Vidja Game Muzak

I was recently introduced to the Extra Credit series over the The Escapist. They have an excellent and growing library of videos investigating video games as one would an art form, critiquing and deconstructing the technology, tropes and culture surrounding games. I can only say how awesome this is so many times, so go watch it. I was introduced to it via their episode on Female Characters after doing some serious reading and thinking about my friend Anna's blog Go Make Me A Sandwich.

Another OUTSTANDINGLY good episode is this one. Seriously.

But on to what this blog post is actually about, they have an episode about Video Game Music. It hits me on all the right levels. Their points are very similar to the sort of arguments I made about Starcraft 2 music.

So yeah, I just wanted to plug that series mostly, but the music episode was awesome.


"You play bass? That's cool...

...I know someone who plays guitar! Do you have any tips about [guitar facet X]"

Not so much a pet peeve as a mild annoyance, but I have a need to emphasize the ways playing bass and guitar are pretty different. The same way a clarinet player could give you tips on reed maintenance, embouchere and cleaning, but not necessarily how to play a saxophone, bass and guitar are related but separate instruments.


First of all, the fact that bass strings are much thicker than guitar strings is not to be overlooked. While many guitar strings have an average life of about 6-8 months if played heavily, bass strings can easily last for years. For the record, on my fretless, I've been using the same strings since 2002. The strings are crazy dirty, but as James Jamerson used to say, the dirt holds the funk.


The action is the distance of the strings to the fretboard, and it can be adjusted fairly easily on both a bass or a guitar. Low(closer distance) or high action is a matter of preference, but the reasons are often similar between guitar and bass. Lower action makes it easier to move around and hit a lot of notes, higher action gives each note more rattle and resonation against the fret board. For a guitar, low action is common for the lead guitar while high action is common for rhythm guitar. For bass, it's usually more of a matter of preference and style. I like low action myself.

Pick or Pluck

Rare is the rock guitar player that plays without a pick, and those bass players that play with a pick were often former guitar players. Most "real" bass players play with their fingers.


I've written about bass playing styles before and how they integrate with the genre of music, so I highly recommend giving that a read.

So really, while maintenance and some very basic fundamentals are the same, there is substantial difference.