Every instrument has its myths. The biggest myth of any instrument is that none of them are easy to become great it. Every instrument requires time and effort, but it’s not impossible! You can do it.
As a bass player, I’ve had plenty of friends who were interested in learning bass, but they have had many excuses as to why they haven’t picked it up yet. I want to tell you that you can play ANYTHING. Here are a few myths that prevent people from playing bass:
1. YOU CAN'T PLAY MELODIES ON BASS
I know many people who fear bass because they believe you can only play in the background. Not true! There are a ton of bass players out there who play bass as the lead instrument of the band, especially in funk music! Victor Wooten is a great example of this. He plays tons of bass solos and is a bass guitar master!
2. BASS IS A LOT EASIER THAN GUITAR
This common thought that a lot of musicians have. Playing “basic bass” and playing “basic guitar” are two very different things. Here’s something you probably didn’t know: you can play chords on bass. You can also play basslines on guitar. The instruments can both do the same things, some things just sound better on bass and some on guitar.
3. YOU HAVE TO PRESS BASS STRINGS TOO HARD
While you do have to press bass a slight bit harder to make them ring, you don’t have to beat your hand up in order to achieve the right sound. A lot of people think you have to mash your finger on the string in order to get it right. Don’t do this! Simply place your finger right on top of the fret, press with a decent amount and bam! There it is.
4. SLAP BASS IS IMPOSSIBLE TO LEARN
Slap bass (also known as funky bass, slap and pop) is another thing that stops people from learning bass. Slap bass is super cool sounding and the ability to do it very well requires time, practice and patience. But slapping isn’t the hardest thing to learn. Just focus, be patient, listen to your teacher and keep at it!
I am not by any means saying that slap bass is easy to learn, or anything for that matter, but it’s certainly not impossible. Repetition is key, so don’t be afraid to fail and try again!
5. BASS CAN'T GET ANYONE'S ATTENTION
If you have heard or believe this, see number four. Bass can be a huge attention grabber! Believe it or not, a funky and groovy bassline is what can make or break an awesome song. Imagine “Another one Bites the Dust” by Queen without that killer bassline in the song! It just wouldn’t work! Bass and drums can be what gets the heads boppin and the hips shakin’!
To all of you who are thinking about playing bass but are being held back by a myth, don’t be afraid! Dive in and keep on playing; you will get good!
Lorenzo H. is a RockHome Instructor that specializes in piano, guitar, and voice in Denver, CO. He is a performer and educator that is passionate about spreading awareness on all the positive benefits music has to offer. Lorenzo also contributes to the popular music blog milehimusic.com.
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