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Advanced Member
Username: thumbsup

Post Number: 372
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 8:36 pm:   Edit Post

Just curious how you/we got started playing the bass guitar?
I actually musically started first off on piano and guitar and when Hendrix hit the air waves another local Hendrix guitatist nut/clone asked me to play bass with him at a gig.
A 3 piece band! I was used to 5 pieces so I was a little apprehensive!
The gig did go great but this is when I knew I found my love for the groove!
Intermediate Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 103
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 9:08 pm:   Edit Post

I just loved the thump... started at 13 playing double bass at my high school "Estudiantina", which is a string instruments-only group, and fell in love with it... the electric bass came just months after that, and it was definite love. Although I do also play other instruments, Bass is always at the top of my list!
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1994
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 9:28 pm:   Edit Post

I started with piano as a eight year old ,the trumpet at ten ,the drums at fourteen and Bass at fifteen. I played my first paying gig playing the drums at the "Saint Valentines Day" dance in Jr. High School at age fourteen . The now great double Bassist Harold " Ratso" Harris played Bass guitar at that gig(he sounded like a swarm of low pitched bee's even back then ) That gig changed me wanting to play Bass. Next I acquired a beat up EBO as my first Bass and as soon as I got it one of my DEAD HEAD friends (Steve) handed me the first Grateful Dead Album and told me " work on these tunes and we can Jam ! "_____ In about two weeks I showed up and said OK lets Jam !!!!! The Bass has been an wonderful creative tool for me for self expression ever since that day and I am still doing it 40 years later. I still play the trumpet and other valved brass instruments (I love the trumpet ) but there is something about the Bass for me that makes magic happen for me in a way that is beyond words.
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 1753
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 9:52 pm:   Edit Post

For me, I just automatically hear the low notes. I know people who can hear vocal harmony, all four parts. But for some reason I always hear the bass and the kick, or organ pedals, even the fundamentals in a motor sound as a car or truck goes by. The weight of it just draws me. The sound of pipe organ pedals in a huge cathedral just floors me. It must be DNA-based, I'm just wired for it.

Then on top of that, I'm 56, so I grew up listening to Top 40 AM radio, all the singles. So many radio pop / rock singles were done by session guys, mostly jazzers, who knocked out these little simple songs from their vantage point. It wasn't so formulaic in those days, the styles were still being born, the book was still being written. So I went to school on Babbit, Jamerson, Kaye, Osborne, David Hood, and on and on. Then blend in the the McCartneys and JPJones' and Entwistles and Squires, etc.

So I was obviously doomed from the start. When I first mastered David Hood's part in the Staples', 'I'll Take You There', it was just the greatest thing. There's been a lot of those since then (between trips to the clam buffet), and yet lots of disappointments that have often made me wish I'd become a plumber.

So I guess now I'm a recovering bassist.

J o e y
Senior Member
Username: serialnumber12

Post Number: 909
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 2:46 am:   Edit Post

why Bass??? you mean the Biggest Set of Balls on stage?......because the sound is Big, Masculine,sexy,& just like a Naked female... Everything sits on Top of It!
Intermediate Member
Username: billostech

Post Number: 177
Registered: 1-2011
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 4:43 am:   Edit Post

I remember taking guitar lessons when I was in the 5th grade, playing chords over and over. One day, a bassist from one of the local talents in the area, who just happened to pass by while I was practicing, asked me to try the bass.
Years later, when I was 16, Lynn Chambers of the band; ShoNuff, approached me again so I went over his place and learned how to "keep it in the pocket".
I got with a buddy of mine whose father had a Blues band and we would jam on his pop’s equipment. He pounded the drums and I would keep up with his father's bass. Like Joey, when I got David's part down in "I'll Take You There', I was really hooked.
I finally picked up interest again when I turned 50. My daughters are musicians and my oldest at home asked me to accompany her on bass while she played guitar. I fell in love with the bass again.
I answered an add on Craig's list for a bass player and joined the band for awhile. One day we were practicing when I noticed everyone's head bob up and down to the movement of my fingers. I stop playing for a couple of seconds and the spectators stopped bobbing. That's when I first realized the true brilliance of the bass.
Advanced Member
Username: hifiguy

Post Number: 314
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 7:24 am:   Edit Post

I studied classical and theatre organ for several years and decided that I wanted to play rock music in my mid-teens. In those days you had the choice of playing a cheezy little Vox or Farfisa organ or a gigantic, mega-tonnage Hammond/Leslie combo and other keyboards (Mini-Moogs, Mellotrons) were crazy expensive. So keys were not an option.

I tried drums and guitar and didn't feel at home on either of them. Tried bass guitar and took to it like a duck to water. My faves of the day (1972-73) like Bruce and Squire were extremely complicated players. All of the Bach counterpoint that had been pounded into my head as an organ student made it fairly easy for me to get the point of what they were doing and pick up on it pretty quickly.

I played bass in public for the first time only six weeks after getting my first bass guitar - a 1972 Fender Precision. And I made fewer mistakes than anyone else in the band! Swapped the P for a J that fit my hands better, and the J for a spanking-new Ric in early 1973.

Never looked back, though I can still play some organ/orchestral keys.

I remember seeing a pic in Crawdaddy magazine of Jack playing #1 and swore to myself that one day I would have an Alembic. It only took me 26 years, but I got one! :-)
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1664
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 8:08 am:   Edit Post

well I was a guitar player then about 20 or maybe more years ago my mates were drinking and discussing getting a band together..two of us were guitar players so I went onto the bass, mind you I had been listening to Stanley for years before going onto bass but never got around to buying one..I got more work as a bass player than a guitarist!
Intermediate Member
Username: tubeperson

Post Number: 191
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 8:24 am:   Edit Post

I think you forget the physical pleasure of holding and playing the bass. Plus the vibrations that pass though "delicate" body parts. Let's be honest here! That OK moderators? Also, without the bass, the foundation is sucked right out of a song. There's nothing like a stringed bass instrument either thumping, plucking, picked, slapped, popped or bowed to tie the drums and the guitars/keyboards etc. John Goldsby is right about that. Just ask his wife, a pianist, as discussed in Bass Player.
Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 1157
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 9:36 am:   Edit Post

I remember the first time I heard a bass guitar live. I was struck by how you experience bass with your entire body, not just your ears. I was about 13 or 14 years old and bass became my favorite part of the sound. I played guitar for a short while and trumpet for 7 years.
Right after high school I started messing around with a friend's guitar. I found that I was playing what seemed like the bass parts. I went down to a music store and bought a cheapo bass and amp. The bass was really bad but it was enough to make me realize that I had found my musical home.

Username: stout71

Post Number: 4
Registered: 7-2011
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 10:45 am:   Edit Post

My reason is for playing is totally indirect. I had some friends who were "in a band" but no one knew any bassists. We were all 13 and I had never played a guitar, drums, bass or anything. Just a love of music and experience in vocals, brass instruments and piano.

I got a low-end transparent green Lotus for my birthday, took one lesson and the instructor told me to listen to Moving Pictures by Rush. I never took another lesson because that was all this modern-day warrior needed to hear. Gigs come pretty easy when you're a bassist....
Senior Member
Username: benson_murrensun

Post Number: 507
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 12:20 pm:   Edit Post

Like many others, I was a guitarist and I picked up the bass when the actual bassist in our band flaked out and missed a gig. The first time I tried it the rest of the band declared I was the new bassist. I asserted that it was only gonna be temporary until we found another bass player. Uh huh. Didn't work out that way....
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1983
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 1:16 pm:   Edit Post

Older brother played bass. I thought it was cool AND he'd let me use his gear.

Username: hammer

Post Number: 69
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 1:37 pm:   Edit Post

While I had always listened to music, and played a little guitar, one night as a 12-year old falling asleep listening to FM radio I heard some live tapes played of a band which at that time was called, “Big Thing.” Being used to the standard thumpa-thumpa bass of most rock at the time I was immediately taken by difference in how the bass was played and contributed to the sound of this progressive (at the time) horn band. I never heard about “Big Thing” again, but about 6-months later heard the debut album and immediately recognized the bass playing style of Peter Cetera and the Chicago Transit Authority (such as shame as to what eventually happened to the music played by the group). A short time later, friends started putting together a band and needed someone to play bass. Since I had played the trombone for many years (and was, at best a barely serviceable guitarist) I was “elected” to become the bassist. That started a period of about 12-years during which time I played with a variety of jazz-oriented horn bands in New England with friends who came to take the profession a lot more seriously that I did attending Julliard in NYC and Berkeley in Boston. It was at their insistence that that I first started listen to jazz and the likes of Stanley, Jaco, Steve Swallow, etc.

Then it came time to go to graduate school and the bass (a 73 EB-3 that I still have to this day) was put away for about 25-years. It wasn’t until my son picked up the guitar as a high school freshman 7-years ago and needed someone to accompany him (because he was too embarrassed at first to play in front of his friends) that the instrument came out of the closet. Playing the old EB-3 (which sounded a lot better to me in '73 than 7-years ago) led to the acquistion of my Distillate and a rekindling of my love affair with the bass.
Senior Member
Username: tmoney61092

Post Number: 718
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 1:48 pm:   Edit Post

my brother started playing guitar and listening to Hendrix/Zeppelin a lot and it made me want to play guitar but we were around the age of 12-14 and like all kids do, he said "no I play guitar so you have to play something else!" so just picked bass, greatest decision I've ever made(don't let my girlfriend read this! :p )

Advanced Member
Username: eligilam

Post Number: 329
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 2:34 pm:   Edit Post

Two songs: "The Prince" by Diamondhead (as covered by Metallica on the "One" B-side); and "Lie Detector" by Dead Kennedys.
Username: wishbass

Post Number: 40
Registered: 5-2011
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 2:49 pm:   Edit Post

I had started with trumpet,and played up untill H.S..My Family moved to a new town ,and the school band was terrible and years (literally) behind what I had become accostomed to.I have always been drawn to beats ,and drum patterns,and would often memorize drum parts in band,so bass seemed like a happy medium between drumming,and my melodic background.Its the best of both worlds.I've never been particularly drawn to being a soloist,prefering short fills and accents to the music,and it seems playing bass allows you to play busy in the lower register w/out getting in the way of the melody(unless simplicity is called for).Ultimately I find bass more freeing for me.
Username: chuckc

Post Number: 89
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 4:07 pm:   Edit Post

After being a drummer since I was 7, I was drawn to bass since it had all the rhythmic nuances of being a drummer but it added the emotional characteristics of playing a melodically structured instrument. I also mistakenly thought it would be easier hauling a bass rig and axe around then hauling a set of drums. I was wrong on that supposition
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 664
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, August 19, 2011 - 4:43 pm:   Edit Post

Low end - started on bassoon, then in high school, bari-sax alternating with bass-sax in concert band. Somewhere in the sax years I heard The Real Me; I don't think I fully realized at that time what that song meant/ did to me. Soon started playing electric bass in jazz band - the rest is history!

My older brother played upright and briefly electric - but it didn't really do much to me at the time - weird.

I think Keavin's answer is perfectly acceptable also. :-D
Senior Member
Username: glocke

Post Number: 906
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 2:42 am:   Edit Post

From my earliest days of listening to music the bass was the instrument that grabbed my attention the most...Than I heard JPJ playing with Led Zep, and I was blown away even furthur. To this day I can remember listening to the excellent bass work on the first Led Zeppelin album and simply being amazed at how cool the bass sounded.
Senior Member
Username: bassman10096

Post Number: 1272
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 8:40 pm:   Edit Post

I thought four strings would be easier to manage than six. Was I ever wrong...
Username: aquaman

Post Number: 79
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 7:44 pm:   Edit Post

Went to see the Police in 1984 when I was 16. Front row. Blown away by the thunderous waves of Sting's repetitive bass line to Synchronicity I. Had to learn that insrument. Still trying!

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