If you’ve ever listened to a band and found your head bobbing or your feet tapping, chances are you’re feeling a good bass line. Ever notice that breakdown moment in a song, when all the guitars and vocals cut out, and the bass and drums carry the beat for a few measures before the guitars jump back in? Those are powerful moments when you’ve got a good bass player! Bass guitar isn’t as popular for students to learn as other instruments, but a good bassist will never — and we mean NEVER! — have a hard time finding a band. Bass is an easy instrument to learn initially, as you’ll start with playing single notes rather than learning chords, so you can jump into full songs almost right away! Over time, as your rhythm skills and understanding of chords and melody grows, your bass lines will grow with you.
A good bassist is always in demand!
Bass guitars come in a couple sizes, including short scale, standard, and extra-long scale, and varying numbers of strings (most bass guitars have four strings, but advanced players will often play bass guitars with five or even six strings, which give the bass a lower range). For new students, we recommend the four-string bass, and the short-scale bass size is a good option for students with smaller hands. Basses also come in solidbody and hollowbody. Solidbody (a bass that’s made from a single piece of wood and is not hollow) basses are the most common.
An electric bass needs an amplifier to be heard, so you’ll want a bass amp as well. We’ll have amps you can use at the school, but for online lessons or practicing at home, you’ll need your own. As with all instruments, we recommend you try before you buy, because there are a ton of different kinds of basses! Our Austin students can try out different bass guitars without commitment by renting from places like Rock N Roll Rentals on Burnet Rd, but most cities should offer good rental options with a quick online search.
Note: Did you know that there’s such a thing as a ukulele bass? They’re called a U-bass, and they’re small and cute, with big, soft, rubber strings, tuned the same way as a standard four-string bass. They need to plug into an amp just like other bass guitars, and they have a sound reminiscent of a big stand-up double bass. If this intrigues you, be sure to check local music stores to see how they feel in your hands.