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Learning one instrument is already difficult enough, but can you actually learn two different instruments at the same time? Can you learn guitar and bass at the same time?
In this article, we will find out if you can actually learn both instruments at the same time. We will also give you some tips, and explain why it is actually beneficial to learn guitar and bass at the same time.
Can you really learn both bass and guitar at the same time?
Yes, you can. It is possible to learn both bass and guitar simultaneously, though it may be more difficult than if you were learning each instrument separately.
You would need to have enough time to practice each instrument, and it would require an enormous amount of dedication and perseverance. At least if you want to become a good bass and guitar player within a year.
You should also consider perhaps learning guitar first and then transitioning to bass. The reason is if you do not have any experience playing string instruments, it can be a very daunting task to try to learn guitar and bass at the same time.
You will be overwhelmed with the number of hours you need to practice.
Although guitar and bass share a lot of similarities they are different instruments, that require completely different techniques to be played proficiently.
In terms of hand positioning and fretting bass and guitar are very similar, but bass uses a special hand technique to pick the strings that are not used on guitar – plucking. To play guitar you need to be able to use a pick.
For most music students it is also easier to focus on one instrument at a time. Most guitar music students end up quitting after a while, and if you are trying to learn guitar and bass at the same time, you might feel demoralized and give up.
Does playing bass help with guitar
Yes, playing both instruments can really benefit you as a musician. Not only will you be able to understand how songs are built, but you will also be able to combine some of the guitar and bass techniques.
It will ultimately make you a better musician with a deep understanding of music theory, and how instruments come together to create songs.
If you also want to learn how to compose songs, learning guitar and bass at the same time will also be very helpful.
Benefits of learning guitar and bass at the same time
If you decide to learn guitar and bass at the same time, there are several benefits to it. Here are some of the major advantages of learning guitar and bass at the same time:
- Improved musical ability
- Understanding the role of each instrument in a song
- Combining techniques
- Playing in a band is easier
- Helps you understand music theory
- Understand how each instrument interacts with each other
Improved musical ability
The main benefit is that it will improve your musical ability. Knowing how to play multiple instruments will always make you a better musician.
Understanding the role of each instrument in a song
Understanding how bass lines create the foundation for any song will make you a better musician. You can also improve your musical hearing ability by learning both instruments at the same time.
Learning both bass, and guitar techniques can also be very beneficial. You strengthen your hands, and you will have faster fingers.
Playing in a band is easier
If you want to join a band, later on, knowing how to play both instruments will be a major advantage. Since you can look for bands that need either guitar or bass players.
Helps you understand music theory
If you learn guitar and bass at the same time, you are forced to think about music in a more complex way. This can also help you understand music theory.
Understand how each instrument interacts with each other
You will also understand how the two instruments interact with each other, and how they can be used together to create a fuller sound. Learning two instruments at once helps you to better understand the musical relationship between different instruments
What you need to learn guitar and bass at the same time
If you already decided you want to learn guitar and bass at the same time, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
Learning one instrument can be challenging as it is, by trying to learn two musical instruments at the same time, you are just increasing the difficulty to the highest level. You will encounter some challenges along the way, but you should not be discouraged.
You also need to make sure you have enough free time, to really dedicate at least one hour of practice every day.
It is also a little more expensive to learn both instruments at the same time because you will need to buy a bass and a guitar. Although you can use the same amp for guitar and bass.
If you are planning on getting music lessons, choose a teacher that knows how to play bass and guitar. Although you can learn bass and guitar without a teacher, it is advisable to get some lessons when you are just starting out.
Should you learn guitar and bass at the same time?
While there are clear benefits, you should only learn both instruments if you have enough time to dedicate to each. You will need to practice and study more, and not all of us have enough time on our schedules to learn one instrument let alone two simultaneously.
Is it better to learn bass or guitar first?
There is no right answer to this question because it depends on your musical goals, and your ability and skills. However, we always err on the side of learning guitar first. The reason is that the guitar is more difficult, and it is a much more versatile instrument.
It will be easier for you to learn guitar first, and then transition to bass. Learning guitar will also give a more solid musical foundation, than learning the bass.
Although learning bass is easier, it is wise to learn guitar first and then move on to the bass.
In fact, there are several well-known musicians that started out playing guitar and then transitioned to bass. Do you know Paul McCartney? Yes, the Beatles’ iconic bass player was once a guitar player.
Bass vs Guitar: Difficulty
Technically speaking guitar is a lot more difficult than bass. There are several reasons that explain this. First, a guitar has 6 strings, and bass has 4 strings. The added 2 strings, make the whole instrument a lot more complex.
The possible combinations of chord voicings, on the guitar, are also much more complex than on the bass.
In the most common music genres, the bass is played with bass lines. These bass lines are simple melodies, that are easy to memorize, and play.
By contrast, a guitar player will need to know how to play chords and different strumming patterns. Additionally, you will also need to know how to solo, and improvise.
The guitar also has a greater range of notes and frequencies that need to be mastered in order to play proficiently. The guitar is harder because it involves more complex chords and melodies.
There are also a lot of different guitar techniques you can master.
Is bass easy to learn after guitar?
Yes, bass can be very easy to learn if you know guitar. The strings on a bass are just like a guitar with the exception of the B and high E strings. All you really have to do to learn bass if you know how to play guitar is to start practicing some bass techniques.
You will also need to adapt your playing to the fact that you are playing bass. This means playing bass lines and creating the musical foundation your band needs. Finally, you will have to adapt to the bass neck, which is longer than a guitar.
Is it difficult to learn guitar after bass?
Yes, it is a lot more difficult to learn guitar if you know bass than the other way around. We have mentioned some of the reasons behind this, but the guitar is overall a much more complex instrument, that requires more practice and dedication to get better.
Bass players trying to play guitar will need to adapt to the 2 additional strings, and they will have to know how to play with a pick.
Should I learn bass or guitar?
You should learn whatever you feel like playing. However, if we are thinking in terms of efficiency you should consider learning guitar first.
It will allow you to create a solid musical foundation, and you can always pick up the bass later. It will also be easier to learn bass if you already know how to play guitar.
Ultimately it all depends on what instrument you see yourself playing.
I have been playing guitar for the past 15 years, and my knowledge and passion for guitars prompted me to start Guitaresque to share my knowledge, tips, and tricks with other guitar players. The sole purpose of this website is to help and inspire guitar players worldwide, to improve their playing and their love for guitars.