Is the transition difficult?

A forum devoted to the discussion of playing bass with the blues.

Is the transition difficult?

Postby david » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:12 pm

If someone is already pretty solid with a guitar, how hard is it to make the change over to bass?
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Postby bigdaddy » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:39 pm

Guitar players tend to over play the bass. I have been playing guitar for 30 years and I'm horrible at it but when I plug my bass in I can get people to smooth out and start shufflin' their feet. Strange how the guitar seems so impossible for me but the bass is so easy. I began my music trip as a drummer back when I was 12. Most guitar players I know who fill in on bass don't want to and are not very good at it. Bass is different than guitar. It has a different purpose in music. My oldest son plays guitar well but he can also play the bass, in my opinion, even better. If you know the pentaonic major and minor scale the bass is an easy transition but is it in you to do? Do have a real good feel for rythym? Can you stand back and keep the groove while your guitarist or piano player is rippin' up a solo and getting all the cheers for doing so? I love the bass. I believe I was made for the bass. I am a bassist and I fiddle with the guitar and harmonica.
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Postby allanlummox » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:59 pm

I've simply never, ever had a bass in my hands for more than five minutes at a time - and then it was unplugged.

I've known many bass players who started on guitar.
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Postby david » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:35 pm

I'm not interested in attaining mediocrity on yet another instrument.

My fourteen year old daughter, however, will be joining her older sister in the school pep band this coming year and has already been giving it some thought.

She's considering joining the pep band and doesn't know whether to try to convince the band director to have a marimba in the band, or try to replace the guitar player who is graduating.

Hannah has been taking guitar lessons since she was seven but plays acoustic flat picking style and hates "strumming chords." A guitar in a pep band is all strumming power chords to Smoke on the Water, Born to be Wild and such.

The current bass player is also graduating and I thought playing bass in the pep band might be more akin to the picking style she likes--telling her there are no chords would be a big advantage. I wasn't even going to suggest it to her if the transition was too much.

If you want to hear extreme bass check this out: http://www.thebasscowboy.com/basscowboy ... te_020.htm
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Postby oleman » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:42 pm

I have to echo what bigdaddy said. Since I switched over to bass, I feel at home. My guitar was ok, and I did like the spotlight but now I realize this is where I belong.

The transistion from guitar to bass was easy for me as I always had good groove sense. The pitfall is trying to play the bass like a 4 string guitar or lead bass.

My transistion from bass guitar to fretless and upright was a struggle but well worth it. Playing the bass has made me a much better guitar player.
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Postby jeffl » Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:03 pm

Ask Houndog; he jus' made the switch less than a year ago, and is apparently doin' well with it. He might be able to tell you the conscious adjustments he had to make.
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Postby houndog » Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:31 am

Yip,
I changed over 6 months ago and 3 months ago I was in the studio ... :shock:

I had covered a lot of guitar styles and needed a side ways move to bass to refresh my playing.

A harp player told me that he had heard a lot of gtr players playing bass as they would a six string ie too high on the neck, but I sounded like a bass player :D . So it is a different mind set and approach...as in same but different ...

Also I was used to filling out the sound on 6trings, that isn't wholly a bass players job...again a change of mind set ( yes I did try runs + vibrato lix on the bass ...but it don't sound pretty)

Kids now a days are fearless and she should make the change far easier than I did. Also I would suggest getting a proper rather than smaller "student" bass and a decent size rig ie 200 watts as otherwise she will get fed up soon.

adios,
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Postby lpdeluxe » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:08 pm

I'm joining this pretty late, but I'll vote for giving bass a try.

Sure, some guitarists overplay bass (and the better the guitarist is at leads, the more likely you'll hear him playing endless 16th notes on the bass).

Me, I've played mostly slide (Dobro, steel and electric guitar) for 30 years, when I was recruited into a working band as the bass player.

I fell in love, and it's hard now for me to pick up a 6-string...I'm playing Dobro for our church service later this morning, and I hope I can deal with it (our little church does a "string band" for summer services: a couple of guitars, sometimes a banjo or fiddle, a standup bass and me on Dobro, mostly to accompany the choir).

Even after 30+ years, a year on the bass has made me a better musician. No more faking it when I wasn't sure where the song was going, no more dropping out when I get lost.... :roll:

A guitar player with some chops (as David's daughter seems to be) will know RIGHT AWAY whether bass is for her. Give it a try.
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Postby fat paul » Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:16 am

Count me in as a reformed guitar player. I rember wanting a bass so bad that every time I closed my eyes I would see me playing a bass. I sold some stuff, scraped together some cash, bought a Fender jazz bass and never looked back. Bass is a much better fit for me. I love being in a tight rhythem section with a great drummer. Also good bass players are in demand. I am now known as a bassist that also plays guitar, harmonica and banjo,,,,,but mostly as a bass player
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Postby lpdeluxe » Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:13 am

Fat paul, you sound like me. I play guitar, electric guitar, harp, steel, Dobro (pedal steel when I have LOTS of time to practice) but somehow pumping up the rhythm section really floats my boat...after years of being a pretty lame rhythm guitarist, at that.

BTW, the Dobro went over well today. I honestly feel that a year on the bass has improved my playing on everything.
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