Bass or electric guitar?? NEED Advice from hard-core rockers

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by whw5, May 10, 2004.

  1. whw5 macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2004
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    Atlanta
    #1
    I am going to start playing either the bass or the electric guitar soon. I am having a very hard time choosing between the two. I love pounding Bass lines however I am concerned that there are not enough cool bass lines out there that would be good to play. I mean is there enough stuff out there to really pound it? I would also be playing jazz with it, and is there any difference between the bass in the orchristra and the electric one. I know that not a lot of people play base, is there a reason for this?
    Also me and my friend are interested in starting up a band and would a base be a good thing to have in it. We like punk rock, like the vines, the hives, the darkness, red hot chillie peppers, ect. I also love playing guitar chords a lot however I am more interested in awsome intros and something to totally rock on. ANY help and recomendations, or sharing of experiences would be GREATLY appreciated. I have played trumpet for a while in my school band but I am looking for something more punk.
     
  2. vollspacken macrumors 65816

    vollspacken

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    #3
    go for the bass, it has more balls...

    vSpacken
     
  3. whw5 thread starter macrumors regular

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  4. phonemonkey macrumors regular

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    Feb 21, 2004
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    #5
    I play both and depending on what you want to play is where your decision should lie. I picked up bass solely on necessity, we fired our bassist last year and if we're playing stuff that I love, like RHCP, Sublime, Marley, etc, then bass is the way to go. There is never a lack of bass lines, especially if you are writing your own stuff. If you're going to be playing classic rock, skynnard or stuff that doesn't have much groove but powerchords then I'd go with a guitar because rock is really boring on a bass. Just look at a live performance and watch the bassist. They usually aren't having much fun. The only exception in the rock genre is Nirvana, but they were out there anyways. If you're playing funk, reggae, or things along that line go with bass.
     
  5. Crikey macrumors 6502

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    Spencer's Butte, Oregon
    #6
    Pick one and go with it! The four-string electric bass is typically tuned the same as the thicker four strings on a 6-string electric guitar, so what you learn on one will transfer over to the other if you want to switch (or add) later -- none of your effort will be wasted even if you change your mind. Seems like there are more guitar players than bass players, so it might be easier to get gigs with a bass. Also, it's a little less of an ego instrument.

    You asked if you can play jazz with an electric bass guitar. The short answer is yes, but for some styles (trad, swing, and acoustic in general) most bands have a bassist that plays a large acoustic stand-up bass rather than an electric one. For rock and electric jazz, the electric bass is fine.

    Rock on, dude!


    Crikey
     
  6. Bhennies macrumors 6502

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    #7
    guitar players can always play bass, can't say that all bass players can play guitar. Learn guitar, you learn both. Learn bass, you learn bass. Get a guitar.
     
  7. kanker macrumors 6502

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    Indy
    #8
    I disagree completely. Most guitar players don't have enough restraint to play bass, and then don't have the concept to play bass either. They may be similar instruments, but they are extremely different concepts.

    I guess your choice should be based a little bit on your personality. Are you harsh and abrasive? Then play guitar. ;) If you are more supportive, then bass is the way to go. You wonder if there are enough cool bass lines out there to play- make them up. IMHO, guitar players are a dime a dozen. A good bass player who can play a large number of styles of music will keep working for years to come.
     
  8. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    Jul 6, 2003
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    Los Angeles
    #9
    I remember when people used to fall in love with an instrument or a person who played that instrument and made their choice based on that.

    I play both and for the last couple years I've enjoyed bass more. Mainly it's just hearing those big fat strings to thwack and the corresponding deep sound out of the amp. It's soothing (to me, not the neighbors)--in fact if anybody has a big Ampeg head and 6x10 cabinet they want to get rid of it could be even more soothing.

    If I could pick only 1 or the other to have forever I'd pick guitar. If you want to show off for your friends or whatever it's a more useful instrument. Hey, listen to the song I learned... If you don't have friends to play with the guitar makes a better solo instrument. I also happen to agree with Bhennies comment.

    Of course if you have no talent it doesn't matter what you play.
     
  9. unfaded macrumors 6502

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    Seattle, WA
    #10
    Bass - so much more fun, so much more in demand.
     
  10. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

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    Pittsburgh, PA
    #11
    if you go for guitar and need a nice one, PM me... I have one for sale. :)

    m
     
  11. Bhennies macrumors 6502

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    #12
    harsh and abrasive? dime a dozen? Guitar players don't have enough restraint to play bass? Someone's biased.

    anyway...I started playing guitar, then switched to bass for years, then I learned piano, then drums, etc. You can always switch and learn more. No the concepts are not that much different. Bass is extremely easy to pick up after you've been playing guitar for years. I guess what kanker is referring to by concepts is rhythm, groove etc- not too hard to understand once you've gotten down the basic concepts of musical theory by playing guitar.

    I have friends who started playing bass, and then wanted to learn guitar and had a hell of a time learning chord progressions, triads, scales, etc.. I started playing guitar and then switched to bass- the only trouble I had was learning how to slap quickly and efficiently.

    Plus, you shouldn't learn an instrument based on how much work you'll get. That's f*****g lame. do it for yourself and what it means to YOU.

    p.s. i play some jazz style as well. lots of fun, and jazz guitar is in no way harsh or abrasive. :)
     
  12. stevietheb macrumors 6502a

    stevietheb

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    Houston
    #13
    The Vines, The Hives, Red Hot Chili Peppers...this is considered punk rock?

    Of course, if your a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan, then you gotta go bass and play like Flea!

    I picked up the guitar 8 years ago for two reasons: 1) high school freshman seeks chicks---this method doesn't work...but it's a great way to sublimate teen angst, and 2) I wanted to be Bob Dylan

    8 years later I've found myself switching between acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, bass, and harmonica...in the end, I always come back to strummin' old Dylan tunes on the guitar and singing about how love is just a four-letter word.

    Go with what you feel.
     
  13. d-fi macrumors member

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    Calgary, Canada
    #14
    Being a guitar player doesn't make you a bass player as well. I do admit that if you are a guitar player you'll be able to get by on the bass, but it doesn't necessarily make you a good bass player.

    I started off playing bass in a punk rock band then I learned guitar later (which was really easy after playing bass for awhile) and I think that I’m a better player because of it. Bass (and drums) is the foundation of rock, punk, funk… and so on, you get the idea. Knowing how the bass (and drums) fits into the picture make it easier for me songs now when I play guitar.

    But the choice of what to play is a personal one if you like the big chunky rifts that hold a song together go with the bass; bass also sets the general mood I find. Guitar is more like icing on the cake (unless you play rhythm;)) you have more room to move musically speaking and the audience pays more attention to you, if that’s important to you

    Let us know what you choose, either way you can rock out
     
  14. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #15
    Find something by Victor Wooten, from Béla Fleck & The Flecktones. HE IS ****ING AMAZING! :eek:
     
  15. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

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    #16
    you guys dont understand..he is...he is almost a god. his bass (victor) skills are so freakin amazing....he sounds like a piano/guitar thingy...he is a freak. i have seen him many times...
     
  16. bellychris macrumors member

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    Sep 25, 2003
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    New Jersey
    #17
    Victor Wooten is amazingly fast. :eek:

    Anyways people often confuse that bass and guitar are the same. In my experience they are totally diffrent. The only thing they have in common is EADG. You can play the bass like the guitar, then you don't know how to play the bass. My advice to you is pick the bass, and get a good teacher to teach you the bass if you can afford it. If not get a really good book and tapes on how to play the bass. You will then discover how diffrent they really are. Slapping, popping, etc. There is so much you can do with a bass.
     
  17. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    #18
    I didn't want to be the first one to comment on that, but it's pretty amazing what they call punk rock these days.
     
  18. kanker macrumors 6502

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    Nov 13, 2003
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    Indy
    #19
    I'm not biased, I'm a piano/keyboard player.;)

    There's a difference between understanding a thing and being able to do it. Rhythm and groove go much deeper than anything that can be defined, they have to be natural after a certain point, and just understanding what to play on the bass does not make it a real bass part. Bass is counterpoint, pulse, an immensely important rhythmic anchor, and in many cases a time keeper (i.e. jazz). Those aren't things one learns without studying bass as a concept, not just as an instrument. With all that said, I have to agree that learning chords and progressions is crucial to playing any instrument, including the drums (give 20 drummers an open solo on a jazz standard and see how many actually play the form).
    Sorry, that just comes out of years of having to work with some lame bass players because there were too few good ones around. I'm a freelancer, and I do tend to view things from a freelancer's perspective.

    When? ;)
     
  19. MatMistake macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    #20
    I play both guitar and bass (started on bass) and I'd say aslong as you have some friends to play with defiantly go for the bass, its a much more fun instrument and you can do so much more with it than a guitar.
    plus you'll probably end up learning both, and its better to start off on bass. many guitarists who pick up the bass don't really know how to play it. thay know the physical aspect of playing it, but don't get the true feel of the bass.
     
  20. whw5 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #21
    I think that I am going with electric guitar. Many of my friends play it so they could help me out a lot. My brother also wants to play the bass, so I will leave it for him. Thanks for all the advice, it was very helpful. I think for the time being I am going with guitar, but I will pick up the bass somtime later if guitar isn't for me.
     
  21. Zenith macrumors 6502

    Zenith

    Joined:
    May 18, 2001
    Location:
    Norway
    #22
    I say start playing the piano!

    Seriously, the piano gives an advantage you'll never encounter on any other instrument; the harmonic overview. It will give you a completely different perspective on music if can figure out the logic behind the harmonies, progressions, consonances and dissonances on a piano's keyboard. If you're going to start playing either bass or guitar, then do it! But sometime in your life as a musician you should get familiar with the piano.

    BTW, I checked out Victor Wooten. He plays really good! A good combination of tapping and regular technique, which enables him to play fast and make dense and raffined harmonies.

    Kanker: Are you a jazz pianist? Just curious.
     
  22. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

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    #23
    check out "Amazing Grace" by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones..."Live At The Quick" it will stir your heart...
     
  23. Bhennies macrumors 6502

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    NYC & Baltimore
    #24
    YES! THE BEST IDEA YET! the only thing I EVER play anymore is my Fender Rhodes piano. My poor '72 Tele reissue and Jazz bass just sit in the cradle (well...I play them occasionally but piano is the ****).

    Kanker, know what you mean about there being a shortage of good bass players around ;)
     
  24. flahiker macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    #25
    Be Brave....

    Since people mention Bela and Victor Wooten, why not go all the way and play electric banjo! Bela plays the Deering Crossfire.

    Stand out from the crowd, not in it.
     

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