Saying that if you can play a Electric guitar means that you can play a bass guitar is like saying that: if you can play a Cello you can play a violin. Which is wrong, yes you should be able to play something, because of the tuning to be a like, but the play style and the place and job in the band / Orchestra is very different almost totally different.
Guitar Vs. Bass
The Guitar is one octave higher than the bass and is therefore easier to mix notes and make chords, because the sound will be much brighter and clearer than the bass. As the bass often just makes a blurry dark sound. Don’t take me wrong, you can mix notes with the bass, you just need to know what you’re doing. (Personally, I mix notes all the time but that’s my play style. Often 5th’s and octaves)
The guitar has also a smaller neck then the electrical bass and its therefore shorter space between each fret. This makes it easier to move your fingers.
The most common bass is the 4 string bass, as a beginner you don’t need more strings. But advanced players sometimes got the urge for more:P the most common option then is one or two extra strings. A 5 string bass (usually, not in my case) adds a dark B string. Needed for metal or heavy rock riffs. A 6 string bass adds a low B string and a high C string. I haven’t heard about two lighter or darker strings. You can also get a 12 15 or 18 stringed bass, but it’s really as a 4, 5 or 6 stringed bass that has the same concept as the 12 stringed guitar but only with two extra strings per main string. I don’t really know the tuning of the extra strings only that it’s higher. Probably a 5th or an octave higher.
Another bass type is the fretless bass. The fretless bass don’t have any frets (the thin metal lines that makes you hit the exact note.) its like a contrabass, cello or violin. This gives it a mush smoother sound, and not the solid sound that the frets generates. Its also harder to play, ‘cause you need to place your fingers quite exactly to make the right not, but it’s not hard to learn, you just need to get used to it. This bass type is often used in Jazz music, but I’ve seen it in most music genres. Even a disco riff that “Frank Zappa And The Mother” made.
Acoustic Basses are also available but good ones costs a lot and still doesn’t work good in a band. (Feedback, Badsound etc.) But as an instrument for use home alone its great, gives a great feeling.
The Bass players Job
Well this is my opinion, some bass players may disagree. The bass is not a solo instrument as the guitar, its not meant to do the same as the solo guitarist. Although bass solos are awesome.
I always listen to the drums and guitars and try to be a link between them. And from that point I try to make song more interesting.
Guitarist plays D C B A
I Play D E B A not every time, but I try to wary it.
The E gives the round a new feeling, which makes the riff more interesting.
Instead of playing each note for example four times you can do this.
The next Example I will show in a tab how to read a tab go here
http://mxtabs.net/content.php? (splitted) file=Reading_Guitar_and_Bass_Tabs
It depends on the genre you’re playing.
at last you can also play with a pick which if you want an even harder sound much more trebled sound. But gives you a more steadier rhythm if you play on note multiple times. Personally, I prefer fingering technique. I feel more free, more “in touch with the sound” :P and pick bass is for wimps :P
Here is a nifty little video with stu Hamm a Great Bass player.
http://video.google.com/videoplay? (splitted) docid=1158095372160188114&q=ba (splitted) ss+playable%3Atrue
I'm glad for any questions so feel free to Mail me. Basshoe@gmail or firstname.lastname@example.org
Btw I had to split the links to post it, you'll figure it out
Bass guitar players are not Dull people, some of them just stands in the shadow of the solo guitar.
guitar players tend to belive that their Jimi Hendrix just because they can the Nothing Else Matters solo. lol, noobs
Turn up the Bass