Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Help - Moving from Bass to Guitar. Gig this Wednesday :-o

Recommended Posts

Hi all,


I have been playing bass for quite a few years now (semi pro* since the mid 80s). It is my instrument of choice, and its what I do without thinking too hard.


Last week my mate got roped into doing a gig. His usual suspects can't make the gig, which left him with his two bass player buddies. He's going to be playing the drums and singing. I drew the short straw. Its a 40-45 minute set of his original music. The style would come under the broad catagory of Rock, although it does have more than the usual appearance of 6th and maj7 chords.


We have had a couple of rehearsals. I have found the experience to be a bit like jumping on a road bike after having driven 18 wheelers all of your life. The mechanics are essentially the same, the physics are competely different, and there are so many ways you can become unstuck....and when you do, its almost always ugly as there is no where to hide. [scared]


Other than the usual problems of there being too many strings and everythng is too close together :unsure:, I'm finding it most frustrating that my fingers can't do what my brain is hearing.


I have been reading through the various threads and some of you have posted some real gems of wisdom. Hence my reason for joining the forums.


Do you have any tidbits of advise for someone, who, as part of a "mid life renaissance", has decided to jump in the deep end ?


Any pointers would be much appreciated.


Thanks all in advance.



ps. I have a fairly good understanding of basic thoery. I played classical guitar from age 10 through high school, but that was the last time I played something with 6 strings in front of an audience. [wink]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't play bass very well at all. I have an extrememly healthy respect for good bass players, because it requires some things that a guitarist does not need.


One advantage of being a guitar player: you don't have to hit every note every time. You might be more of a focus, but when you let a note ride a little long or fail to hit a note on every beat, it hardly gets noticed. (when a bass player misses a note, or fails to hit-it is a major deal.)


Not so much saying you can flake on your part, but if you feel like you need to let the music breath, let it go. Let the other two have your back for a change.


As a bass player, you obviously already have it ingrained in you to keep the timing and the rhythm. If you are the only guitar player, now your job is to add flavor and interest on top of what they are doing. Dymanics, such as how hard or soft you hit the strings, palm muting, letting notes chords and notes ring, will go a LONG way. Listening and concentrating on the vocals will make it come more natural.


As for the "feel" of the guitar and getting used to it, I might think it will come on it's own pretty quick if you keep it in your hands.


Hope that helps some. Hopefully, a real bass player will leave some thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the quick replies.


I have not had a guitar out of my hands since last Saturday except for yesterday. been trying to get an hour a day at least, (I still have a day gig and a family)


We are doing the three piece power trio thing. 1966 all over again B)


Things I have noticed:


The tips of my fingers on my left hand hurt, while my right hand is fine. Usually its the other way around with blisters on my right hand while I "toughen up".


Bending strings "accurately" is an art in its self. You can get away with a generic "tweak" but hitting a neat tone above takes a lot of practice.


I have a great rhythm section and I can simply not play to let the sound breathe without it sounding too hollow. In fact I do this for 75% of one song


If I pick important notes I want to hit at key moments in a solo, it isn't as important how I get there.


Remembering to change amp settings is something I seem to do after the fact. Getting that smooth, especially when it involves a pickup change, I find awkward.


I have kept things simple as far as equpiment goes. I have two channels to switch from the floor, an overdrive and a Jim Dunlop wah (useful for covering all manner of fluff whilst sounding cool for the uneducated [rolleyes]) I have also left the tuner inline and always on as a cheat for some bends.


The amp rig is a Marshall valvestate combo, I feed a line out into a CBS 74ish bassman 100 into a Gary Nessel quad. I have a 15" i can stick underneath this stack which gives it a lovely warmth, but is probably a bit over the top. Then again my Bass rig cabs is a Peavey 15"+2x8" with an 18" underneath. Pushing it with a custom head and modded Phase Linear 700IIb, I have always liked moving air without being too loud (sounds like an oxymoron)


I guess I am enjoying the experience, a bit like enjoying surviving a car crash.


Please keep the comments comming, I have more opportunities to read then play.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

[scared] Gigs tonight [crying] (I'm in Sydney, +10:00GMT)


We multi-tracked the rehearsals so I could myself some practice tracks. Its helped somewhat, but whats a challenge for me is stuff I never had to worry about playng bass.


There are some arpegiated chord thingys that I have trouble fingering

Getting sounds, tones and levels right between settings.

Remebering where they are needed.

Oh yeah, remembering to tune up from a dropped D between the second and third song in the set. [cursing]


My biggest challenge is I am so used to being comfortable and playing on remote control, I am now back to not being quite as together as I would like to be and much that I leave to the subconcious isn't there.


Still, saves me getting into a rut.


Cheers for all of your posts and well wishes from those who just read.


I have a new appreciation for all of the stuff you 6 string guys have to do. Its a complete new perspective on working with the team.



Link to comment
Share on other sites


All done, and I survived.


Wah pedal connection played up,

Circuit breaker went killing all the stage lights. Couldnt see anything.

Had an axe malfunction


Overall I was a bit more nervous that I hoped, but it was a wierd different nervous [blink]


It didn't sound too bad, but there were a few notes in a few solos that belonged in other solos.........in other songs.........in other keys ](*,)


Would I do it again ? Yeah, probably


I guess in summary it was a humbling experience as opposed to a humiliating one. [blush]


Thanks for taking time out to read and thanks to the two of you who replied


Chris [cool]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found the guitar malfunction....I was just unpacking the "Dingo" and found that there was a pick wedged in the top strings on the first fret [blush] I couldnt see properly with the lights. I must have played two songs on it which was all up past third fret. It wasnt until i hit an open string between songs when I though I was having a tuning issue I noticed that the top E sounded a little wierd. I couldn't work it out so i just put it back in the rack and grabbed something else to finish the night. 8-[


By the way, The dingo is called the dingo because when you strum it up and down it goes ding-go-ding-go-ding-go etc :rolleyes:



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...