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Senior Member
Username: flaxattack

Post Number: 854
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 1:46 pm:   Edit Post

i was 9 yrs old and the tallest in my class
so the gave me a bass fiddle to play.......
and one of the best reasons
i can put on some audio/video
turn the bass totally down and play bass with anyone!
dead- ellington- davis- you name it.,,.lol
Intermediate Member
Username: beelee

Post Number: 159
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 2:08 pm:   Edit Post

Jeff That gives Bass Balls a whole new meaning.........lol
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 464
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 2:53 am:   Edit Post

Know what you mean jeff. I was 13 years old and saw how much Chris squire was in control of Yes' sound and feel (and having so much fun while doing it). The bassist is the man! I can turn the whole dynamics of a song just by hitting a string in a different way or changing a passing note here and there.
And, I get to play some beautiful instruments;-)

Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 515
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 7:14 am:   Edit Post

When I first saw a live band (10 years old, maybe) I was drawn to the bass because I could feel it thump my whole body as well as hear it with my ears. When I started playing bass at age 18 I just loved it. It felt like I found something that just fit me like a glove.
Many people seem to think that the bassist is just another guitar player who stays on the low end. I always felt that bassists have a completely different way of thinking about the rhythm/feel of a song. I love the way that a bassist and good drummer, locked together, can control the feel of a song. What power!
All the comments about bassists and bass' role in music never bothered me a bit. Ask people who have had to gig with bassists that really stink and you'll find out.
I'm proud to be a bassist and I'm very proud to be an Alembician!
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 2198
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 11:23 am:   Edit Post

Get a melody and people will start humming, add a drummer and they'll start to move ...add a bass and the'll start to dance!

Have you ever plaeyd for 1100 people of +65 years old and get them on a dance floor with 880 crowded??
I did.
Well ...in a wat it's why I play bass!

Paul TBO

(Message edited by palembic on December 30, 2005)
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 598
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 6:10 pm:   Edit Post

Chris Squire. Well, him and my awesome older brother. Greg Lake, Paul McCartney and Kasim Sultan didn't help matters any either... ;)
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 538
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 7:13 pm:   Edit Post

I just always HEARD the bottom . . . my wife was a great singer, steeped in gospel harmony and could instantly hear and sing back all four parts. I couldn't pick out the harmonies any better than I could hear a silent dog whistle.

I always heard the pedals of a pipe organ first. I heard the contrabasses at symphonies. I heard the bass singer in quartets. I always heard the bass/snare/hihat/kick in pop records. Must be in the DNA. I could make up alternate bass lines in my head. I guess that's why I never could 'get' traditional jazz, the uprights were more felt than heard (to quote Will Lee) and I could never pick out the parts.

I just didn't have any choice in the matter. I was just compelled to play bass.

J o e y
Advanced Member
Username: jlpicard

Post Number: 290
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2005 - 11:32 pm:   Edit Post

I came to the bass in a kind of roundabout way. I actually started on drums in the fourth grade, played untill I hit freshman year of High school. At that time, I had a good friend who was a guitarist and he and I would sit in his room playing Beatles and other tunes of the day with me playing the root notes of each chord upsidedown ( being lefty ) on his acoustic guitar. When we tried to start a band there were alot of drummers but no bassists in my town so I thought..well, this is easy. I'll just get a bass and we'll find another drummer. So I sold my drum set ( parents thought I was nuts) ,bought a Hagstrom bassmy first bass for a whoping $215 and never looked back. I basically taught myself to play by transcribing many records for countless hours untill what I played matched up perfectly with what I heard on the recordings. Little did I realise that I was training my ear at the same time. And that was doing it the hard way( lifting the needle off the record over and over )Ran through more than a few needles and records! Anyway the more I scrutinized the recordings, the more I realised the power to influence the composition that the bass player had
in his hands. The infatuation with the low end has never dimmed.
Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 520
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 9:15 am:   Edit Post

Mike, how long did you play the bass strung "righty" before you strung it "lefty" the way you do now?
Advanced Member
Username: jlpicard

Post Number: 303
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 5:15 pm:   Edit Post

Actually Rich, I quit playing upside down as soon as I got my first bass. Although I never forgot how to play upside down. In fact, in the late seventies, just to break up the bordom of playing six nights a week in the house band at a local country bar, I used to borrow my friends 62' P-bass and play it upside down all night just so my brain would'nt totally shut down! ( I was a total Rickenbacker nut back then, didn't even realise what I had in my hands!) This picture of the Hagstrom is one that I found during a Google search. I don't have any photos of my lefty.
Advanced Member
Username: rogertvr

Post Number: 388
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 7:46 am:   Edit Post

Firstly - A Happy New Year to you all!

Secondly, I play bass because...well, let me tell you a story!

When I was about 8, the guy across the road used to play drums in his garage. So of course, I wanted a drum kit! That was never going to happen (parents had no money and we certainly didn't have the space for a drum kit). When I got to about 10, I wanted some keyboards - that never happened either, due to lack of money once again.

The keyboard crusade continued until I was 12, when my music teacher wrote in my school report "Roger will never ever be capable of playing any musical instrument". I assume that came from my conplete disinterest of the recorder and the piano. I never forgave her for that comment.

I got to 14 and my parents finally relented and bought me a bass guitar, as I'd been banging-on about playing a bass. I never wanted to be a guitarist, even at 14 I was sick-to-death (apologies to the guitarists in here) of endlessly soloing guitarists strutting about like peacocks at the front of the stage!

I started to learn to play from a book, mostly to AC/DC as Cliff Williams' bass lines are usually simple but nonetheless solid, and also to the guy from Gillan who wore the jumpsuit and had the shaved head and the beard. As I worked through the book, Chris Squire's name was mentioned and it was that book that got me into Yes, Rickenbackers and then a friend got me into Rush - more Rickenbackers!! At that point I realised that the bass player could move from the back of the stage to the front and give those guitarists a run for their money ;-)

My parents bought me my first 4001 (the one I still have now) at 16 and I took great delight demonstrating my playing to my old music teacher in front of a packed 6th school common room. She walked off at the point I put my old school report in front of her face, just to remind her of her comments - revenge was sweet!

And the rest is history (expensive history at that!!!!!).

Senior Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 522
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 8:23 am:   Edit Post

Roger, good for you for sticking with it despite the discouragement from your music teacher. I hate it when music "experts" do such an extreme disservice to young kids. There are probably many promising musicians who gave up after hearing these comments. It kind of reminds me of the teacher in the "slap or not slap" thread. I think if these people aren't going to help developing musicians they should shut up and get out of the way (rant concluded).
Username: zn_bassman

Post Number: 55
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 9:39 am:   Edit Post

My reasons:
1. The challenge of playing creative material which alternates between holding down the foundation and stepping out front when least expected
2. Guitarist/singer/drummer/keyboardist glut - there's always an opening for a bass player
3. John Alec Entwistle (+ Squire, Geddy, Jaco, Stanley, Billy, Stu, et al)
4. More than four strings are too much work to bother with ;-)
Intermediate Member
Username: gbarchus

Post Number: 157
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, January 03, 2006 - 9:59 pm:   Edit Post

One day the band director came in to my 6th grade class and asked me if I wanted to play bass in the school orchestra. He also informed me that would mean I would miss recess in order to practice. Hmmm? Actually, I didn't hesitate and from that point I was carrying a string bass home from school on the weekends. During the summer I was allowed to keep the bass at home. In my second year of study (Simandl) I broke a string. When I went to the music store to buy a new one, I became aware of electric basses! Mind you, I'm 12 years old at this point. Girls are just becoming an obsession. Forward to 1964 and the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. I can still remember sitting on the living room floor with my brother and sisters watching him introduce the "youngsters from Liverpool." The next summer vacation I was on a beach in Galveston, TX listening to a band, Boy Blue and the Moonmen, play "You Can't Do That" and I was hooked. I knew I wanted to be a musician. My mother let me rent a Teisco Del Ray and not long after I bought a Vox Westminster (18" 120 watt solid state) amp. The kind that had a "cart" that held the cabinet and head on separate levels, like the (Thomas Organ Co. owned) Super Beatle amps.

Like Mike, I wore out quite a few (Beatle) records using the drop the needle method. The record would get so bad that I would have to tape a quarter to the top of the cartridge arm so that it would play in the groove.

By the time I was fifteen I was playing in a quartet that was making $100 a night at youth halls and high school dances. I barely made it through high school and it was easy to keep playing after I finished. By the time I was nineteen I was making about $20,000 a year playing bass and didn't think for a moment that I was going to do anything else with my life.

At 32 I was getting tired of playing one nighters on the road, not being able to buy a car without cash and wanted to have a family. I went to visit my girlfriend who was teaching English in Japan and decided to stay for a while, playing music I thought. I ended up teaching English that summer and stayed for almost three years with my girlfriend and my first son!

Coming back to the States I had hoped to be able to resume my music career but family matters always seemed to postpone my plans. Through the years I have had some memorable musical experiences but have been incredibly frustrated by the limitations of a day job. Now at 54 my two boys are 18 and 19. I hope to be able to financially see them through college and FINALLY, God willing, get back to my passion that's still burning... living, breathing, playing bass!

Why? Hmmmm?
Advanced Member
Username: gare

Post Number: 317
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 04, 2006 - 8:34 am:   Edit Post

I think my original reasons for playing bass are kind of lame compared to others.
In 1965 a buddy and I decided to teach each other guitar (yeah,the buddy method). And, like others of the era, we'd get together with anyone who'd want to play.
As was common at the time, we'd always end up with a singer, maybe a drummer, and a bunch of guitarists. At one of our get togethers one guys brother says 'you need a bass player'..a what ?
He pulled out a Jazz bass..so I said I'd give it try. No one else wanted to come near it..like it was infected or something. Funny, at the time I was the smallest guy there, that Jazz bass looked gargantuan in front of me. That was in early '67.
In late Oct of '68 I got into my first 'good' band, played top 40 hits of the day. I got in because the bass player got drafted. We'd played regularly, learned alot, and had alot of fun. By then I'd saved up and bought a Hofner, a Vox T-60, and a Vox AC-100 head. I really wasn't aware then that that was the setup McCartney used..I was hot spit huh. The AC-100 was needed to keep up with the Super Beatles everyone else was using.
About 18 months later, I was the only one left, everyone else got drafted..I was the youngest of the bunch.
After the demise of that band I discovered Yes, ELP, Genesis, and the like, and went thru a succession of groups, very creative time.
Around 1974 I was asked to join a lounge act. Now wouldn't you know it, this was my highest paying gig (and I needed the money), but the worst sounding group. It was common place for us to do an intro in C and have the singer come in in F#, this guy couldn't carry a tune in a bag ! But hey, he paid us.
After about 2 years, the singer (who's band it was), mercifully decided to get out of the music business and bought a motel in El Paso. (My condolences to the great state of Texas)
Through all the trails and tribulations, I just can't picture not having a bass around.
Now days I sub for some friends when they need it, some local theater stuff when available, benefits now n then.
But I still manage to play just about everyday, even if it's only scales to keep my hand in shape.
Just can't see it being any other way.
Senior Member
Username: kmh364

Post Number: 1608
Registered: 9-2003
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 9:50 am:   Edit Post

I play bass because it's fun. I'm primarily a guitar player, but I like to thump around on bass too. Most people wanna ham it up on guitar instead of holding down the rhythmn, so Bassists are a little harder to come by than guitarists. It helps to be able to thump on four as well as pick on six in order to take advantage of situations as they come. Plus it's that much more gear to spend money on, LOL!
Advanced Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 323
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 10:51 am:   Edit Post

I was really drawn to the bass by Reggae and more specifically Aston Family Man Barret, the legendary bass man from the Wailers Band. After that initial introduction, I was really only moved further by Stanley Clarke.

I would say that they are the primary influences in my style and picked up some other stuff along the way and very recently picked up some bits from Marcus.

I am primarily a guitarist and only recently took bass seriously when I got my first Alembic in 2002.

Now I just love that deep deep trobbing clear bass. I've yet to do a straight reggae gig with my alembic yet. I'm looking forward to that.

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