Those who fail at guitar..pick up a bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by XIbanez4lifeX, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. XIbanez4lifeX


    Nov 15, 2005
    How many of you heard someone say this?

    I don't think you can fail at guitar unless you give up on yourself.
    I have heard some cases when somebody played guitar in one band and joined other bands playing bass. I have never actually heard somone say that they was unable to play guitar, so they picked up a bass.
  2. FriscoBassAce


    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    Yeah...I've heard that too. I bought a guitar when I was 14 and played in bands in high school. While I was never a great lead player, I played rhythm guitar very well. When my band broke up my senior year, another band that was doing pretty well needed a bass player. I borrowed someone's bass and filled in. I liked it so much I never went back to guitar. I still own a guitar and compose songs on it and just doodle with it, but bass is my mistress and I will always be true!
  3. I played guitar first, got boring because everyone else played guitar, so i started playing bass, now play guitar aswell.

    So, i never failed at guitar, it just got boring at the time
  4. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I started learning the notes on bass using my dad's 6-string, until I bought a bass with my birthday money that year. The guitar thing kinda stuck, but I've always been a bass player, even when taking clarinet lessons I switched to bass clarinet in Jr High band as soon as I learned it existed.

    I think this line of thinking started up because Paul McCartney started on guitar, and Noel Redding once said he played bass because he couldn't get the hang of lead guitar, and it's stuck ever since.
  5. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    I started out on bass. Got a couple acoustic guitars later, but I haven't really gotten into much treble since I started playing.
  6. JazzBassvb


    Aug 5, 2003
    Well, that kinda happened to me.

    Even today, when I try to play a guitar, I have a hard time playing chords with my long, big fingers. I would mute the strings I didn't want to and I had a hard time changing hand positions quick enough without muting all the strings.

    I had originally thought that bass would be a little better for me because of the wider spacing. I was right, and now I love playing chords on my tenor.

    I suppose with practice I can probably get the chords down on guitar, but I'm having too much fun playing bass.

  7. Started out on bass. Learnt guitar a few years later and gave the bass a rest for a while, and became quite a good guitar player. Went back to bass after I left the band I was playing guitar in, and since then have stuck to 4 strings.

    Felt like coming home, so to speak. Playing guitar definitly helped my bass playing and my appriciation of music in general, and I do play guitar now and again, but bass feels like my instrument. :bassist:
  8. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    i started playing guitar and a couple friends were forming a band so I took the bass spot....i still play guitar and enjoy it very much, but I don't play it as much as mybass
  9. Fretless5verfan


    Jan 17, 2002
    i started on classical guitar for a while, but got sick of it (too young really) I picked up a bass a few years later and never looked back. The bass actually got me back into playing guitar because i was really connected with music because of it. Never failed, just changed my mind :D
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Many moons ago I was learning Sweet Child of Mine on guitar. I was looking to join a cover band. Had a pile of Zeppelin tunes, Van Halen, and some other stuff sitting next to me, ready to learn it all when a light flashed in my head... I can spend hours and hours and hours learning all this crap on guitar, possibly pull it off and get myself into a mediocre band... or I can learn all this bass stuff in a week or less, tear ass with it, and get into a smokin band.

    Took me about another year before I actually made the transition... and another year after that till I learned bass was really my instrument and felt totally comfortable with it. Hate to pop anybody's bubble, but sorry - it's a lot easier to be a kickass bass player than it is to be a kickass guitarist. And there's a lot less competition for bassists if you're trying to land a decent gig.

    Go ahead - somebody tell me now how eddie could never play a bass like jaco. I'll agree, but that's the exception, not the rule.
  11. All_¥our_Bass


    Dec 26, 2004
    I'm in the same boat
    "Living upstairs in the attic didn't work, too cramped. So I moved into teh bassment. Feels better there, more space to strech out."
  12. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I started out on guitar, still have a nice collection and still play. When I figured out I could never be a lead guitarist on a professional level,and had a natural knack for Bass, I started to focus more on Bass,but I'm not selling my guitar collection.
  13. I WAS a lead guitarist on a professional level, I played in bands in the 80's and early 90's that covered some pretty intense stuff (Jazz Fusion stuff: think Allen Holdsworth, Eric Johnson). I had all the chops. Before that, I studied classical and jazz guitar at the college level (didn't get my degree).

    Bluntly: I kicked @$$ on guitar.


    One day, I realized that all the crazy stuff I could do was only icing on the cake, it wasn't the cake. I realized that when I was LISTENING to my favorite music, I was LISTENING to the rhythm section, NOT the guitarist. My interest in music at the start was piqued when I heard Rush for the first time, and Geddy just blew my mind, I'd never heard the bass doing what he did with it in that context, and I wanted to emulate it in some way.

    I sold my (very good) rig, several of my guitars (kept my Strat & my classical guitar), bought a great bass (actually the one in my avatar!), got a decent rig, and that was that. It's been 10 years now, and while I still am a very capable guitarist, I don't miss it one bit.

    Anyone that tells me that "bass is easier than guitar" can kiss my hairy wide butt - being a REALLY GOOD bassist is every bit as much work as any other instrumentalist.

    To borrow a phrase from another TBer (I've forgotten whom):

    "Their eyes may be on the star (singer, guitarist...), but their @$$es are shakin' to the BASS GUITAR!!!!"


  14. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I'm going to strongly disagree here. Its a lot easier to learn to play bass than guitar, i will give you that. The strings are nice and fat, there's wide open space between them, you only have to count to 4 to get the job done, and you hardly ever have to play those annoying 2 note at the same time things guitarists are always doing.

    But to really excel it takes a lot more to be a great bassist than it does a great guitarist. Once a guitarist passes a certian point it becomes pretty easy to play at a level with Hendrix/Van Halen/Clapton/etc. Think about it, how many guitarists do you know who can't play Erruption in their sleep?

    Now think how long it takes a bass player to reach a simillar level? Its usually a lot longer, because bass is a far more multifaceted instrument than guitar. You can become a compentent bass player in a couple months, but mastering it will take more than a lifetime for most.
  15. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Playing guitar is easy: power chords + heaving slops of distortion = no problem. ;)

    Kidding aside, as someone who plays both bass and guitar, I feel it's kind of an apples-vs-oranges argument. The two instruments are definitely related to each other, and thus people are more likely to directly compare them to each other (as opposed to saying something like "piano is easier than sax"); however, the two instruments require different subsets of skills (as well as different mentalities) that are not necessarily easier or more difficult to learn well. Someone saying "all a bass does is go bum-bum-bum on the low string, lol that's easy!!!" is the same thing as saying what I said above in the first line of this post. ;)
  16. I started off on guitar with the idea to go to bass later. Simple matter of first seeing if I really wanted to play an instrument before investing a lot of money.

    I think it's very easy to 'wow' people, even with my limited guitar skills. I play 3 distorted chords and people start drooling...

    If I had played my guitar as much as I play my bass, I would have been at the same level, but on guitar. There's no easier instrument, there are only instruments that satisfy your ego better than others.
  17. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    I agree with Joe. IMHO, to be a 'kick ass' guitarist you need a lot of technical proficiency. Joe used Eddie VanHalen as an example. What got him to the stratosphere or rock musicians was his innoative speed technique. In the early 80s a rock guitar player HAD to be able to do the 'Eddie' and 'Randy' techniques!

    There is less opportunity in most music for a bass player to "kick ass" as us bassists are "holding down the fort" with a solid groove whilst our six string counterparts are "kicking"...

    Point #1: It takes less effort to go from zero to being a competant bass player than it does on guitar.

    That said, becoming a good, excellent, outstanding bass player takes a lot of time and effort. The fruits of this labour mainfest differetently. Aguitarist gets to kick ass. What do we get to do? I would contend "play tastefully". Good guitar players tend to be noticed for their solo abililty ...

    Point #2: good bass players are noted for their ability to play a bass line that is suppprtive of the song.

    Point #3 Not all guitarist aspire to "kick ass".

    Some great guitar players have the most minimal phrasing. Instead of making a big statement with their solos, they are great with a ...suggestion. (i.e. David Gilmour, Mark Knopler.)
  18. What am I supposed to do if I fail at bass? Run sound?
  19. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Some of my favorite players put down their guitars to play bass. Paul McCartney, JJ Burnel, I'm sure there are many others. Heck, I started out on guitar myself before picking up a bass. The guitar is nice, but it just didn't "do it" for what role I wanted to play in the musical whole. My leanings were for the bass. I guess you could say I "failed" at guitar and picked up bass. You could tell that to my aforementioned bass heroes also. I don't think any of us would care.
  20. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The funny thing about your post, Joe, is the following: When you were playing guitar you thought it would take you a week or less to "tear ass" on those bass parts.....

    But it really took you a year to do it. :)

    And the little bass figure under the guitar part of "Sweet Child" is a tasty little piece. Have you ever learned it?