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!  

Taking guitar lessons, will that improve my bass playing skills?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by pedulla-2007, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. pedulla-2007

    pedulla-2007 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2008
    I was thinning the herd of all 4 strings as I don't do studio work anymore, and when I did it was only because my best friend, our lead guitarist, requested my position on the track, citing years of playing together was something special. Well he is long gone and Talkbass had no taste for my 4 String Precision, so I traded it for a American Standard Telecaster on Craigslist. I am hoping to learn enough to teach my twin 13 yr old grandsons the guitar, and maybe if we learn together they will stay with it through their adult years. I have countless basses they can learn bass on, but the smaller scale neck of a guitar is more suitable for their reach right now. They each have jr. Strats, and acoustic amps gifted at Christmas. My question is, how many Talkbass members are accomplished guitarist's and does the training on guitar improve their bass skills. Any thoughts?

    Attached Files:

  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Maybe. They have different functions. More knowledge rarely hurts unless it's one sided.
    LowRick and chupacerveza like this.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    I've played rhythm guitar and a bit of lead even before I started on bass. I like to set up on stage so I can see guitar player's hands. No downside to learning chords and singing along. I also learned lots of piano chords. Great ear and interval training.
  4. Malcolm35


    Aug 7, 2018
    Won't go so far as saying I'm an accomplished guitarist, however I did play rhythm guitar in the same band for over 15 years.

    I came from rhythm 6 string guitar to bass. If you can play guitar you can take all that right over into the bass. Your same guitar fake chord sheet music can be used with your bass. See the chord and the bassists will play notes of the chord one note at a time to the beat of the song and the rhythm guitar guy will strum the notes of the chord to the beat of the song.

    Bottom four strings are the same on both so the ole major scale box pattern work on both. In the dirt simple way of looking at it we groove with the drummer the guitar grooves with the lead vocalists.

    The theory you used on guitar folds right over into bass. Theory is theory.

    The guitar guys are expected to also sing. Most do not expect the bassist, or drummer, to sing. So singing is kinda left up to you. If you can that is just another tool in your tool chest.

    Have fun.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
    MCF, aarjamson, chupacerveza and 4 others like this.
  5. pht2356


    Apr 28, 2018
    Los Angeles
    Absolutely beneficial
  6. pedulla-2007

    pedulla-2007 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2008
    Wow how insightful, I have always been primarily a groove player and content with my position in the band, never really being able to solo. I guess you could say that I cheated myself by running before I could walk. The absence of any real theory brought me to an intermediate working level while those of my piers that I would see carrying numerous theory books went on to travel and make many CD's. I take pride in my ear training and the familiarity of my neck, and being able to play 3/4 of everything that I hear. I'm thinking your thoughts have given me a little added confidence in my journey. I kinda thought that learning chordal studies and arpeggios' might be helpful but my friend told me you have to think like a guitar player when you strap one on, as well as thinking like a bass player when your bass is on, and I wonder if I can make the transition. I can do this.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
    design likes this.
  7. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    I don't know about improving bass skills per se, but it can expand your palette of what is possible with the bass. I think there are benefits to left hand technique as it can encourage a lighter touch, leading to greater flexibility and fluency. It can help with expanding your ear and deepening understanding of harmony, but I think this is a bit limited due to the quirky nature of chord voicings on guitar - keyboard is better in this respect. Perhaps guitar is a good bridge for bass players due to initial familiarity with the concepts and 'mechanics' of a fingerboard. But I think the real benefit for the bass player lies in the insights gained from being able to bang out entire tunes from a '20,000ft perspective' with relative ease. YMMV.
    retslock, cosmicevan and pedulla-2007 like this.
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Dolly's made million$. TV shows, movies, concerts, recordings, Grand Ol Opry etc.

    You think because a woman has different anatomical parts it should make it easier for you to learn guitar?:rollno:

    That makes no sense. I mean, prince's band was all female. I guess they overcame their boobness. :thumbsdown:

    Female musicians on TB are called musicians.

    Chauvinism went out with the trash way back in the day. I suggest editing your post.

    You ruined a good thread with your nonsense.
  9. Malcolm35


    Aug 7, 2018
    That is true, but what you learned about music while playing the guitar does transfer over. The bassists job is to call attention to the root, fall into a groove with the drummer and not step on toes. To me that means less is more. Finding when more is too much is the key for a journeyman rhythm section bassist.

    We, along with the other rhythm section instruments, are to lay down the foundation for the other instruments to follow. I leave the melody to them and I provide the harmony.

    Harmony is my main concern.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  10. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey

    Right, and you have to think like a piano player when you sit down at a piano, and a drummer when you sit down at a kit... the list goes on.

    It's not much different than the change in headspace that comes with shifting between different genres of music on bass. Expand your horizons.

    Also, Dolly Parton is brilliant.
    chupacerveza likes this.
  11. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Yes. Learning a chording instrument will help your
    knowledge of chord tones and ear training.
    Also very helpful when you sit in with a guitar player
    and can read his neck by knowing chords.
  12. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I agree that's a big benefit. Not that you can't learn chord shapes on bass only, but IMO it'll come much faster from learning guitar yourself.
  13. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Are you planning to teach your 13 year old grandsons this outdated chauvinistic garbage as well?
  14. I started on guitar and moved to bass.
    Here is how it worked for me.
    I am pretty confident that knowing the guitar already let me learn the basics faster but made the advanced stuff harder for my brain to absorb.
    However, once I started learning the tougher stuff on bass it changed how I looked at guitar and gave me a new set of skills there.
    Now both instruments are a somewhat fluid transition and I feel like each one makes me better than the other. I’ve been playing guitar for 25 years and bass for 19.
    el murdoque and chupacerveza like this.
  15. pedulla-2007

    pedulla-2007 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2008
    May all off you troubled by my thoughts forgive me, and I hope you can find inner peace. Life is too short to be angry all the time.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  16. pedulla-2007

    pedulla-2007 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2008
    Whatever you say is correct, this is your world, and I am just living in it, sorry.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  17. City

    City Supporting Member

    I started on guitar. My fingers got too big for some lead guitar work, but damn could I feel the rhythm. When I switched to bass, that sense of rhythm, breaks, groove, that a rhythm guitarist possesses helped me a lot. Not sure about the technique aspect, but as far as feeling the song. Listen to the rhythm guitarist...it will help your bass playing.
    retslock and chupacerveza like this.
  18. chupacerveza


    Jan 3, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Your reference to “countless women” betrays the underlying chauvinism in your comment, but at least you’re correct that they are better.
    nomaj and JES like this.
  19. Blake Bass

    Blake Bass Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Montgomery, Texas
    I don’t think it will help your bass technique that much. But it will help your understanding of musics theory and it will introduce your ear to sounds, chords, you don’t hear on the bass. I wish I had studied guitar and piano a lot more seriously in my younger days.
    retslock and aprod like this.
  20. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Learning another instrument can only help your overall musicianship. Learning guitar (and piano) certainly helped me better understand chord voicing and movement.
    retslock, SteveCS and Justinian like this.

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.