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Old 01-26-2015, 06:45 AM   #81
Jason Brian Merrill
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I mean the whole of the experience of bass is not "the lowest 4 strings of the guitar tuned down"

but MOST basses do indeed have those same notes. In those same places. So yeah, "theory" wise you have a headstart.

Although there is more technique that you can use and elaborate on, it's not like guitarists don't start and stop notes too
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:54 AM   #82
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And can we stop all this " a bass is just the lowest four strings of a guitar tuned down" nonsense?
A guitar is simply a bass guitar with thinner strings and a couple of very thin twiddly ones added.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:56 AM   #83
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Jerome. If you speak spanish, you might be able to speak some french, and vice versa. But they are not the same. To move from one language to another requires a lot of work and learning, more than ten minutes. And the differences between playing a bass and playing a guitar are a lot greater (in technique, theory, thinking, hearing, fingering, etc) than the difference in hardware.
No, they aren't. And I can say that as a guy that plays both.

You're simply wrong. I know that pontificating about things you know nothing about is your forte, but dude, give it a rest.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:58 AM   #84
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But you wouldn't be a bass player.......
Oh really? If you can find the root, third, fourth and fifth, you can be a bass player.

It's not a lifestyle choice. It's a musical instrument.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:00 AM   #85
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And people like Wooten are doing just that - nothing wrong with it at all, they have the technique, talent and virtuosity and naturally explore and develop the potential of their instruments. Just seems to me that the original purpose of the instrument can get lost along the way. Anyway, I'm just jealous, my brain believes I only have four fingers and a thumb on my left hand.
Comparing yourself to Wooten, or Jaco, or any of that level player is grossly unfair to yourself. No one plays like those dudes except those dudes.

But if you're a competent guitar player, you can be banging out cover tunes in about 10 minutes on a bass.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:19 AM   #86
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Comparing yourself to Wooten, or Jaco, or any of that level player is grossly unfair to yourself. No one plays like those dudes except those dudes.

But if you're a competent guitar player, you can be banging out cover tunes in about 10 minutes on a bass.
maybe to some degree.. especially if you pick. I don't think people just jump on and make the bass sound "good" until considerable more technique is learned and applied. Ya I've played with a bunch of bassists that just kind of make it bark uneven flappy low notes roughly in sync with the band.. thats not the same thing as a player that has good technique, and that is what most guitarist/bassists have sounded like in my experience.

The OP asked if knowing guitar makes you automatically know bass.. The simple answer to that is no.

Although, in my experience, a lot of people that I've met that claimed to be a guitarist and bassist were somewhat average at both. Probably a highly knowledgable and skilled guitarist would hold themselves to a higher standard as a bassist too.

The op statement "If I know guitar" could be the subject of a debate too.

Much of the logic behind the argument that its the same type of instrument so you just need a few minutes to aclimate is weak. Try applying that to violin. Its fretless.. but intervals and such are the same and left hand movements are similiar..
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:44 PM   #87
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When a guitar player picks up a bass its pretty obvious what they wont be doing on that inst compared to gtr, whats left is the common ground, the riffs and notes that experienced gtr players have played in a bass-like way, but that doesn't make them an experienced bass player, there being no substitute for experience, otoh many the licks, riffs, scale runs, arpeggios etc still sound good when played on or lets say applied to bass, the thicker strings do not mysteriously cancel that out.

Added to that the years of subliminal programming effected by loud live bass pounding the body physically played [perpetrated] by a bass guitarist looking for that bit of extra attention through sheer volume and you have a gtr player with pretty good idea what to do imo
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:17 PM   #88
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But if you're a competent guitar player, you can be banging out cover tunes in about 10 minutes on a bass.
"banging on" - you hit the nail on the head. I can sit down in my little studio and play a reasonably passable (albeit it technically limited)lead break because I started out on four strings and extrapolated my knowledge of that instrument onto a six string. It sure as hell doesn't make me a guitarist.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:07 PM   #89
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But if you're a competent guitar player, you can be banging out cover tunes in about 10 minutes on a bass.
You don't set your standards very high, do you?

I can see that working in an amateur setting, but not in a band that's expecting to get paid at the end of the night.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:11 PM   #90
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When a guitar player picks up a bass its pretty obvious what they wont be doing on that inst compared to gtr, whats left is the common ground, the riffs and notes that experienced gtr players have played in a bass-like way, but that doesn't make them an experienced bass player, there being no substitute for experience, otoh many the licks, riffs, scale runs, arpeggios etc still sound good when played on or lets say applied to bass, the thicker strings do not mysteriously cancel that out.

Added to that the years of subliminal programming effected by loud live bass pounding the body physically played [perpetrated] by a bass guitarist looking for that bit of extra attention through sheer volume and you have a gtr player with pretty good idea what to do imo
Just rolled a couple of your tracks - none of them that I heard actually had a bass on them. All samples.
Quick and easy, or you don't have a bass?
Just my 2c but a bit of real bass would make a huge difference to the tracks.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:17 PM   #91
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You don't set your standards very high, do you?

I can see that working in an amateur setting, but not in a band that's expecting to get paid at the end of the night.
this is true
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:10 PM   #92
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You don't set your standards very high, do you?

I can see that working in an amateur setting, but not in a band that's expecting to get paid at the end of the night.
I get paid at the end of the night, and you can bet Waylon Jennings did. You can No-True-Scottsman this to death, but at the end of the day, 90% of what you're going to do on a bass is around the root, IV and V. And you can find those easily if you're a half assed competent guitar player.

Like I said, it's a musical instrument. It's a guitar, not a lifestyle choice.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:16 AM   #93
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If you're not looking for anything too elaborate on the Bass, no doubt that a guitarist can play Bass. A perfect example of this is Joe Satriani's first studio album. A perfect example of what difference a true Bass player makes is how those same songs sound live with Stu Hamm handling the Bass duties. Night and day.
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Old 01-27-2015, 04:12 AM   #94
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I have just listened to a youtube video of John Lennon's bass track for HelterSkelter. It is - in isolation at least and to my ears- really quite poor in its timing and lacks both polish and invention. Now Lennon was a competent guitarist rather than a virtuoso but this example seems to prove the point many are making about transferring skills.
Funny thing is that this rough approach kinds works in this instance...

One other point. A friend of mine started doing a post grad jazz piano course at the music college here and was required to do a second instrument. He chose the organ. Similar eh? But not at that level.
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Old 01-27-2015, 04:19 AM   #95
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At the time, Waylon was a very experienced top-level pro musician.
I don't know what your standard of playing is, Jerome, but if you are honest, you'll hold up your hand and agree that the difference between an average competent guitar player picking up a bass and playing a gig & the same gig being played by competent bassist is night and day. There is a huge difference between finding the right notes and being able to play them properly on a bass.
Learn from my experience.
1981/2:
I arrived in Nashville as what I thought of as a seasoned pro bass player.
Already had 20 years of touring and recording experience.
Went down to Tootsies Orchid lounge on Lower Broad and listened to a few of the pick-up bands playing for change.... and realised there was indeed a whole other level of playing and professionalism that London & the UK in general had not prepared me for.
Also, there was a lot more to country bass playing than I ever dreamed.

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Old 01-27-2015, 07:08 AM   #96
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Just rolled a couple of your tracks - none of them that I heard actually had a bass on them. All samples.
Quick and easy, or you don't have a bass?
Just my 2c but a bit of real bass would make a huge difference to the tracks.
Haha You were lining me up for a right old bollocking eh but overall that record walks the walk afa basslines doesnt it but point taken about should have used a real bass gtr, couldve made it pop much better, did it the hard way, worked em out on gtr then step recorded MIDI, could have done em manually hella faster with better result using bass gtr.
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:14 AM   #97
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Learn from my experience.
1981/2:
I arrived in Nashville as what I thought of as a seasoned pro bass player.
Already had 20 years of touring and recording experience.
Went down to Tootsies Orchid lounge on Lower Broad and listened to a few of the pick-up bands playing for change.... and realised there was indeed a whole other level of playing and professionalism that London & the UK in general had not prepared me for.
Also, there was a lot more to country bass playing than I ever dreamed.
That's quite a statement. Can you say more? Was it the taken-for-granted virtuosity or the musicianship in the context of the ensemble?
As an untrained musician I am always impressed by professionals who can instantly transpose key from written music or harmonize on the fly or play unusual time signatures seemingly without effort. ( You know the sort of thing that Steve Vai had to do for Zappa). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx1RguHA4XE)

But I guess what you saw was something more than all of that?
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:22 AM   #98
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But I guess what you saw was something more than all of that?
Nashville is one of those places where the crappy bands that play on the furthest outskirts of town are better than most any players you'll ever see (unless you go further into town lol).
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:58 AM   #99
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It was the sum of all the parts.

Some of it is experience. I played my first paid gig at the age of ten.
Some of the guys I worked with in Nashville started aged three or four!
Another bit of it is that US schools tend to foster ensemble playing fr more than european schools. We dont have the marching band tradition that you have in the USA.
Yet another aspect of this is that the rhythmic elements of school music in the UK tended to be really straight - all based on the classics - so no sense of swing or anything like it. That has changed nowadays but still lags behind what I saw in the USA in the 70s & 80s

But where the Nashville guys seemed to have it all going on was the sheer breadth of stuff that was being played in town at that time.
Having played electric bass with a Sitarist and a tabla player, I thought my horizons were pretty broad till I got to Nashville!

And above all, just an aura of complete professionalism from all the better players, not just the A line guys.
I have since worked in many other towns that were touted a being music towns but every one of them came over as a one trick pony compared to the Nashville scene.

P.S. And I still dislike odd time signatures for the sake of it!
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:02 AM   #100
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Haha You were lining me up for a right old bollocking eh but overall that record walks the walk afa basslines doesnt it but point taken about should have used a real bass gtr, couldve made it pop much better, did it the hard way, worked em out on gtr then step recorded MIDI, could have done em manually hella faster with better result using bass gtr.
Thats really funny, because I fell into that trap myself! Got so focussed into recording in the box that I forgot I could actually play the real instruments.

The track I posted in the Music section here was the first thing I had recorded that was all instruments played in real time in a very long time - and it took way less time and effort than programming it.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:40 AM   #101
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If you can blow up a balloon you can play sax.. I mean you blow in both right?
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:27 PM   #102
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If you can blow up a balloon you can play sax.. I mean you blow in both right?
Yep you can also blow smoke up people's arses.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:46 AM   #103
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Good Nashville stuff - thanks Ivan, Karbo and all for that. "Thirteen hundred and fifty two guitar pickers in Nashville. And any one that unpacks his guitar can play twice as better than I will."

Re the OP and bass gtr in general, yes it's superficially similar to guitar but in a good arrangement it's a totally different thing. Listen to Leland Sklar in any recording and tell me it isn't so.

Jamerson, also.
McCartney also in any classic Beatles recording.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:20 AM   #104
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Sklar, the unsung man at the back. When asked how he got so much work with such big names he said something to the effect that he simply had the knack of placing the note where it belonged.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:53 PM   #105
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Bass played with a guitar with 4 strings

https://soundcloud.com/giano-riff/reaperbasstest
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:15 PM   #106
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Bass played with a guitar with 4 strings

https://soundcloud.com/giano-riff/reaperbasstest
Not bad Giano.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:51 PM   #107
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Not bad Giano.
haha thanx
actually the track was made for this thread

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=154227

this thread is about how to get a good bass sound
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:23 PM   #108
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Sklar, the unsung man at the back. When asked how he got so much work with such big names he said something to the effect that he simply had the knack of placing the note where it belonged.
Before I got my upright, I copped a great tip from Mr Sklar.
He used mandolin frets on his basses (or at least some of them) and played ON the fret, not behind it, to get close to an upright sound from an e-bass.
And it really works! But you do have to be more accurate than usual with that left hand. There re so many great bassists nobody ever heard of.

I would count Anthony Jackson and the great Chuck Rainey as two of my favourites.
Listen to what Rainey did on "his" track for "Standing in the Shadows of Motown"

Tone for days but still hinting at James J's sound.
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:46 PM   #109
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I think a good offshoot to this question is
"Do we write music/perform music to do the same old or do we seek to provide something fresh and new"?
I say have a go and become proficient at what you wish to present.
If you know your guitar fretboard and know how to read music you should be in Key.
Playing in key however does not of certainty mean you or I are going to sound great!
Hopefully for music you will develop a new form and sound great as well.
Style, groove and rhythm is the same for all instrument players.

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Old 01-28-2015, 06:48 PM   #110
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It was the sum of all the parts.

Some of it is experience. I played my first paid gig at the age of ten.
Some of the guys I worked with in Nashville started aged three or four!
Another bit of it is that US schools tend to foster ensemble playing fr more than european schools. We dont have the marching band tradition that you have in the USA.
Yet another aspect of this is that the rhythmic elements of school music in the UK tended to be really straight - all based on the classics - so no sense of swing or anything like it. That has changed nowadays but still lags behind what I saw in the USA in the 70s & 80s

But where the Nashville guys seemed to have it all going on was the sheer breadth of stuff that was being played in town at that time.
Having played electric bass with a Sitarist and a tabla player, I thought my horizons were pretty broad till I got to Nashville!

And above all, just an aura of complete professionalism from all the better players, not just the A line guys.
I have since worked in many other towns that were touted a being music towns but every one of them came over as a one trick pony compared to the Nashville scene.

P.S. And I still dislike odd time signatures for the sake of it!
I get what you are saying and especially the bit about "swing" being something slightly neglected over here. But I do wonder if perhaps you were also bringing new things to the table so to speak...
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:48 PM   #111
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Try applying that to violin. Its fretless.. but intervals and such are the same and left hand movements are similiar..
Except it's all upside down and backwards. If you can play mandolin, though, violin is a breeze!
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:14 PM   #112
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Except it's all upside down and backwards. If you can play mandolin, though, violin is a breeze!
That's sort of how I first learned to play mandolin. I imagined a bass guitar with the string order reversed. All I had to do was imagine a guitar chord flipped vertically and missing two strings (upside down bass lol). Then I would re-voice as needed.
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:33 AM   #113
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Karbo - that is so weird I don't even want to think about why you would deal with an instrument that way!

Sort of "well I got in this car, and the controls were like using a sewing machine, only different, as it didn't move and ran on electricity, so I just imagined I was making a summer frock and the next thing ya know, I was driving!"

(cue The Lounge)
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:57 AM   #114
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Karbo - that is so weird I don't even want to think about why you would deal with an instrument that way!

I'm standing there (+20 years ago) with a Mandolin someone gave me, they said it tunes like a violin and left; so....

Because it worked like a charm.

It's called using a known reference point. Instruments have notes on them, if a person is musical by nature at all, it really doesn't matter unless one is overly uptight (not you, just sayin') but they do need to possess a musical clue or two.

It's really not convoluted, just look at the neck and flip what you know vertically; then you can start using inversions etc. to arrive at more "proper" voicings.

I learned harmonica in a similar fashion, standing there with no idea how to make music with it, three days straight of headaches from blowing it and the light bulb goes off, I can play harmonica just fine now. I have a tune in the collab forum somewhere to prove it lol. I'd give you the link, but my server is down (I just moved) but I may have it back on the net as early as tonight.
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:53 AM   #115
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I think a good offshoot to this question is
"Do we write music/perform music to do the same old or do we seek to provide something fresh and new"?
I say have a go and become proficient at what you wish to present.
If you know your guitar fretboard and know how to read music you should be in Key.
Playing in key however does not of certainty mean you or I are going to sound great!
Hopefully for music you will develop a new form and sound great as well.
Style, groove and rhythm is the same for all instrument players.

Grinder

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Well said Grinder, originality, innovation from a sound base of musical training is a good goal to aim at imo.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:21 AM   #116
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Style, groove and rhythm is the same for all instrument players.
I don't know about that. And certainly there are important differences in this particular case. Style, groove and rhythm are expressed differently by instruments with different roles in the music. For example, generally, lead guitars will be used for color notes, for syncopation, for riffs, for solos, for elaborate stuff. Guitarists learn to play in flourishes, with triplets and embellishments, and sometimes non-stop. They play in sixteenths or faster. They play across measure boundaries a lot. Guitar can get away with lots more non-key and passing notes. The lead guitarist has a style that is more about interest and tension.

While bass will be used to lay down something steady, usually in quarter notes and usually right on measures. The bass player has to be depended on.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:28 AM   #117
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It really depends on the style you're trying to play. I wouldn't imagine a rhythm guitarist from a reggae band would do much good trying to pick up the bass in his band, but in a lot of metal the bass really is pretty often just playing exactly what the rhythm guitar is doing. Some of my favorite bassists actually play completely wrong by any reasonable standards. I personally sometimes play bass more like a guitar, and very often play guitar a lot like a bass, so...


karbo - My left-handed brother gets mad at me when I pick up his guitar and start playing because he can't really get much out of mine, but then my best friend in high school was a lefty who strings his guitars normal, and I taught him to play, so the upside down shapes are kind of intuitive to me by now. Mandolin/violin and the other things that are tuned in fifths are a bit different, though. If you just hold down an upside down guitar chord all of the octaves are inverted and you very rarely end up with the root as the lowest note. The scales don't quite work the same either. I suck at mandolin, partly because it's just so damn small, but mostly because I haven't really spent more than an hour altogether trying to figure it out. I even strung up an old 12 string as a sort of octave mandola, which was sort of fun for a minute, but I never really got used to it.
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:04 AM   #118
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Quote:
If you just hold down an upside down guitar chord all of the octaves are inverted and you very rarely end up with the root as the lowest note. The scales don't quite work the same either.
That is surely true, it's a bit of a mind bender when things you expect to go up, go down and so on. However, if one just forgets about that and works out some of the shapes and scales, it suddenly sounds fine albeit odd to the brain/fingers.


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I suck at mandolin, partly because it's just so damn small, but mostly because I haven't really spent more than an hour altogether trying to figure it out. I even strung up an old 12 string as a sort of octave mandola, which was sort of fun for a minute, but I never really got used to it.
I am NOT a fan of the smallness. I laid a track for a tune last year that was begging for this minor picking thing that was alternating the minor 3rd with the sus 2 (or add9), and it was in G minor. Total pain in the ass trying to do that with that tiny spacing and on the 1st fret IIRC.
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:19 AM   #119
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As far as the OP goes, I say that if you want to play bass then get one and go! If you're already comfortable on a guitar, you absolutely do have a head start on somebody who's starting cold. Like anything, you'll have to practice it specifically to really get good, but isn't that kind of the point?

I picked up the bass literally months after guitar, and have always been pretty comfortable going back and forth. I tend to think if myself as a guitarist, but nowadays I seem to have more fun with the bass. If I end up in a jam or a group with several guitarists, I'm usually the first one to grab the bass. It's easier for me to avoid embarrassing myself.

Just pick it up and go.
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Old 01-29-2015, 11:03 AM   #120
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I stand by my comment that Style, groove and rhythm is the same for all instrument players.
As you rightly came across with that this is usually expressed in a different way by each instrument (this is what I expected folk to realize and should have put in). If you do not have these attributes in your music it does become challenging to listen to.
In my work the bass is always mostly doing different stuff than my guitar and the intention is to harmonize as well as back up.

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