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!  

Ratio of Guitarists to Bassists?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Flatwoundround, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Flatwoundround


    May 18, 2014
    Certainly the supply and demand favors us Bass players here.

    I have heard 4 or 5 to 1. Based on how many more guitars than basses at GC and Sam Ash I would say about 4 to 1. Also Bandmix has a lot more guitar players than Bass players.

    When I was a teenager (30 years ago) I played guitar and so did everyone else and their brother. There was only 1 bass player in the entire town of 17K and he was in strong demand and always got invited to jam sessions. This is one of reasons I switched over to bass.

    I would also welcome thoughts on ratios of drummers to bass players, singers and keys.
  2. pnchad


    Nov 3, 2005
    I think the ratio is even greater than that - I think on ebay it's almost 10:1
  3. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Here in ATL- I think it has come down quite a bit- there are actually an equal number of bassist looking on CL, as bands needing bassist (although almost all of them are horrible).
    I can say when I had ads up (and I am no slouch in my playing) the prospects were not very good... so I think in this market it has evened out some, less demand for bassist- unless you can sing like a mother as well.
  4. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I think that, with the increased visibility (and number) of up-front, virtuoso-type bass players, a lot of the people who previously would have gravitated towards guitar have chosen to play bass instead.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
    obimark likes this.
  5. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    Based on my GC, it's 10-1, easy. My GC has an entire room of JUST acoustic guitars that outnumber the basses.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
  6. RxFunk


    Dec 2, 2012
    I've always heard 7:1
  7. The number of bassist in the US is directly proportional to the GPD of Canada. The number of guitarists in America fluctuates to the ratio of the yen to the dollar (102:1). So the ratio of guitarists to bassists is the equivalent to 102: + or - GDP of Canada, which at the moment = 6:1
    hrodbert696 and thefruitfarmer like this.
  8. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    You have a lot more stay-at-home guitarists pushing up their total. But when you talk about serious musicians, i.e., musicians with significant training and/or gigging experience, it's probably more like 3 to 1.

    That's a complete guess, though. If you want hard numbers, listen to PortlandBass77.
  9. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    Based on GC in my area its at least 20 or 30 to 1. In my circle of friends there are about 25 guitarists, 3 keyboard players, 6 drummers and only one other bass player.
  10. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    They say that guitarists are a dime-a-dozen. IME, mediocre guitarists playing hackneyed penatonic wank and basic rhythm are a dime-a-dozen. Guitarists with real chops, tone, feel, taste, and both melodic and harmonic vocabulary are as difficult to find as any other player.
  11. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    This is the best Canadian Chinese American bass player ratio calculation formula yet!
  12. Vintage P

    Vintage P

    Jun 30, 2014
    The ratio is irrelevant. There are thousands more musicians than are needed. It comes down to how good you are, how personable and how lucky. These days, no one is scrambling to find a bass player. And after the age of 40, being inviting to jam sessions has limited appeal.
    sparkyfender2 and obimark like this.
  13. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    YOu nailed it- this is EXACTLY the case in Atlanta. Oh, sure I could play with my choice of 5-6 outstanding-going nowhere, no-gig basement bands or could go host weekly jam sessions for $30-40... Whoopty-doo.
  14. thefruitfarmer


    Feb 25, 2006
    Kent UK
    After looking for the last couple of weeks I would say that there are plenty of guitarists about but good and versatile guitarists are still probably just rare as good and versatile bass players.

    I spoke to about 20 guitarists, making sure they had gig worthy amp, were not effect fixated and we auditioned 2. One player was great, really locked in to the groove the bass and drums had set up, so we had him. Hopefully we can keep him.
  15. Flatwoundround


    May 18, 2014
    I disagree that this ratio is "irrelevant". Supply and demand is hardly ever considered irrelevant in any field.

    Stu Hamm has said that Bass players have a much easier time finding work because of the whole supply and demand. His opinion ought to count for something here.
    Remyd likes this.
  16. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    You are correct. This is true in revenue too. Bass and related gear sales are approximately 10% as that of guitar. This includes strings, amps, instruments etc.
    marmadaddy likes this.
  17. Vintage P

    Vintage P

    Jun 30, 2014

    I'll bet he made that quote at least 20 years ago.
  18. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    6:4 most of the time...

    12:5 other times
  19. sparkyfender2


    Nov 25, 2013
    There are many more guitar players than bass players locally, BUT: that is becoming less of an important factor as it used to be.
    The market for bands is shrinking rapidly, and there are way more musicians on the hunt than there are paying gigs.

    A couple of my guitarist friends have started taking bass gigs on the side to expand their roles in paying bands, and that is cutting into bass playing opportunities even further.

    I can't turn the tables and take a guitar position, because I suck on guitar. My guitarist buddies do NOT suck on bass, no matter how much I want them to. Darn them!
  20. Vintage P

    Vintage P

    Jun 30, 2014
    Let's face it, it's easier for a decent guitarist to play competant bass than it iis for a decent bassist to play competent guitar. That doesn't make the bass inferior-- some instruments are just easier to "get by" on than others at an amateur level and bass is one of them. But that's changing. More and more bassists are playing guitar and playing it well. As they should. It can only help your bass playing. It's also why when I see people using the term"gui****" I assume they're either 14 years old or not especially intelligent.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.