In the realm of music, there’s an age-old debate that has persisted for decades: bass versus guitar. While both instruments are integral to any band setup, there’s a prevailing argument among musicians and enthusiasts alike that the bass holds a superior position.

From its fundamental role in laying down the groove to its underrated complexity and versatility, the bass guitar stands tall as the unsung hero of the band. 

Why Is Bass Better Than Guitar?

In this exploration, we delve into why the bass is not just better than the guitar but an indispensable cornerstone of modern music.

The Foundation of the Groove:

At the heart of any musical composition lies the rhythm, and the bass guitar serves as its sturdy foundation.

Unlike the guitar, which often takes the spotlight with flashy solos and melodic leads, the bass operates in the background, anchoring the entire sound with its deep, resonant tones. It’s the driving force behind the groove, dictating the pulse of the music and keeping everything in sync.

Consider iconic basslines like those in “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson or “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen. These timeless classics owe much of their infectious rhythm and groove to the bass guitar. Without it, the songs would lose their backbone, sounding hollow and incomplete.

Versatility Beyond Expectations:

While the bass is traditionally associated with providing the low-end foundation in music, its versatility extends far beyond its stereotypical role. Modern bassists have pushed the boundaries of the instrument, exploring a wide range of techniques and styles that rival those of their six-string counterparts.

From slap bass and tapping to fretless and double bass techniques, the possibilities are virtually endless. Bassists like Victor Wooten and Jaco Pastorius have revolutionized the instrument, showcasing its melodic potential and virtuosic capabilities.

In the hands of a skilled player, the bass can soar to heights previously thought unreachable, rivalling the guitar in terms of complexity and expression.

Harmonic Depth and Richness:

While the guitar may boast a wider range of notes and chords, the bass guitar offers a depth and richness of tone that is unparalleled. Its low-frequency resonance adds warmth and texture to the music, filling out the sonic spectrum and providing a solid foundation for other instruments to build upon.

In a band setting, the interplay between the bass and guitar is crucial for creating dynamic arrangements. The bass fills the spaces between the guitar chords, adding depth and dimension to the overall sound.

Additionally, the rhythmic synchronization between the two instruments forms the basis of the band’s cohesion, ensuring that every note and beat is perfectly aligned.

The Unsung Hero of the Band:

Despite its vital role in shaping the sound of modern music, the bass guitar often takes a backseat to its more glamorous counterpart, the electric guitar. While guitarists bask in the limelight with flashy solos and stage antics, bassists toil away in the shadows, content to hold down the fort and keep the rhythm steady.

However, this humble demeanour belies the true importance of the bass guitar. Without it, the music would lack depth and direction, floating aimlessly without a solid foundation to support it. It’s time to give credit where credit is due and acknowledge the invaluable contribution of the bassist to the band’s sound.

Benefits Of Learning Bass First Than Learning Guitar

Learning the bass guitar before the guitar offers several unique advantages that can greatly benefit aspiring musicians. Here are some of the key benefits of learning bass first:

Establishing a Strong Rhythmic Foundation: 

The bass guitar’s primary role is to provide the rhythmic foundation of a band’s sound. By learning bass first, musicians develop a strong sense of timing, groove, and rhythm, which are essential skills for any musician. This solid rhythmic foundation can then be applied when learning other instruments, including the guitar.

Understanding the Role of Each Instrument: 

Learning bass guitar first helps musicians understand the distinct roles of different instruments within a band. Bassists learn how to interact with drummers and other rhythm section players, as well as how to complement the melody and harmony provided by other instruments.

This understanding of musical dynamics and interplay is valuable when transitioning to guitar or any other instrument.

Enhanced Ear Training:

Bassists develop keen listening skills as they focus on locking in with the drummer and other band members. They learn to recognize chord progressions, intervals, and rhythmic patterns, which contribute to their overall musicality. This ear training translates well to learning guitar, as it helps musicians identify melodies, chords, and harmonies more easily.

Building Finger Strength and Dexterity: 

Playing the bass guitar requires strength and dexterity in the fingers, as well as coordination between the hands. By starting with the bass, musicians develop the necessary finger strength and agility that can later be applied to playing guitar.

This can help guitarists overcome some of the initial physical challenges associated with fretting chords and playing complex melodies.

Grasping Fundamental Music Theory Concepts: 

Bass guitarists often have a solid understanding of fundamental music theory concepts, such as scales, modes, and chord progressions. These concepts are integral to playing bass effectively and can serve as a strong foundation for learning guitar later on.

Additionally, bassists often have a deeper appreciation for the importance of rhythm and groove in music, which influences their approach to playing guitar.

Transitioning to Guitar with Ease: 

Once musicians have mastered the bass guitar, transitioning to guitar becomes more manageable. Many of the skills acquired while learning bass, such as finger strength, rhythm, and ear training, directly translate to playing guitar.

Additionally, bassists often have a unique perspective on guitar playing, allowing them to approach the instrument with fresh ideas and creativity.

Overall, learning bass guitar before guitar provides aspiring musicians with a solid foundation in rhythm, ear training, finger strength, and music theory.

These skills not only enhance their ability to play bass effectively but also facilitate a smoother transition to learning guitar and other instruments in the future. If you want to be a bassist, try out some lessons here at bass lessons melbourne. 


In the ongoing debate between bass and guitar, there’s no denying the unique appeal and importance of the bass guitar. From its foundational role in laying down the groove to its versatility and harmonic richness, the bass stands tall as a powerhouse instrument in its own right.

While the guitar may steal the spotlight, it’s the bass that holds the band together, ensuring that the music remains grounded and groove-worthy. So the next time you find yourself immersed in a catchy melody or infectious rhythm, take a moment to appreciate the unsung hero of the band—the mighty bass guitar.