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Old 09-06-2017, 01:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bass guitar versus electric, which one is good for a newbie?

I'm coming into my senior year of college with a lot of time on my hands, and have decided to pick up guitar as a hobby. The instrument (and its variations) seem practical in both price and accessibility for beginners, and it seems like something I could sink some time into and get a sense of achievement out of as well. However here is my fundamental problem(s): I've played Tuba back in my high school days so I know how to read music, but beyond that my musical theory and other knowledge is pretty much shot. I also have what I would consider terrible hand and eye coordination, but I don't want that to be the stopping point for me just yet. I don't mind putting in the time since lord knows I have plenty of it, but I was wondering between bass and electric which one would be the most viable for me? I don't know much about either of the two, but I'm (probably making a mistake) assuming that bass would be more relaxed in terms of hitting the right notes and easier in terms of getting to the right strings. I've done a small amount of talking to some players between both instruments that I know, and have generally been told that bass is easier in the beginning stretches, but comes out to just the same difficulty as electric in the intermediate to advance techniques and practices.

My main concern is being able to make any ground on either of the two instruments though. The biggest thing in the back of my head is just thinking about how slow my fingers move compared to how fast my brain wants them to. To give a little perspective I've taken multiple piano classes before, and it was almost like hardcore forcing myself to move one finger in relation to another to hit a specific key. When the time comes for one hand to be doing one thing, and multiple fingers on the other to all be doing something different I don't have the strongest performance. I hear that electric once theory is refined becomes easier because most pieces can be broken down into fundamental chords that become second nature with enough practice. Regardless though for a hobby that can eat up a lot of time I want to pick up the guitar, I'm just not sure which would be good to start on, or should my doubt in my "quick hands" and coordination be enough to make me think twice? Would anyone mind sharing their thoughts/experiences?
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm coming into my senior year of college with a lot of time on my hands, and have decided to pick up guitar as a hobby. The instrument (and its variations) seem practical in both price and accessibility for beginners, and it seems like something I could sink some time into and get a sense of achievement out of as well. However here is my fundamental problem(s): I've played Tuba back in my high school days so I know how to read music, but beyond that my musical theory and other knowledge is pretty much shot. I also have what I would consider terrible hand and eye coordination, but I don't want that to be the stopping point for me just yet. I don't mind putting in the time since lord knows I have plenty of it, but I was wondering between bass and electric which one would be the most viable for me? I don't know much about either of the two, but I'm (probably making a mistake) assuming that bass would be more relaxed in terms of hitting the right notes and easier in terms of getting to the right strings. I've done a small amount of talking to some players between both instruments that I know, and have generally been told that bass is easier in the beginning stretches, but comes out to just the same difficulty as electric in the intermediate to advance techniques and practices.

My main concern is being able to make any ground on either of the two instruments though. The biggest thing in the back of my head is just thinking about how slow my fingers move compared to how fast my brain wants them to. To give a little perspective I've taken multiple piano classes before, and it was almost like hardcore forcing myself to move one finger in relation to another to hit a specific key. When the time comes for one hand to be doing one thing, and multiple fingers on the other to all be doing something different I don't have the strongest performance. I hear that electric once theory is refined becomes easier because most pieces can be broken down into fundamental chords that become second nature with enough practice. Regardless though for a hobby that can eat up a lot of time I want to pick up the guitar, I'm just not sure which would be good to start on, or should my doubt in my "quick hands" and coordination be enough to make me think twice? Would anyone mind sharing their thoughts/experiences?
A bass has fever strings and many pieces will use the upper one a lot. You could be playing along to rock songs a lot earlier than if you pick the guitar.

In that sense, it's probably easier in the beginning than a lot of other instruments... BUT... I'd always go with the instrument I love the most... so maybe do that instead of worrying about how hard it will be.

Last edited by MicShazam; 09-06-2017 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What's a fever string?

With bass, you'll start out fingering one note at a time which will be a lot easier to wrap your head (and hands) around at first, but the strings are larger than the strings of a guitar. Also, bass is primarily for foundation of any given tune and has more of as percussive approach traditionally. It is used to accent the rhythm while keeping in sync with the drums. A bass player will "Lock In" with the drums to provide a rhythmic landscape for the accent instruments to play over.

With guitar, you'll be required to have a little more variation with fingering multiple strings which will make up chords, expanding on the one note fingering as mentioned for bass (although you can make chords with a bass, it is typically not done since it can over power, or muddy-up a mix). This will require a little more effort in the eye (or ear for some)/hand coordination that you speak of lacking.

Imo, the best way to learn guitar, bass, or any standard tuned stringed instrument is to start on an acoustic 6 string. This will develop a solid foundation of hand strength, muscle memory, and present you with a more complete set of tools for exploring theories, modes, and chords.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What's a fever string?
The string with which you play those sick, fat bass lines.

Get it? Sick. Fever. Ah, never mind.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh, I get it...

So does Mr. Wooten:
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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0:44 <- you'll be doing this within one year of bass pactise.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yup
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Jesus, Wooten is so ****ing white.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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He does remind me of Les Claypool.
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