Guitare ou basse : quelles sont les caractéristiques de chaque type d'instrument ?


You have decided to embark on learning music and you have a preference for stringed musical instruments. However, you don't know what to choose between guitar and bass.

It's quite normal that you want to know if it's guitar or bass that would suit you best. Indeed, the two instruments do not have the same role or the same sound.

Your choice should be based on your needs. And to know which of the two instruments responds to these, it would be necessary to know their characteristics. In addition to our experience, we have taken note of the opinions of other professionals via forums such as Video games, Tabs4acoustic and Parthoch in order to provide you with reliable data.

We present to you through this article:

  • Types of guitars
  • The characteristics of each type of guitar
  • Our electric guitar review
  • Review of our bass guitar.




Be aware, however, that whatever your choice, you must give your all to acquire perfect mastery of your musical instrument. As an encouragement, we offer you our hearts and soul for free like Forest lover.

Differences between bass and guitar

Often you will hear a bass called "bass guitar". So, is a bass a guitar? Although the bass is part of the guitar family, there are some distinct differences between the two instruments.

The term "bass guitar" arose to differentiate the smaller, horizontal electric bass from its original upright form. In many orchestral ensembles (and even some modern jazz ensembles), it was common to have a big, noisy upright bass. It wasn't until the 1930s that the first electric bass as we know it was invented and designed to be played horizontally. Electrifying the bass helped amp up the volume of this smaller version and give it the commanding sound of its older, upright counterpart.

Although a modern electric bass and guitar may look alike, the two instruments differ from each other in several ways, including size, number and thickness of strings, and the role each plays in the within a group.


Electric guitars and bass guitars vary greatly in size. The bass guitar basically looks like a scaled down version of an electric guitar.

 Comparaison des tailles de guitares


A full-size electric guitar is usually 90-100cm from top to bottom, with the average length being 95cm.

In contrast, full size bass guitars are between 105 and 115cm, averaging around 110cm.

The size difference is reflected in other parts of the instruments and is a big part of why bass guitars are so different from electric guitars.

Bass should be longer to accommodate lower pitches. The longer a string, the lower the pitch. The same is true conversely, shorter strings are better at producing higher pitches. The bass is lengthened to allow room for increased string length and pitch, and its neck is much longer than that of a normal guitar.

The frets of bass guitars are also much larger than those of electric guitars. The length of the range makes it easy to measure this aspect. The length measurement of the tuning fork determines the length between the nut and the bridge of the instrument.

The scale length of a bass guitar is on average 85 cm, while that of an electric guitar is usually 65 cm.

The neck is also often wider on bass guitars. This is measured by the width of the nut. The width of the nut of an electric guitar is on average 4 cm. The standard nut width for a bass guitar is around 4.5cm and up.

One would expect the bass to have a thinner neck because it uses fewer strings, but the strings are thicker and longer, requiring more spacing between them to remain easily playable.

In general, the frets of an electric guitar are much closer together than those of a bass.

The frets of a bass guitar are both wider and higher. The length is increased to allow the production of lower vibrational frequencies on the handle. There is more space between the low frequencies than the high frequencies.

The guitar's frets are closer together due to their small scale length, making it easier to play complex, fast chords and solos.

For beginners, it's often easier to start playing on an electric guitar rather than a bass. The increased length of a bass guitar requires a greater stretch of the fingers. This can be uncomfortable for new players.

The short scale of an electric guitar will be a little easier to play for players with smaller hands. You can always learn the basic guitar moves and transfer them to bass later.


One of the main differences between these two instruments is the strings.

The differences are enormous. The strings of the bass and those of the guitar are arranged in a completely different way. Although bass and guitar share some similarities, guitarists will find playing bass quite easy. Learn the scales of an instrument, and they will always sound great.

If you learn the bass scales, you will be able to play some elements of it on a standard guitar.

 les cordes des guitares 

For starters, most bass guitars typically only use four strings, while guitars use six strings. (Although there are models that break these rules, for example five-string basses).

Tuning is also slightly different, with bass guitars being tuned an octave lower than regular guitars.

The strings of a bass guitar are tuned in E – A – D – G (mi – la – re – sol). The strings of an electric guitar are tuned in E - A - D - G - B - E ( mi - la - re - sol - si - mi ). The difference is that the low E of the bass is tuned to E1, while the lowest string of the guitar is E2.

Also, the strings of a bass guitar are wider and longer than those of a regular guitar. This is so they can produce lower frequencies.

This is an interesting difference, which I think has more to do with history than convenience. The electric bass guitar has its origins in the double bass and the cello, which used 5 and 4 strings respectively. When electric instruments began to be invented, the double bass and cello were reimagined by the Fender company, which created the first mass-produced electric bass guitar in 1951.

Low frequencies tend to lack clarity and don't work as well for harmonic music or chords. Chords sound great in the treble, but chords played with low notes sound muffled and obscure. This is one of the reasons why bass guitars generally use 4 strings instead of 6. This increases the precision of their bass sounds.

Pitch of sounds

The pitches of these instruments are also different.

The pitch of the electric or acoustic bass is tuned an octave lower than that of regular guitars.

The notes remain the same, only the octaves are modified.

Although the octave tuning of each string is different from instrument to instrument, the operation of the scales is very similar. Bass guitar scales are the same as normal guitars, but without the top two strings.

This makes learning scales a transferable skill that can be passed from one instrument to another.

Muscle memory of guitar scales makes bass scales feel familiar.

Any musical theory learned is transferable to these and other instruments.

Due to the lower number of strings, bassists tend to think of music theory and scales in a slightly different way. Bassists have been known to use more arpeggios than scales, as it better suits the constraints of the instrument. Some players use 6-string basses, which are a little closer to the design of a guitar, but still an octave lower. Often the extra strings are tuned a 4th above and/or below.

Tone and Frequencies

The tones of these instruments are also usually very different.

The frequencies and harmonic content of the two instruments are very contrasting.

Electric guitars typically sound brighter, thinner, and sharper than a bass. Electric guitars have a higher concentration of mid and high frequencies. The low E of an electric guitar produces a fundamental frequency of 82.4 Hz, while the low E of a bass guitar is around 41 Hz.

The sound of a bass guitar can be described as warmer, fuller, with a greater concentration of bass and underfrequency.

The exact frequency and harmonic content varies from model to model, largely depending on the wood, pickups and strings used. However, the fundamental frequency ranges of the instruments are nearly an octave apart. Although a bass guitar does not have quite the same upward range as a regular guitar.


Donner Music France edited


Thanks to the harmonic structure of these instruments and their strings, the tones are also very different. Electric guitars have a more complex harmonic structure, usually with more harmonics and partials present.

A good bass player and a good drummer form the basis of the rhythm section. These players need to maintain the groove when playing songs. At the same time, they are free to express themselves.

Which is easier: guitar or bass?

It ultimately depends on your musical interests and, to some extent, the size and dexterity of your hands.

At first glance, the bass guitar is easier to learn, and arguably easier to play.

The type of techniques used on bass guitars are simpler than on guitars. To play bass well, you don't need to learn chords. In addition, it has 4 strings, so there are fewer notes to learn and the scales are less complex.

Bass guitars are also less complicated than electric guitars. The bass strings are thicker, with more space between them. It is therefore easier to play than a guitar, as it requires less fine motor control.

However, if you have small or weak hands, the bass guitar may seem more difficult to play.

Especially if you have short fingers, the distance between the frets is a bit longer on a bass guitar, which will make you feel tighter, which will make your playing less noble.

Guitar chords and guitar solos can be difficult for some players to learn, although you should learn both if you want to play guitar solo. You can play the same chords on a bass guitar, or a six-string bass. Chords won't sound as good because of the thicker strings.

Our guitar and our bass

Knowing the specificities of each type of guitar, you will be able to make your choice like William DUHAMEL. But be quiet! The choice of guitar or bass model can also be difficult given the number of products available on the market.



To make it easier for you, we had studied a few products from different brands. This allowed us to select a guitar and bass to meet everyone's needs.

Review of Donner DST-100L Blue Electric Guitar Kit →

If guitar is your thing, the Donner DST-100L would be ideal for you. It is ideal for beginner guitarists.

Donner DST-100L

With a solid basswood body, this instrument offers a balanced sound. The neck of this guitar is maple. This is topped with an ebony fingerboard.

Its strings are made of high quality brass. Steel pegs make tuning easier and hold the tuned strings in position. It has a PVC pickguard and chrome tuning keys.

With an HSS setup, this guitar gets three pickups. In its bridge position, the humbucker pickup guarantees power and warmth, while the other two ensure the brilliance and clarity of the sounds.

The combination of single and double pickups gives this type of guitar excellent versatility. With your instrument, you can approach different styles.

The Donne DST-100L is sold with all the necessary accessories. You will find in the pack:

  • A cover
  • A mini amp
  • A set of spare strings
  • A boss
  • 4 picks
  • A strap
  • A clip-on tuner
  • A guitar cable

All these accessories are provided to allow you to play the guitar in better conditions.

Donner DST-100L Features Summary

  • Full height: 39 inches
  • Neck Material: Canadian Maple
  • String Material: Nickel Plated Steel
  • Neck Construction: 4 Bolt
  • Nut Material: Synthetic Bone
  • Back material: poplar
  • Neck shape: C-shape
  • Scale length: 648 mm
  • Fingerboard Radius: 240mm
  • Number of frets: 22
  • Nut Width: 44mm
  • Fret Size: Medium jumbo
  • Pickguard : 3 plis
  • Strings: 009-042 gauge.

Discover Donner's DST-100 family.

It should be noted that the guitars are not sold with acoustic foams, whereas you will undoubtedly need one studio acoustic foam to limit sound propagation.

Review of Donner DPB-510S Sunburst Electric Bass →

The Donner DPB-510S is a bass. It has a solid basswood body with thin arches. This instrument is equipped with good quality brass strings and chrome tuning keys. As for the neck, it is made from Canadian maple.

Donner DPB-510S

Its pickguard is also made of PVC. The tuning pegs are made of steel. This makes it easier to adjust and keep the tuned strings in place.

This guitar offers a sweet tone perfect for blues, rool and rock and many more. It delivers a natural and bright sound optimized by the warm sounds that result from the solid wood.

It is equipped with practical functions to obtain the desired texture. With this instrument you will be able to get a wide range of sound dynamics and more harmonics from different frequency bands. This 4-string guitar guarantees you diverse tones and a rich bass.

You can start playing your guitar right out of the box since it comes with all the required accessories. You will find in the pack, a strap, a guitar cable and a high quality cover.

Donner DPB-510S Sumburst Electric Bass Features Summary

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Size: full size
  • Hand orientation: Right
  • Micros : micros p-bass
  • Scale length: 34 inches
  • Neck Material: Canadian Maple
  • Body Material: Solid Basswood
  • Neck shape: C shape
  • Number of frets: 21
  • Number of strings : 4
  • Position Inlays: Dot Inlays
  • Commands: 1V 2T.

We can say that the Donner DPB-510S Sumburst Electric Bass remains a unique model. Just find a best studio headphones for maximum concentration and better enjoy the rendering of your instrument.

Here is a video presentation of the guitar and bass. It will certainly be useful to you. Good viewing !



Each type of guitar has its specificities. Take into account your needs and the characteristics of the guitar or bass for a judicious choice of your musical instrument.


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