Keyboard players turned bassist club

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Holdsg, Mar 16, 2010.


  1. Holdsg

    Holdsg If its got strings, and sings, I'm interested Supporting Member

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    Might be going out on a limb here,

    Might be a club of one,

    But if any of you out there in TB land share my background as keyboard player turned bassist, let's hear your story!

    Here's my story: took classical piano lessons from 8 to 18, same, awesomely patient teacher. Around Junior High started playing piano in jazz bands and improvising/composing, opening up a whole new world to me that I never knew existed. Of course, I could never play classical with quite the same chops after that, but oh well. Played jazz combos thru college and accompanied ballet classes (great gig, young women in tights, sometimes made it hard to concentrate). Somewhere along the way took up organ and still play for church. Fast forward to age 40ish and wanted to try something new. Always loved a good bass line, and never could quite get my fingers to play guitar chords, so the bass guitar came as a natural extension. Tried to learn bass on my own for 2 years, with little progress. Jan 2009 started taking bass lessons. Took lessons for 6 months and then it just clicked. Soon started hooking up with bandmates, and now play bass (and keys from time to time) in two different R&R cover bands.

    So, what made you switch, and do you still play keyboards (a'la Geddy Lee or John Paul Jones)?

    Speaking of JPJ, have you seen the PBS video (Austin City Limits) of Them Crooked Vultures with JPJ playing keyboard and bass with his feet on the bass pedals? Just an awesome talent. Now I want that rig!

    I will volunteer to keep the number list, as I don't think that will be a demanding task.

    Holdsg #1

    We're in business.
     
  2. KJung

    KJung

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    Many years of classical piano lessons as a kid, and then gigged as a keyboardist for the first 3 years or so of my gigging career.... Junior High and up until about my Junior year of high school.

    I was never particularly good (and I surely don't miss hauling the Rhodes, the synth and the organ around!). I became interested in bass, and just kind of took to it around 1975. Given that I could read bass clef, and given that most keyboardists have a concept of 'bass', I spent about a year getting my chops together, took some lessons to make sure my mechanics were OK, and I've been gigging ever since.

    Everyone thought my ear was amazing back in the day. Little did they know I was watching the piano player's left hand on all those gigs:D

    I tell you what, I feel just a touch sorry for those who didn't start out on keyboard. The reading and the understanding of chord structure and harmony really give you a leg up on bass IMO!


    Edit: I haven't really touched a keyboard in 20 years, although I still have my old Baldwin Baby Grand at my parents house (it kind of became 'part of the living room').
     
  3. Holdsg

    Holdsg If its got strings, and sings, I'm interested Supporting Member

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    Cool, nice to learn your story, KJung. And I totally understand the music chops that playing keys provides you. You the kind of person that wants a number?
     
  4. s_mcsleazy

    s_mcsleazy

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    when i was younger i lernt keyboard for 2 years and then i took 4 years off music then i found bass wating for me at the other end

    does that count
     
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  6. Holdsg

    Holdsg If its got strings, and sings, I'm interested Supporting Member

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    counts, although I am considering not counting every kid who was ever forced to learn piano by their mother. That could be half of the TB users. You want a number, Mcsleazy?
     
  7. s_mcsleazy

    s_mcsleazy

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    yes please

    p.s i still play the odd synths when im at my mates and his synth is set up
     
  8. Holdsg

    Holdsg If its got strings, and sings, I'm interested Supporting Member

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    Awesome, you're #2.
     
  9. s_mcsleazy

    s_mcsleazy

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    hahaha it shows how imature i really am but you said number 2
     
  10. Holdsg

    Holdsg If its got strings, and sings, I'm interested Supporting Member

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    well, somebody's got to be #2!
     
  11. xk3smith

    xk3smith

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    I've played keyboards since the early 80's. My father wanted me to learn because he wanted his son to be the organist of his church. So I had music lesson as a young boy. Needless to say they were ripping my dad off, mixed with the fact that I've always HATED the keyboard, made for a very interesting musician. I hated playing and never wanted to practice or play. But years of playing in the church forced me to understand music.

    Fast forward to late 2004... I bought a marcus miller V because a few musician told me to. I told him I need a good quaility bass for some recordings. Brought it home, threw it under the bed and there it stayed for four years.

    One day at rehearsal with my church choir, our old choir director showed up to encourage the singers to do their best. if they really wasn't happy doing what they were doing, find what made them happy and DO IT!! It was like she was talking to me. I went home, grabbed that bass and have been playing ever since.
     
  12. xk3smith

    xk3smith

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    I can't even begin to go into how deep my love affair is with the bass. Almost everyone knows me as a decent keyboardist, but I've never cared about practicing. I never cared about being the best I can be until I learn to play bass.

    Playing keys plays the bills, but bass is what I live for!!!!
     
  13. Holdsg

    Holdsg If its got strings, and sings, I'm interested Supporting Member

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    great story. I play organ in church as well, its a volunteer job, but I understand what you live for. Want a number?
     
  14. xk3smith

    xk3smith

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    Yup. Been on TB for a little while now. This is the first club I want to be a part of.
     
  15. Holdsg

    Holdsg If its got strings, and sings, I'm interested Supporting Member

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    Awesome, you're #3
     
  16. A.K.

    A.K.

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    I would like to join this club. Former pianist here--even taught beginning through intermediate students when I was an undergrad. Piano has been an invaluable tool in my understanding the bass as well as I do. Also makes me appreciate the beautiful simplicity of the bass guitar.

    Only play keyboards now to write songs. Took up drums and bass and am now slowly teaching myself harmonica.

    AK
     
  17. Holdsg

    Holdsg If its got strings, and sings, I'm interested Supporting Member

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    Great, multi-instrumentalists are always cool in my book. You are #4.
     
  18. vision

    vision

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    I started out playing classical piano as a kid in fourth grade, and started playing organ and keys in church around seventh grade. I went to Univ. of Michigan as a music major and started a jazz/funk band, but could never find a decent bassplayer because there were so few in the area. I ended up buying a bass to learn on my own, so I could eventually start gigging. I found a couple other jazz cats and we started a trio that played a weekly "gig" for free volunteering at the VA hospital. We would sit in the lobby and play Real Book tunes for an hour or so - that's how I learned how to play bass. I did that gig for a couple semesters and ended up switching my instrument at school from piano to bass. I don't think my bass playing caught up to my ability on piano for a few years, but with there being TONS of competition for gigs on piano and there being a shortage of good bass players I was gigging very regularly.

    I still play keys a couple times a month at church, but my main instrument is definitely bass.
     
  19. Holdsg

    Holdsg If its got strings, and sings, I'm interested Supporting Member

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    Great story and avatar pic, vision.
    You would be #5 if you want a number, yes?
     
  20. vision

    vision

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    Thanks!
     
  21. Space-Man

    Space-Man

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    Took up piano when I was 8, didn't really like it that much at first, kinda gave it up when I was 10, from then on I'd just fool around with it, then I took up guitar at 12, then bass at 13, now at 16 I play bass/keys in a band; so I probably don't count considering I wasn't serious about keys until later.
     

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