Your thoughts on playing guitar and bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by megatron, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. megatron


    Jul 9, 2003
    I was just wondering if anyone here who plays bass also plays guitar? I ask as I play guitar now and have dabbled in bass playing I have alot of songs I like the bass lines for and guitar riffs for others. that being said It doesn't seem like they are all that differant,do you guys feel I shoulden't play both? I ask cause i've been told that I should pick one and stick with it. I feel the people who tell me this are kind of narow minded.

    I know of several musicians who play both bass and guitar Duff Mcagan, Paul McCartney,the bassist from train among others. I was just wondering what you thoughts are on this and if any of you play both instruments? Thanks for any replies
  2. Baofu


    Mar 8, 2003
    I play both. I play both in my band. I wouldn't really listen to those people that try to tell you what will make you happy.

    Obviously, you will dabble in both, but there may be one that is your main focus for a while. I'm focusing on bass right now. But I still play my guitar about 2 or 3 days a week.
  3. group02.jpg

    When I started bass I wanted to play "lead" bass like Chris Squire, Stanley Clarke, Jack Bruce, John Entwistle, Geezer Butler, etc. I found only crusty jazz guys and country thumpers. After about 2 years of bass lessons, I took 3 years of guitar lessons and taught myself the bass I was hearing in my head.

    I've been known to bash chords on guitar in classic rock cover gigs every now and then.
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I started on guitar, then picked up the bass a year later, but I never stopped playing guitar.

    I find that being able to play guitar is really helpful. I can write and perform my songs in a more complete way than a bassline by itself.

    Oh, and I fixed Duff's and Paul's names for you.
  5. I play both. I don't see any reason why you can't.

    My goal has been to have people I play guitar with think of me as a guitarist, people I play bass with think of me as a bassist, and people I play both with think of me as both.

    IOW, not as a bassist playing guitar or a guitarist playing bass.

    My advice (FWIW) is, if you do both, don't play bass as if you'd rather be playing guitar or play guitar as if you'd rather be playing bass. Play each one as if you mean it.
  6. A slightly different twist, I play bass, but also play keyboards and drums. At differrnt times in my life one has been more the focus than others. I played bass in high school, played it only occasionally for the next 20 years, and for the last two years it has been my main focus. I still play keyboards in another band but we don't play that often.

  7. I'm just a schlock guitar chord-strummer for some songs.


    > started years of piano lessons at age 9
    > started 2 years of guitar lessons at Mel Bay studios at age 11
    > singing in the choir during grades 6-8........

    ...may not have paid off directly when I picked up the bass, but I think I'm a better bassist by being exposed to other aspects of the music.

    I think that limited ability and understanding, on other instruments and vocal harmonization, gives me an edge to get jobs over better bassists as well as the ability to do some backing vocals, too. Because, as a bassist, I have a large "suckatation factor" compared to truly gifted bassists.
    But I am more versatile and, therefore, more "hireable" in many cases.
  8. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    There's no reason that you can't play both. Don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.

    Although I'm a bassist first and foremost, I also play guitar ( and keyboard and trumpet). I don't feel that having the ability to play these other instruments hurts my bass playing. Quite the opposite, actually. On a bass gig, i'm acutely aware of what the guitar player or a horn section is listening for in the bass department. It can also help you to play bass lines that are more melodic.

    You don't have to become a master of every instrument that you play, but it never hurts to expand your horizons.
  9. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I used to play both as I began on guitar, but now that I have a 6-string bass, i use that for chords, too (even though i dont really like chords, i rather wanted to play soloes when i began on guitar)
  10. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I enjoy playing both. I just wish the guitar players in my band liked playing guitar as much as I do.:D
  11. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I'd love to learn guitar and drums. More gigging opportunities for me! :D

    Now if I could only afford guitar gear and a drum kit... :(
  12. jawzzz


    May 23, 2003
    Denver Colorado
    I play both. I started to play bass so that I could learn more about music and use that to help me become a better guitar player. I ended up enjoying bass much more, so I sold my Marshall full stack to but a better bass rig. I still play guitar, but only once in a while.:bassist:
  13. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Bass is only one extension of music. I like to play as many insturments as possible. But put sticks in my hands and I turn into a moron. I'm supprised I have'nt poked my eye out yet!

    If you want some stupid fun.....pick up a kazoo! :p
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