Is Bass Easier to Play Than Guitar?

The bass is not easier to play than the guitar, it’s just a different instrument with its own set of challenges. The bass guitar sometimes incorrectly has a reputation for being easy to learn when people point out examples of songs with very basic bass lines.

Some find that bass is easier to play, while others find the guitar more simple. It’s all about personal preferences, but as far as the difficulty for each of these instruments, I’d say they’re both equally difficult to master.

However, there are some cases where playing the bass in certain genres will be easier than playing the guitar, but that is more due to the simplicity of the bass lines in those cases. For example, post-rock is an instrumental and ambiental genre, where the bass usually serves as a surface with singular tones stretched out to give a more steady feel of the song, the guitar however, relies on heavy shredding with different effects to create melody. This is just one example of many.

If you’re a beginner looking to take up one of these instruments, I hope I can help you with your decision. To answer this question, we must first delve a bit further into the distinctions between a guitar and a bass. 

The Differences


A guitar has six strings, whereas a bass has four. Even though the guitar has more strings, it still produces a higher pitch because the strings are very thin compared to the bass. The bass, however, has thicker strings, which allows it to produce more of a lower volume. That’s why it’s more of a backbone for each song because it keeps everything in place and emphasizes all of the other instruments.

People might think that because the bass has less strings, It’s automatically easier. But one can’t overlook the fact that the bass strings are way thicker and the neck is stretched out compared to the guitar. Beginners will have a harder time learning to play bass because their fingertips are still tender, and they would need time to adapt to the pressure required on their fingers to play it, as well as hand versatility.


I think a lot of people would say right from the start the bass is easier. But I think that most beginners will find the bass guitar a lot more challenging at the beginning than the guitar.

The first thing to note is that when a beginner starts playing the bass, their fingers aren’t accustomed to the thickness of the strings yet, so they would feel that hardship a lot when starting out. The bass has a lot more weight on it, and one of the first obstacles is to get accustomed to or even hold it as opposed to holding a guitar for the first time because it’s way smaller and far lighter.


The guitar’s playstyle is designed to be the center of attention since it produces higher-pitched tones that are more likely to catch listeners’ attention than the bass. Consider it a front-man for a band since it is the focal point of attention during the performance.

The bass, on the other hand, is more of an accompanying instrument that adds to and emphasizes all of the other instruments to help construct the song to the next level and keep it there. It would just sound emptier without the bass in the song. More simply stated, they’re both critical elements when it comes to song structure.

Knowing this, some people might find that playing in the background better suits their preference. It’s an equally challenging task, without having to worry if you’re the center of attention or not. The goal is the same and it just comes down to what makes you feel more comfortable.


The bass is similar to the guitar, but it has two fewer strings and is played in a lower tuning. The scales, chords, and music theory that you learn on one can also be applied to the other. The two instruments are closely linked. This could very well make your decision easier. When you realize that both of them are closely related, you know that you can have the chance to switch at any point in time if you wish.

The other thing to remember is that these instruments are offered in a variety of versions. A guitar may have more than six strings, and bass can have more than four. But this is only an option to think about since I feel it becomes easier to assess once you grasp the fundamentals of the instrument.

Situations Where the Bass is Easier than the Guitar

There are examples and genres of music where the bass is easier to play than the guitar. For instance, bass in pop music compared to rock music is certainly very different. In pop music, the bass is generally used to keep the song’s tempo and punch. Whereas, in rock music, the bass is more versatile and has more complex consistency.

Depending on the genre of music, there are quite a few instances where you would not need the experience of a veteran to play bass effectively. Some genres require just the basics, with long singular tones, and more plain use of the bass to just uplift the song and give its foundation.
Some require more knowledge on the instrument like in Jazz music, where the bass is carefully crafted with guiding moments and improvisation to bring the song to Its crescendo.

The Choice

The simple answer is nobody can make this decision but you. You have to figure out your personal preference on the matter. To make things simpler, figure out what kind of music you enjoy the most and which parts of a song you like best.

If you prefer guitars, it’s more likely that you’ll play one than if you enjoy drums or bass. If you like a full sound and turn up the bass to hear it more, then you’ll enjoy playing bass even more. It all boils down to personal taste. As I said I don’t think either one is easier to master. But once you figure out which instrument is better for you, and is more fun and interesting to learn, then there’s really no choice to be made. Listen to your instincts and just go with that.


The bass is different from the guitar in a few ways. It has 4 strings, whereas the guitar has 6 strings. It’s also a lot heavier than the guitar which some might find advantageous and some might not. They differ in playstyles as well. The guitar is more center-of-attention oriented and the bass is more an accompanying instrument in most cases.

They both share a really important similarity though. Everything you learn on bass or on guitar, things like scales, chords, and music theory in general, can all be applied to both instruments. That may be an important thing to know when trying to decide which instrument to take up.

The guitar and the bass guitar are two instruments that complement each other. If you enjoy guitar, you’ll likely be playing guitar for a long time. However, if it’s the bass guitar that captures your attention, then you’re most likely to choose bass. Still, there is no reason you can’t switch to guitar anytime you feel like it and vice versa. Nobody can make the decision of guitar vs bass guitar for you but yourself. You have to figure out your personal preferences on the matter and play whatever instrument brings you joy.

Milan Trajkovikj

Milan Trajkovikj

I’m the Deputy Editor for Musician Wave and a touring and recording bass guitarist. I love to share my passion for all things music. I’ve been playing music for over ten years and I love exploring it further through writing. You'll also find me on the Musician Wave YouTube channel.

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