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Why the Bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Jemma, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. Jemma


    Feb 22, 2004
    Hello everyone,

    I really need a hobbie so I decided to start playing an insturment. I am having a hard time deciding between a guitar or a bass.

    So I am wondering why did you guys start playing a bass over a guitar? I doubt I will join a band but what ever happens, happens, so I am also wondering if you can have as much fun playing solo with a bass as you can with a guitar.

    Thanks in advance for all the info.
  2. Don't choose what we think and how we feel. Try both out...and find out which you like more. Alot of bassist play guitar also,and vice versa.

    Well,good luck...I think taking up an instrument as a hobbie is a great idea :bassist:
  3. ThunderBoomer


    Feb 22, 2004
    I started playing bass because everyone I know played guitar and they wanted someone who would play bass with them. Too many idiots think playing the bass is somehow a demotion from playing the guitar, which is the "glamor instrument" or some other dumb stuff.

    I play guitar too now but bass was first and I still wind up playing mostly bass at jam sessions for the same reason - most of the players I know are shredheads or wannabe shredheads and they need a bass player.
  4. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I may get flamed for this, but IMO, no, you cannot. Bass as a non-ensemble instrument is hard. Composing music solely with a bass is hard.

    Now, I know a bunch of people will jump in with "Jaco composed entire album's worth of material, and so did Michael Manring, etc..." And that's awesome. Someone has to do it. But I gotta tell ya, if you're going to be sitting in your room by yourself, you'll find guitar is easier to write on.

    Which will you find more satisfying? Beats me. If you have some deep-seeded personal quest to learn bass and nothing but bass, go for it.

    But the fact that you are asking, and will presumably noodle about on the instrument as a hobby (which is fine- more people here do that than they would admit), I don't think you're as dead set as all that. You might be happier with a guitar.

    EDIT: My own personal testimony is that I started on bass because I sucked at playing drums. One of the things I fell in love with is the non-traditional role that the bass has in a band. Certain things are expected as a drummer and guitarist, but there is a lot of freedom in playing bass. But to further reiterate my point, this is a kind of thing that is found through playing with other people. If you pick up either instrument (and I hope you do!), I would recommend playing with a group of people of a similar experience level. You'll also become a better musician even faster if you can find a group that is MORE advanced than you. The struggle to keep up will get your learning durn quick. ;)
  5. If you're really not going to play in a band, and you're only going to play by yourself, I think you'd be much happier playing guitar. the basse's main role is to be support the other instruments. If there are no instuments to support, then I really don't see the point. Guitar on the other hand is a great solo instrument. There's tons of different techniques and styles of solo guitar that can be pursued. Even if you just learn some basic stuff, (which is about as far as I ever got on the guitar), it's fun to just strum a few chords and sing a song. That's something that you can't really do on the bass.
  6. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Bass goes through walls. Through walls!
  7. travatron4000


    Dec 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well started 'cause my buddy got a guitar and we wanted to jam. He never kept with it and here I am 9 or so years later and seriously wanting to get a bass clef tattooed on my back. You just gotta play around and see what fits you. Bass happend to fit me like a glove. I also play the trombone and the recorder and a little guitar and i can get around a keyboard. Bass is my favorite though.

  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Why bass? Honestly, I don't like the sound of most guitars. I love the deep rumble that basses provide, and I wanted to reproduce that sound, and compose a bit with that. I definately just love the instrument. Though I do play guitar too, just not that well. I only use the top four strings :p
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I play bass because it's easier than guitar.
  10. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I was just drawn to it. I can't really think of a better way for me to answer than that. I have a guitar and goof off on it sometimes, but I just feel more "at home" when I'm playing bass as compared to another instrument.

    I'm not any damn good at either, but I really enjoy playing bass whereas i only kind of enjoy playing guitar.

    Your answer, though, should come from within. Goof off on friend's instruments and see what you have more fun with. There's nothing saying you can't do both, though.
  11. rockindoc

    rockindoc Daily Lama

    Jan 26, 2002
    Bonham, Tx
    I agree with this, and everthing else SuperDuck said. Although it IS part of the rhythm section, the bass is unique because it's rhythmic AND melodic. The challenge of laying down a melodic rhythm is what drew me to it.

    On the other hand, It's pretty hard to entertain your girlfriend with only a bass & vocals. :D
  12. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    to make a long story just slightly less painfully long as it was the last time (I really need to type this out full and 'cut/paste')....


    when I was 6 or 8... little but able to handle simple tasks, my guitarist Grandfather payed me a buck or so to 'turn pages' at a show he was playing. I was sat between him and the bassist... right in front of his 2x15 Fender tube rig thumping his flatwound strung Fender P. I couldn't breathe AT ALL the whole show.. each I-V forced the life from my body....

    as the panic faded that night safely back at Pop's house....

    :smug: I knew that power would be mine :cool: Mwahahaha! :ninja: :bassist:
  13. travatron4000


    Dec 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    And so, Bass man was born with the Power to Rock. But.... Would he use his powers for good or EVIL!!!

    Meanwhile, back in Littleville.....
  14. travatron4000


    Dec 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    i dont think it's easier just different. It has a different learning curve than guitar. It's a lot harder to be alright at guitar then at bass but once you're alright it's a lot harder to be an excellent bassist than and excellent guitarist. Proof? There are a million shred heads out there, and few very very solid, bassists, and even less OMG he's amazing and it sounds like there are three of him playing bassists.

    The guitarist in my band is an excellent guitarist but he fumbles around on a bass. He just can't handle it. Too much length, too much string, and he thinks vertically across the strings and not horizontally up and down the length. I cant think vertically, i.e. i suck at guitar. I cant voice chords. I even have trouble hearing harmony, and reading written out chords but i can hear a bass line and say, i know that song.

  15. H2ODog


    Sep 30, 2003
    Roseville, CA
    Why the bass? In my case I fooled around with a guitar playing some chords and enjoyed it but I never developed the desire to really get into it. A couple of years later I realized that my favorite songs had great sounding bass lines and that I seemed to tune into that instrument when I listened to music. I decided to give it a try and my only regret is that I did not do it years ago. I’m a beginner but it has been one of the best things I have ever done and I thoroughly enjoy spending hours learning and practicing, I did not have that type of drive with the guitar. For me when I hear the low tones from my bass it’s an awesome feeling, hard to replace with any other instrument, but that’s just how I feel about it. I would say try both and see witch makes you go back for more. I still have a guitar but the bass is where It’s at for me. Have fun with whatever you pick.
  16. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
  17. MMSterling

    MMSterling Guest

    Feb 19, 2004
    Leicester, England
    I've always the tone of basses than guitars. The sound has always drew me in more, and I've always been far more impressed by some good/tasteful bass work than I have by some crazy two handed tapping guitar solo (fret wank :p )!

    Thats just me!

  18. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I started on guitar and picked up the bass one year later, when I realized all my friends who started before me had bought electric guitars and were looking for bass players. I always loved the sound of the bass, so I became a bassist, although I never stopped playing guitar.

    I love playing bass and think it's as enjoyable to play at home for yourself as guitar, but the guitar is better for writing and performing songs, although the only reason the bass isn't considered as good is because nobody does it. It's all music anyway.
  19. Electricmayhem


    Dec 18, 2003
    Part of the reason why I picked bass was because nobody did it. The other part was Geddy Lee. Seriously, if I didn't start listening to Rush, I'd be a guitarist (or a drummer :rolleyes: ).

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