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Playing the bass like a guitarist?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by kebbs, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. kebbs

    kebbs Modus vivendi

    Aug 30, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hey everyone,

    What does it mean to play the bass like a guitarist? You know - when a guitarist grabs a bass and starts playing...

    I can't seem to figure out what the most obvious features of this playing would be. Lack of groove? Literally treating the bass like the last four strings on a guitar?

    Any ideas or thoughts?

  2. OtterOnBass


    Oct 5, 2007
    The man I saw playing and thought he played like a guitarist had played bass for many years. He used a pick, bent the strings and played all over the place. Was it bad? No way.
  3. From what I have seen they can not take the heavy strings... Buzz buzz. I know when I pick up a guitar it feels like I am going to break the tiny little thing :(
  4. Mharris


    Sep 25, 2007
    Missoula Montana
    I think you could even say Justin Chancellor of Tool plays the bass like a guitar most of the time. It's not a bad thing at all given the context. I mean, after all, it is a bass guitar.
  5. Cliff Burton

  6. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I wonder if people on guitar forums say rhythm guitarists play guitar like a bass....
  7. TFunkadelic


    Apr 9, 2006
    There's not really a wrong way to play any instrument. It just depends on what you're trying to accomplish.
  8. Sgt-Pluck


    Dec 12, 2007
    Two words, John and Entwhistle!


  9. Maybe that's coming from ignorant people who think that bass is purely fingers. :rolleyes:
  10. Fnord Explorer

    Fnord Explorer

    Feb 3, 2008
    I started out playing guitar and people told me I played guitar like a bassist. :D

    The switch was an obvious decision.
  11. Chriso21


    Jan 15, 2006
    Fort Worth Texas
    guitarists tend not to pluck the strings very hard and even though their fingers move fast they don't understand that you have to push down harder on the strings on the frets to stop buzzing and to make a nice clean tight punchy bass sound.
  12. I have a friend who plays bass like a guitar. He is actually a guitarist, but wanted a very deep and heavy sound so he started using a bass like a guitar. It's pretty interesting.
  13. JeremyBender


    Oct 22, 2001
    Berry Oakley before he died (Allman Brothers) was often criticized for playing the bass like a guitar and I never thought he had no groove. Frankly it was quite the opposite.
  14. i often ask some better guitar players to play my bass like the way they would play their guitar. and watching them gives me cool new ideas, learnt this from victor wooten!
  15. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    I think it's a sort of general-purpose gripe that different people use to describe different things that they personally do not like.
  16. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    +1 on all the posts.
    I think it just has more to do with the approach. Any non-bassist will tend to approach another instrument differently, not in the aspect of not being able to groove, slap or etc.... Although, I'm not discounting the way bassists other than myself approach the instrument either, i tend to always learn something new from watching anyone regardless. Even if they're playing something I've seen a million times over, I can learn something new from it every time.

  17. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    "You don't strum a bass"-
    David Cassidy to Danny Bonaduce.
  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    Some of Oakley's bass parts mirrored the guitar lines...on a whole, though, I think he played bass lines + had some nice bass figures. Maybe people thought he was playing "lead bass (which is different than a guitaristic approach to bass)?
  19. Laredo


    Nov 27, 2005
    Upstate, NY
    Live at Buffalo 1994.............Buy it on iTunes. Like a guitar player, yes.............Amazing H*ll Yeah! Billy Sheehan is spectacular to watch, whether you are a guitar, or bass player.:bassist:
  20. When I saw the title I immediately thought you mean...

    - Too Loud
    - Constantly Tuning
    - Playing between songs when everyone else is trying to discuss something

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