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Old 7th March 2005, 01:22 PM   #11
SY is offline SY  United States
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Leslie West had the advantage of writing the songs so that he never needed more than 2 fingers to play the guitar solos.

Bass isn't that hard to play competently (I learned a bit by playing along with some old Jethro Tull records) but is terrifically difficult to play well. And I'd say the same about guitar, but with a guitar, you don't need a band.
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Old 7th March 2005, 05:00 PM   #12
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Originally posted by BobEllis

I chose bass initially because I have very large fingers and cannot fret many chords without interfering with an adjacent string. Not to mention I love the feel of a funky bass line.
Same here. I started playing guitar when I was in high school. however it was tough with my short fat fingers. Then I picked up a bass about a year ago. That was fun. I could actually play it

I'm not going to say a bass is easier to play/learn. You basically have to learn the same things, however a guitarists will tend to learn to play chords and a bassist will tend to play appegios. Same thing, just one is a stretched out chord So a bassist still has to learn chords, justone note at a time rather than all at once for the most part. When a bassist does play a chord I haven't seen too many times where it wasn't just a 2 or 3 note chord.

However, it is easier for a bassist to quickly jam with others. Just playing the root note of a chord in time with the drummer is enough to start jamming. It's learning to put style on top of that where the difficulty lies.

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And I'd say the same about guitar, but with a guitar, you don't need a band.
Sorta. You can solo with a bass, see Greddy Lee or Flea Just a bass is better suited as being the soul and rythm of a song than the melody. As Benny Reitveld said in an interview, the purpose of a bassists [and drummer] is to set the mood and blend in with the music, not to stand out. Think, how would motown sound without those killer bass lines
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Old 9th March 2005, 05:28 AM   #13
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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One is not easier, each is just different. Learn a few guitar chords or pick out a few bass lines, neither one is rocket surgery. But as was said above, it is a lot of work to learn ANY instrument and play well.

Your level of talent is also a factor. I have been playing guitar for 40 years, and I can do a lot of things, but one thing I have discovered over the years is that I have nothing to say with the instrument, I have no real talent. MY talent lies elsewhere. I start playing and the same old bluesy crap comes out. I enjoy playing a lot, but no one else will be interested in the result. Your mileage may vary.

Also hinted at above is the fundamental difference in roles between the two. The bass is generally part of the rhythm section. You are playing with the drummer.

No matter what you decide to play, it will take lots of practice to accomplish anything. Lessons are a good idea, and not really very expensive. What lessons do over learning by yourself is give you some structure. The teacher knows what you have to learn, you do not. You might develop the bad habit of not using all your fingers for example, but the teacher is hip to that and wil make sure you do.

Of course if you like polka music, you can play the bass line in about ten minutes.
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Old 13th September 2005, 07:23 AM   #14
wxn is offline wxn  Lithuania
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A few days ago I took an electric bass into my hands and it felt just great. The feel, the sound, the thick strings... And then I decided I want to play that instrument

Now I do posess some musical knowledge and have an understanding of what a harmony or musical key is. But I have never played any of stringed instruments, only piano and blues/chromatic harp.

I'm not too good at rhythm but I suppose that can be changed (just as I developed my musical ear). And I'm not too fascinated by the band idea. I do have a few friends to jam with but that's it. Most of my effort will be dedicated to play for fun.

What do you guys think, should I start learning to play the bass guitar? Could it be mixed with harp?

Thanks in advance and sorry for my bad english
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Old 13th September 2005, 02:10 PM   #15
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1) It's always fun to learn something new
2) Musical instruments are musical instruments, they all go together
3) Check out activebass.com and talkbass.com.
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Old 13th September 2005, 02:36 PM   #16
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For rythm training, a metronome is your friend. There are some who advocate and some who demonize metronomes, but it worked for me. When I started playing bass, I made Steve Martin's rythm trying to dance with his family in "The Jerk" look good. I certainly don't have perfect time, but good enough for having fun.

I also found that recording my playing along with the metronome track helped me learn to recognize when I am slipping off time.

Jamming with friends is a great way to get improve your playing - and have fun, too.
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Old 13th September 2005, 02:48 PM   #17
Nasse is offline Nasse  Finland
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http://www.carolkaye.com/

Wow, she´s a lady!

Check her playing tips too
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Old 14th September 2005, 12:32 AM   #18
Brion55 is offline Brion55  United States
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After playing bass and guitar for nearly 40 years, both professionally and for fun, I really enjoy playing bass more than guitar when playing with a group. While the bass usually isn’t thought of as a “glory” instrument like the guitar, the bass and drums together make or break a band, in my humble opinion.

I don’t think one is necessarily “easier” than the other, both require a commitment to practice. Mastering an instrument is just like any other worthwhile endeavor. It takes time and work, but the enjoyment of playing well is worth the effort, and something you will never regret.
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Old 14th September 2005, 02:17 AM   #19
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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I think the "easier" part is in that one can pick up a bass and do something basic with somewhat less effort than getting to somewhat basic on a guitar. One can do a 1-4-5 just thumping on the root and accompany a lot of things. One finger. Guitar requires one to learn to finger chords and do other things with more than one finger. Guitar strings are harder on soft inexperienced fingers than bass strings. Well, electric bass strings anyway.

of course that is at the utterly basic level of the novice. To become skilled at any instrument is not "easy." And ther is a lot more to it than just working the guitar. One also has to have something to say with the instrument to get beyond the kid with an axe level.

In my own sad case, over forty years of working the guitar, I have realized that I have no talent and nothing to say with the instrument. takes nothing from my enjoyment of playing, but I will never be "good" at it. My talents lie elsewhere.
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Old 14th September 2005, 03:03 AM   #20
Tim__x is offline Tim__x  Canada
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1) It's always fun to learn something new
2) Musical instruments are musical instruments, they all go together
3) Check out activebass.com and talkbass.com.
Hey, I've seen you before !

+1 on www.Talkbass.com
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