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which is more challenging, bass or guitar?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by DareDevil, Mar 27, 2002.

  1. DareDevil


    Feb 17, 2002
    Southport, FL
    I'm pretty sure this topic has been beat to death but why not give it an extra kick. If you sit down and actually compare the two instruments what is going to be more challenging to person of average stature. Bass is much bigger than guitar, but guitarists have to hold down more than one string. Of course if you tried to play a six string bass like a guitar, it would probably be much more challenging. If you try to play "suck my kiss" by the Chili peppers on bass and then on guitar it will probably be more challenging on guitar. I think the circumstances under which the instrument is being played has alot to do with the degree of difficulty.
  2. I think they're pretty much the same level of difficulty.

    It's actually depends on who you're dealing with. A lot of guitarists go on dumb and quite annoying ego trips and try and make themselves look like better players.

    The common arguments are:

    1) Guitar has more strings.
    Rebuttal: So? What does more strings have do do with anything?

    2) Guitar strings are closer together and the frets are closer. It's harder because you have to crush your hands together.
    Rebuttal: Bass strings and frets are futher apart so you have to stretch your hands to play fast.

    3) Guitar players have to know chords.
    Rebuttal: And bass players need to know chord theory. Many even play them, like myself. Knowing chord theory is important for everyone.

    It just ticks me off when some ego-guitarist tries to make fun of a bassist.

    Now here's a joke:
    What's black, blue, and lies in a ditch?

    A Guitarist who made to many drummer jokes and thought the bassist had less skill.

    Rhythm Section | Guitar Section
    1 | 0

  3. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    here, you pick...






  4. I tend to think bass is a bit easier to pick up initially i.e.the bassics but as you progress and learn more....bass can become more difficult(especially when getting into the 6+stringers!).

    Listen to someone like Victor Wooten who can play as fast as a guitarist doing solos,then remember he is dealing with the bigger strings,fatter neck,etc.
  5. CS


    Dec 11, 1999

    Is that your hair on the floor to the left of the bass?

    On Topic

    I play both and each instrument has it's own challenges. Also as bass playing could be playing root notes with a plectrum on a Precision or playing a multi stringer with MIDI/loops/whatever guitar playing can be equally simple or thought provoking.

    If it's down to a choice then what do you want to do. Do you want to stand at the front with leather trousers looking like a right plonker or stand next to the drummer stopping peoples hearts with sub harmonic weaponry? (guess the quote)
  6. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    i've gotta say, in most musical settings i find guitar infinitely easier to play than the bass simply because there is just so much to hide behind (eg. distortion, which can cover up a lot of holes in your technique).
    a very mediocre guitarist can amaze an audience with his flurry of effects which do most of the work for him, whereas a bassist has to really push him or herself to prompt a similar response IME.

    don't worry. our instrument is cooler :cool:
  7. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I think it's kind of silly to try and compare the two, because they are two different instruments. Depending on your own personal strengths and weaknesses, as a musician and as a person, you might find either one easier.

    The crux of this matter as I see it - and it really makes me :mad: :mad: :mad: is seeing recycled guitar players on bass that don't bother to learn the instrument properly and just thump along. They treat it as though it were a guitar with four fat strings, which it isn't! Not all of them do this, but there sure seem to be a lot of them.

    Oh well, I guess I should be happy, that'll mean more gigs for me... :rolleyes:

  8. Slap. Fretless. Harmonics. Amen to that brother.

    Edit: While I'm not a big Creed fan (I like some songs), I do appreciate Mark Tremonti's statement about playing bass for the recording of Weathered. People I'm sure have posted it places, and his view on it being a lot different than guitar made my respect for him as a musician increase alot.
  9. Bass is harder in the long run. Bassists have to know theory up and down to play with anyone. Bass players are always expected to come up with lines on the spot and always have the pressure of holding down the rythm and timing. Bass players also have the most influence in any band because they have the ability to play rythm or melody. Just by playing a certain chord tone over a chordal harmony you change the way that entire chord sounds, giving it completley different feeling and texture. Good bass players know how to manipulate both drums and guitar; try manipulating a bass player. Theres so much to playing bass that goes beyond anything a guitar can do. More strings mean nothing. Just by having less strings bass players have to constantly reinvent themselves to stay creative. All in all bass is way harder in the long run.
  10. over on the guitar forum, they say the guitar is much more difficult :)
  11. DareDevil


    Feb 17, 2002
    Southport, FL
    see what I'm trying to do is cut through the instrumental biases. forget that you're a bass player and just act like you never picked up a stringed instrument before, now which instrument is going to be more difficult.

    I think in the beginning Bass will be easier, but as you go along and become better, I think bass is harder. Some simple songs that are easy on bass are more challenging on guitar, but if you try holding down a difficult part on a complex jazz piece, the bassist will probably be more talented than the guitarist.
  12. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I think that each has its own challenges and that one is no more challenging than the other.
  13. Bass is easier because it only has 12 notes.
  14. looks like a cat to me, dude...
  15. Like DareDevil said, it's a learning curve thing. The learning curve for bass guitar starts off pretty shallow but gets very steep once one starts to do anything interesting. Conversely, the rudiments of guitar are very difficult, but developing ridiculous speed is easy once the rudiments are mastered--why do you think you see so many gigless speed-demon guitarists?

    The difficulty of playing a lot of notes on the bass guitar forces those that are played to be better-chosen. I can't tell you how many guitarists I've met that have amazing speed but couldn't solo on anything but pentatonic and natural minor.

    Guitarists who explore the instrument's chordal side more fully tend to appreciate bass a lot more, I've found.
  16. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    The guitar, obviously.

    I mean, a guitarist has more strings to deal with, they're closer together, they have to learn solos and they seem to be forced into spending all of their money on effects pedals. I think anyone that plays a bass with more than four strings has guitar envy.

    ;) :D ;)
  17. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    The kazoo is harder than both you losers. :D Play a real instrument, like the triangle, or that egg shaker thing.
  18. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    They are both about the same.

    The bass though, is easy to learn, but hard to master.

    The guitar is just easy to learn.

  19. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
    both can be easy and both can be challenging. I play both, I picked up guitar first, then later bass. I've had my easy parts and struggles with both. One thing definatly is though that Bass is a LOT LOT more expensive than guitar. Basses rely everything on tone. Guitars... my plywood POS guitar sounded the same as my friends '74 Ash Strat. Behind all effects tone goes out the window most of the time. Anyway its just all a big debate anyway.

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