Author Topic: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass  (Read 3012 times)

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Offline OK53

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Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« on: July 20, 2018, 06:51:27 pm »
I am a guitar player, I have been since I was 11, but recenty picked up the electric guitar again at start of the year.

Yesterday I had a go on the piano, and learned a little basic lesson, I enjoyed it then went back to my guitar which was a lot more fun!  8) (despite enjoying the piano)

Today, I felt like I'd like to have a go at bass and play!

I know I will never be a Van Halen or Mozart of any instrument, I just do it out of fun! but is it normal for musicians to be interested in more than just one instrument?

Also with bass, could someone give me advice? I have no idea where to start. I might know a little bit about guitars and enjoy them. But bass is a different instrument and I know nothing about these.

Are basses longer scale guitars than normal electric guitars? and what are some good beginner basses and bass amps to get started? Or is this like guitars, subjective dependant on the person?

I see the precition bass, jazz bass, and the modern bass, but don't know the difference. What is? (I apologise for the newbie question)

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2018, 07:11:31 pm »
If you fancy dipping your toes into the water this is a good way (and inexpensive) to have a go:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Donner-Digital-Octave-Guitar-Harmonic/dp/B071VMFQ97
Drop your electric guitar an octave and you have Bass pitch.
A Bass is quite a bit longer than a guitar so you need the reach to be able to play one, there are short scale basses that only a little bit longer than a guitar but there are not many of them. I got round my problem of finding a Bass just too big to play comfortably by getting a Ukulele Bass, same tuning but a lot smaller!
Here’s mine side by side with my 000 size acoustic
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xEXimP85v3yFH4LTPC9pi4QPPEOHUVf3

Offline Matek

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Re: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2018, 07:49:38 pm »
Every DAW will have a stock pitch altering plugin. Just record the bass line with your guitar and lower it an octave.

Offline Majik

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Re: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2018, 09:01:22 pm »
There are classic styles of bass which spring from the original Fender designs.

The Precision Bass (or "P-Bass) has a split-coil humbucker bridge pickup (vintage models originally had single-coil pickups).

The Jazz bass (or "J-Bass") has two single coil pickups (bridge and neck). The primary difference is in the tone. J-Basses tend to have more obvious "character" and are often used for genres where soloing is common, such as in Jazz.

But, these days there are a plethora of choices which include P/J combinations and the choice of passive or active pickups (which need a 9v battery).

For a beginner, I would look at Ibanez, Yamaha, or Squier and I would look for a P/J combination to give more versatility. Active pickups are common in basses, but I wouldn't worry too much over the difference at this stage.

For amps, something like the Fender Rumble 15 is a decent choice, but Vox, Laney and others are good too. Frankly, bass players tend to be less precious about "tone" than guitar players, and solid state amps seem to be far more common than valve amps. It's not uncommon to see professional bass players with a tiny solid-state 200W amp head plugged into a large speaker cabinet. But, as a beginner, combo amps are good, as long as the speaker is a decent size.

The other option is a Blackstar BEAM which could be useful for guitar too.

The other thing about bass guitars, you can treat them like a guitar, but an octave lower (The tuning is the same as the bottom 4 strings of a guitar) but, if you are going to learn it properly, bass tends to have different techniques.

For a start, the frets are further apart so "one finger per fret" doesn't work for a lot of people. Also, most bass players use a "plucking" with their fingers rather than a pick. Using a pick is fine too, but plucking is more common, and players than can play both plucking and picking are considered to be more versatile. There's also slap-bass techniques.

If you are serious about learning bass, consider signing up for a free trial at Scott's Bass Lessons, but before you do, check out some of his free lessons on Youtube.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline OK53

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Re: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2018, 10:37:45 pm »
There are classic styles of bass which spring from the original Fender designs.

The Precision Bass (or "P-Bass) has a split-coil humbucker bridge pickup (vintage models originally had single-coil pickups).

The Jazz bass (or "J-Bass") has two single coil pickups (bridge and neck). The primary difference is in the tone. J-Basses tend to have more obvious "character" and are often used for genres where soloing is common, such as in Jazz.

But, these days there are a plethora of choices which include P/J combinations and the choice of passive or active pickups (which need a 9v battery).

For a beginner, I would look at Ibanez, Yamaha, or Squier and I would look for a P/J combination to give more versatility. Active pickups are common in basses, but I wouldn't worry too much over the difference at this stage.

For amps, something like the Fender Rumble 15 is a decent choice, but Vox, Laney and others are good too. Frankly, bass players tend to be less precious about "tone" than guitar players, and solid state amps seem to be far more common than valve amps. It's not uncommon to see professional bass players with a tiny solid-state 200W amp head plugged into a large speaker cabinet. But, as a beginner, combo amps are good, as long as the speaker is a decent size.

The other option is a Blackstar BEAM which could be useful for guitar too.

The other thing about bass guitars, you can treat them like a guitar, but an octave lower (The tuning is the same as the bottom 4 strings of a guitar) but, if you are going to learn it properly, bass tends to have different techniques.

For a start, the frets are further apart so "one finger per fret" doesn't work for a lot of people. Also, most bass players use a "plucking" with their fingers rather than a pick. Using a pick is fine too, but plucking is more common, and players than can play both plucking and picking are considered to be more versatile. There's also slap-bass techniques.

If you are serious about learning bass, consider signing up for a free trial at Scott's Bass Lessons, but before you do, check out some of his free lessons on Youtube.

Cheers,

Keith

This was very useful and a lot of really good advice here :) thank you :)

How is the Ibanez SR300?

I have the Ibanez S470dx electric guitar, and I love the feel and comfort of this guitar. Then I saw the Bass Ibanez SR300 which looked a bit similar, but does have different pickups to the P/J :/

The only problem I have is that the nearest proper guitar store is like a 2 hour drive away :/ which makes going to test them difficult :/

Will checkout that channel on youtube, thank you :)

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2018, 10:39:56 pm »
I started out on drums when I was about 9. Over 1.5 decades later I've picked up guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo and piano. Is it common? It kind of depends. I know a few people who play only one or two instruments and also a few who want to try everything.

Squier basses are pretty cool. Or a Sterling SUB if you want a Stingray sound. My band's guitar player has a Squier Jazz Bass that's pretty cool and I had a Sterling SUB for a year or so. I sold it to fund the G&L Tribute L-2000 I have now. I love it. You could also look at Ibanez or Cort. I haven't tried or own either but I've been interested in them.

I have an Ampeg Rocket B100R which supposedly sounds a lot like the classic Ampeg B-15, but it's entirely solid state and a combo. I really like it and I recommend it. The B50R should be very good as well. If you can't get your hands on either of these (both are discontinued), you might want to look at Fender Rumble or Ampeg BA series. I played through a BA-115HP and that sounded pretty decent.

I recommend getting a bass amp if you're serious about it. It really helps to hear yourself play and an amp will be best at projecting those low frequencies.

When you start out, the most important advice I can give you is to treat it as its own instrument. It's not a guitar with fewer strings and a longer scale. It's a bass. Work on your muting technique. Start out with playing with your fingers, then you won't fall into guitar playing habits as much.

Good luck.
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Offline OK53

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Re: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2018, 10:46:54 pm »
I started out on drums when I was about 9. Over 1.5 decades later I've picked up guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo and piano. Is it common? It kind of depends. I know a few people who play only one or two instruments and also a few who want to try everything.

Squier basses are pretty cool. Or a Sterling SUB if you want a Stingray sound. My band's guitar player has a Squier Jazz Bass that's pretty cool and I had a Sterling SUB for a year or so. I sold it to fund the G&L Tribute L-2000 I have now. I love it. You could also look at Ibanez or Cort. I haven't tried or own either but I've been interested in them.

I have an Ampeg Rocket B100R which supposedly sounds a lot like the classic Ampeg B-15, but it's entirely solid state and a combo. I really like it and I recommend it. The B50R should be very good as well. If you can't get your hands on either of these (both are discontinued), you might want to look at Fender Rumble or Ampeg BA series. I played through a BA-115HP and that sounded pretty decent.

I recommend getting a bass amp if you're serious about it. It really helps to hear yourself play and an amp will be best at projecting those low frequencies.

When you start out, the most important advice I can give you is to treat it as its own instrument. It's not a guitar with fewer strings and a longer scale. It's a bass. Work on your muting technique. Start out with playing with your fingers, then you won't fall into guitar playing habits as much.

Good luck.

WOW that's really cool that you've learned so many  ;D

I think some of the Squier and Ibanez ones look really cool :) The Affinity, VM Squier and the Ibanez SR300 look really cool :)

I could get the Fender Rumble :)

Thank you for all the advice :)

Offline Majik

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Re: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2018, 12:40:07 am »
How is the Ibanez SR300?

Frankly, I have no idea. It looks fine. Ibanez make fine basses, but they are mostly known for being a great choice for cheaper basses, which I was assuming you were looking for.

I'm sure the more expensive ones are good too, but in that price range there's a lot of choice and you might want to cast your net wider. In that price range, for instance, Warwick, Overwater, Sire and Music Man are all popular and well regarded basses. And, of course, for that price, you could get a Fender.

I realise it's a 2hr journey, but I think it would be well worth taking the time to make the trip and try some kit out.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2018, 02:08:04 am »
WOW that's really cool that you've learned so many  ;D
I didn't say I learned them. I picked them up. ;)

I'm most proficient at guitar and I develop that most actively as well. I sort of dabble in all the other instruments.

I recommend you try some basses. Basses can be a little unwieldy at first, and a traditional P-bass even moreso due to the wider neck. I know because my G&L has the same type of neck.

Having said that, I didn't try that many basses. I got the Sterling SUB from an auction because it was reasonably priced and I got the G&L because I wanted a versatile bass and I could get one for a great price.
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Offline joueur de guitare

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Re: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2018, 09:30:09 am »

How is the Ibanez SR300?


It's got quite a skinny neck, which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on the size of your hands. It's also quite light for a bass.

Ibanez make good quality instruments at any price point, I've got a SR370 bass, and it's excellent value for the money.

Big reach isn't a deal breaker either. The late Jim Rodford wasn't a big bloke with hands like shovels, but that didn't seem to impede his playing ;)

Guitars. Fender Highway 1 Tele: Fender Shortboard LE Mustang: Ibanez AS73 semi-hollow: Ibanez SR370 bass: Squier Affinity Strat: Squier Jagmaster.

Offline OK53

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Re: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2018, 09:26:32 pm »
Thank you for the replies everyone :) I think I will make a trip to a store, when I'm not too busy with work :)

There was a lot of really useful and good advice there, thank you all  ;D

Offline batwoman

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Re: Guitar player interested in starting to play bass
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2018, 02:30:45 am »
There are classic styles of bass which spring from the original Fender designs.

The Precision Bass (or "P-Bass) has a split-coil humbucker bridge pickup (vintage models originally had single-coil pickups).

The Jazz bass (or "J-Bass") has two single coil pickups (bridge and neck). The primary difference is in the tone. J-Basses tend to have more obvious "character" and are often used for genres where soloing is common, such as in Jazz.

But, these days there are a plethora of choices which include P/J combinations and the choice of passive or active pickups (which need a 9v battery).

For a beginner, I would look at Ibanez, Yamaha, or Squier and I would look for a P/J combination to give more versatility. Active pickups are common in basses, but I wouldn't worry too much over the difference at this stage.

For amps, something like the Fender Rumble 15 is a decent choice, but Vox, Laney and others are good too. Frankly, bass players tend to be less precious about "tone" than guitar players, and solid state amps seem to be far more common than valve amps. It's not uncommon to see professional bass players with a tiny solid-state 200W amp head plugged into a large speaker cabinet. But, as a beginner, combo amps are good, as long as the speaker is a decent size.

The other option is a Blackstar BEAM which could be useful for guitar too.

The other thing about bass guitars, you can treat them like a guitar, but an octave lower (The tuning is the same as the bottom 4 strings of a guitar) but, if you are going to learn it properly, bass tends to have different techniques.

For a start, the frets are further apart so "one finger per fret" doesn't work for a lot of people. Also, most bass players use a "plucking" with their fingers rather than a pick. Using a pick is fine too, but plucking is more common, and players than can play both plucking and picking are considered to be more versatile. There's also slap-bass techniques.

If you are serious about learning bass, consider signing up for a free trial at Scott's Bass Lessons, but before you do, check out some of his free lessons on Youtube.

Cheers,

Keith

Keith this is exactly what I've been looking for. It's so good to have solid, experienced advise. Many thanks.
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