P Mauriat
Antigua Winds
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Playing Bass Guitar--Easy?

  1. #1
    Forum Contributor 2014
    The official SOTW Little Sister
    bluesaxgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee (no longer in a band room storage closet)
    Posts
    5,351

    Default Playing Bass Guitar--Easy?

    I played cello and bass in orchestra for one year. I would like to pick up a similiar sounding instrument again--the bass guitar. Do they have the same fingerings? Please say you don't do chords like an acoustic...
    It's only cool until Kenny G does it.

  2. #2
    Forum Contributor 2011
    SOTW Better late than never bloomer poster child
    tjontheroad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    4,059

    Default

    Bass guitar is tuned to E-A-D-G low to high. Most players are doing single note lines. Chords on bass are a more advanced trick. Try this bass forum http://www.talkbass.com/ for some great tips. You'll find me there using the same handle.

    Good Luck

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tjontheroad
    Try this bass forum http://www.talkbass.com/ for some great tips. You'll find me there using the same handle.

    Good Luck
    Ditto

    Bass Guitar is one of those instruments that is fairly easy to play - but difficult to play really well.

    However, if you have played Upright Bass before, the tuning for BG is the same, so it should be somewhat familiar. Learn the basic "closed position" scale fingerings, and you can play scales around the cycle just by moving the root.

    Also there seem to be more gigging oportunities for bass players. On the minus side you have develop relationships with drummers but on the plus side you still get to despise guitarists

    Have fun

    ..................Jim
    "I plan to live forever ..... or die trying!!!

  4. #4
    Forum Contributor 2014
    The official SOTW Little Sister
    bluesaxgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee (no longer in a band room storage closet)
    Posts
    5,351

    Default

    I like the still despising guitarists part...
    It's only cool until Kenny G does it.

  5. #5
    Forum Contributor 2011
    SOTW Better late than never bloomer poster child
    tjontheroad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    4,059

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesaxgirl
    I like the still despising guitarists part...
    Hey!!! I resemble that remark.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BassManJim
    Ditto

    Also there seem to be more gigging oportunities for bass players.
    Now that's the the part that I like!

    Time to buy a bass!

  7. #7
    Forum Contributor 2014
    The official SOTW Little Sister
    bluesaxgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee (no longer in a band room storage closet)
    Posts
    5,351

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tjontheroad
    Hey!!! I resemble that remark.
    sorry
    It's only cool until Kenny G does it.

  8. #8

    Default

    I took up bass guitar about a year ago, and finally got kindof serious this last few months. I play guitar, so I figured it would be easy..............well, I am a chord playin' rhythm player, so playing the single note bass line was different and I now am working more on lead guitar, which is more similar to bass than I thought it would be. My approach is this: there hardly ever seems to be a bass player around, and even people who COULD play, don't want to because it is low profile. HOwever, the bass player is actually in control!! lol! I try to keep my bass lines simple, and that works out well. I get invited to more events this way and there is no competing with egomaniacal guitar players.......so, as above, it would be hard to be really good, but you can keep it basic and do a nice job, easily, with your background. It is a lot of fun. Another thing, it is a lot harder to sing and play bass than play guitar and sing----for me, anyway.

    ALso, girl bassists are a novelty! Besides being the only lady musician at most jams, you can also be "the" lady bass player, which raises some eyebrows!!! I find it to be a lot of fun!

  9. #9

    Default

    I work it this way. If there is no bass player, I play bass. If there is a real bass player and it is a rocking jam or blues or jazz, and they aren't all that good, I play sax. If they are really good, I play flute, which I am better at! If none of the above, I sing!

  10. #10
    Forum Contributor 2014
    The official SOTW Little Sister
    bluesaxgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee (no longer in a band room storage closet)
    Posts
    5,351

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by woodsgirl
    I work it this way. If there is no bass player, I play bass. If there is a real bass player and it is a rocking jam or blues or jazz, and they aren't all that good, I play sax. If they are really good, I play flute, which I am better at! If none of the above, I sing!
    well divised plan.
    It's only cool until Kenny G does it.

  11. #11

    Default

    Almost a well devised play, unfortunately many bass players (especially in the rock/pop arena) are merely frustrated guitar players - and would drop playing the bass in a second for a chance to play guitar. If you want to go the bass route then put your focus on learning that instrument - and frankly if you want to play and make some money you'll have plenty of opportunity as a good bass player, good guitar players are pretty much a dime a dozen and most often play for beer (not that there's anything wrong with that, I've been doing it for almost 20 years!).

  12. #12
    Forum Contributor 2007 jacobeid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    central Ohio
    Posts
    1,566

    Default

    On bass I could get away with an easy rock gig and I never really learned how to play. To be a good bass player would be extremely hard though.
    Alto-Mark VI 118xxx, Mouthpiece Cafe New York Cafe Bros., Hemke 3, bonade inverted.
    Backup: Mark VII 284xxx
    Tenor-Yanagisawa T991, Mouthpiece Cafe Bergonzi Slant Supreme, RJS filed 3S, FL brass.
    Soprano-Yanagisawa S991, Yanagisawa HR 5, La Voz MH

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    3rd Rock from the Sun
    Posts
    386

    Default Re: Playing Bass Guitar--Easy?

    Quote Originally Posted by BassManJim View Post
    Ditto

    Also there seem to be more gigging oportunities for bass players. On the minus side you have develop relationships with drummers but on the plus side you still get to despise guitarists

    Have fun

    ..................Jim

    What's wrong with drummers?
    Guitarists are generally known as Guitards by bassists

  14. #14
    BryanM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Playing Bass Guitar--Easy?

    I've been playing bass for about 14 months, I did come from the guitar route, though I never played lead guitar. I'm only now inching my way over to the world of saxophone. As a rhythm guitarist, playing bass well enough to mesh with a band came reasonably easy, since I was already paying attention to the drums and working with any other instruments while ignoring the guitarist. As far as tricks to play bass well, try playing tenor sax or trombone parts on bass, the range is similar and the horn phrasing in a different voice can really contrast traditional bass playing. Also just grooving on one or two notes and playing from drum sheets can be cool. I've found that gigs aren't hard at all to come by as a bassist, but they're often medium paying gigs. I get regular calls by a cover/standards band with which I may occasionally have to fake a song on the spot, and can usually pull in an honest day's wages for a night's work, though they play long nights.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Playing Bass Guitar--Easy?

    Its easy to learn, i mean not when you play the instruments in a treble cleft...it really messes you up...but its easy to play, as that one guy said, but its hard to play good, and groove may i add. You can play the bass good, but if you aren't grooving, then you fail...you epic fail. the bass is different then a saxophone because you can take out all the horns and saxes, and possibly the electric guitar, and you can still jam with whats left. See, the most important part of a band is drums (duh) then the bass, unless their are extra special circumstances. So basically if you screw up, then the rest of the band will fall apart. I gave up bass, and now i play the guitar. However, if you can play a bass in a band, then i guarantee that you have already become better at every other instrument you play

  16. #16

    Default Re: Playing Bass Guitar--Easy?

    This is a very accurate thread. Everyone here has very accurate points.
    '35 Pan American Alto, Rovner Deep-V #7 ( .090), Rovner SS1RVS Lig, Plasticover Tenor #3 reed, '56 Pan American Tenor, Rico Metalite M7 (.105)

  17. #17

    Default Re: Playing Bass Guitar--Easy?

    Yes, it's the same fingering and all, just the Electric bass has the frets and is easier to be able to find what notes you want.
    I started off on the electric Bass, and then I started to learn the Double Bass. They are very, very similar, accept one is about 3 times the size and weight of the other.

  18. #18
    Bill Bryant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    South Dakota, USA
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: Playing Bass Guitar--Easy?

    It's fifth grade band, first day of the school year. Director teaches class first note. Second day, second note. Third day, third note. Fourth day, bass guitar player is missing. "Where's Johnny?" asks the director. A student answers, "He had a gig."

  19. #19
    Forum Contributor 2011
    SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
    RootyTootoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Castle Rooty. UK.
    Posts
    8,311

    Default Re: Playing Bass Guitar--Easy?

    Hey, I started a thread about this about 2 weeks ago. And got some of the exact same replies.
    "The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

  20. #20

    Default Re: Playing Bass Guitar--Easy?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesaxgirl View Post
    I played cello and bass in orchestra for one year. I would like to pick up a similiar sounding instrument again--the bass guitar. Do they have the same fingerings? Please say you don't do chords like an acoustic...
    Like you, I jumped from double bass to bass guitar in order to get rock gigs. It is an easy transfer (not unlike going from alto to tenor sax).

    I disagree with much that has been said above.

    There are a few things to keep in mind. First, most bass guitars are made for guitarists. There are a lot of guitarists out there and many feel that they can also play bass (some can, most can't). Because of market bass guitars are designed for guitar players not for bassist such as us.

    A guitarist on bass is easy to spot. The always use frets, they use a large pick, and they wear a long neck strap that allows the bass to hang low and look cool.

    I initially had trouble changing over because I thought that this was the only way to play a bass guitar. But there are a lot of bassists who play bass guitar as well.

    The frets:

    These have a purpose. When playing a chord one cannot always put all fingers in the correct position on the strings. The frets pinch off the sound at the correct fingering position when the fingers are close to the correct position. There is no reason to have them on a bass guitar, especially if you already know the positions! That AND they make sliding sound like a scale instead of a smooth transition. If you can, buy a fretless. These are very unpopular since exact finger positions do not have to be studied to play a fretted bass. An untrained musician on a fretted bass will be constantly out of tune. But not you.

    There is an argument that frets give a 'rock sound' but this is BS. The only times that frets make sounds are when the musician has their fingers wrong.

    Next, screw the pick! Once you begin to listen to the bass lines of various songs it becomes apparent that the complex licks are fingered and the simple ones are picked. That is because the pick is a limitation. I have 5 callused picks on my right hand and no use for a plastic one!

    Buy a short next strap. When playing a double bass or cello, the neck is at about a 75-80 degree angle. Guitars are played at very low angles with the neck almost (if not exactly) parallel to the ground. I made the mistake of trying to play my first bass guitar like this fora few months, until I saw a video of John Entwistle (The Who). I realized that he holds his guitar in the normal bass position, and why not? That is the way you already learned it, stick with it. A good number of rock bassists play in this fashion. The short neck strap will allow you to hold the bass in the form that you are most accustomed to, making the transition easy.

    Finally, guitar players do not know how to play bass. I cannot impart to you how many times a guitarist (claiming 25-40 year experience) told me how to play a bass. They look alike but are nothing alike. Some guitarists believe that the bass is just a rhythm guitar set an octave down, and believe that the bass line is simply the rhythm guitar lick. There are even rock bands with guitarists on bass who utilize this method. Though, it is far inferior to actually having a bass line.

    I should note that I know guitarists who can play bass, though they all agree that the instruments are unique.

    You already have all of the knowledge to play bass guitar. The scales are the same, rock focuses on 1st 3rd and 5th (with occasional 7th). All notes in the scale are legal, though the odds should be the focus of the rock bass line.

    Now you just have to get one. Unfortunately all of the cheap model basses have frets. I have yet to encounter a fretless bass that wasn't of good quality, though the cheapest are about 800 new (check craigs list).

    One more thing:

    There are 3 rock bass styles;
    eubassists - which follow the same rules as jazz, funk, blues, and classical (recall that early rock used a double bass!)
    guitarists - which use a pick, ride single notes for whole lines, and follow the guitarists lead
    and percussionists - who use the bass as a percussion instrument (play slap). This is an amazing and admirable style which focuses mostly on rhythm over harmony. Though the real distinction between eubassist and slap is the fingering (right for me) hand.

    Also, if you want to see what the best bass in the world looks like, PM me and I'll shoot you a pic.
    Alto: Jupiter 767 / Vandoren A95 Jumbo Java / Vandoren Java 2
    Tenor: Jupiter 787 / Vandoren T75 Java/ Vandoren Java 2

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •