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Why bass over guitar?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Softballcrew31, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Softballcrew31


    May 13, 2018
    Ive always wanted to learn how to play a bass or guitar and I can’t decide which one. I was given a gift certificate to learn a instrument. Why did u choose bass over guitar? I currently don’t own a bass or guitar. Thank your your help.
    ChrisWright, Ikan, GKon and 9 others like this.
  2. Elusive1


    Jun 21, 2018
    When your soul resonates with the low notes more so than the high notes, you know bass is your calling
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Learn the piano.
    zera, Tryggerm, kevdimmen and 46 others like this.
  4. Green Knight

    Green Knight Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    Because so many bassists are frustrated guitar players forced by bandmates to play bass instead, there is a dearth of players who learned on and specialize in the bass guitar. Bass has traditionally played an ancillary role in most popular music, which isn't a bad thing, but it does mean there's still plenty of room for innovation with bass compared to guitar. At least this is my impression; as always, I welcome correction.
  5. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    Learning both is a good idea.

    Knowing how to play more than one instrument will improve your musical skills overall and in that way make you better at playing all the intruments you play.

    Playing guitar will teach you a lot about harmony and melody, and playing bass will teach you more about rhythm, timing, and not overplaying, all qualities that can be of great use when playing both instruments.

    I started out on guitar but after a couple of years playing that I eventually discovered that I liked both the sound, feel and role of a bass better, which caused bass to take over as my main instrument of choice, though I still play guitar on the sideline.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  6. bass if for folks who don't care about guitar solos
  7. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    I play both, but started with bass. At the time, I was playing baritone horn in the school band, and my dad thought I should learn the bass because I already was reading bass clef. I think this has been a real advantage, because It taught me to think like a bass player (although my guitar playing is a little weird as a result). I think the real advantage is opportunity. There just aren't anywhere near as many bass players, and guitar players are a dime a dozen.
  8. Softballcrew31


    May 13, 2018
    Thanks. That sounds like me. I can care less about solos.
  9. dramatwist


    Sep 27, 2019
    I started on upright in high school. Bought my first electric bass for $10. Never looked back. I can play guitar, but nowhere near as well as bass. We had two decent bassists in HS, and I was one of them. There were probably 100 or more guitar players in a student body of about 800.
  10. I realized I was a bass-player before I even picked up an instrument & always drew a blank when folks asked who my preferred guitar-player was, or what solo I liked the most.
    Back when we were air-guitaring to songs I can see in the photos that I was in a bass-player's pose, with my fingers in a plucking motion.
    My first concert was Testament (with Vio-Lence) & the BASS (Greg Christian) was the highlight of the show, well that & having Chuck Billy's hair hit me in the face from the front of the stage, LOL!

    You'd think it wouldn't matter, since we had been chatting with the band earlier. We were the FIRST to arrive, even before the tour-bus got there.
  11. RyoCanCan


    Oct 8, 2019
    Started with drums, slowly started to get into bass and later guitar. I really enjoy rhythm playing and ”being in the background” so it fits me like a glove.

    You never lose anything by learning more though. All extra is good, gives new ideas and opens up new doors technically.
  12. BlueShox

    BlueShox Registered Turtle

    Jul 14, 2007
    West Columbia, SC
    IMO the sound of a bass is just more audibly pleasing to me than a guitar's.
  13. sotua


    Sep 20, 2004
    Somewhere in time
    I was actually learning guitar when I head a thundering bassline and said "Whoa! I need to sound like THAT!".

    See which voice calls to you.
  14. I took a run at guitar 10 years ago but just couldn't fall in love with it, at least not at that point in my life. 7 years later (in which time I learned to play drums), I pick up a bass and it's fun from the word go. I think it might be a personality thing with me. I'm somewhat introverted. I don't like being the center of attention. I may pick up a guitar again at some point if I have the time and money to take lessons. That combined with what I've learned about music theory and guitar construction from my journey into the low end, I expect will make guitar a bit less of a struggle. Hopefully that translates into a better experience the second time around.
  15. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    I was 13. I asked the old guy (about 30!) at my local music store which one. I thought bass was cool but guitar got more girls. Which was true. But I'll never forget what he told me because it was dead-on accurate to the current day:

    "If you play bass, you are ALWAYS going to have work. Always. There's 10 guitarists for every bassist out there. You'll never even have to ask to jam with people. They'll come to you, especially if you're any good, and you play violin, you'll be good."

    That sounded like a good deal.

    I frankly don't think I've gotten better advice from anyone in my life. So, salesguy at Village Music back in 1980, thanks.

    Lot more bass players these days and they're a lot better, but actually I think the point still holds true...but for different reasons. I'm seeing a lot more bands without guitarists at all. The guitar player in my band is a guitar teacher and he's down to about a day and half worth of students a week, as opposed to five days a decade ago. Guitar is going away.
  16. In Grade 11, my parents gave me my first guitar for Christmas. I took ear training lessons until the Grade 12 school year began and I enrolled in the Music class.

    For the first semester, I took my guitar. Myself and another guitarist had the top marks in the class. (I only indicate this to shake the connotation of being assumed to be a frustrated guitarist.) For the second semester, there was a requirement to take a different instrument which read a different clef. I took the bass since the fretboards were similar. I felt the love as soon as I sat down with the bass. Very quickly, it would become my primary instrument.

    That said, I still sit down with the guitars occasionally. Over the past few years, I've mostly bought basses, but a few guitars found their way into my home as well. My outstanding instruments wishlist is a similar split with maybe 70% basses / 30% guitars.
  17. tjh


    Mar 22, 2006
    ... I didn't, IT chose me ...

    ... played guitar as a teenager in the late 60's, and it seemed like so was everyone else ... that, or the drums ... the bass player in a group I was working with wrapped his '63 Chev around a tree, after a night of drinking and a fight with his girlfriend … he didn't make it ...

    After a period of time, no one left wanted to end the group, and with the lack of BP's around our area, I must have became the obvious candidate ... so, I would definitely say that IT found me ... ;)
  18. Hum 3 or 4 of your favorite songs. Chances are good you will be humming the bass line. If that is the case, Bass is for you (probably).
  19. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Different strokes for different folks.

    My story, I started on guitar. Rhythm guitar. I never aspired to shred and rip, I liked just being part of the foundation that everything else rode on. I was encouraged by my church's director of music to take up guitar because, in his words, "If I can only have one, I need the bass first." I still play guitar at home for my own enjoyment, but play bass at church (the only place I play other than home).

    But I agree with 2 earlier sentiments:
    1. Learning piano is a really, smart thing to do.
    2. Every instrument you learn will teach you things, and perspectives, that can make you a better bassist.

    Actually, I guess the reality is, we (here on talkbass) are all musicians, who play bass. Music is the thing, and each instrument plays a part.
  20. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    So you're saying his girlfriend killed him in a fight?

    Must have been a tough relationship.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
    grinx likes this.

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