Bass vs Guitar: Which of Them Will Suit You Most?

The instruments we will be talking about today are very similar in their basic parameters, but very different in their essence. Bass and guitar are the two must-have roles for almost any rock band, which implies the contrast between the devices is major. In the article we will describe the features of both the devices, analyze their pros and cons, take a closer look at their differences and give some advice on choosing a specific model for each of them.

Guitar vs Bass

Guitar Features

Even if you are not a dedicated musician, you know what a guitar is. Generally, it is a six-string chordophone device that requires you to use your fingers to produce sounds. Being the second most popular instrument in the world, it has lots of variations, models and modifications, but today we will be considering an average electric guitar as it will be easier to compare it to bass.

Guitar Pros and Cons

There is one more thing left to clarify, before we can move forward to analyzing the advantages and drawbacks. Today we are comparing guitar and bass, therefore, the points in this section will regard the pros and cons of one over another, not the general benefits and pitfalls. In general, most of the guitar’s advantages come from its popularity. The pros of guitars are:

  • there are more models to choose from;
  • it implies the leading role in a band;
  • it may be played solo;
  • it is easier to transport;
  • the price is averagely lower.

The main drawbacks of guitars are:

  • getting more attention in a band, which might be a benefit as well;
  • may be harder to learn.
Bass vs Guitar

Bass Features

The second of our today’s competitors is also a great instrument to discover. In general, a bass is a large guitar with four strings. It was invented in the 1930’s, but only gained wide popularity in the 50’s. A bassist usually carries the supportive role and does not have solo parts, but in some cases sets the rhythm for the whole song.

Bass Pros and Cons

It might be hard to compare these instruments as they play different roles in music. However, from the perspective of choosing an instrument to learn, there are several objective points to mention about basses. The full list of their advantages over guitars includes:

  • it also plays a crucial role in bands;
  • it puts more focus on the rhythm;
  • there might be more sound opportunities with it;
  • there are more tones to experiment with.

The main cons of bass are:

  • fewer models to choose from;
  • less comfortable to transport;
  • they have an averagely higher price.

The Contrast Between the Two

As you could already understand, there are lots of differences between the two instruments. Some of them were mentioned among pros and cons, but to outline the most important ones, we have prepared a shortlist:

  • Guitars imply a different role.
  • They are played and learned differently.
  • They have more strings and different tuning.
  • They are smaller in size.
  • They are smaller in price.

We have already covered the “role” difference between the two: one offers a leading role, while another implies to be supportive. However, it is not necessarily a drawback of bass: the rhythm usually becomes the core of the music, meaning both of them are essential in a band.

As for playing and learning, it becomes very individual with each of them. Learning the first song might be easier with the bass, though it might get much more complicated, when it comes to creating your own music. Guitars are more popular, meaning there are more guides for self-learning, which might help, but it still depends very much on one’s aims and desires.

Basses commonly have two strings less, however, some models may have up to twelve of them. As for the tuning, it is exactly the same except for the pitch: it is slightly lower with the bass. 

The average scale length for electric guitars is 25″, while bass usually has a scale of around 34”. This difference affects the transportation and the comfort while playing: bass is around 1.5lbs heavier.

As for the price, they obviously vary between models. However, bass is averagely a bit more expensive, especially, when it comes to the models for beginners. 

Comparison Table

To make it more comfortable for our readers to see the difference, we have prepared a comparison table that contains several key characteristics of both the instruments. This table will also help us in the next section, where we will be giving advice on which of today’s devices to choose.

Bass vs Guitar

Guitar type Learning Difficulty Amount of Tutorials Online Average Scale Length Average Price Role in a Band
Guitar Moderate Many 25” $150 Leading
Bass Moderate Moderate 34” $250 Supportive

Which of Them Suits You Most?

Our today’s competitors are quite from the different leagues despite their similarities. As always, the choice is very individual, but here the most important criteria is the role you intend to perform. Guitar will suit more open personalities who are fine with getting attention and being in the spotlight, while bass is for those who enjoy supporting the team.

Best Models for Beginners

There are lots of models to choose from with both of our today’s participants. For the aspiring electric guitar artists we suggest choosing Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012, as it is both a decent model of a good quality from a trusted brand and has an average price of around $200. It might be more expensive than with some other models, but it is one of the best in terms of value for money. It is a right-handed model made of maple and agathis wood, its weight is 12 pounds and its scale length is 25”.

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As for the bass, our suggested model would be Yamaha BB234. The reasons for choosing this specific model are exactly the same: great value for money and the finest quality of product. It is a classic bass with four strings priced around $300. It is made of maple and alder, its scale length is 34” and its weight is around 9 pounds. It is a bit lighter than average, which makes it a perfect choice to start with.


To sum up, we can say that the two instruments are very different regardless of their visual similarities. While looking almost the same, they represent absolutely different roles and styles. It would be pointless to call any of them better than the other, as they are simply different. We think that both of the instruments are amazing and their roles should not be under or overrated. And what are your thoughts? Have you played both of them? Which of them do you prefer? Feel free to join the discussion in the comment section.

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