Any guitar turned bass players here?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ButchR, Jan 11, 2008.


  1. ButchR

    ButchR Komet Player Gold Supporting Member

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    We are losing our bass player and the idea has crept up in my head that I might be called on to play a little bass in the interim. We do have another guitar player so......you get the picture.

    Anyone made the transition? Any frustrated guitar players turned to the bass? How hard was it for you?
     
  2. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I've played bass in about half of the bands I've been in. However, I definitely wouldn't call myself a 'frustrated guitar player.' The transition wasn't hard, though I do think of it as a separate instrument and not just a guitar with four strings. The right hand technique has definitely come in handy for improving my fingerstyle technique, particularly in tone production, string stopping, and rest strokes.

    Bryan
     
  3. Baconator

    Baconator Member

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    I started playing bass a few years after taking up the guitar and loved it. I don't think it could help but improve your guitar playing, at least it improved mine. Actually, let me qualify that statement. It improved my guitar playing somewhat, although I ended up getting much more work as a bassist and because of that my guitar playing started suffering. It's only been in the last few years that I've been trying to minimize my bass playing so that I can improve my guitar playing again. I really do enjoy the bass and love having the ability to play both.
     
  4. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

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    When I was 19. Like almost 30 years ago. There were geetar players all over campus, and no bass players. The best band knew I knew my stuff ( music major) and got me a bass and I started to go. In a band that basically covered Mahavishnu Orchestra and RTF tunes....being thrown into the deep end.

    It took me awhile to get my right hand technique going, I played all those tunes with primarily just my index finger. Put the Pick away is one word of advice I have. Real men use their fingers. I ended up doing 2 and 3 finger exercises, like paradiddles..etc..read drum books, etc..

    Use the pad of your fingers, not the tips. Listen really carefully to how you fret, you will need to press harder, the first sign of a guitarist on bass is string buzz and fret noise.

    Bassists also need to develop a more advanced rhythm concept than guitarists, you will need to play before, on and behind the beat, unless you are like a metal head or something. Go to Tony Levin's site, or buy his book.

    I mean I could go ON and ON....:)
     
  5. revgsmall

    revgsmall Member

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    Yep, get rid of the pick, trim those nails. Play clean and don't hit the strings without hitting a note ala reggae skank.
     
  6. AL30

    AL30 Member

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    I play in two bands. Guitar in one. Bass in the other. I started out on guitar.

    It wasn't too hard of a transition in terms of being able to play. The hardest part is to adjust your thinking. NO MORE NOODLING !! :nono

    I always try and do what's best for the song. If that means chucking an A for 3 minutes then so be it. I also kind of think of myself as the last line of defense - singers going nuts, guitar solos, muppet drums... and me riding that A note. And you've really got to know your parts. If you drop a note everyone notices. Pick-slides don't work on a bass.

    It's a lot of fun and I really enjoy doing it. I think it's made me a much better all-around guitar player and a better song writer. It's much easier for me to think of an overall song now instead of "listen to how cool my guitar part is"

    AL
     
  7. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Marc Helberg, who posts here from time to time as MarcH, plays bass i the Mojo Gypsies. He's quite a good guitarist who took up the bass, a few years back. Nowadays, he can be seen schlepping around a big ol' doghouse bass to our gigs!

    I get a little pup tent, every time I think about it.

    LOL!
     
  8. CrazyFingers

    CrazyFingers Member

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    That's me. I still consider myself a guitar player but bass is a much more fun than I thought it would be. It gives you a completely different perspective on the music.

    My Advice 1: FOCUS ON and LOCK WITH the drummer. If you have a good drummer, it's a blast.

    My Advice 2: I'm constantly reminding myself to not play bass like a guitar player (too many notes). Less is more (unless your Phil Lesh).

    Good Luck & Have Fun.
     
  9. phantasm

    phantasm Member

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    I played bass in a few bands- not for me!
    I tried, but i love the sound of six screeching strings alot more.
     
  10. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    You don't need those top two strings, anyway. ;)
     
  11. TheOneTrueRobb

    TheOneTrueRobb Member

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    I play some bass in a couple bands. I'm using (ahem) a Dean 6-string - some habits die hard.

    Agreed with the guy who said "no noodling". You gotta adjust yer thinking, keep an eye and ear on the kick, all that stuff. Of course, every so often someone will call for a bass solo, and then....
     
  12. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    I'm playing bass more than guitar now.

    I used to play a decade ago, and gave up because I didn't think I was very good, and too much like a guitar player playing bass. But last year I 'accidentally' (it was never meant to be permanent, but they liked me) joined a new band as the bass player to do a friend a favor, and discovered that not only had I somehow and mysteriously become a much better bass player in the intervening period, I realised that I wasn't so bad before... just in the wrong bands. It would be great to play a wide variety of styles and be more of a 'complete' bassist, but I'll settle for having found a style of music which suits my playing ;).

    What's useful is that the music style of the new band is totally different from the band I pay guitar in, so I have no trouble keeping the two things apart. In fact, I never think of one band's music while I'm playing in the other, and I think that's helped me avoid being a 'guitarist playing bass'. It's simply a totally different world. I also don't write the material in the 'bass' band (apart from my own lines) which probably helps too.

    I did bring with me a love of effects though ;). My bass pedalboard is bigger than the guitarist's in this band :).

    I also like the ability to sit back and listen to the whole sound while just holding down the bottom end - I can never do that while I'm playing guitar because what I do is far more complicated.

    And I LOVE being able to use an amp with some real power, and feel it - and not constantly be told that "no-one needs that much power"... in fact my bass amp is very small at only 200W. I need a bigger one :p.
     
  13. Traps

    Traps Member

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    Our bass player is a wicked guitarist. But just picked up the bass about 8 months ago, and we're gigging regularly now. Check him out:
    at the links I have below.
     
  14. Brian Krashpad

    Brian Krashpad Member

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    I bagan on guitar and have since played bass in several bands, though I still play guitar in bands too. It's a different approach, at least how I play bass, in the pocket, groove, keep runs and fills minimal and in between vocal lines.

    Playing bass can help you be a better guitarist, and vice-versa, so long as you don't try to directly transfer one to the other.
     
  15. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    Isn't that like putting the training wheels back on your bike? ;)

    Ducks and runs for cover.
     
  16. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    I started playing guitar after playing bass for a while.

    There have been periods where I've been more comfortable playing guitar, but I think I've always been a better bass player- just in the way I "hear" music to begin with.
     
  17. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    I *had* to fill in once some time ago. I found out I actually loved playing bass! It'll never replace guitar for me, but man it can be fun, not t omention it's a nice change of pace on occasion for me. I also learned great respect for those who can play bass AND sing ...now there's a skill!

    Edward
     
  18. ButchR

    ButchR Komet Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Really gets your wheels turning to think about a different instrument. We have a great drummer so he really helps us lock in. We will see how it progresses.

    The great thing is the different perspective of the music. Listening for different things on the bass rather than guitar. Should be interesting.
     
  19. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    I think the bass player has the best perspective on the band sound.

    I played bass by jumping in to a wannabe prog band many years ago and immediately began playing Yes material, Ric, pick, SVT 16 10's.:worried

    But groove and the basic develpoment of being a bass player was missing.
    Still have the Ric but have pursued guitar, haltingly, since.

    Guitar and backup vocals require my 110% concentration.

    I could probably get GOOD gigs as a bass player, if I practiced a bit.

    Bass player + lead vocals= instant stardom....choose your band:AOK
     
  20. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Started on bass, moved to guitar. Still play bass form time to time. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to really develop your understanding of theory and voice leading. You're not just holding down the root of the chord, you're arranging the music to some degree. Going up high on the neck works if it's preparing the way for a strong low note on the E string or B string if you have one.

    And yeah, noodle only when appropriate. You can always tell a guitarist-bass player by the busy-ness of the parts.

    Also, the better locked in with the drummer you are (not just rhythmically but mentally) you can affect the "mood" of the tune just by what and how you play. The guitar and keys (if any) will automatically follow if they're aware players.
     

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