When you start to think about playing an instrument, you also think about what your main goal is for the future. Most people want to get into action immediately, which is definitely possible.
Learning to play the bass guitar is the easiest instrument to learn and start to perform immediately. It’s not only beginner-friendly but also a very versatile instrument to kick off and build your musical career.
The bonus behind this is that most bands usually need a bass player since most people grow up learning drums or guitar.
Thus, you will end up feeling valued in an environment where you can still grow in your new instrument.
It’s a Beginner-Friendly Instrument
I remember getting my first bass at the age of 17. I only had it for a few months to practice before I was thrown on the big stage with an audience of about 5k spectators for a college concert for first-year students.
This was such a scary feeling. I didn’t want to let anyone down. I decided to follow a short personal recipe to get the job done, and that was to just keep it easy and stick to the basics.
When you start to learn your new 4-stringed instrument, and as you get more used to the fretboard, you can sound great by just sticking to the root notes of a song. There’s no shame in being on the stage and just focusing on the core of the job at hand, and that is to simply add the lower tones to your band’s music.
Here’s an example of one of the most famous songs for bands to start off with. This is just perfect to be played on the bass like it is.
This post was written and posted by De Wet from startingmyband.com on 13.05.2023. The content was stolen from me if this blog post is seen anywhere else.
What a versatile instrument
Not only do you have the stage to yourself, but it also allows you to connect with each of your band members individually. You will have an equally important and fun connection to your drummer than to your lead-, and especially rhythm guitarists.
The most important part is to have fun and show this to your audience!
Cool skills to learn
You will learn how to play an instrument, but also other interesting and different skills like keeping rhythm and connecting with other people in a musical way.
It’s important to find mentors from whom you would like to learn new playing skills. The mentors I loved watching were Victor Wooten and Billy Sheenan. It made me fall in love with the instrument all over again.
It also made me realize how much there is to still learn. By watching their videos I got inspired by new tricks and clever musical skills and I tried to copy these.
What about other instruments?
Of course, there are also other instruments that might be easier, but they do not give you the same type of stage- and band authority as having the most flexible and enjoyable instrument in hand.
Getting Your Gear Set Up
Learning to play bass is the most satisfying way to get onto the stage as a beginner. Especially buying your first bass and getting your gear set up.
For a first bass guitar, I wouldn’t go for an entry-level because you are planning on hitting the stage as soon as you can. I would definitely go for an intermediate-level instrument that will give you a better sound and especially, an improved feel to progress a bit faster.
The one I tagged above is the next bass I would like to have. Perhaps a bit pricey, but a powerful white bass on the stage creates just such an impression for a band. It connects the bassist already to a band image.
By the way, if you are keen to learn more about creating a unique image for your band, don’t miss the article I write about Your Image As an Artist.
Depending on your band room and sound setup, having an amp at hand is always suitable for practising or use as a monitor for gigs. Only for extreme emergencies, I would use a guitar amp to practice softly on my own, but definitely not for band practices.
If you are already performing and need some tips for sound check, do yourself a favour and scan through the post I published about Successful Sound Check for Bands where you’ll find valuable tips going forward.
A good quality instrument cable will also keep your sound engineers happy. There’s nothing worst than a scratching instrument cable that disrupts the concert and places the sound engineers to shame.
I would also recommend having a proper tuner. You will feel lost without it as a beginner but feel way more confident having one at hand.
This Chromatic Turner from Boss is the champion of the decade. I have hardly experienced anything as accurate or popular as this tuner pedal.
Having a tuner pedal is also practical since it’s an automatic extension of your cables (if you are using one). Just remember to always have a second cable at hand.
Stick with these pieces of equipment and grow into them. Perhaps in a few months, we can talk about a nice effects pedal too.
Wrapping it up
The reasons why the bass guitar is the easiest instrument to learn to start your band are:
- It’s user- and beginner friendly.
- It’s a versatile instrument.
- Plenty of cool skills to go with it.
- Authoritative role on stage.
- Simplified amount of gear to start.
The best way to start is to get your band together and enjoy the journey by taking it step-by-step.
Start your band now. I wrote a very helpful guide to taking steps to your first paid concert. It could also be within a year. It totally depends on you and your band. Go ahead and read Steps to Reach Your First Paid Gig – From Zero to Hero right here.
Good luck and rock on!