Guitar or Bass-Which Should You Choose to Learn?

Choosing the Right Instrument to Play

You love music. In fact, you love it so much that you have decided to learn to play an instrument. You are enamored of both guitar and bass guitar, but you are finding it hard to choose which one to start off with. Well, don’t worry! Today, we are going to go over both choices and help you decide which of these fine instruments will help you achieve your musical vision.

Why guitar?

Guitar is one of the prime instruments of most genres of western music, arguably second only to the piano in terms of importance. Indeed, it is often the backbone of a song or musical piece, providing both the framework and the ornamentation. Another advantage is its extreme portability, especially when we are talking about an acoustic guitar. Bringing a guitar to any event, from a backyard barbecue to an open mic night, adds fun and excitement. Compared to other instruments, they are quite versatile and easy to learn. It is easy to find a good new or used guitar without it setting you back a lot of money.

Why bass?

The bass guitar provides the crucial connection between the melody and the rhythm of a musical piece. It locks in with the drums and percussion and at the same time acts as a partner to the guitar, adding a richness and depth that otherwise simply wouldn’t exist. There is a certain coolness factor to being a bass player, but at the same time, it is understood that the bass is usually, though not always, a support instrument. Put another way, the bassist is the ultimate team player in the band, aptly holding together the other band members’ contributions without much grandstanding.

So…which one?

Still don’t know which one to choose? Let’s address a few commonly held beliefs that are, quite frankly, challengeable.

Don’t let the idea that bass is a support instrument lead you to think that you won’t stand out should you choose to hold down the low end. It is also a fallacy to think that a bass is a much more limiting instrument. There have been many bassists who have disproven these ideas. Sting, Paul McCartney, Jack Bruce, Jaco Pastorius, and many others have proven that a bass can be powerful musical force, even at times a second lead instrument. Truly skilled bassists are a blessing to any band.

Now, let’s address some misconceptions about playing guitar. You do not have to be a virtuoso on the six-string to be successful. You are also not required to be the star of the show every time you pick out a note. In fact, many times it is better to be more of a general support player. So don’t pressure yourself! With either instrument, you can find your balance.

Made your choice yet?

Either instrument would be a good choice, but which is best for you? If you haven’t decided yet, go to a music store and noodle around with a few of each. Stay open minded and the right choice will come.