Part of playing in a band means that personal sacrifices may be necessary for the good of the group. In some cases, this can even mean making the transition to a new instrument. Making this shift from guitar to bass may seem simple at first, given their similar tuning and identical notes. But there are enough differences between the two which only experience will help you overcome. Fortunately, there are several tips for how to move from guitar to bass that make the process easier.
Understand the Role
With a few exceptions, the guitar is the instrument playing the “flashiest” part of most songs, but this doesn’t have to relegate the bass to second class. In tandem with the drummer, the bass player helps set the music’s pace by playing a reliable bassline for the rest of the band to use as a guide. Remember, the instrument’s primary purpose in a band is to establish and support the rhythm of the music, not to be its leader.
Accept the Size Difference
The increased size of the bass compared with a guitar simply takes time to get used to. One thing to remember when buying your first bass is its anatomy when compared to a guitar. The item itself is often much thicker with a larger body, thick neck, longer scale length, and larger hardware to create the lower tones synonymous with the bass. Unfortunately, this means the bass is heavier, so it’ll take some time to build up the muscles necessary to play for long periods.
Befriend the Drummer
A band will always be at its best when the members are in sync. The connection between the drummer and the bassist is of particular importance to the group’s long-term success. The two instruments have to play off each other to create the foundation that guitarists and vocalists use to build the song. Generally, following the kick drum is a good place for new bassists to begin before moving upwards and onwards from there.
Remember Your Training
Some new bass players make the mistake of assuming they have to relearn everything to be successful when this actually isn’t the case. If you’re wondering how to easily move from guitar to bass, remember that you are playing the same notes in the same places on the bass. Use this knowledge to build your skill. Many new bassists like to use walking basslines to fill this extra playtime after having grown accustomed to the more frenetic play style of the guitar.