Bass gateway for guitar?

Just curious as to how many of you have been encouraged to pick up learning guitar after learning how to play bass?

I tried to teach myself guitar many years ago but gave it up after much frustration with landing notes because of my huge sausage fingers. No matter how much I tried I couldn’t get to one string without holding down 2 or even 3 others. I wrote it off as a mechanical failure and moved on.

Now, after immersing myself in the bass world, that little guitar player in my head has been poking at me to try again but Lord knows my bank account can’t handle the added addiction of buying guitar gear on top of bass gear right now. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I would be too tempted to turn it into a tiny six string bass.


Squier do a 6 string bass that is more of a bass-tuned guitar (from what I can tell) rather than a bulky intimidating 6 string bass like what people with ridiculous skills play.

Interesting review here;


Whether you do or not, if you can manage to recognize the major guitar chords, it will help your bass playing, particularly when just jamming. Or really, just look for the lowest note in the chord the guitarist is playing and play that note on your bass. However, if you can recognize the chords this is easier as sometimes they move to fast to try to do the arithmetic in your head, particularly with bar chords and chords that don’t play their low E. e.g. They are only playing the 5 highest strings, but it can be hard to see that visually.

I’d also mention that if you are popping between bass and guitar, then you’ll probably naturally fall into rhythm guitar as opposed to lead guitar, but that’s not a certainty and it’s not a bad thing if you do lead. I just found I’m a rhythmic person so am not personally drawn to shredding on guitar.

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@rickpalacios1973 - I’m not sure I (personally) would have the desire to learn to play guitar after learning to play bass.

I’ve played all sorts of guitars for many years, sometimes on stage and even in state competitions back in the early ‘60’s yet, now that I’ve taken on the bass, my desires to play guitar have lessened - partially due to the arthritis in my hands. It doesn’t mean that I will never play my other stringed instruments again because I still use them quite often - just not to the extent I use to.

I (personally) find the bass much more intriguing and a bit mystifying when I play it compared to my guitars. I suppose that could be that when I play guitar, I can do it in such a way that i can easily hide any imperfections and mistakes, not to mention find numerous ways to shortcut playing style and still come very close to getting what I want in sound and tone. Not the case with the bass… each note has to be spot on in tone, key, and timing - otherwise the entire song suffers. With guitar, you can bend notes when you’re a little off key, and blame timing on the drummer.

I would say that I do believe that being a guitar player has helped me to be a better bass player, and that being a better bass player has helped me to be a better guitar player…

Keep on Thumpin’!!


At the moment I don’t think I’ll ever want to be a guitar, keyboard, or drum PLAYER. I will say that I do have a passing interest in being passable in all three for home recording purposes and so I can enjoy music in ways other than bass. Never say never, but I feel I will only ever be a bass PLAYER.

@PeteP I’ve seen that “bass” over the years and always been intrigued by it. I wonder what it would sound like in the mix of the bass player playing literally what the guitar player is just down an octave. In my mind, an instrument like this gives so many interesting possibilities in sound. I must be missing something though as it doesn’t seem to be as popular in music as I feel it should in my head.


@rickpalacios1973 I’ve never had a desire to play guitar or any other instrument. For 30 years it has been the bass that has always stood out to me. I like all the other instruments. It would be nice to know how to play guitar but, for me, only in the context of being a better bass player.

I love a ripping guitar sound that cuts through my brain like a chainsaw made with fine sharpened steel. But I don’t want to make those sounds myself. I don’t feel it and I couldn’t be genuine and pull it off. (Did I go too big here?)

@PeteP The Bass VI. Comes in both Squire and Fender versions. I would love to have one of those to be able to explore all that crazy sonic capability. I am much more interested in this rather than a traditional guitar.

@ChrisThomason From what I’ve read, they were used a lot more in the studio. I also saw stuff about it crossing too many lines in the higher end so that it didn’t sit in the mix very well in a live performance. I still want one.