Why Do You Play Bass
I was just wondering why or how u got started playing bass instead of a 6 string. Im currently learning how to play acoustic guitar and im thinkin about buying an eletric but theres just something about bass that looks very appealin to me. Is it compelety different from playing a 6 string?
"Life Is Beautiful,
Life Is A Struggle,
Life Is A Beautiful Struggle" - Mos Def
I didn't, I play both. I started on an acoustic, then got an electric, and then got my bass after that. It isn't completely different, although it takes some adjustment for the fretting hand, and the plucking hand needs to learn some new technique. You also have to learn to think as a bassist. You can't play the bass and fill a song with busy little riffs like you can with the guitar. A bass is part of the rhythm section. Of course, you can do whatever you want when you play by yourself. When you play a flurry of notes just because you can, we refer to it as wanking, and like actual wanking, it's fun, but also something to keep to yourself. Bass playing is different enough that you can't just pick it up and play as well as you do on the guitar, but guitar will give you a head start. Don't think of it as getting a bass instead of an electric guitar, just think of it as getting the bass first. There's no reason you can't get the guitar when you have more cash. Or vice versa, if you want the guitar more right now.
On one of my wife's flamenco videos there's a guy playing an electric hollowbody bass withh Paco Lucia. The sound he gets is incredible; he gets this low growl of a noise I've never heard from a bass before.
Anyway... the reason I bring this guy up is that (best I can tell) he plays the bass like a rhythm guitar, happily strumming away the beat. It makes me question our desire to consider the bass and guitar such different instruments, playing such different roles in a band.
I think this is the guy that Bush or Ashcroft (or one of that group of enlightened thinkers) decided couldn't tour with Paco last year because he was from Cuba and wasn't let across the border from Canada.
That's very cool. I was referring more to excessive riffing than to playing the two in a similar fashion. I meant you can't have everybody noodling away; pushing stylistic limits is just fine.
For me, I just liked the sound of it. Paul McCartney especially, I guess because you could really hear it and it stood out but fit in at the same time. It was melodic and had its own 'voice.' Another thing I like about bass playing is that there's rarely anyone else in the band down in that low range to get in your way. It's like having this whole little playground to yourself and the only guy who comes down once in awhile is the drummer, when he plays the kick drum. Other than that it's like driving on a deserted road at night - you can go fast, slow, and there's no traffic you have to avoid - unless it's jazz and you have to hit the chord changes. Normally, it's pretty neat to be in that frequency range though.
And when you play live with a big loud amp, it's even neater because you can feel the 'wind' from the speakers when you stand close.
I actually started on ukulele (because it had 4 strings too), then went to bass, then went to guitar, and then went back around again, and then again, so I've always played both. To me, like Paul, it's not 'instead' but 'and.' I never played both in the same band though; I would either be the bassist or the guitarist - each has a different role in the music and I found myself listening to different parts of the music depending on which instrument I was playing. For bass I'd focus in on the drummer's kick and the high-hats; on guitar it was the hats and the snare.
But each is fun to play!
You might go down to a music store if you can and try out some basses. You might actually be a bassist without knowing it, but then again you might be more of a guitarist. The fact that you mentioned the bass looking appealing might mean you should at least go down and try a few out.
It's fun either way though. :)
I started because the bands I was around didn't have enough bassists (3 bands, 2 bassists), and I could read music.
I continued because I like it, and because it allows me to play all sorts of music. Even if I don't know a song, I can (usually) follow along with the gang and sometimes come up with something interesting. For songs that I have learned, I have other options, as I can play them as recorded, or put my own twist on the bassline.
I still play bass because there still aren't enough bass players around.
For me it was two reasons.
First: it was a case of everyone i knew played guitar, i figured that i could do more as a bassist than as the sixth guitarist.
Second: I was reading an article by the bassist from White Zombie ( I forget her name) and she said said "bass is as simple or as comlex as you want it to be."
That gave me the idea that it would be a good place to start musically.