Learning bass guitar seems to be easier than learning other guitars due to its fewer strings. Besides, there is no chord playing needed when you learn bass guitar. But like learning any other skill, learning bass guitar also takes time and effort.
On average, a person new to the bass guitar will need about 6 months to know the basic playing techniques. Then, to move from beginner level to intermediate level, it will take you about 1-3 years.
If you want to completely master the bass guitar, you have to spend about 9-10 years or even a lifetime learning.The learning time also depends on many factors. Let's find out what affects the bass guitar learning time, and how to learn bass guitar fast.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Bass Guitar?
There is no fixed learning time for bass guitar because it depends on each person. If you haven’t got any knowledge about music, you need to spend time learning some music basics first.
Then, to grasp the bass guitar basic techniques, it will take you about 6 months.
After about 1 year of learning, you can practice with your bass more comfortably. Those who practice hard can now reach the intermediate level.
Some others may need 1-2 more years to be able to play some songs with complex rhythmic patterns. If you aim to be an intermediate-level bassist, you just need a bit more time to practice.
But if you want to completely master the bass guitar, you will have to spend more years learning.
On average, with 3 hours practicing per day, you will need 9-10 years to master all bass guitar techniques. Some people have to spend a lifetime to be master bass guitar players.
At this stage, no bass line can make it difficult for you. Only a few people can reach this level and they can go for any gigs around the world.
What Affects The Bass Guitar Learning Time?
Generally, the bass guitar learning time will vary depending on each person. Some can grasp the basic techniques within several months while others need years to learn.
Some factors can affect the bass guitar learning time. They are the musical background, age, keenness, and type of music.
People who have experience in playing guitar or other string instruments will learn bass guitar faster than newbies. With the basic musical knowledge, it's easier for them to learn a new musical instrument.
But having a musical background just means you have a better start. It still takes a lot of time and practice to master the bass guitar.
It tends to take adults and older people longer to learn bass guitar than teenagers and children. Because younger people have better manual dexterity and sense of music.
But this doesn't mean that you can't learn bass guitar if you are old. You may have to make more effort, but it's never too late to learn a musical instrument.
How much you dedicate to learning bass guitar will also determine the learning time. When you are keen on the bass guitar, you will spend more time learning and practicing. In this way, you can master the bass faster.
Type of music
Some types of music like funk, blues, or metal may be easier to play for most bass guitarists. But the difficulty level of a music genre depends on its familiar level to you.
Thus, you can learn bass guitar faster if you play a familiar genre.
Is Bass Guitar Easy To Learn?
It's hard to say whether learning a musical instrument is easy or difficult because it depends on each person. An absolute beginner will find it difficult to learn.
Even those who play the guitar can't say that learning bass is easy. The regular guitar and bass guitar are different from each other.
But in general, learning bass guitar is a bit easier than learning regular guitar. Because bass guitars have 2 fewer strings than other guitars, you will find it simpler to pluck.
But you still need to know the basic music theory and have a good sense of rhythm. When you meet these requirements, you will find the bass guitar quite manageable. You can consult video below if you are a bassist beginner.
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Different Methods To Learn Bass Guitar
You can choose among many ways to learn how to play bass guitar. Some people prefer to self-study bass guitar at home. Others sign up for bass guitar classes. Below are 4 common ways to learn this instrument.
Learn through books and manuals
Learning through books and manuals is the traditional learning method that many people still use.
You can find bass guitar instruction manuals at your local bookstores or libraries. Besides, there are many ebooks available online for you to choose from.
This learning method is suitable for people who have some experience in playing string instruments. The advantage of learning through books is that you can learn every time.
Ebooks also allow you to read everywhere via your smartphone. Moreover, learning through books and manuals is an inexpensive method.
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Learn by watching tutorial videos online
You can also watch tutorial videos to know how to play the bass guitar. But to learn this way, you should have some basic musical knowledge.
There are many videos from professional bassists on different websites. Some of them are free while some others will cost you a fee to access.
When learning through tutorial videos, you can watch and follow the guidance. It's better to try to mimic the style of the bass player in these videos. Remember to choose the videos of people who are recognized as bass experts.
Sign up for a bass guitar class
If you don't want to learn bass guitar by yourself, you can sign up for a class. By the instructions of the teacher, you can grasp the playing techniques more quickly.
Besides, there are many bass guitar classes for beginners. So, you can start learning without preparing any knowledge about music.
Practicing with other students also makes your learning time more interesting. However, this learning method will cost you more than self-study methods.
Hire a private bass tutor
Learning bass guitar with a private tutor is the most effective learning method.
Whether you already have a music background or don't know anything about bass guitar, this method will make you progress quickly. The tutor will give you a step-by-step guide, and check your practice.
Learning with a tutor means that you will have to stick to a fixed learning process. You need to pay more attention and practice harder.
Besides, it's quite expensive to hire a private bass guitar tutor. But your progress won't make you regret it. You can also receive many useful tips from your tutor to get your skills better.
How To Choose A Suitable Bass Guitar
Before starting any bass guitar lesson, you should have a suitable bass guitar. The right bass can help you learn more easily and effectively. Below is what you should consider when choosing a bass guitar.
Size of the bass
For beginner bassists, a short-scale bass guitar is a good choice. This bass has a short neck of 30 inches so you can manage it more easily.
Besides, short-scale basses are lightweight. So, they can reduce the risk of back or shoulder pain when you practice for a long time.
Number of strings
The most commonly used bass guitars have 4 strings. There are also basses with 5 or 6 strings, but normally the bassist rarely uses these extra strings. Having more strings makes the bass's neck wider.
So, the 5 and 6-string bass guitars are more difficult to handle. For your first bass guitar, a 4-string one will be better.
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Different basses will give different tones, so you can consider your tone preference to pick the right bass. Some bass guitars have a warm tone, while some others provide a rumbling tone.
You can also replicate the tone of an electric bass by using the right amp and pedals.
Fretted or fretless bass
Frets mark the location of notes on the neck of the bass to help the bassist play more easily. Fretless bass guitars will be difficult to play if you aren't familiar with the fretboard. So, beginners should have a fretted bass.
The price of bass guitars varies depending on brands and types. But with about $200-$250, you can have a good bass guitar that can last for years. You can consider your budget to get a suitable bass and other accessories.
Some Tips For Beginners In Learning Bass Guitar
Learning bass guitar is not simple, but it will be easier if you have a proper practicing plan. Here are some tips to help you learn the bass more easily and effectively.
Start learning the basics first
When it comes to learning bass guitar, beginners should start from the basics. Especially if you are new to music, you will need to know music theory first.
Then, you can start learning the basic techniques such as playing single notes or picking skills.
Skipping the basics and jumping to difficult skills can't help you learn the bass faster. On the contrary, learning this way will make you confused and waste more time.
When practicing, you should focus on listening to what you play and the sound you make. If the notes are unsteady in tone or timing, you need to make some adjustments.
Have an appropriate practicing plan
It's better to set a plan and schedule for practicing bass guitar every day. Initially, you should start with a short practice time of about 30 minutes per day.
Then, you can gradually increase the practice time. Make sure that you commit to your daily practicing plan.
Besides playing your bass, you can do some other activities related to your learning. In this way, your practicing session will be more beneficial.
Vary your music genres and styles
Playing your familiar music genre or style can help you learn bass guitar easier. But you can try some other genres or styles. To become an excellent bassist, it's necessary to be able to play varied music genres and styles.
Record what you play
When you play, you should record your playing by a tape recorder or recording app on your phone. After that, you can listen to your recording to check the quality of your playing.
This tip can help you realize your mistakes when playing and improve your playing skills.
Get advice from experts
If you learn bass guitar with a tutor or in a class, you can get advice from the teacher or tutor. They will show you practical ways to improve your playing skills.
Your friends who are good at bass guitar can also give you useful advice. Besides, it's better to play with a band since you will have many experts to learn from.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to learn bass guitar with a teacher or tutor?
You can learn bass guitar by yourself without any support from a teacher or tutor. Books or online tutorial videos, or other sources of knowledge can help you learn bass guitar.
But self-learning requires you far more time and effort than learning with a teacher or tutor.
To be successful in self-learning bass guitar, you will need to have some musical background first. So, if your music knowledge is zero, it's better to learn with an expert.
Which items are necessary to learn bass guitar?
The most important thing you need is a suitable bass guitar. Then, you will need an amp to amplify the sound from your bass. Also, an instrument cable is indispensable to connect your bass to the amp.
Besides, an adjustable bass guitar strap will help you secure the position of your bass when playing. Some other useful accessories are the digital tuner, headphones, and effect pedal.
Can I learn bass guitar with a 5 or 6-string bass?
If you are a beginner, it's better to start with a 4-string bass guitar. Using this bass will help you avoid getting confused with the key placement. When you are at a higher level, you can try basses with more strings.
Hopefully, you are clear about how long it takes to learn bass guitar. If you want to learn this instrument, you should set a goal for your learning.
Don't forget to have fun in your learning time and practice hard. We hope that you will be a professional bassist as you desired.
Thank you for reading!