Can't decide: Regular electric guitar or an electric bass guitar?

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by Robinmalhotra, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. Robinmalhotra

    Robinmalhotra New Member

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    I've been playing a ukulele and an acoustic guitar for a while, I'm not super good yet but I decided to get a new instrument.

    The problem is that I can't decide between an electric bass-guitar or a regular electric guitar.

    I have the feeling that a guitar can play a bigger variety of different sounding songs than a bass, but on the other hand a bass guitar just sounds really cool. I'm also a bit afraid I'll go nuts if I get a bass because it seems like it'd get repetitive playing it without other instruments mixed in...

    I figured I could just get a regular guitar with an octave pedal, which would almost be the best of both worlds. It won't be the exact same as playing on a bass but I'd definitely be learning something, no?
     
  2. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    It will be much easier to find a band to play with if you are a bass player. There are a thousand guitar players for every bass player, it seems like.
     
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  3. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter SS.org Regular

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    I wouldn't get either until you're able to get a better feel for what direction you really want to go. That being said, you can find half-decent guitars and basses on Reverb for only a couple hundred bucks so not much to lose unless you're on a VERY tight budget... Which again... if you are, then probably not a good idea to jump into either at this point. If you could borrow someone's guitar or bass for a little while, then that might be a good way to get a better feel for the direction that you want to go. I play both and enjoy them both but guitar is infinitely more rewarding and versatile.
     
  4. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    LOL you got it wrong mate

    yes, guitar is all about "metal" \m/ and heavy rock subgenres. Thats where it excels far more.... But bass covers far far far more music genres..... Unless you just wanna play acoustic duo covers in a bar. Which you could alwyas add a bass too (Ive done it), but yeh guitar is more rewarding there too

    Out of the rock/metal world bass becomes more important and independent instrument (not attached to the guitar player licks). Take funk as one example (or most pop music really), guitar becomes a steady high pitched chord progresion, but bass becomes a main instrument developing its own voice/melody/groove/thing (go listen to Jamiroquai for more modern stuff)

    Diferent animals for different stuff. Playing bass in a jazz context can be so rewarding, yet guitar can be too. Both play completely different stuff


    One thing tho, is that with one bass and amp you can play pretty muhc anything. With guitar, you need the right pickups, right amp/FX, ect ect


    Guitar is about to play your own thing in the band. Bass is about to create the link between what the guitar player does and what the drummer is doing, you need to be aware of both and create a lick/riff/line that merge them, one that follows the guitar progresion but also goes with the drumers beat. Bass its not a "guitar with 4 string playing the root notes", nope, is way more complicated than that


    like mentioned, get both, borrow it, see what sticks to you more. See what songs you wanna learn first, what instrument line you feel that you wanna learn?.
     
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  5. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    I'm someone who is stuck between the worlds of guitar and bass. I play like a guitarist but prefer the tone and size of a bass. So i play a 6 string bass strung with thin strings covering a baritone type range. Now i can play high notes and chords, and fairly low notes too, all with superior tone.
    Remember a bass can contain a guitar as a sub-region of it's fretboard, but a guitar can't contain a bass, so only an extended range bass can contain both instruments.
    A bass can play a wide variety of music depending on how you string it up. The 'only 4 strings playing accompaniment' thing is only an illusory limitation created by rock band culture.
     
  6. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    I'm primarily a guitarist, but I think bass is REALLY fun.

    Yes, a lot of metal bass lines are "boring" and repetitive, but really locking in with a drummer and keeping things moving is really satisfying. Also, your overall volume, importance and POWER is far greater than the standard guitar. I think it was Nolly from Periphery who said playing bass was just far more powerful than playing guitar. There are three guitarists in that band, but his bass absolutely carries the songs and it sounds absolutely immense.

    Also, classic rock has shitloads of great bass lines played by great bassists - The Who, Black Sabbath etc.

    Guitar with an octave pedal is a dumb idea, sorry. It's nothing like playing bass, and it would be a waste of money IMO. You'd be better off getting a bass AND a guitar. As others have said, if you want to join a band, playing bass would be the best.
     
  7. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula Indeed.

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    Yeah, I wouldn't advise the octave pedal either, at least not as a substitute for a real bass. Guys like Jack white have done it, but it only works in certain contexts and doesn't give you the real experience of playing bass. In fact, I think a decent octave pedal probably would cost you more than half what a cheap but playable used bass would.

    As mentioned above there are fewer bassists even though bass is used in more genres. That means more opportunities. Even though I started on guitar and studied it formally, I've made very little money gigging it, whereas gigging on bass became about 30% of my income within a few years of picking it up.
     
  8. rikomaru

    rikomaru SS.org Regular

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  9. apatheticbassist

    apatheticbassist Member

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    Bass. In my opinion, bass sounds fuller. If you're good, people will want you to join their band. Keyword Good. You have to develop a lot of strength.
     
  10. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Buy both.
     
  11. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    You can even make up for some strength if you've got good rhythm. Shorter scales, lower tension strings, etc. but if you can't play those loud, confidently-fretted notes actually in time, you're useless....worse than useless....detrimental, actually.
     
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  12. cGoEcYk

    cGoEcYk SS.org Regular

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    Bass is pretty fun. I feel like it might be a little pricier to invest into initially. On guitar you can get get started with a basic 15w combo or 50w 1x12 and probably hold up with a drummer or medium volume situations. On bass if you want to play with a drummer and cut through guitarists you need a slightly more serious amp (which will cost more), at least a 100w 1x15.
     
  13. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    You can get high wattage bass combos cheap all day.

    That said, high school bandmate had a 15W bass amp that kept up with my "80w" 212 combo. Maybe it was the cement basement.
     
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  14. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Yes sounds like it's best to get both, probably no more expensive than a specialist baritone or 6 string bass.
     
  15. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Yep, I found that to be the case for myself, too. I actually bought a bass and formed a band with me on bass because it was way easier to find a guitarist!

    But I agree with @budda. Unless you have a ridiculously small budget, you should get an electric guitar AND an electric bass. Learning one is way closer to learning the other than a ukulele, because they're both tuned the same. So it's not like buying a trombone and a piano.
     
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  16. Malevolent_Croatian

    Malevolent_Croatian SS.org Regular

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    I second what Budda said. But both, seriously. They're both great.
     

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