PDA

View Full Version : harder: bass or guitar


abstractremedy
11-13-2004, 03:20 AM
i know this has probably been already mentioned in some dark corner in forum land, but i think bass is way easier than electric, and my friend is about to start playing it. please reply everyone

KKKKKocaine
11-13-2004, 03:41 AM
It's completely subjective, Bass may be easier for one person, and harder for another, Whilst they are string instruments, they are played in different ways, and from different musical approaches, this is because they both fill two different roles in the band, the guitar helps porivde the melody and the bass provides the rythm.
So in terms of musicality their difficulty is the same, it merely appears different as they fill different roles and often most people see bass as a background instrument and do not realise that it has it's own conventions as well as the electric guitar.
In terms of technique, they both have specific techniques that are only for that instrument.
In short, they are both the same difficulty, it is merely an illusion that bass is easier as there are many bassists who play simple basslines in the songs, this means that playing other peoples basslines is easier than their guitarlines, but when it comes to writing music, they are the same in their difficulty.

abstractremedy
11-13-2004, 07:33 AM
but if you have a complicated bassline, it distracts you from the main melody (except for bass solos), so the bass would have to be simpler, and therefore easier. and also you normally have a repeating bass riff, so it would be easier to remember

apacherosepeacock
11-13-2004, 08:38 AM
i know this has probably been already mentioned in some dark corner in forum land, but i think bass is way easier than electric, and my friend is about to start playing it. please reply everyone

it comes down to the fact that... although similar, they are completely different

bass is by nature a backing instrument, wheras guitar (although also a backing instrument) is used as a lead in modern music. They pretty much balance eachother out, as a bassist i find certain things on guitar hard, similary there are things i can do which guitarist would struggle with.

Also... guitar tends to be though of as being harder than bass, because there are more guitarists, and so they allways win (and also being more of a lead instrument guitarists are overall [as an entire population of guitarists, not individually] more arrogant and less likely to accept that there are things on bass they cant do.

abstractremedy
11-13-2004, 08:51 AM
i cant think of anything on bass thats diferent to guitar

apacherosepeacock
11-13-2004, 09:12 AM
i cant think of anything on bass thats diferent to guitar

starting with the basics....

-try slapping a guitar (yea its possible, but it sounds crap, and has a completely different style needed to bass)
-try tapping a bass (similar technique, but id like to see a guitarist pick up a bass and tap as well as they do on guitar)
-just generally the way the strings are plucked/manipulated, and the way they react to what you do to them.
-size.. pretty important, i can stretch from 1-9 on guitar quite easily, bass is a different matter


you're thinking of bass as a guitar with less strings and no chords. (not a criticism, its how most people see it), which it isnt

cgecko1219
11-13-2004, 10:40 AM
-size.. pretty important, i can stretch from 1-9 on guitar quite easily, bass is a different matter

:eek: you can stretch from first fret to ninth with ONE HAND?

apacherosepeacock
11-13-2004, 11:55 AM
oops, didnt mean to write that.

thats a full span which i use sometimes in tapping - i.e. thumb/little finger, so index/little is probably 6/7

owenbassist
11-13-2004, 12:31 PM
another factor to consider in deciding which is more difficult is the style of music being played...some styles are much more difficult than others to play, and the bass takes slightly different roles in different styles. For example, jazz is significantly more difficult than pop-punk.

I, personally, think that bass is slightly easier when you just first start playing it, because a lot of people just stick to root notes and simple rhythms and patterns...but then the difficulty level for bass increases more quickly as you advance than it does for guitar.

As you get to more advanced levels, virtually all instruments level out in difficulty. When you first start out, bass might seem like a simpler, lower version of guitar, but when you advance, you see that it really is its own instrument with its own unique challenges.

RushHourSoul
11-13-2004, 01:33 PM
Every instrument is as hard as eachother. Everyone has a different learning pace.

/thread

Merkaba
11-13-2004, 02:03 PM
oops, didnt mean to write that.

thats a full span which i use sometimes in tapping - i.e. thumb/little finger, so index/little is probably 6/7

yea i picked up guitar and said...holy shlt!

Rats
11-13-2004, 05:38 PM
i can stretch from 1-9 on guitar quite easily



WHAT?!!?!!
thats awesome if its true

Blink_Fan315
11-13-2004, 05:54 PM
can u read? ^ he just posted that he didnt mean to say that dumbass

PUNT
11-13-2004, 10:23 PM
Bass is wayyyyyy harder. I play guitar and bass, and bass is wayyy harder. bass has more techniques. Ive still yet to see a good bassist. Victor wooten and Jaco poeoushdgasd (cant spell it), they are good, but there stuff isnt THAT hard. But ive seen guitarists on videos and stuff, that you just look at and say "thats not possible". There are many great guitarists out thier, but very few good bassists, thats why most people THINK guitar is harder, but i disagree.

RaVen_Bassist
11-13-2004, 11:14 PM
once i see someone double thumb on a guitar............

denboy
11-14-2004, 07:11 AM
Every instrument is as hard as eachother. Everyone has a different learning pace.

/thread


Agreed.. I mean, playing the triangle could be insanely hard, if you played poly-mega-super-rythms. (Not sarcasm.. Hehe)

hobbesdj
11-14-2004, 08:58 AM
i cant think of anything on bass thats diferent to guitar

Your an idiot. So many people dont understand how to play bass that its ridiculous. So many "bassists" I see in bands just use downward picking and root notes and people think thats how you play bass. Sure you can do that, nut you can also only play power chords on gutiar.

Shady Ultima
11-14-2004, 12:32 PM
If a song has a good bass line, it rarely will distract from the main melody. Listen to older rock, or Iron Maiden, and try and tell me that you can't pay attention to only the main melody. I actually think it's harder to play bass, because there are techniques on bass that are impossible on guitar. If you listen to Blink 182 though, obviously the bass is easier, because Mark is horrible. It depends on the style.

liberator of squeezy cheese
11-14-2004, 12:33 PM
guitar for solos and bass for timing.

BassMan182
11-15-2004, 02:41 AM
strictly speaking the bass is a more technical instrument than the guitar. it requires more skill and dedication to produce good results. i've always found bass harder to sing/play at the same time harder than guitar, especially as the basslines get more complex.

(un)reason
11-15-2004, 09:51 AM
Plus, the greater thickness/tension of the strings means that it'll hurt more initialy when learning to play, as you have to build up a thicker callus than a guitarist would.

Omega Red
11-15-2004, 09:59 AM
but if you have a complicated bassline, it distracts you from the main melody (except for bass solos), so the bass would have to be simpler, and therefore easier. and also you normally have a repeating bass riff, so it would be easier to remember
100% false

there are thousands of songs whos bass line carries the whole song. its easier to start a band as a bassists, cause most bassists in bands suck. but to master bass i believe is much harder than mastering guitar.once i see someone double thumb on a guitar............
i think your refering to regi wooten

abstractremedy
11-15-2004, 12:52 PM
proves how little i know...

floydian-deadhead
11-16-2004, 06:46 PM
i also agree that bass is harder. i started up bass in mid july and i have already memorized the fretboard and i can do few scales... but bass is also much harder, even to me, a kid who plays those moderately fast dead tunes. in those tunes, especially live, you can hear phil lesh play those creative basslines that are always changing, but still keep to the melody of the song. as i always say, bass is the melody of the guitar to the beat of the drums...

Trigger_003
11-16-2004, 11:00 PM
Either and both just about sums it up. There are some things you can't truly compare. One of those is the difficulty of an instrument. Sure, some things may be harder to do on one than the other, but that doesn't refer in any way to the instrument as a whole; just that particular technique. There are some hard bass lines out there, just as there are some hard guitar riffs - it's all a matter of looking in the right direction.

Most bass lines in the contempory, punkish kinda bands are simply the root notes of the guitar's powerchords or whatever. This kind of playing is what the majority of people believe bass playing is and that's all there is to it... but it isn't.
Both of them have their easy and hard parts in their own ways.

fleas_fingers
11-17-2004, 06:38 AM
I think bass guitar is harder. Your timing has to be spot on because the role of the bassist is to complement the drummer, to lock in with what the drums are doing. just listen to how flea's slapping lines corresspond to aspects of the drum beat...like the pop goes exactly on the snare beat etc. Their other role is to create a counter-melody and this is hard, because it really requires finding the groove to the song and listening very carefully. Most people just think the bass is easier because of those ****house bassists in bands like blink 182 and good charlotte who only play root notes. if that is what the bass is all about then hell, everyone can play the bass. they obviously haven't heard victor wooten or jaco pastorius play.

RushHourSoul
11-17-2004, 11:37 AM
When i saw your username I instantly thought it would be a ramble for bass :p

Your right in that bass is mostly underrated as people think it's easy to play (due to bands like those you mentioned), however it isn't harder or easier than any other instrument. What you're playing might be hard for you but easy for someone else, and vice versa.

Every instrument has their high points and low points and different techniques.

I hope I got my point across ok, im not too good at explaining it.. But basically - instruments can't be compared on difficulty.

SnowSnake
11-17-2004, 08:38 PM
I just downloaded a video of primus at woodstock '94 where the bassist plays the begining of Master of Puppets and it's awsome! If someone else wants it just ask me.
I haven't been playing guitar for very long but bass has always intrigued me, it's way underated and today bands don't play bass to its' full potential. It's like if every song was played using only power chords... kinda dull

Dying Flame
11-24-2004, 09:51 AM
At any rate, I think anyone who picks up a bass or a guitar should bother to ****ing learn what to do with it. Sorry for the slight hijack, but our bassist has been bugging me lately coz he barely practices at home and isn't really good generally, yet he keeps telling teh rest of the band we need to improve and write better stuff etc. etc. :rolleyes: Too bad he's the best we could find. :/ [/rant]

unclebobscircus
11-24-2004, 11:15 AM
If you only want to be in a band/get famous/etc., bass is easier. A lot of bands just have a bass player only play 3 notes or so while the guitar/vocals are the main sound. I have a friend to "plays" bass, even though he doesn't know anything about it. I literally have to spoonfeed every song to him one note at a time. He's still in a band. There's a slightly higher threshold of talent for a guitarist (not much higher).

If you want to keep improving and become really good, they are both equally difficult.

crunchmeister
11-24-2004, 11:29 AM
From what I've experienced over my 18 years playing guitar is that it's easier to pick up the basics of playing bass than guitar, but I think it's much more difficult to become an exceptional bassist than an exceptional guitarist.

VictimOfTheBass
11-24-2004, 11:57 AM
! not one is harder than the other they all have there hard parts and easy parts.

Perry
11-24-2004, 11:58 AM
what is there left to say? it's all been said...

UntoldProphecy
11-25-2004, 07:18 AM
There's a slightly higher threshold of talent for a guitarist (not much higher).

If you want to keep improving and become really good, they are both equally difficult.

Maybe true maybe not, I ask you to remember millions of teenagers across the land who claim to be guitarists, yet just occasionally pick it up to create a horrible out of time, out of key solo

moaner
11-25-2004, 10:08 AM
Maybe true maybe not, I ask you to remember millions of teenagers across the land who claim to be guitarists, yet just occasionally pick it up to create a horrible out of time, out of key solo

Thats good compared to some of the bassists who go everywhere playing hate to say i told you so...

moaner
11-25-2004, 10:15 AM
what is there to say? it's all been said...

...I wonder why this thread ain't dead?

freakmeeko
11-25-2004, 10:40 AM
The whole thing depends on how GOOD you are. A good flutist is "harder" than a 15 year old guitarist who just knows three chords and what a pick is.

EDIT: wait....you mean DIFFICUTLTY harder, or COOLNESS harder? Well if you mean difficulty I say bass.

abstractremedy
11-25-2004, 02:19 PM
I meant difficulty harder. what I dont get is how there are tons of guitarists and hardly any bassists, and I think bass is way cooler than guitar...

freakmeeko
11-25-2004, 02:28 PM
Well, like I said about coolness, it depends about ability.

TheFreakinSauce!
11-26-2004, 05:47 PM
harder as in what?...harder as in more difficult to make it sound like you know what you are doing? in this case bass i think is harder. take me, i'm novice at both bass and guitar, but i have noticed this...i can play power chords on a guitar and make the un-learned public think that i know how to play the ****ed instument. However, apply that same skill and practice time to a bass and just try to pick out what i'm playing; can't do it. most beginner bassist can't even press the huge *** strings in between the fretts to play whole notes...much less to play a run or scale.

and as far as a good hearty bass line taking over the melody, i disagree. just listen to some good classic YES stuff. Heh...in Heart of the Sunrise the bass IS the melody! he's a **** good player too btw...smooth funk...

The Sauce

Fallenvictim
11-26-2004, 05:54 PM
harder as in what?...harder as in more difficult to make it sound like you know what you are doing? in this case bass i think is harder. take me, i'm novice at both bass and guitar, but i have noticed this...i can play power chords on a guitar and make the un-learned public think that i know how to play the ****ed instument. However, apply that same skill and practice time to a bass and just try to pick out what i'm playing; can't do it. most beginner bassist can't even press the huge *** strings in between the fretts to play whole notes...much less to play a run or scale.

and as far as a good hearty bass line taking over the melody, i disagree. just listen to some good classic YES stuff. Heh...in Heart of the Sunrise the bass IS the melody! he's a **** good player too btw...smooth funk...

The Sauce
Thats a very good point, crappy guitarists get away with ay too much, people think bass doesnt matter and to impress them with a bass alone is really hard. Unless your playing something really cacthy on bass people dont appreciate it, it's underated like drumming. All the credit, the glory and fame go to the guitarist and singers, I think drumming is the hardest thing to do

freakmeeko
11-26-2004, 05:59 PM
Maybe, but bad drummers can get away with stuff too.