Differences Between the Bass and Electric Guitar

Differences Between the Bass and Electric Guitar

Bass guitars and electric guitars both serve an important purpose in any band, and they complement one another regardless of the type of songs being played. Electric guitars do a lot of solos and add conspicuous-sounding melodies and notes to each song, while bass guitars tend to add to the rhythm or the harmony of the song.

Both are necessary for songs to sound right, but there are some differences between the two. And these differences are important if you’re trying to determine which one you should learn to play first.

The main differences between bass and electric guitars include the number of strings: bass guitars have four while electric guitars have six; electric guitars are smaller and have lighter strings than bass guitars; and the overall sound between the two. While electric guitarists play a lot of chords and a variety of notes, bass guitarists perform very few chords and play notes that are much lower.

The size and shape, as well as the sound of the two instruments, are all different, and you even play them differently because you can both strum and fingerpick the guitar, whereas bass guitars are only picked or plucked.

Differences Between the Bass and Electric Guitar

What Are Some Of The Challenges?

When you first learn to play an instrument, there are going to be challenges, but the challenges are different depending on whether you’re playing a bass guitar or an electric one. Some people believe that since there are fewer strings on a bass guitar, this type of guitar is easier to play, but that depends on who you ask.

Bass guitars also tend to be larger and have thicker strings than electric guitars, which are smaller and have lighter strings, so playing bass can actually be a little more difficult in the beginning. Of course, to get good at playing the notes, both of these guitars require a lot of practice and persistence.

One challenge for both electric and bass guitar is that you’ll likely have to learn music theory and how to properly navigate the fretboard, although music theory is often learned only by guitarists and not bassists. Scales and chords are also more commonly performed on electric guitars than they are on bass guitars, although you’ll benefit from learning these things with both of the guitars.

Many people believe that the music written for the bass guitar is a bit boring and less creative, but this doesn’t have to be the case because many bass guitarists can get very creative with their instruments.

person playing white and black bass guitar

Using And Transporting The Guitars

If your ultimate goal is to be in a band someday, the way you carry and transport your guitar is important and will vary depending on which type of guitar you own. Both the bass and electric guitar are easy to carry around and transport, although you should keep in mind that since bass guitars are heavier, they might take a bigger toll on your back every time you play them.

Bass guitars are also bigger than electric guitars, so when you store them or place them in a bag or bass guitar case, you’ll need more space and even a bigger car if you’re already going to different gigs.

If you go on different gigs, transporting your instrument properly is crucial. Rather than a bag, a hard-shell guitar case is recommended because if you’re going to be transporting the instrument from one location to another on a regular basis, your guitar needs to be as protected as possible.

And since hard-shell cases are usually larger than bags, this means that the guitar will take up more space in your vehicle, which is an important tip to remember. A case made for an electric guitar won’t take up as much room and shouldn’t affect the size of the vehicle you drive.

white and black bass guitar on black guitar stand beside black Fender guitar amplifier

Making Music

One of the main differences between bass guitars and electric guitars is the number of strings they use, but don’t assume that all bass guitars have four strings. While electric guitars have six strings, many acoustic guitars have twelve, and there are bass guitars that have five strings and even more.

While very rare, some bass guitars have six, seven, or even eight strings. The number of strings a guitar has is going to affect the way you play that guitar, and here is yet another difference between the bass guitar and the electric guitar.

When you’re making music, the bass guitar is usually plucked, rarely strummed, with the index and middle fingers. The strings are plucked in an upward motion, which produces the sound you hear. And while you occasionally see bass guitar players play with a pick, this is not very common.

On the other hand, electric guitars can be picked or strummed and used with or without a guitar pick. In other words, when it comes to how you make music with the bass guitar versus the electric guitar, the physical actions you take are very different.

brown bass guitar

Conclusion – Differences Between the Bass and Electric Guitar

Bass guitars and electric guitars are both fun to play and help you unleash your creativity and enjoy yourself in the meantime. While there are numerous differences between these two types of guitars, the main difference is the fact that bass guitars, as a general rule, have four strings that play low notes only and electric guitars that have six strings that play a variety of notes.

Bass guitars are also bigger and heavier and are plucked or fingerpicked, while electric guitars can be either strummed or picked and are smaller and lighter.

Learning to play either of these types of guitars can be a challenge at first, but when you practice regularly you’ll get better at it in no time. Both guitars require practice in order to improve your skills, but the skills you’ll learn with each of them vary somewhat.

Neither guitar is particularly hard to play, nor are they super easy to play, but regular practice helps you sound like a pro before you know it. And it’s good to know the differences and similarities between the two guitars before you choose the one that is right for you.

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