Bass vs Guitar: Pick Your Axe


Lets delve into the world of bass and guitars, and uncover their differences, similarities, and distinct roles in music. If you’re torn between choosing a bass vs guitar, stick around; this could be the guide for you.

What is a Bass vs Guitar?

The bass guitar, often simply known as the ‘bass,’ is a stringed instrument designed to provide the rhythmic and harmonic foundation for a musical ensemble. It resembles an electric guitar but has a longer neck and scale length with four to six thick strings.

What is a Guitar?

A guitar is a stringed instrument with typically six strings, played by strumming or plucking. Guitars are versatile and prevalent across various music genres, from rock to blues, country to pop.

Structure of a Bass vs Guitar

Bass guitars have a longer neck and scale length, usually around 34 inches, and the strings are thicker compared to a guitar. The longer neck and heavier strings create the deep, rich tones basses are known for.

Structure of a Guitar

Guitars have a shorter neck and thinner strings, typically making them lighter than bass guitars. This design facilitates the guitar’s higher pitch and versatility in playing both chords and melodies.

Sound of Bass vs Guitar

Bass and guitar produce different types of sound due to their structure and function. A bass guitar provides low-end sound, serving as the rhythmic and harmonic bedrock for a song. On the other hand, a guitar produces a wide range of notes and can play chords, melodies, and solos, often driving the song’s melody.

Role in a Band: Bass

In a band, a bassist is the glue that holds the rhythm and harmony together. They work closely with the drummer to set the song’s tempo and create a ‘groove.’ Bass lines often go unnoticed by casual listeners but are crucial in making a song feel ‘right.’

Role in a Band: Guitar

The guitar, either acoustic or electric, is often front and center in a band, especially in rock, pop, and country genres. They take up the task of playing the melody, layering harmonies, and often play the identifiable riffs and solos.

Difficulty Level: Bass vs Guitar

Contrary to popular belief, neither the bass nor the guitar is inherently easier to learn than the other. The bass may have fewer strings, but it requires precision and a keen sense of rhythm. Guitars, with their chords and quicker finger movements, also present unique challenges. Your choice should be based on your musical interests, not perceived difficulty.

Best Bass Guitars for Beginners

Fender American Performer Precision Bass:

This model provides a rounded tone perfect for various styles, from rock to jazz.

Ibanez GSRM20 Mikro Short-Scale Bass Guitar:

This is a compact and light bass perfect for younger players or those with smaller hands.

Best Guitars for Beginners

Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar:

This is a great entry-level acoustic guitar with high-quality sound and build.

Squier by Fender Affinity Series Stratocaster Electric Guitar:

A solid and affordable option for those wanting to venture into the world of electric guitars.

Conclusion: Bass vs Guitar – Which One to Pick?

In conclusion, the choice between bass and guitar should be based on your musical preference and the role you want to play in a band. Both instruments offer unique experiences and challenges, so choose the one that sings to your soul!


1. Can I switch from guitar to bass or vice versa?

Absolutely! While they are different instruments, they do share some similarities. Skills learned on one can be transferred to the other to some extent, but each also requires unique techniques and understanding.

2. Do bassists have fewer opportunities than guitarists?

Not at all. While guitarists may seem more prominent, bassists are in high demand. Every band needs a good bassist to create a balanced, rhythmic sound.

3. Can I learn both guitar and bass?

Yes, you can. In fact, learning both instruments can make you a more versatile and in-demand musician.

4. Which one is more expensive, bass or guitar?

The cost varies widely based on brand, model, and whether it’s an acoustic or electric instrument. In general, beginner instruments for both bass and guitar can be found at similar price points.

5. Which is better for solo performances, bass or guitar?

While traditionally the guitar has been the go-to for solo performances, there are no strict rules. Solo performances on the bass, while less common, can be incredibly impactful and unique.

Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis

I initially stared out to build a website around something I enjoy. But it has turned into a labor of love. Reconnecting me with knowledge I had forgotten or never learned. I hope it inspires and enlightens others.

More to Explore