Can You Play an Acoustic Guitar Like a Bass

The acoustic guitar is the first instrument most inspiring musicians pick. Many people start learning the guitars first. The guitar journey even starts with the acoustic guitars. but, Can You Play an Acoustic Guitar Like a Bass?

Acoustic guitars and bass are two different instruments. People who want to learn bass but do not have one can practice it on an acoustic. But the results will not be the same as a bass. It is a cheaper alternative for a limited time.

This article will give you some ideas on how to play acoustic guitar like a bass. Additionally, we will tell you about the major differences between the two instruments.

Differences Between Acoustic and Electric Guitars


Acoustic guitars are the lightest and probably smallest of all guitar types. Even the holding techniques are different for both instruments. Acoustic guitars are smaller than bass guitars. You will take time to adjust to the size of the bass if you have played acoustic before.

The neck size is also very different. Bass guitars have longer necks. Basses have 21, 22, or 24 frets. Acoustic guitars come in 20 or 21 frets. Distances between the frets are also different for both guitars. The frets are more widely spaced on a bass guitar. Bass guitars are also heavier than acoustic guitars.


The strings of a bass guitar are harder than an acoustic guitar. Bass guitar strings are also longer than acoustic guitar strings. Bass guitars have 4 strings while acoustic guitars have six strings. The first 4 strings of an acoustic guitar are the same as the bass string. These strings have names E, A, D, and G.

The acoustic guitar strings have the tunings E2, A2, D3, and G3. Bass guitar strings are tuned one octave lower than acoustic strings. These strings have the tuning of E1, A1, D1, and G1. As the bass guitar strings are longer, their frequency and pitch are lower than an acoustic guitar. They are less tense than acoustic and electric guitar strings.


Acoustic guitars give you more range than bass guitars. Therefore, you can play them for many purposes. You can play rhythm as well as solos on an acoustic guitar. This is the reason it is the highlight of many band performances. Solo artists mostly prefer acoustic guitars such as John Mayer or Ed Sheeran.

You will never see a solo artist playing bass. Similarly, there are bands that do not play acoustic guitars. But bass guitars are a major part of almost all band performances. Bass guitars play a supportive role. They provide rhythm and bass lines over which a song is composed.

These are considerable differences. So, many tutors will discourage playing an acoustic guitar like a bass. Still, there are some tips and tricks that you can follow.


The bass guitar strings have a lower tuning than an acoustic guitar. So, if you want to practice, you should tune your guitar strings one octave lower. This will produce sounds having small similarities to an acoustic guitar.

Nylon guitar strings have a broader fretboard. So, the string distance is more than a bass guitar. But it is best to practice on a steel-string guitar. You will be playing with steel strings on bass eventually.

Lowering your guitar tuning will provide a bass-like feel. Yet, it is not the same as a bass guitar. You can not tune guitar strings as low as a bass guitar.

It is best to remove the last two strings of your guitar. This will come in handy while practicing bass. Bass guitars only have 4 strings. You will not need the last two strings to play bass.

Acoustic guitars have a bridge. The bridge is not present in most electric bass guitars. It is present only on acoustic bass. So, it would be best if you kept your right-hand position like a bass guitar. This will help you adjust to the bass guitar quickly. The best option is to get an acoustic bass if you cannot afford an electric one. You will learn better bass playing. Moreover, you will spend less time adjusting yourself to electric bass.

Can You Make Your Acoustic Guitar Sound Like a Bass?

It won’t be easy to make your acoustic guitar sound like a bass guitar. But you can narrow the difference on a semi-acoustic guitar. Plugin your guitar and use an octave pedal. The reason is that bass strings are an octave lower than guitar strings. This will make your semi-acoustic guitar sound like a bass guitar.

There are many octave pedals available in the market. You should choose the one that has a knob to cancel the original signal. Otherwise, it will create a disturbance. You will not get the results you want. Your practice will hinder as well. Octave pedals are the best way to create bass lines on normal guitars.

Is Playing Acoustic Guitar the Same as Bass?

No, there are obvious differences. Acoustic guitars are very different from bass guitars. Bass guitars are larger and heavier than acoustic guitars. The basic body structure is the same, but it has four strings. Acoustic guitars have 6 strings in most cases. The tuning is also one octave lower on a bass guitar.

You cannot play solos on a bass guitar. Bass guitars play a supportive role. They create foundations for composing songs. Acoustic guitars are in the limelight of most band performances. Solo artists also use acoustic guitars. They provide more range. They can play solo and supportive roles. They are easier to learn than a bass guitar.

Is Acoustic Guitar Harder Than Bass?

It is a matter of preference. Acoustic guitars have more players. There are more tutors available for acoustic guitars. More online courses are available for acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitars have less tense strings. So, create less pain in fingers and is good for beginners. The fretboards are smaller on an acoustic guitar. So, you can play without stretching your fingers a lot.

Once you are past the beginner level, a bass guitar seems easier. The basslines are often very simple. They are easier to remember. In some rock songs, you can just play a single note at changing speed. Advanced bass techniques are easier than advanced guitar techniques.


It is true that you can play an acoustic guitar like a Bass. But a simple acoustic guitar will not give you the same result as a bass. You can narrow the gap using an octave pedal. Still, the distinct dissimilarities between the two instruments remain a significant issue. You can practice your acoustic guitar like a bass. It is not possible to play it in performances. You can use your acoustic guitar like a bass, but it is not recommended.

You can use your acoustic guitar for giving your songs basslines. You should do so only in the absence of a bass guitar. If you just want to practice, start with an acoustic bass. It has the same strings as an electric bass. It has a bode shape resembling more of an electric bass. The strings have almost the same tension and tuning. It is better for your early days of playing bass.

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