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Honest question: When did you know you became a (or the) bassist?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by nerkoids, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. nerkoids

    nerkoids Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    I'm assuming with this question than most, if not all of us, might have started on a different instrument, or maybe sang, paint, sound technician, or picked up the instrument one day only to never put it down, etc...

    Now, if some of you have always felt you were a bassist, was there a point you remember not being one, music-wise?

    I know there's going to be glib and sarcastic responses, and that's fine, but I'm genuinely curious about other folks.

    For me, I had been playing keyboards and pianos for like 25 years, singing as well. Still do. When I finally got my first left-handed guitar, I was ecstatic, no more faking it with Kontakt instruments or Realguitar stuff. Real strumming!!! Power chords! Bends that don't sound like a keyboard pitch bend, you name it...

    Then I decided that I wanted to learn to play bass. I now have 4 proper basses, 2 Ps, 1 Jazz and a Violin bass... and for some reason, bass speaks more to me. It's affected the way I compose or play music now. It's made me less bored with music by concentrating on all the musical space that exists within the constrains of simpler chord progressions.

    Anyway... discuss, if you like.
  2. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    I played guitar from 6th grade till I was 25. Being lefty, I never owned a bass, just guitars (most of which were bastards I re-made into lefties). I started playing with a bass player who always told me I was a bass player at heart and didnt know it. I usually tolld him to piss off when he said it.
    Once day, I found my beloved Jazz #1 in the used section of a small music store and bought it.
    It was sometime that week that I understood. That was 15 years ago.
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  3. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I think I was a bassist before I ever picked up an instrument.

    As a little kid I was notorious about sneaking over to any piano I could find
    lifting up the cover and banging different keys until someone would come and drag
    me away. I got many a lashing with a belt across my behind for this behavior.

    Other than that one obsession I was a pretty obedient child.

    But yeah, the big boomy sounding notes on the left were my favorites.

    When I finally did start playing an instrument it was Tuba in 6th grade.
    (only lasted a few weeks cause I just didn't understand the music teacher)

    And at around 16 or 17 i got my first bass and started teaching myself.
    twinjet and nerkoids like this.
  4. Aberdumbie


    Jan 22, 2016
    South Carolina
    1972-1973.... I had an unhealthy infatuation with rock stars and at thirteen I discovered I could buy really cheap guitars from money earned throwing newspapers at a local pawn shop. I HAD to teach myself to play this thing. I would take them home. Sand them down and paint them. Had a knack for finish work. I would sit with a Mel Bay book and frustrate myself to no end trying to contort my fingers into chord patterns. When I got too flustered I would carry the newly painted guitars to school and sell them.... However I noticed that I would get second looks from the fairer sex carrying them to and from school. On one of my ventures to the pawn dealer he had a guitar with four strings on it. That was about 74 and the Einstein in me figures this HAS to be easier than six strings. It was a Johnny Pro bass guitar. Now that did gel and I really did begin to play. Never had a mentor or anything until I taught myself some Hendrix & Beatles riffs.. Then suddenly I was buddies with the cool guys that could play guitar. Then I was the cool guy because I was the ONLY bass player in a sea of guitar players. For the first time in my life I was in demand.... So I would put a benchmark of 1975 at 15 years old when I knew that was a permanent part of my life.... For better or for worse, right?
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
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  5. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    I knew I belonged to bass when the higher guitar strings started coming off one by one until I was only playing on the E and A strings.

    Then I hopped into a double bass and played Pink Panther. That was coooool. Once I bought my first electric bass, I felt awesome. Ten years later, I am pretty proud that among my friends and acquaintances, I am known as that "really good bass player". :D
    47th Street, /\/\3phist0 and nerkoids like this.
  6. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    1967 ... just one of many "ists" over the years.
    nerkoids likes this.
  7. BassFishingInAmerica


    Jul 24, 2014
    When I decided I wanted to take on the job of making everyone else sound good, not only myself.
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  8. ESPweasel


    Jan 6, 2016
    Charlotte NC
    About a month ago and I'm 48 :p
  9. Michael B

    Michael B

    Dec 16, 2015
    Lowell, MA
    92 at the first gig where I had to play bass and sing lead. The previous bass player was there and he said "wow, you guys got really heavy".
    nerkoids likes this.
  10. The Chuck

    The Chuck

    Dec 11, 2013
    Wilmington, NC
    After hearing The Lemon Song.
    nerkoids likes this.
  11. ImNotJoel


    Jan 12, 2014
    It all happened one day Geddy Lee came out of the sky and handed me a bass and said "You're the one".

    I wish that's how it happened.

    No really as a kid I always wanted to play music I loved listening to it. I always liked low notes and sound. So I wanted to play guitar but loved low sound so bass it was. My parents where nice enough to get me and my brother (he wanted to play too) a peavey milestone IV. My brother was nice enough to lose interest after a day and focus on hockey. I still remember the first day I got it I banged on it plucked it forever. I was also fortunate enough that my parents got me lessons. Advice to kids playing bass crank it all the way and beat that bass and your parents will get you lessons I am sure it was painful to listen to. I was ten when I started its been a fun sixteen years I eventually picked up guitar and drums too.
    nerkoids likes this.
  12. I first fell in love with the bass lines in country music (let's guess around 1958). I heard it everyday, and for lengthy periods on weekends. Every Sunday from conception until about the age of 14 the family would gather at my Grandparents house and blue grass, country, gospel, and some rock and roll would be played for hours on end. Some Swedish folk song that would crack me up was played like 3 or 4 times a year.
    When jamming (loosely defined) with a few guitar friends we decided something was missing. I decided to try doing some bass lines while we playing and it worked out well or at least better.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
    nerkoids likes this.
  13. Rickengeezer


    Feb 25, 2005
    Central Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Steve Clayton Accessories
    I was a novice guitar player early in high school, then heard "Roundabout" on the radio and figured out that noise I liked was the bass. Got me a cheapo Japanese 4-string and never looked back.
    Aberdumbie likes this.
  14. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Three of my friends were playing guitar in grade 8, somebody had to play bass. I did not overthink it and the idea of a band was thrilling more so than the idea of an instrument to a 12-year-old.
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  15. My first live gig with a band was last year in May after 10+ years self-teaching myself.

    After I held that first show down I knew I was a bass player haha. Less than 3 months after that I started trying to sing and play and now I can provide backing vocals to an extent as well.

    In less than a year I have good reputation on the reggae scene here and it is only going to get better.
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  16. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    I was a guitarist first, and once Eddie VH came around SO WAS EVERYBODY ELSE.
    so at one point i went to hang out with a friend at his rehearsal, their bass player did not show. They said can you play bass? uhm no, er um dont know?
    what the heck, OK.
    First time i hit that FAT bridge cable string and felt the earth move---- i was hooked.
    I discovered Steve Harris, Dave Hope, Chris Squire, Geddy Lee-- you know- the rumble i had previously ignored was the glue to the music, the rhythm, the structure, the motor existed in the bass lines...
    47th Street, nerkoids and Aberdumbie like this.
  17. samson3382


    Apr 26, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    I wanted to play the tuba when I was around 5, had no idea why of course, but because of geography/location/school I couldn't get one let alone get a lesson. I learned to scratch out a couple fiddle tunes in elementary school. I excelled at acoustic guitar (relatively) in middle school, so the 6-12 grade band director put me on electric bass. Eventually I was the go-to bass player for any 6-12 grade school music performances. I was a terrible student, but always got a bit of a free pass and a complimentary B just for helping hold the various bands together.
    nerkoids likes this.
  18. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I used to be a lead guitar player in a rock/variety band... spent a lot of time/effort staying up on the songs, etc.
    My long-time singer (band was active for 7 yrs) quit for health reasons. I had played bass up at church in parallel all the while.. not real complex stuff.
    4 yrs ago, after that band fell apart, it's last singer contacted me and asked if I could learn 10 country songs (on bass) to be able to play at a "wake" the following week for his former BL (the bass player) who had died in a wreck (after a heart attack). :sorry:
    I learnt the songs, drove 78 miles to the event which we played unrehearsed. I had a complete blast albeit being very apprehensive and timid.
    I got the call 5 mins after I left (hadn't even reached the highway) and accepted the invite to be the band's new bassist.
    2 months later we were gigging 4-8 times a month - played most Fri/Sat nights thru Apr-Dec 2012. Baptism by fire.. I had to swim!
    I'm still learning to be a real bassist, but having so much fun getting there - 75+ gigs last yr w/ my current band.
    Bring it on!
    nerkoids likes this.
  19. Charlzm

    Charlzm Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I started on a classical guitar. I took lessons. Only the theory kind of stuck with me. I never learned how to play rock. I tried to jam with some friends on a borrowed guitar and it was a humiliating experience. Then, some other friends said they needed a bass player and I figured one string at a time would be easy enough to deal with.

    I was 16 then, 50 now. Still play at guitar a little and know enough theory to program keyboard parts for demos.
    nerkoids likes this.
  20. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    When the bass player in my first band quit, I was elected to play bass. I joined the band as a percussionist and switched to guitar and then to bass all within the same year. That was 1970 and I was 14 years old and I have been playing bass ever since.
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