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Why aren't acoustic guitars paired with acoustic basses more often?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Drausin, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Drausin


    Oct 28, 2013
    Hey everyone,

    I just joined the community! Played guitar about three years, didn't really like it and just switched to bass about 4 months ago and I'm liking it WAY more.

    Anyway, I'm just curious. I have lots of guitarist friends who love both electric and acoustic. I've jammed with them on electric before, but never when we're both playing acoustics.

    Why are acoustic guitarists usually playing alone? I get the whole "singer-songwriter, do-it-yourself" vibe, and I think acoustic guitar sounds great by itself...I'm just surprised you don't see the guitar/bass acoustic jam done more often.
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    It complicates things somewhat. It is all in what people are used to hearing.

    Welcome to TalkBass by the way!

    People are used to hearing an acoustic guitar by itself. And they are used to hearing a bass in a band. But not in between. Also, generally an acoustic guitar dou can get away with a tiny PA because all you have to shoot across the room are mids and highs. Throw a bass in there and suddenly you need a lot more speaker and possibly more power to run bass through the whole room.

    Plus, if there is ever a guitar solo, just bass with lead guitar (no chord instrument or percussion whatsoever) sound awful to me. So solos are out with that kind of duo. Whereas with two guitars, one guy can strum chords while the other plays a solo, and it sound pretty OK.
  3. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Because acoustic guitar style bass has so little projection that you almost universally need an amp to compete with a regular guitar. Upright would be the proper instrument there.
  4. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
  5. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Do you mean upright bass or acoustic bass guitar?
    Either way, my guess is just popularity. There way are more electric basses than either uprights or acoustic bass guitars out there.
  6. Did a whole gig the other day that was acoustic guitar + fretless bass.

    But the answer is that bass isn't a "real" instrument so why give it that much thought?
  7. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    My main gig for several years was an acoustic guitar & fretless acoustic bass duo. It was a lot of fun.

    In a duo situation both of you have to play differently than in a group, or solo situation. Both technique-wise and in terms of EQ. You also have to figure out who carries the drum part, so to speak.

    The main reason I think it doesn't happen more is that people are used to a much stronger low-end out of acoustic guitar than electric, and they're used to basses playing very simple parts that lock with a drummer.
  8. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    It definitely works...... and sounds pretty good too!
    Gov't Mule - Fallen Down:
  9. Acoustic basses are quite expensive and even the good ones just aren't loud enough compared to the average dreadnought acoustic guitar. Even if you're sitting around a campfire on a beach, you're better off with an electric bass and 5w battery powered amp.
  10. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    here you go :


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