  4. jdThumpin'


    Aug 16, 2005
    my finger dexterity got better at least from practicing rythm guitar parts with a lot of chord changes!

    what I do is I think what bassline would go well with what i play on guitar and try it on bass eventually. this way is a lot of fun! :hyper:
  5. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    The two compliment each other very well. what you learn on guitar, can be transfered to bass, and vica versa.
  6. narcopolo


    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    i've definitely noticed that my rhythm guitar attempts tend to be very bassline-like. i'm hoping maybe my basslines will end up being more melodic and expressive.
  7. Tingly


    Jul 16, 2005
    Yonkers, NY
    I find I get improvement all around, practicing both. The six string helps my knowledge of the bass fretboard. The bass helps my timing on the guitar.

    But the most OBVIOUS thing is that the physical playing of a six string is a lot easier after playing bass for a few hours. It feels like a kid's toy in my hands.
  8. Learning bass has improved my guitar playing, so I assume that learning guitar would also help your bass playing.

    Seems like a win/win situation to me.
  9. Hey man, just quit learning bass and concentrate on guitar for a year. Cause everyone knows that if you can play guitar well you'll be badass at the bass!!!

  10. narcopolo


    Sep 12, 2005
    richmond, va
    yeah, cuz it's two less strings to worry about . . . right? :rolleyes:
  11. Nirvana4ever


    Aug 2, 2005
    I am kind of in the same situation. I am a bassist but I have been playing a lot of guitar lately. I play for fun though. I do not take it very seriously. I do not play it for my band and I do not take lessons for it.

    I think it is good for a bassist to own a guitar because you apply what you know on bass to guitar. You learn a lot from playing guitar. I say, don't worry about slacking off on your bass skills because you are actually developing them while you play on guitar. But don't stop playing bass or you will either lose interest or get to used to guitar. Playing both is cool. It gives you a chance to change styles when you feel like it. Rock on.
  12. CrazyArcher


    Aug 5, 2004
    It's a definately win/win condition.
    At the beginning I played guitar, cuz it was the only thing I could afford. When I got bass, I kind of dropped it for a few months, and when I decided to pick it up again for some fun, I realized that my fretting speed considerably increased. Right now I try to find time for guitar, and it makes roughly 80/20 ratio. It's also a warm fuzzy feeling of supremacy over the guitarists: you play bass well and can play some decent rythm guitar parts, and he plays guiar well and sucks on bass. On one rehearsal I took a guitar and kicked in some fast licks. The guitarists of my band didn't think I could play guitar as well as I did :)
  13. I played guitar at start as well, and kinda abandoned it 10-12 years ago. I picked up bass, and tried out a guitar the other day, and guess what, the stuff I regarded as stretchy before is easy to play now.

    So fretting guitar gets easier after sweating it on bass. Also chording and a lot of guitar work can be applied to bass playing as well. However I don't agree that playing guitar a lot will give you dexterity to play bass, bass is harder to fret.
  14. same here been playin van halen and yngwie on guitar for 20 years and one fateful day in january 05 i decided to learn mean steets by van halen , well i had so much fun tryin to play the intro {sorta slapin on a guitar for those unfamiliar
    ] i decided i really wanted to play the bass. well slap and tap it mostly, larry graham is now god and my hot rodded fender strat sits in the corner and collects neo classical cobwebs while my peavey grind bass thumps out motown grooves. i play bass with my fingers and guitar with a pick. if i owned a classical guitar i would play it or if i played bass with a pick i would play electric guitar more. so it all depends on your goals. theres nothing wrong with being a jack of many trades im just single track minded. and the best way to keep up the bass while learning the guitar is to study position playing on bass and chordal playing on guitar.
  15. Gintaras

    Gintaras Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    My previous bass teacher played classical guitar. I have a Yamaha flamenco and play around with both flamenco and classical. I find it helps with my right hand technique since I play 3 fingers. (sometimes I even sneak in the pinky :bag: )
  16. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Trade some TV time for guitar. Put the same amount of effort on the bass as you always have.
  17. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Playing guitar will not help you to be a better bass player. Take it from a guy who has switched from guitar to bass several times. One does not improve the other. Still switching off from bass to guitar is better then say from bass to trumpet where there is no physical similarities.

    If you want to be able to play both instruments thats fine, but don't think that playing guitar will somehow improve your bass playing. About the best it will do is help to keep your left hand technique from totally disappearing.

    If you want to improve your bass playing by better understanding how other instruments work thats one thing, but you don't have to physically learn the other instrument to learn how it functions.....And if you want to learn more about music in general then study theory and ear training not another instrument.

  18. Playing guitar will help you to be a better bass player. Take it from a guy who has stuck with both. Playing the guitar taught me how to play melodically, how to form and strum chords, and how to use a pick and all my fingers. From the bass I've learned to play more solidly in time, to groove, and to play cleanly. If you quit one to learn the other you'll get rusty at the one you quit and cancel out the benefits, but if you gain skill on both concurrently then you'll see your sklls cross-pollinate.
  19. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD

    Why couldn't you have learned to play chords on the bass? Or how to play melodically on bass guitar? Why couldn't you learn how to keep a groove on a guitar?

    Hey everyones experience is different and if thats how you learn then who am I to knock it. Still, your instrument is simply a tool. Music is music. You can play rhythm on a flute, chords on a bass, and melody on a Tuba.

    I'm not saying that people shouldn't learn to play guitar. But I very much doubt that it will improve your bass playing.

  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Anything you do to improve your skills as an overall musician will help your bass playing, and that includes playing guitar, piano, drums, trumpet, sax, learning theory, studying classical, studying bebop, etc. While playing guitar and bass are two different skills that require different things, you will learn more about chord formation, note choices, etc. So anything that has you working with music and improving your understanding of it is a good thing, and unless you quit one to work on the other, it can only affect it positively.