1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Famous bassists who started really late (age 20+)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by BassOfDiamonds, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Are there any famous names of bassists who started when it's allegedly "too late" to become really good?

    And by late, I mean firmly into adulthood: age 20 and up.

    I've seen threads similar to this, but it seems like the names listed as "late starters" still started in their teens. :scowl:

    Either that, or they've had experience with other instruments.

    I'm pretty old myself (22), so I'm just hoping it's not too late. :bag:
  2. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    I don't have a long list of people who started young and became amazing...

    Truth is you've probably been exposed to music for years. And As someone who started playing bass at 23 (not quite a year ago yet) I have read it's how much time and effort you put it, as well as musical acuity... some start off with some advantage eg. excellent voice & control that encourages expression, good endurance that allows near constant practice. The rest of us Just make the best of it.

    There's more to music than 'making it'. It's not one of my goals, personally. I would just like to eventually live off it and play for and with great people. It's not certain but certainly possible. :D

    I think you can become great, but depending on where you set the bar for 'great' it affects the likelyhood a lot.

  3. Igor Saavedra
  4. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    I know Stuart sender only play bass like a year before touring the world. And he was like 17 or 18 not 23 but he is a damn good player for sure
  5. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Indeed. Some people become exceptional far faster than others do. We can all get good given dedication... but I find the pleasure of expression is key. If you love it... it's always good to you (mostly) :bassist:
  6. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    Didn't Mark King start when he was 21?
  7. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.

    Firmly into adulthood At 20??? Sorry but that is still a kid. At 20 yo can not even go in a bar.

    Pretty old at 22??

    I have T shirts older then you.

    Don't worry about it. You have a whole lifetime in front of you.
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Paul Simonon of the Clash.
  9. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I'm pretty sure Klaus Voorman was over 20 when he started playing bass. He went on to compile a pretty respectable resume.
  10. otherclef


    Aug 10, 2011
    But yet you can travel to exotic places and kill people all day.
    Or be a responsible parent... etc.

    just saying.
  11. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    And smoke, and live on your own. How far into adulthood you are is more dependent on society and life experience more than nature IMO.

    Also, +1 to Stuart Zender. Not bad for 2 years playing.
  12. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Not bad at AAAALLLLL.....

    I'll probably be taking a little longer to get that good . . . seeing good groovy bass playing seems to only encourage, not intimidate. I think that's a testament to my optimistic attitude :hyper:
  13. Emilym80


    Sep 15, 2011
    I think Nate Watts, Stevie Wonder's bassist, only started 2 years before he got the gig with Stevie. Not sure how old he was, though.
  14. Skygonzo


    Jul 8, 2012
    Flabbergasted by the question. Dude, grab your bass, practice, and pay your dues. Period. Asking the bass community if you still have a chance to be awesome based on your age is beyond ridiculous. I mean, how the hell would we know anyways?? Pa-leeez.
  15. Geez Skygonzo, nothing like a verbal kick in the balls to encourage a newcomer to put in the hard yards. The OP is looking for role models to emulate, that's all. He never asked if he was too old, or what it would take for him to become great, he just said he's hoping he can get good and is worried age might be a factor.

    I've met a number of A-list musos and none of them felt they were so good that they had the right to put down a fellow musician who is looking to learn. Your 'tude needs a lot of work, I really hope you don't come across many learners. Or other musicians for that matter.

    To the OP: Tommy Shannon took up bass at 21 - after playing guitar as a teenager. James Taylor took up bass (after guitar) just before he turned 20. They are the only two I'm aware of, but there's bound to be plenty more.
  16. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I'm pretty sure 19 is the cutoff year. For just about anything we want to be successful at. If you haven't figured it out by then, well, you lose. For some rare gifted people it might be 20.
  17. Skygonzo


    Jul 8, 2012
    You either didn't read the original posting or failed to understand it. The OP's does not say he is looking for artist to emulate....he's just concerned that 22 is rather "old" for him to start playing bass. Anyways, I didn't mean my post to sound like a "kick in the balls" or put anybody down, dude. That's when you come in and attempt to label me. Fact is that there is no way musical success can be predicted based solely on starting age. There's many other factors that must be considered. It is pretty ballsy of you to come out and imply I have an "attitude problem". As many of us, I have helped many young musicians in the past and have seen them grow and succeed. No attitude. Not even a lil' bit.
  18. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    It depends on what your definition of success is. It also depends on your intent when you practice. You could have been playing since you were 10 and if you didn't know how to practice properly, your playing could be crap. As mentioned in earlier posts, there are players who had only been playing a few years and achieved success. Those are the people who exposed themselves to the right influences and played with others often. They also didn't spend hours soul searching on internet forums.

    But it really depends on your concept of success. If you want to be famous you don't really have to know how to play well, just look pretty and network properly.

    For me, personally, music is a journey. Success is staying on that path and doing your best to be a better player. I feel that just staying that course and keeping your eyes open for playing opportunities will bring you a certain level of success.

    As Frank Zappa said "shut up and play your guitar".
  19. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Don't know any pros but there is a local guy here who didn't start playing until he was in college or just out of college. I can't remember but he's pretty damn good.
  20. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Very well said.
    And there are lots of players who have "success" very early on, lose some fame, keep at it, and will tell you that they are playing better than ever years or decades after they left the "spotlight."
    It's a cliche, but: "Just DO it!"
    A long time ago, maybe 30 years or so, there was a "Guitar Player" interview with the great jazz guitarist Pat Martino. He talked about how he had two kinds of students: the ones whose main focus is pondering and searching, and the ones who DO. He said he had higher hopes for the latter group.

Share This Page