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Why did you choose bass over guitar

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by etaherk, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. etaherk


    May 4, 2020
    I'm pretty new to the bass world I would say I have less than a month of experience on bass. I also have the same amount of experience on electric guitar in general I'm at a point in guitar where my chords sound good and I'm able to switch between them fast enough and in bass I can play a few songs and know a little bit of theory. I think it's best if I only focus on one or the other I find bass to be a lot more fun and engaging than guitar but on the other hand I love how I can just play by myself on the guitar and I love the way it sounds by itself. At this point I'm stuck between the two and I cannot make a choice. To those of you who made a similar choice why did you choose bass over guitar. Do you think I should play bass because it seems much more fun and engaging or should I choose guitar because I think it sounds better and has more features.
    J_Bass, teh-slb and jamro217 like this.
  2. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    this is something only you can decide, and i doubt everyone's answer will be the same. i can tell you this - you can play bass with a variety of effects, overdrive and more, so there's probably a lot of tonal options you haven't touched yet. you can play higher notes on bass, too, you know. and you can play chords on bass, as well - you can even sing along. i'd suggest you experiment more on the bass, watch players who play bass in ways you haven't tried yet, and decide after lots more research.

    i'm a pretty advanced fingerstyle acoustic and classical guitar player, and i played and sang for decades. then in 1994, a friend begged me to play bass so he could jam with his own band, and within 3 minutes of playing a simple bass line with the band, the bass had me hooked. it IS fun and engaging, satisfying to me in every way. the guitar, not as much.

    one more thing - when i was a guitar player and singer, i got asked to join bands, but i discovered more bands need good bass players. you don't have to be highly skilled, but competent with decent equipment and a good team player.
    Sgt007, Bunk McNulty, TL23NC and 10 others like this.
  3. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    To be honest I gave up on guitar too early. I lived in a small village with no teachers available and tried to teach myself. Bad technique meant I really struggled with bar (barre) chords and gave up early. Fast forward a lot of years and a lot of regret at not persevering with it. My wife was playing drums and I just thought that bass would go well with that. She bought me one as a birthday present and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head - “This is what I should have been doing!”
    It’s the groove. I like to groove. Guitar doesn’t do that for me.
  4. Desir100


    Jan 8, 2020
    pcake and etaherk like this.
  5. It doesn't have to be either/or, at least in the long run.
    Depending on how much time you have for regular practice, though, you may be best to alternate them. That is, focus on one until you're solidly competent on it, then dial it back to maintain that skill-level while you put most of your time into developing on the other.

    One benefit of playing more than one instrument is having a better perspective of how it fits in with the others, which by itself tends to make you a better player.
  6. etaherk


    May 4, 2020
    I originally wanted to do that but I recently purchased a MIM Fender strat as my guitar with a mustang GT amp I could only afford to have one nice Fender I really love my guitar but can either choose a strat guitar or a P bass which I like. The only other option would be a cheaper squier or the stingray sub if I wanted to have both. I don't know how good those cheap basses are and I wouldn't be able to afford anything better same thing would go for guitar if I returned my strat for a P bass I could only get a cheap squier strat or at best an Ibanez gio. But I would love to work on both as I think learning the place of each position in a band would only increase my knowledge and understanding music theory itself. The problem with that is the cost of having both.
  7. etaherk


    May 4, 2020
    very well said after looking at some of the effects possible with bass it seems very exciting.
    StevieMac and pcake like this.
  8. Modern "cheap" instruments are better than many higher-end instruments of a couple of decades ago, so don't rule them out.
    If a P-style bass is what you're after, there are plenty of cheap-yet-good ones. If you're in Europe, Harley Benton (Thomann's house brand) make one with a great reputation for the price.

    Remember that you're learning, not performing for an arena crowd (yet), so you don't need touring-grade gear right away.
  9. etaherk


    May 4, 2020
    I'm not in Europe so I have not heard of that brand. I did have a gio Ibanez as my first bass and quickly returned it when I noticed everything on that bass was becoming loose like the knobs and even the pickups. The cheap basses that I can get and are at my local shop would be the squier PJ bass and a sterling SUB stingray
  10. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i love the SUB ray4 - i find they have an awesome neck and a good tone that cuts through the mix well when dialed in right. which squier PJ are you considering? the affinity or something else? i've owned a short scale squier jag with PJ pickups that was just delightful, and my first bass was a pro tone squier PJ.


    i played many gigs, rehearsals and jams with that bass, and practiced with it well into the night for years. somewhat warmer tone with less grind than the SUB.

    i love my gios. knobs on cheap bases often arrive loose - and sometimes they get loose on more expensive basses over time. to fix this requires only the turn of a screwdriver. i've never had anything else on a gio or soundgear get loose, not even the GSR100EXMOL i still have and my beloved mikro, which i've played more than any bass i currently own.

    Attached Files:

    laristotle, rollie 55, equill and 2 others like this.
  11. etaherk


    May 4, 2020
    Yes it would be the affinity series. That's really great to hear I guess I'll give this two instruments at a time a try. It's just choosing between the affinity or the SUB stingray I love the sound on the stingray and the fact that it comes with a maple fret board. Similar to what I have on my stratocaster. What do you think is best between the two?
  12. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i think you should choose the one you prefer the sound of.

    i'd say the SUB is better quality - better build, slightly nicer finish. the affinity line is the fender equivalent of the gio series. the sterling is closer to the classic vibe series - not quite there, but imo nicer than the affinities.
    Artman, Thegrandwazoo and etaherk like this.
  13. etaherk


    May 4, 2020
    I will try them both and decide thank you all for all the help
    jamro217 likes this.
  14. "Why did you choose bass over guitar?"

    Wow, now there's a loaded question!
    (Welcome to TalkBass, but be careful! People around here can be offended for any imagined slight... ;) )

    But seriously; I didn't chose bass over guitar. I chose bass over drums and saxophone.
  15. Welcome to TB. I'd split my time evenly between the two. I started on violin, then guitar. After a year I added bass, drums and piano. Finally decided writing was what was a good fit, but still play all but violin. Understanding music from various viewpoints is a huge help. All of this depends on what your musical goal is. You must decide what you intend to do with it. If you want to play in a band, bass is a better ticket. Hope this helps.
  16. Why do you have to choose? Do both!

    I started out on guitar. Years later I ended up playing bass at a public jam session and discovered that I loved it, so I went and bought a bass and started my bass journey. These days I mostly play bass, and I only gig on bass, but I still play guitar, record demos, ideas... it's useful to be reasonably proficient in as many instruments as you can, and learning bass and guitar at the same time should be pretty easy.

    I think it's easier to find a decent band as a bass player, it seems there's fewer of us around, but I'd definitely learn both.
  17. Grufolo


    May 1, 2020
    I studied classic guitar at age 11-13, I know the fretboard a bit and I know plucking a lot better that using a pick.

    I started Bass at age 45 and it let me gig after 4 months from picking it in my hands for the first time.
    No way I could have done it with guitar, albeit I studied some kind of guitar for years
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
    etaherk and pcake like this.
  18. Davebass77

    Davebass77 Supporting Member

    I started as a lead singer and was tired of losing bass players (due to attitude, substance abuse, lack of talent, "nut job", etc.) Started playing bass and that was it for me. Love the groove! Tried noodling on guitar, but didn't enjoy it as much. I like being able to hold the band together musically. After all, we are the bridge between the rhythm and melody. We are what makes people want to dance. If you become a decent, competent player with good attitude, you will always have work. Personally, being a singing bass player (lead and harmony,) I'm always sitting in with someone. Enjoy your journey!
  19. bearhart74


    Feb 26, 2009
  20. mdlewis


    Jan 1, 2005
    Boston Metro

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