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Tackling Bass and Guitar at the same time

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by greekorican, May 13, 2010.

  1. greekorican


    Mar 12, 2009
    I played guitar for about a year and a half before switching to bass, which I've played exclusively for almost 2 years. I dusted off the strat yesterday, and that's what I played today as well. Its a nice change, as bass can be a little unfulfilling when playing by yourself.

    I suck bad at guitar, but I'd kinda like to be proficient at both. I find that I approach the guitar completely differently than I did two years ago. I find myself digging the sweet rhythm guitar riffs more than lead parts, whereas I used to scoff at rhythm guitar. Everything definitely makes more sense, but I have to get the muscle memory back. I also think transcribing guitar licks would improve my ear more quickly, and I think guitar is an excellent way to get better at harmony. Knowing the perspective a guitarist is coming from could help during a jam with a guitarist as well. Ladies love guitar as well, you know it's true.

    So how do you go about juggling instruments? I find I don't get to play bass as much as I would like, I'm not sure how to go about being proficient at both. Do you practice both every day? Or do you pick up whichever you feel like playing today?

    Part of me thinks that playing both will make me progress slowly on both instruments, instead of progressing faster if I just stuck to one. The opposite could also be true. Thoughts?

  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    if you put in the time on both instruments, you'll get good at both. if you don't, you won't. both are considerable investments in time and there's no way around it. however, lots of players are very proficient on both, though most end up favoring one or the other.
  3. Fetusyolk


    Aug 7, 2008
    forget about how quickly it will take, you never stop learning, if you want to learn both instruments why not do it at the same time? just expanding your mind. would you really rather wait 10 years to play guitar instead of having picked it up earlier on? it may be harder at first but everything is hard at first
  4. My rhythm guitar is on automatic pilot. Ten years of playing the same songs. Bass has been with me less than a year.

    Yes both compliment each other, however, both are different. I understand the difference and what/how I play depends on which instrument I strap on.

    You say you suck at guitar. Notice I refer to rhythm guitar. I'm pretty good at rhythm guitar and have never, in ten years, taken a lead on the 6 string in public.

    Point of my post - take guitar in steps. Rhythm first.
    If you are "sucking" at rhythm, jamming with a garage band or your CD's can eliminate that.

    Of course - IMHO
  5. macdeezy


    Jan 17, 2010
    Reno, Nevada
    learn bass and piano
  6. pnut166


    Jun 5, 2008
    I like rhythm guitarists way more than leads. I know most people think that`s crazy, but case in point: I dig James Hetfield`s parts more than Hammett`s in Metallica. A lead player is flashy; a good rhythm player is powerful.
  7. funkybass


    Oct 19, 2006
    I used to play guitar but have been a full time bass player for two years. Lately I've thought about practicing guitar as well, but I don't have time for both. I'd rather be a really good bassist instead of a mediocore bassist and guitarist.
  8. Boira


    Apr 22, 2010
    You must practice both every day NET (No Excuses Tolerated). Even if it's just for 15 minutes, but don't skip a day.

    I'm taking piano (my main instrument) and bass (just started) lessons and the trick is to write down a [realistic] practice schedule and stick to it. Progress is slower, but sure you can improve your technique on both instruments.

    As you've been playing for some years now, you already have the momentum and stamina to practice consistently, just go for it!

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