Guitar or Bass Guitar: How to Determine the Better Instrument to Learn


Guitar or bass guitar? How do you decide which instrument to learn? Looking to start a band? Unless you have a fantastic voice, you're going to need to learn an instrument of some sort. It will take time and patience to make it happen, but if that's the dream, then go for it! Most rock bands have a vocalist, guitarist or two, bassist, and drummer, with some also featuring a keyboardist if that’s their vibe. Drums? Definitely not for everyone – they do take up kind of a lot of space at home. This is why you may decide that the guitar is the only way to go. After all, everyone wants to be the lead guitarist! But then, bass guitarists have skills, too…so how to decide which one to pick up?



Who is the most important band member?

One thing that may help you decide what to learn is the recent emergence of a study that seems to prove that bassists, not guitarists, are the most key member of a rock band. We know that's so crazy! However, it seems that from a scientific perspective, the ‘rhythmic information' comes from the ‘lowest voice,' or the bass, and the ‘melodic information' by the ‘highest voice,' or the lead guitar. 

The study showed that listeners are more easily able to tell when lower instruments are ‘off the rhythm.' This means that if you play bass, especially in genres like rock, metal, or blues, your audience is more likely to start moving and grooving to you than the guitarist, no matter how slick they are.

Still want to learn to play the guitar?

Now, all this may be true, but let's be real here. The bassist might be the most ‘important,' but guitarists are usually the front and center in rock bands. If you still want to learn, Trusty Guitar’s method covers everything you need to know, and a bit more, besides! 

Like most instruments, the earlier you can start learning, the better. But then, if you're planning a casual music career based out of your garage and the occasional local stage, you're probably good to go no matter what your age is.

Choosing your guitar

Just as important as deciding which instrument you want to learn is choosing your actual instrument. It's not just a case of grabbing the first, or the cheapest guitar you see off the rack and taking it home. While keeping the cost reasonable is an excellent idea as a beginner, you do still need to make a good choice to make learning a good experience. Visit your local guitar store and ask questions. Try a few out. You'll know the right one as soon as you pick it up.

Recruiting your team

No band is an island, and that means even the sickest guitarists need members to complete their line up. It may be that you already have a bunch of people in mind, but if not, there are plenty of places you can recruit. Try putting up flyers around your neighborhood, or anywhere that puts on local shows, as those audiences are undoubtedly huge music fans. Convenience stores may also help you out if you get stuck.

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