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goose756's avatar

How easy is it to learn bass if you already know guitar?

Asked by goose756 (655 points ) May 6th, 2009

I’ve been playing guitar for a while and I’m wondering if playing the bass would be similar.. it doesn’t seem too difficult but I suppose I could be wrong. What kind of equipment would I need for a bass?

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17 Answers

Triiiple's avatar

My roommate plays a little guitar but plays Bass like a beast and he doesnt even really know how.

I to play a little guitar and picked up his Bass and it wasnt to bad. Its really easy to get a dope bass line down.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

That depends on your definition of easy. If guitar came naturally to you, then the bass probably will also. I’ve played guitar for years and I can play the bass some what. I don’t read the music. I play by ear.

steve6's avatar

The top four strings of the guitar are the same as the four strings on the bass, so it’s easy!

westy81585's avatar

Very. Most avid guitar players can pick the bass up and improv to a song without any issue.

Now if you want to be an AMAZING bass player like flea or something, that will take a lot more practice, as there are enough subtle differences.

steve6's avatar

I just reread your question and you will need a bass amp.

Knotmyday's avatar

More single notes, less chording. Know your keys. Buy an Ampeg.

kenmc's avatar

@Ivan knows it!

It’s pretty easy. No immense effort is involved. Like what’s been said above, the top 4 strings on a guitar are the same as the strings on a bass, so if you have those down, you’ll be set.

gailcalled's avatar

Guitars have frets. Does a bass?

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

it was insanely easy for me at least. played the guitar exclusively for four years, then bought a bass from my friend and picked it up really easily, if you can read music from that point it’s just a matter of getting used to the different sized frets and spaces between strings.

Jack79's avatar

Even though it’s easy as far as the technical side is concerned, a bass has a completely different logic to it. It obviously depends on what you define as “playing”. If you want to just hit E,E,E,E,E and then E for half the song and then go up to B for a couple of bars, then any fool can do that, even if they’ve never seen a guitar before. But proper bass playing means two things:
1) a decent knowledge of music theory and harmony, ie always knowing the chords and all the notes that correspond to them, as well as those notes that will help you either improvise a harmony on the spot, or come up with certain patterns depending on the style and song (you could simply find these in a book, the point is to be able to understand their logic).
2) synchronisation with the drummer (I’m thinking of your typical drums-base-chords-solo band here, where the solo instrument is usually an electric guitar, and the chords are played by an acoustic guitarist, who is usually also the singer). Synchronisation in turn implies first of all some basic talent (I have none of that) and secondly several hours rehearsing, especially with the drummer, and preferably NOT under the influence of alcohol, which is how most musicians rehearse.

So, even though knowing how to play the guitar can help (and if you’ve played the classical guitar for many years you’ll certainly know about base lines and so on), in most cases all you’ll know is how to hold the bass properly and maybe how to tune it and that’s all. To become a decent bass player you’ll need to apply just as much effort as any other instrument.

trigger_101's avatar

to be honest it’s pretty easy. I’ve played guitar for 6 years, admittedly I’m at grade 8, but it all depends on whether you use a pick, or your fingers! I can whip out some pretty tasty basslines with a pick, but you need a bit of practice to get the fingers working well!

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

the bass is a great little toy if you know how to use it. having a guitar back ground really gives you a leg up, especially if you know how to read music and understand notes and chords.

gailcalled's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03: Little? Doesn’t a bass need its own seat on a plane?

Trib's avatar

I’ve played guitar for 40 years and thought like many, bass would be easy. After hearing a bass player who was only a bass player for many years I realized I was far from being a true bassist.

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