Is bass guitar easy to learn? Is bass harder than guitar? How long does it take to learn the bass guitar? Find out all the answers and more in this blog!
Bass guitar is an often underappreciated instrument. Despite its role in some of the most memorable moments in music, learning the bass is often seen as an easier choice than playing electric guitar.
But we’re here to fight for the bass guitar! We’ll be looking at why you should play the bass guitar, the importance of a good bass line, and why guitar players and other instrumentalists can benefit from getting to grips with some of the basics of bass.
Whether you want to start playing the bass as your first instrument or you’re a guitarist looking to try out something new, we’ve got all of the tips you need for getting started.
Is Bass Guitar Easy to Learn?
If you’re considering learning a new instrument, you might have heard that bass guitar is one of the most beginner-friendly instruments you can go for.
In some ways this is true, but unfortunately there are no instruments that are easy to learn!
Learning to play an instrument takes lots of dedication and practice in order to develop a whole range of different skills - hand strength, theory, rhythm, and more.
On a bass guitar it may be easier to learn how to play some simple songs and jam along with a rock band, however the thicker strings require you to develop greater hand strength, and so it can be more difficult for some people to truly master the instrument.
With that being said, we think that everyone has the ability to learn to play any instrument and make their own music - so if you’re a big fan of low-end then you should definitely consider learning the bass guitar!
Is Bass Harder to Learn than Guitar?
Learning bass is different to learning guitar, but whether you find it more or less difficult depends on your own strengths and preferences.
As we mentioned earlier, bass guitar can be more difficult to get started with due to the heavier strings that some beginners may struggle with compared to guitar strings.
On the other hand, it’s often true that bass guitarists will be able to make quicker progress and play with other musicians or in bands sooner.
This is because, in terms of the basics, guitar can get more complicated quite quickly - chords are used much more frequently on guitar, whereas bass guitarists can often make progress initially by simply playing root notes and developing a solid rhythm foundation.
Those with smaller hands might find learning bass much more difficult than guitar. Conversely, those who struggle with chords might find guitar much harder to learn.
We recommend that complete newbies choose the instrument they like best and find a good teacher or online resource for learning. This will make it easier for you to learn the basic parts that are essential for beginners, and you may even learn some theory or how to read music.
Is Learning Bass Easy if You Know Guitar?
If you can already play an instrument, then learning to play the bass will be much easier for you.
Guitarists in particular will find they’re able to get started with bass due to the fact the standard tunings of the instruments are the same (albeit with 2 less strings on the bass, which is also tuned to an octave lower than the guitar).
Bass guitars are tuned to E-A-D-G, which corresponds with the 4 lowest strings of the guitar. Therefore, any riffs or progressions can be mirrored, and the bass sections can be worked out more easily if you have a pre-existing knowledge of the notes on the fretboard.
How Long Does it Take to Learn the Bass Guitar?
When people are starting to consider learning to play an instrument, they often wonder how long it will take to be able to play it well.
In truth, there is no answer to this question - it all depends on your practice schedule, and what you consider to be a comfortable proficiency on the bass.
Some people see learning an instrument as a lifelong mission, and aim to constantly improve. Others are happy to learn the basics and just want to play along with their favourite songs.
Either way, by following a practice schedule and aiming for 30-60 minutes of playing per day, you could expect to have a good beginner understanding of the bass guitar within 6-12 months.
This will vary depending on if you learn with a tutor or by yourself, but after a certain amount of time you will have a solid understanding of the fundamentals. From this point, you’ll be able to identify your own areas for improvement, and eventually progress to an advanced level at bass guitar.
Learning bass is a hugely rewarding experience that we would recommend to anyone.
First and foremost, bass guitars are massively fun to play, and across a wide selection of genres you can rely on them to provide the most memorable parts - think of songs like ‘Come Together’ by The Beatles or ‘What’s Going On’ by Marvin Gaye, for example.
There are different styles of bass playing to try out, including fingerstyle or with a plectrum, and with each one your skill as a musician will increase.
Whether it’s your first foray into playing an instrument or you’re a musician who is interested in getting to know a little bit more about the bass guitar, we at PMT heartily recommend you try it out for yourself and feel the groove!