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Bass guitar player vs Regular electric guitar player

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(@razzlemacher)
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So here is total newbie question that I've often wondered about - the bass guitar has 4 strings vs the regular guitar, say a Les Paul, has 6 strings. So if person "A" is really good at playing the Les Paul then he could easily pick up the bass guitar and rock on!! Or not?? I know I know ... David Hodge from guitarnoise has just published a book on Bass guitars and may want to kill me after reading this post but I really don't know and am curious about it. (And if David you reading this then thanks for the articles on this website - they are phenomenal!)

Is playing "regular" guitar also akin to improving on your bass skills? Thanks :)

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself - George Bernard Shaw


   
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(@dogbite)
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(@corbind)
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That's a tough one. Obviously a bass has the same 4 low stings as a bass so playing it (or finding notes) is pretty easy. I've always felt a guitar player could easily pick up the basics of bass fast. But that's initially.

Bass is a pivotal instrument in that is can be played simple (root note most of the time) or busy (like a lead guitarist on bass). All I know the best bass players play bass as their primary instrument because they understand the ebb & flow of music. They lock on with the drummer and help define what's going on.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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(@dl0571)
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Essentially, a guitarist can pick up the technical basics of the bass, ie fretting and picking, but musically it takes a whole new learning process in figuring out how to make the music flow. They are two completely different beasts to tame.

"How could you possibly be scared of being bad? Once you get past that, it's all beautiful." -Trey Anastasio


   
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(@slejhamer)
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Flute players must be able to pick up a trumpet and instantly play just about anything. I mean, it's only got three little buttons to push, and you just blow, right? That Wynton Marsalis can't fool anyone.

:roll:

Why don't you go practice your power chords and then roll off a few Geddy Lee riffs? Show him how easy it is.

Rock on, dude!

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@ab0msnwman)
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Flute players must be able to pick up a trumpet and instantly play just about anything. I mean, it's only got three little buttons to push, and you just blow, right? That Wynton Marsalis can't fool anyone.

:roll:

Why don't you go practice your power chords and then roll off a few Geddy Lee riffs? Show him how easy it is.

Rock on, dude!
Attitude.

Yes, physically fretting a bass is easy for a guitarist. Yes, finding the notes on a bass is easy for a guitarist. No, playing the bass is not easy for most guitarists. In fact, playing the bass well is darn near impossible for most of you rhythmically retarded lead players.


   
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(@vanzant38)
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I have wondered about this subject many times. Thanks for posting this question, it has helped me to better understand the bass player's role. I hope more posts come to this thread too, cuz I'm interested.

Oh yeah, I am rhythmically retarded. But I have a drum machine on my pc now and it is helping a lot. I was amazed at just how bad I was/am at keeping rhythm.

Adios.

My dad would always talk about retirement, and allude to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And I say all you've got at the end of the rainbow is death. You're riding the rainbow right now. - Mark Borchardt


   
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(@misanthrope)
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Trumpet and Flute are a good analogy Slej - maybe you can make a noise out of both, but what they do within music is different. I'm not particularly good, but I feel like I'm on the right track... :mrgreen:

I found what it took for me to break away from playing the bass 'like a big guitar' was to pick 'properly', ie, with my fingers (I use a 3mm bass pick for the guitar and it was all too easy to be lazy).

ChordsAndScales.co.uk - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer


   
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(@musenfreund)
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Learning each will help you improve as a musician though because you will learn to approach the music from a different angle and listen to it differently. But they are clearly different albeit related instruments.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


   
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(@elecktrablue)
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Essentially, a guitarist can pick up the technical basics of the bass, ie fretting and picking, but musically it takes a whole new learning process in figuring out how to make the music flow. They are two completely different beasts to tame.

That's exactly right, at least for me, anyway. After having played guitar for several years, I acquired a bass. Because of my experience with a guitar, the basics were quite simple to catch onto. The only thing was that I, at that point, only thought like a guitar player, not a bass player, which are two entirely different mindsets. I had to make myself stop thinking about guitar riffs and melody lines when I had the bass in my hands. I still sometimes struggle with it. But, I intend to keep on with it until my mind understands what my hands want to do.

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"Don't wanna ride no shootin' star. Just wanna play on the rhythm guitar." Emmylou Harris, "Rhythm Guitar" from "The Ballad of Sally Rose"


   
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