Stop Playing Bass Like A Guitarist


Most of us tend to believe if you are an average guitarist, picking up the bass will be a piece of cake. Still, it is very easy to identify a bassist who is purely a guitar player. So, what really separates a guitarist from a natural bassist? It is said that our musical DNA is around 99% similar, but just what exactly accounts for that distinctive 1%? More to the point, just how can a guitarist turn into a real bassist? Well, here are some of the few insights that have been gleaned from accomplished bassists, cutting across different genres.



Reevaluate The Way You Look At The Bass

Regarding the bass as just a lengthier and deep variety of the guitar is often a very flawed perception, particularly when it comes to the method and composition. Guitarists usually think up to down. Most of the licks tend to occur between the middle to the top registers, and seldom go lower. On their part, bassists tend to think more beneath the 5th fret but can sometimes go higher. Conventionally speaking, the guitar’s first string happens to be the high E. While the bass’s first string can either be the low E or the low B. In essence, to be a great bassist musician try to consider the instrument as a foundational one, and use it just as a foundation is to a building.


Fix Your Mindset

If you cannot find the groove as a bassist despite all your efforts, then it is probably because you are still thinking as a guitarist. Guitarists have a strong tendency to overplay, and this often makes them misunderstand just why the bass is played. This musical instrument is primarily meant to set the groove and the feel. Guitarists play just ahead of the beat. Conversely, bassists play just behind the beat. The bass line which simply adheres to the ordinary guitar pattern, at an octave lower, is just a sheer waste of time.


Technique Is Important

For the most part, guitarists are very often obliged to be agile as well as rapid on the fretboard. However, a real bassist should always be solid forcefully and commanding as well. A guitarist turned bassist can effortlessly be identified by being faster with his or her fingering.


Other Bass Tips

Try to drop the pick and at all costs avoid your notes ringing indefinitely. As such, remove your fingers off the fretboard and allow the notes you make to breathe. You have to fully understand, being bassist is part of the rhythm crew, and space is essential to groove. Try to play in consonance with the bass drum. Just take 3 steps behind and line up with the drummer. Then try to experience how a couple of notes can really make things happen. The bass together with the drums ought to play as a single unit.


Final Thoughts ...

Is it wrong to play the bass like a guitarist?  Not necessarily. In fact, some of the best bass players in rock played their instrument more like a guitarist than a pure bassist. Still, I would highly recommend trying to play the bass the traditional way in order to fully appreciate what the instrument can do.



Your Turn to Sound Off!

Are you a guitarist who transitioned to bass? How was your experience?

Let us know in the comment section below!



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