I prefer to play bass, but I can handle smaller strings a little bit, too. Had some lessons as a kid, but mostly I just remember what each fret sounds/feels like and play whatever notes come to mind for the idea. I could never remember what chord/note was what, but could play some if I heard them.
We got a ruined old ship-wreck looking stand up bass too, I love playing that thing. So physical, like drums.
"I ain't got time to bleed." - Blaine