If you are considering learning to play a stringed instrument, you might face the impossible task of choosing between a bass guitar or regular guitar. Is bass easier than guitar? What are the main differences? What is more enjoyable to play? These are all questions that you should ask yourself before deciding.

From the style of music to strings and tuning, there are certain similarities and differences between the bass and a guitar that you should know. And these differences will determine if the guitar or bass is easier to learn and play. So we are going to take a look at these to help you make this distinction and decision.

The Similarities Between a Bass and a Guitar

There are many similarities between a Bass and a guitar. From the way they are held to the strings they use, it is understandable why it is often referred to as a bass guitar when it is not a guitar. Let’s look at all the similarities between a bass and a guitar.

Tuning

A bass is tuned to the same pitch as the last four strings of a guitar. Why the last four, you wonder? Well, that’s because a bass only has four strings in total compared to the six that a guitar has. Tuning a bass is easy and can be done using an electronic tuner or even a smartphone application.

Pickups

A bass uses the same or similar pickups that you would find on an electric guitar. While there are different pickups for acoustic and electric guitars, you would use the pickups for an electric guitar on your bass. You can customize the pickups on your bass just as you would on a guitar.

Strings

Bass uses the same strings that you would use on an electric guitar when it comes to strings. A bass only has four strings and would use the last four strings of an electric guitar. The strings are made from various materials and can be chosen according to the sound you wish to create. When choosing strings, consider the sound you wish to create, the versatility and durability, and strings made from corrosion-resistant materials like nickel and cobalt.

Technique

It has been said that if you can play the guitar, you can play the bass, and vice versa. The two require very similar techniques to play. Switching from one to the other is easy and involves very little change in technique. If you already play the guitar, switching over to the bass is easy and requires no re-learning of any techniques required to play.

The way it is played

The guitar is played horizontally, with the instrument’s body resting on your knee. The bass, too, is played in this manner. It is shaped like a violin and can be held and played comfortably.

If you would like to learn to play the bass, you can make use of “learn to play the guitar” type guides to help you learn the basics of the instrument, as well as how to hold it, the differences between picking and plucking the strings, as well as how to tune your bass.

The Differences Between a Bass and a Guitar

We have looked at the similarities, and now it is time to look at the differences between a bass and a guitar. There seem to be some similarities, so let’s see how the differences fare up.

Role of the instrument

It is said that the bass player has the most crucial role in a band. Responsible for the tone and rhythm of a song, the bass player almost carries the band with their bass playing. They lead the drummer, singer, and guitarists on the song’s beat and ultimately set the tone for that tune.

Size of the instrument

A guitar is available in different sizes, while the bass is available in one standard size. The fretboard and neck of the bass are longer and broader, with more space available between frets. This is great for beginners and can mean the difference between missing a note and not.

Easier to learn

Learning to play the bass does not require the player to learn chords. Bass players play single-note lines that are easy to read and learn. Chords can be tricky to learn, so why not avoid them altogether and choose the bass?

Solo playing is rather difficult

While you can pick up a guitar and play alone or with friends, the same cannot be said for the bass. The bass is responsible for the rhythm, and without a guitar, there is no melody. It can be fun to get together with friends for a “jam session”; however, a bass would add rhythm to the group and lead the music.

Is the Bass Easier to Play than a Guitar?

We answer this question with an all-resounding yes! For just about anyone, the bass is considered much easier to learn and play than the guitar, and here are five reasons why:

#1: Basslines, which are the notes that need to be played by the bass player, are easier to learn and play than chords and notes. With a focus on the song’s rhythm rather than the melody, there is room to improve every time you play.

#2: You only need to learn to pick and pluck when playing the bass. The bass does not require the strumming of any chords or notes, which is tricky to learn to do correctly. Picking and plucking are considered more accessible methods of playing the guitar and bass.

#3: No need to learn tricky chords. As we mentioned above, the bass player is only required to play single-note lines rather than the chords you need to play on a guitar. This is far easier to learn and does not require much skill.

#4: The bass is more user-friendly in terms of shape and size. The neck and fretboard on the bass are more extended and broader than a guitar. This makes it far easier to play and reduces the chances of missing a note. It requires less skill and leads to less frustration than guitar-playing.

#5: Guitar playing requires precision, fast fingers, and a lot of focus. When playing the bass, the notes are more recognizable, and should you make a mistake or miss a note. It is not quite as noticeable as if you missed a note on a guitar.

The bass is far easier to learn to play than the guitar and is recommended for beginners, especially those who feel overwhelmed by learning strumming and chords.

Final Thoughts

While the bass might not be considered as cool as the guitar, there are many advantages to playing the bass. With no focus on chords or strumming, playing bass is much easier than that of the guitar and is best suited for beginners who want to learn to play a stringed instrument.

Should you already play the guitar and want to learn to play the bass, the change-over will be more accessible, and you will find your feet quickly and easily. Consider the bass for your following instrument, and enjoy the art of playing music without the frustration and difficulty that you would experience with a guitar.

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