Bass gateway for guitar?

or just play cowboy chords


It took me literally 5 minutes to find a local band roughly in my age range that had everything BUT a bass player.
And they’ve been looking for more than a year.

Granted in Cologne I live in a highly populated area but they could have picked up multiple guitarists in the time they looked for a bassist. I quote the drummer at first band practice/getting to know each other: “It’s so good to have the bass back in our music.” and all I did was chugging along root notes. I got better and play more than the root and the rythms are not as simple anymore but to fill the void in the music while being appreciated with not soo much effort felt good.

Being a guitarist on the other hand felt way more competitive just due to the amount of guitarists mentioned above. Well maybe I also simply was more competitive in my 18s to 20s :wink:



Which I will this year…but I don’t look that old, do I?


of course not…none of us do…we’re all shored up with so many good times and great stories and yet there is the growing need to yell at kids to get off the grass


I like learning guitar because it has actually improved my bass playing.

I mean barre chords won’t but everything else has :slight_smile:


@howard I still incorporate barre chords in my bass playing I have been so used to using them or even extended chords in jazz guitar that I find them a lot in my bass playing. I was playing around with Primus’ John the Fisherman the other day and found it more comfortable to barre the main riff on the bass. I think we as musicians get confined in what we feel a proper musician would play like and then forget to leave room for individuality at times. Take the route that feels most comfortable as long as it achieves the same end result and doesn’t physically cause pain


I am guilty of dipping a toe into the world of guitar. Forgive me!
Started after a comment Josh made in a video about watching what chord the guitarist is playing in a live situation. Also aided by seeing Greg from Allegon a technical metal band from Colorado playing classical guitar.
So after first trying out on a steel string guitar, the second time for me it was on a cheap Classical nylon string acoustic guitar, which are just about the cheapest 6 stringed instrument you can buy. Also much easier on the finger tips.

It was interesting to be learning something new, while also having the advantage of the prior knowledge of the bass fretboard. True classical guitar is a whole other world with fingernail length being a big topic, and getting your head around strumming with 3 fingers and a thumb at the same time.



I love the idea of barre chords - they are actually what I assumed most chording on the guitar would be, as they make sense.

It’s just the actual physical action of doing them that is challenging :slight_smile:

I should have gone with 9’s while learning too. Though 10’s are not so bad.


@howard Beginning guitar is like raking your fingers across razor wire lol I started the guitar when I was ten years old. I played that guitar for hours a day everyday without fail. I actually played until I would bust my fingertips wide open and would physically have to stop. I played 9’s then, all my guitars now run 11-52 and some are 13-72 those are the detuned monsters. I run flats on my hollow body jazz guitars in 12’s. When I switched over to playing bass I thought my goodness these strings are brutal but then I recalled how them little wires cut my hands up in the beginning.
The cool thing for me was when I studied Jazz and classical I learned how to seriously involve my pinky in ways I thought weren’t possible, and also how to make some beautiful chord shapes that I have carried over to the bass in a lot of ways. Classical and Flamenca playing gave me a great right hand technique I studied with Douglas Lora from the Brasil Guitar Duo over Skype in private lessons and he had some wonderful techniques for the right hand. In turn this has in some ways made my right hand technique a bit unconventional at times because I still like to pick classically on the bass but I have been able to use it in certain areas of my playing like doing a fast bass fill or run.


One thing I have noticed already is that learning guitar is improving my fretting accuracy on bass.

My fingerstyle plucking is getting rusty though as I have been focusing on pick for both bass and guitar for a while now.


For me it was the opposite. I started on guitar, and made the choice to pick up the bass. Failed guitarist, if you will. :slight_smile:

I like the idea of being the glue, a support instrument. I don’t need the spotlight on me or play 200mph; I just want to make good music and enjoy myself. Let me lay down that groove and you guys go to town on it.

I see a lot of young and older guys on jam sessions just want to make it about just them. No thanks; whatever sounds good, even if I have to play the same half note throughout the whole song. :smiley:

If I ever get back into six strings, it’ll likely be a nylon string and fingerpicking. Chet Atkins is my favorite guitarist, and I think he’s one of the best ever.



Yep, I’m one of those that thanks to discovering the bass about 3 years ago. I have now stumbled into learning guitar.

I had no intention of this- guitar always seemed way too daunting. But that all changed about 3 months ago when I started noodling around with my sons old Gretsch. I just started pretending it was a bass and started playing riffs on the first 2 or 3 strings. Plugged in some pedal effects, and whoa, I was hooked.

Flash forward 3 months, I’ve added a couple of 6 strings to my arsenal.
I am playing basic power chords, writing more original material. Even if I don’t progress beyond what I am accomplishing now, I will be a happy man! There are definitely skills that translate well between bass/guitar, and can be helpful for both. So if you have an interest, give it a shot!

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Pretty much the same for me. Did not really initially intend to do it but one day decided to try it and hey, what do you know, it’s fun :slight_smile:

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Like you mentioned earlier… learning guitar is tough on the fingertips… yikes!

At least until the callous forms and can withstand the pressure.
(Although the pain is temporary- i just was not expecting it to that extent)


Wait…isn’t it the opposite? I thought all bass players were just failed guitarists!

Jokes aside, I play both and did start on bass. Not very good at guitar at all, but have written songs on guitar and then the bass lines to the guitar parts.


I’m still thoroughly terrible at guitar but having fun.

I was thinking about this today, as I was playing Bass. I picked the guitar up for the first time ever at 47. For the first year I dabbled but never really practiced too hard. Then a year ago I decided to be more disciplined and force myself to do a solid 30 minutes a day.
Unsurprisingly the more I practiced, the better I got and so 30 mins a day wasn’t enough. Soon it was at least an hour and I’d be frustrated if I didn’t get to play every day.
I picked up the bass for the first time a few months ago and applied what I learned about practice to that. I consider myself a bass player now. I practice at least an hour a day sometime 2-3. I have got the bug. But I still pick up the guitar because it’s still enjoyable to play.

The takeaway for me was that there’s no such thing as talent. It’s just good old fashioned work. Nobody is born being able to play music. However if you put in the work you get to the point where you can play well enough that it somehow morphs into fun.
I was happy that at the end of the year I could play something that sounded a bit like an old record from my childhood. Finally, playing to make yourself happy and not measuring up against others is the best way to learn; Mark Twain said it best “Comparison is the death of joy”


I can’t +1 this enough. Well put.