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Unread 07-18-2014, 10:55 AM   #1
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Going from guitar to bass

Hi all.
Long time no post.

Now I know there's already a similar thread but I didn't want to revive an old thread or hijack it.

I've been playing guitar for a long time but i'd say it's been quite sporadic.
I'd even go as far as to say I was more of a collector than a player.. (GAS which I'm sure we're familiar with)
I've had many acoustic guitars including all the popular brands and a few customs.. I've since sold all of them and only have 1 acoustic guitar left, and 2 electric guitars left.

I want to start from fresh and be a consistent bass player and play bass as my 'main instrument'.

I custom ordered a bass guitar a few years ago (lol) in order to play and i've been procrastinating until now... I thought I would custom order the most versatile bass guitar I could possibly make so that I wouldn't have to buy another one... BUT I made a mistake in the design of the bass which makes it a bit hard to play (35" scale and I put the bridge 2" from where it could have been at the end which makes it a bit of a stretch).. it's also quite heavy.. but I digress.

I'm going through the studybass.com stuff and it's pretty good.

I've been looking around for a new church and it seems one in particular does not have a bass player so maybe I can start from there.

Any tips for me?
The new church does not have a drummer at the moment either... just vocals, guitar and keyboard. In considering that, what would be the main role there for a bassist?

I am already approaching the bass as a separate instrument, one for keeping the rhythm going .
I would like to be known as a bass player and not as a guitar collector lol.

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Unread 07-18-2014, 11:03 AM   #2
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The main role of the bass player when there is no drummer, IMO, is holding down the low end and keeping a steady rhythm.

I think one of the biggest challenges for guitar players switching to bass is understanding that the bass is not a low tuned guitar and that the role of the bass isn't to play a complicated lead line (except when it is...)
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Unread 07-18-2014, 12:22 PM   #3
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Listen to music and pick up on what the bass is doing. IMHO, the great late Jackie Street was a fine example of what playing bass is all about.
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Unread 07-20-2014, 09:28 PM   #4
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I tend to vary how I play depending who else is playing that day.
We tend to have mix & match, depending who is available as many of us do other duties as well.
When there's no drummer I do keep the beat simpler to anchor it.
When there's a keyboard I don't playa s high on the neck.
If there's only one guitar player I do add some more octaves and sometimes other intervals
When there's a lot of us I tend to stay low and mesh with the bass drum and the rhythm guitar.
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Unread 07-21-2014, 08:55 AM   #5
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Switching from guitar to bass is really pretty simple. Grasping what makes a solid bass line as opposed to playing lead or rhythm guitar, not so simple. And lots of it tends to depend on what you're playing. I have a buddy who is helping me with my bass work. I play root +5 like a hillbilly and he tears into the thing like Les Claypool. If I did half the things my friend is teaching me when I was playing live or in a rehearsal I'd be shown the door. You have to listen and learn from what your band mates are telling you about themselves.

Since I'm primarily a bluegrass musician I never play with a drummer. This means I have to lay down a solid bass line and can't get too flashy. It's all about finding that musical space and really learning to move around in it. There's no shame in keeping it simple and solid. If you get a bass solo it'll only be a couple of measures long at best. Learn the fretboard, work on your timing with a metronome, and listen to lots of good players. That's all I've got for you.
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Unread 07-31-2014, 09:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoda_me07 View Post
Hi all.


I've been looking around for a new church and it seems one in particular does not have a bass player so maybe I can start from there.

Any tips for me?
The new church does not have a drummer at the moment either... just vocals, guitar and keyboard. In considering that, what would be the main role there for a bassist?

I am already approaching the bass as a separate instrument, one for keeping the rhythm going .
I would like to be known as a bass player and not as a guitar collector lol.
There is the infamous video from Paul Baloche saying what he wants from a new bassist is 1/8th note roots when the bassist in his band instructional videos do much more. But at first until the other musicians get to trust that you can do that in time that is the first step with the second being to hit root and five to keep time.

As your skill increases hopefully the keys or guitar who have been making the walks to the chord changes will teach you and then leave the bottom to you. And from there it is a matter of time and experience. And who knows with a bass added in maybe someone will step up to play drums and then you will start worrying about locking with her.
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