Is a Bass Guitar Easier to Play Than an Acoustic Guitar?
If you want to learn to play the guitar, the first thing you’ll need to decide is what type you’d like to play. Electric? Acoustic? Bass? Many people wonder if learning to play the bass guitar is easier than learning an acoustic or electric guitar, but the answer often varies depending on who you ask and what you read. Although guitars and bass guitars are similar in many ways, there are some major differences as well. But, just because bass guitars only have four strings and guitars have six doesn’t necessarily mean that bass guitars are easier than acoustic or electric guitars.
In some ways, bass guitars are easier to play, but keep in mind that bass guitars are usually more “physical” than regular guitars. This is because the neck of a bass guitar is longer and the strings are thicker and heavier, which means you have to apply more pressure to create the chords. Overall, the bass guitar is also a little heavier than a regular guitar, so at least for beginners, bass guitars may be a little more difficult to play than a guitar. In the end, though, this question is subjective because some people consider the bass harder to play while others consider it easier.
Some Basics to Consider
We’ve already determined that physically, it is more demanding to play the bass guitar, but what about musically? Let’s face it, guitarists are usually in the forefront of the band’s music, and they can do solos and get a little creative with the music. Bassists are generally there to follow the music more closely and provide good support for the music, making them very valuable but often underappreciated. The role the guitarists play is a varied one, whereas the bassist’s role is a little more predictable. That being said, no band can be successful without a good bass player.
As far as the music itself is concerned, there are easy songs and difficult songs to play, and that applies to both bass guitars and acoustic guitars. The music they publish for one type of guitar isn’t necessarily harder or easier than the other types, so the music you’ll be playing can be easy or very challenging. In addition, bass guitars are plucked or picked, whereas guitars can be strummed or fingerpicked. Bass guitars also tend to be more expensive than guitars are, although that can vary depending on the brand and model.
Which One Should You Learn First?
If you want to make learning the bass guitar a little easier, you might want to learn to play guitar first. Why? Because the bass guitar is very scale-oriented and when you’re learning to play guitar, you’ll indeed learn tons of scales. That being said, if you’d prefer to start simple and build up to more difficult music, you can learn bass guitar first. Bass music is often a tad easier because it consists of basic notes and not very complex rhythms, whereas guitar music is often a little more complex. Whatever you decide, here are some things to ask yourself if you can’t decide which one to learn first:
- Do you like being part of a team?
- Are you okay with not being the center of attention all the time?
- Are you okay with blending in and not being noticed?
- Do you enjoy the rhythm more than the melody of a song?
If your answer to these questions is “yes,” then you’d be a good bass player and you might want to consider learning to play the bass guitar first. If you love being the center of attention, don’t mind learning music theory, and are all set to be a songwriter, then you might be better off learning the guitar first. Neither instrument is particularly more difficult than the other to learn, so it’s really up to you which one you choose to learn first and which one to wait until later to play.
Why Is Bass Guitar Sometimes Easier?
All this being said, there are many people who believe playing the bass guitar is easier than playing either an electric or acoustic guitar. Why? Below are some of the reasons.
- Many people consider finger plucking easier to do than strumming a guitar. Since you don’t strum a bass guitar, you’re simply using your index and middle fingers to pluck strings going upward, which is easier than learning to strum in many ways since strumming styles can vary depending on the music.
- The bass guitar has bigger frets and more spaces in between the strings, which most people consider easier than playing the guitar with their smaller frets and strings that are closer together.
- Chords are a lot less common on the bass guitar than on the guitar. Chords are essential to learn when you want to play the guitar, but on the bass guitar, playing chords is not nearly as commonplace.
This isn’t to say that bass guitar music is always easy. Just like guitar music, music for the bass guitar can be challenging. Of course, challenging music is a great way to improve your playing skills, so you should never consider it something negative.
Conclusion – Is a Bass Guitar Easier to Play Than an Acoustic Guitar
Learning to play the bass guitar is easier in some ways and harder in others. Physically, the bass guitar can be more demanding because it is heavier, has thicker strings, and has a longer neck. Music-wise, the bass guitar can be a little easier because there aren’t nearly as many chords to learn and you don’t have to learn to strum correctly, among other things. But, most importantly, you have to keep in mind that the type of music you wish to play, your love of or aversion to being in the spotlight, and your general preferences and tastes all have a lot to do with the instrument you choose to play in the end.
No one can state positively that either the bass guitar or the guitar is easier or harder to play. But, if you take the things mentioned here into consideration and determine what your goals are when learning music, it’ll be a lot easier to make the right decision that you won’t regret.
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