Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by OPBASSMAN1994, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. OPBASSMAN1994


    Jul 30, 2010
    Anybody want to share there story? I'll share mine.

    I started playing bass because a couple of buddies of mine were playing guitar, and needed a bassist to fill out a band. I responded to the proposition at first with an embarrassing-to-this-day-and-my-guitarist (one of the original buddies asking the question)-won't-let-me-forget-it-or-live-it-down "Naw, I think I'll play the banjo." Needless to say. I never learned the banjo, but grew more interested in bass as my friends invited me over, and over and over again pestered me about the bass. I gave in, and received a Dean Playmate Pack for my 13th birthday. I still have that bass (though it is now fretless, beaten to kingdom come, has two Christian fish car decals on it, and is strung with flats... SOUNDS GREAT!), though the amp blew its speaker, and the other stuff broke too. I learned how to play by teaching myself Rush tunes (at the advice of my church's praise band guitarist). 3 years later, and thousands of hours of obsessive, intense, and dedicated I-must-get-this-right practice, I am outclassing people (in there own words) that have been playing for twice as long or more, wowing people in music shops (even being asked by the owner to play through a particular amp for a guy considering buying it as a starter because I could "play well enough for him [the guy getting it] to understand what it would sound like for a good bassist", and quickly becoming well known in my school and in town with my bandmates. (My band is down to a 3-piece, myself providing extremely prog-ish bass lines, kinda' baritone lead vocals, and on occasion, keyboards and acoustic guitars, we've had a drummer change, but we've been producing more original music, and better original music than ever before, our teamwork is better than ever, and I think that we are a better band, and a more creative band for it.) I've played non-stop for 3 years. It's consumed me and I love every second that I get to play. (I even suffer withdrawal on occasion on vacation, when I cannot have my beloved Squier J.) I believe that this is what God wants me to do with my life. It feels right. It never gets old. I LOVE it. I don't think I could do anything else.

    So what's your big how-I-came-to-play-the-most-awesome-instrument-in-the-band anecdote? We're all ears!
  2. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    Sounds like you've got it going for you, kid. Rock on.
  3. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    With trombone being my foundation, bass guitar came easily to me when my buddies(a drummer and a guitarist) wanted to put a band together with me on keys(which is what I was doing at the time). Problem was- I sucked as a performer on keys. My focus had always been composing, sound design & arranging. So they threw a bass guitar at me and things just clicked.
    As for the 1st gig, I think things went well. I was so immature but showed great promise. For all the cool stuff I was doing and for all the groove I had, I was pretty sloppy. I just wish it didn't take 4 years to get off that plateau.
  4. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080

    Feb 16, 2006
    At 13, my junior high band director "made" me play bass for the stage band (that's what they called school jazz bands back in the mid '70s). I played French horn in the concert band.

    So my first gig was with the school band. And my first paid gig was probably at a local music store, probably just after school. We played some jazz standards. My first bass was a b/w Fender Telecaster. Long gone.

    So glad he made me do that - his name is Frank Howes, and that was at Southwest Junior High School in Lakeland, Florida.
  5. I played guitar for years:bag:. Started writing/producing music for tv and couldn't afford to hire a bass player every time. Got a MIA p/j and eventually a MIA J V and was happy being a wanna-be occasionally playing a part slightly more complicated than roots and fifths.

    I produced an album for this great singer, Michael Nappi, and started to do some acoustic shows w/ him (I never played live before:eyebrow:) and we had an opportunity to do a full band show but our bass player got a fill in gig for Nine Days at the last minute - of course he took it. So I filled in on bass and have been doing a show or two a week ever since - and of course properly learning how to play the instrument . . .
  6. I never wanted to teach. the thought of it kinda made me cringe because I sometimes lack patients (cut to my wife cackling at the word "sometimes" :D) but hearing stories like this makes me realize the impact in can have and what an awesome job it really is!
  7. I started by going to my Dad at the wise old age of 14 and telling him I wanted to play guitar. He said well listed to this first you may want to play bass. So he threw on 2112 Vinyl no less. After listening to that I was hooked on Bass. Bought a trashed Jazz at a Pawn Shop. Started playing with some friends.

    First "Gig" was a talent show my Freshman year. We played "When I come around" by Green Day. 30 Seconds into the song I stepped on my cord and pulled it out of the bass. Had to restart. Went well then.
  8. sgtpepper


    Jan 22, 2010
    Mexico City
    Well, first, I fell in love with the instrument at my local Church... yes, you read well. The "band" that used to play on Sundays had this great bassist with a Liam Gallagher look-alike. He used to play two basses: Fender P and a Hartke AK-4. Then at the end of the celebration the lead singer of the choir (a beautiful girl) announced that they needed young people to sing/play in the choir/band. So I signed up as a "singer". But my objective was clear: Ask the bassist to teach me how to play. I was 14 by the way. I started singing with them and eventually reached my objective, I asked the bassits to teach me how to play and he said yes. The name of this guy was Jaime but everybody called him Jimmy. He became my first "teacher". In one of the rehearsals he called me and said to me: Today is your first "training day". What kind of music do you like? So I answered: Well... I don't know... rock maybe. He asked me if I had ever play guitar or something and said NO. He taught me some exercises and then my first song was "With or Without You" by U2.
    When I was about to turn 15 I asked my dad if he could buy me a Bass and Amp as a birthday present. My first Bass was a Squier P.
    Eventually the band members changed and I ended up replacing the bassist. Then the band/choir splited and Church on Sundays became boring... Everybody left.

    My first "gig" was about 1 year after that. I was in 9th grade, I think. I used to play with some friends form school. Two guitars, drums and bass. A standard "rock band". Two of them were brothers (a guitarists and the drummer) and we used to rehearse at their place. Despite of that the other guitarist and I left the band 'cause these two guys really sucked. Like three days after that, two guys of the "top band" at my school invited us to a "gig" at a birthday party (you know a backyard and like 50-60 guests) because they considered us good enough to play in the same party as them. So we had two days to get at least a drummer. We knew a guy at our same school that claimed himself as a GOOD drummer so we asked if he wanted to do a "try out" and he accepted. We asked him what kind of music he used to play and his answer was: JAZZ.:eek:
    To make this short, he learned the 10 songs we were going to play in a day. Easy stuff for him... Green Day, Blink 182, etc...

    The day of the "gig" we were the "openers" and the other guys were the main band.
    I think we did well 'cause in the end the crowd (the party guests) claimed a "mash-up" between the two bands and we had to please them :hyper:

    That's my story.
  9. jordy_on_bass


    Jul 6, 2010
    I started by playing saxaphone, then learnt the trombone. I put both those instruments down when I was 14. A year later, I became best mates with a guy who was living 5 doors up from me who played the bass. I had gotten into metal by this point and was loving metallica, and the bass came naturally to me.

    I mostly played stoner metal and was a pick player, but the bands I played in never got gigs. I then moved interstate and had changed to finger style after seeing a few videos of mudvayne. When I had my first gig, it was in a metal band I played for once upon a time and was in front of about 400 people. So after taking a couple weeks to learn their whole reportoire inside out, I was ready.

    We rocked pretty hard, but the one thing I will always remember was how much I was sweating. It was the middle of the summer, about 100 degrees farenheit and about 90% humidity. The club we played in had no air conditioner, no fan and it was really miserable. After a 45 minute set, we were all drenched, the floor was drenched and we had all lost up to around 5lb. I got quite alot of kudos from people in the crowd watching, bassists from other bands that played asking me for lessons, even some bassists who hadnt played that night asking how they found me, as nobody had ever really seen me and my skills would have been recognised amongst metal bassists. I just told them I was from another state, I was too ashamed to admit it was my first gig!! I practiced 6 hours a day for 3 years before I played a gig, so I wasnt exactly brand new to bass or a lazy player. I wrote the best bass lines that I could.

    I remember the band on after us put their stuff in front of the stage while we were setting up before the set, which to me is pretty rude. I gave unintentional payback by leaving pools of sweat on the drummers stool, hi hat and snare. Rude bastards!! Our other consolation was that we won the battle of the bands :D

    One gig I will always remember, some I would rather forget ;)

  10. dystopiate


    Feb 21, 2008
    New York City
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar
    I actually started playing because of chicks. Okay, okay, I actually started because of *a* chick -- I was enthralled with her and she needed a bass player. That, and it seemed like everybody needed a bass player.

    I grew up listening to my sister's piano playing, and played for several years myself. My mother wasn't terribly happy with my choice of second instrument (actually discouraged me for years), but between my father's ambivalence and my persistence, I scored a starter Ibanez Silver____ bass (chosen on price and color) and a 10W Charvel practice amp (which still works to this day). Sadly, I didn't take the instrument seriously until years later.

    ...but the first "gig" I played was a house party, which went quite well thanks largely to the chick's talents. The first real gig I played was with another band at CBGB's to a mostly empty room. A couple of guys bought me a drink afterward (a brain eraser) as a "good job, kid." I was 15 at the time.

    So what happened with the chick? We dated on and off, had some torrid teenage affairs, and I guess she qualifies as my first "love". Oh yeah, and she eventually went on to get signed with a major at 19 years old. Things didn't work out, and she went back to school (Yale of all places), got married, and I think is in law school now. I'm now in a signed band, wish I still had my first bass, wish CBGB's was still around so I could play there one last time, still love brain erasers, and still think about that chick.

    The moral being, play the bass for chicks, all else comes.
  11. Qvist


    Jul 20, 2007
    Oh my first gig was horrible... the classic "play in front of your school". It just felt bad. I was very inexperienced with bass and nervous as hell. Later on, I discovered bar gigs and alcohol, now it's a very pleasent experience to play live :)
  12. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    all i can say is... after my very first gig a beautiful girl snuck back-stage and asked me my name. needless to say, i was hooked!
  13. pbagley


    Jun 2, 2008
    Ham Lake, MN
    I wanted to play guitar. I first bought a garage sale lap steel, then a few months later traded it for a Kapa 12 string. A friend introduced me to a drummer who wanted to form a band. The kid was 2 years younger than me, but knew a lot more about music. A keyboard player came into the band next, then a guitarist that blew me out of the water. Off to bass I went... Cost me nearly $100 for that first Kay short scale electric bass, including the krylon I painted it with. Another $75 for the Standell amp I blew up later.

    Fast forward a few months and we had our first gig. The Jerry Lewis Telethon for MD, local entertainment, televised at 04:30 AM from the Paramount Theater in Cedar Rapids, IA. Someone in booking had a real sense of humor. They knew from our audition that the drummer was a little loud, as was the rest of the band. I recall hitting that first note and seeing the first few rows all jump awake. We played 3 songs, and we were asked to turn down between each of them. It was a very long time ago... 1976. I think we played a blues tune like Spoonful, an ELP song, and I don't recall the other. Afterward we felt like we had made the big time. Ah, Youth...
  14. :bassist:

    (taken from Lee Sklar's FB page . . .)
  15. There's some AWESOME stories on here :p

    Started @ 10y/o. Started gigging bars like crazy @ 14y/o

    The first contest I'd ever won was our combo through the school in grade 8...
    ... we played @ Idaho Jazz Fest. That was my first time playing for half a football stadium :p
  16. Marko 1

    Marko 1 Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    I had a jam room, some gear and a PA, so these f’in musicians came over and made me play bass, then be in their band.

    First gig wasn‘t too good.

  17. baileyboy

    baileyboy Inactive

    Aug 12, 2010
    Friends down the street had all instruments covered and needed a bassist. I figured the bass only has 4 strings so it shouldn't be a big deal to learn. Thus my journey began...
  18. Wow, this sounds quite alot like me. When i was 11 i kept telling my dad i wanted to play guitar, and one day he came home with a trashed 1994/5 Squier Jazz Bass (Currently rebuilding that one :D) and a 40w peavey keyboard amp. After that i fixed up the bass abit, got some lessons and started a band. That band has now failed because i left to join a much better band.

    Also, fortunately i didnt have your cable nightmare as i've always used right angled cables tucked through my strap as it was easier to use them on my bed.