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I want to play bass, but I also don't want to let my father down...help!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by nosajwp, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. nosajwp


    Jun 14, 2005
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Ok guys, I'm new here, but not to bass playing. I've been playing off and on for the past 15 years or so, and in that time I have also played guitar here and there, and have also been an avid drummer. I really love playing bass though, for reasons I'm sure you guys can all relate to. I've been without instrumentation for the past few years due to financial reasons, but have recently aquired a really nice guitar and amp, but after noodling around with them some, I realize my passion is the bass.

    My dilemma is this...my father is a drummer, who wanted to play guitar but couldn't. His hands and fingers are waaay too stubby. I think he takes pride in the fact that I can play guitar, and I think he thinks I wouldn't be living up to my potential as a bass player.

    What would be a good way to tell him that I enjoy bass more, so that he can understand where I am coming from?
  2. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    How old are you? If you've been playing for around 15 years I can only assume you are at least 25 years old and your father should be "middle aged"-ish.

    I don't think you should be worried about letting your father down at all. At this stage in the game it's time for him to buck up and stop living through you.

    Concentrate on not letting yourself down as a musician first.
  3. nosajwp


    Jun 14, 2005
    Winston-Salem, NC
    I'm 27, and I have a very close relationship with my father. You're right though, why be a guitarist wanting to be a bassist, when I can just skip the middleman.
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If your father's going to lay a trip on you for playing the instrument you love, he's letting you down.
  5. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    This man is wise: You should listen to him. My father always wanted to be a drummer, but got stuck with a Trumpet. And he hated the Trumpet. He'd jam toys down into it in attempts to break it. His dad wouldn't let him drum because "You'd have to move all of those drums everywhere." So when I decided I wanted to play bass instead of guitar, my dad didn't question it. And when he saw how far I came on the bass as fast as I did, he was shocked. And I in turn made him respect/listen to bassists more.
  6. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I would say let him down...

    I hate when parents don't let their kids do what they want to do (in this situation.)
  7. sotua


    Sep 20, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    Try "Dad, I love bass. End of story".

    Besides, sweet-talk him into a cool drums + bass jam... after you guys are done and blissed out, you can insert the hint that a guitar would have spoiled it ;)
  8. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    If your dads a drummer, and you play bass, you would be a father and son rythem section. Become a great bass player. That should do it.
  9. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    You should do what your heart tells you to do. He might be upset that you don't choose the instrument that he thinks you'd be best at, but he'll get over it when he sees the talent you may have on the bass.

    My father wanted me to play guitar because he played it. I HATED guitar but I took lessons anyway. I wanted to play drums but because of my disability he didn't think I could. Eventually he gave in, and now he's more proud that (while IMO I'm not the greatest at either instrument) that I have taken up two instruments on my own and are happy with them.
  10. Dude, I have a tendency to think of other people's feelings first and only after that mine, so take it from someone who knows... IF you choose to play guitar to PLEASE someone else, you'll endup BITTER at them and yourself. explain that you like bass better and that you should be living YOUR dream, not theirs... life is too short for that crap. do what you WANT with it.
  11. pauljacksonfan


    Jun 14, 2005
    Besides, if your dad has short stubby fingers, playing bass would be an even bigger challenge than guitar. He should be even prouder of you for playing bass. :D
  12. I'm surprised your pop hasn't picked up on this one. Think of the possibilities.
  13. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What kind of music is he into? In most genres, there are probably plenty of artists who'll demonstrate that bass isn't the poor cousin of the guitar.

  14. waxcomb


    Jun 29, 2003
    Martinez, CA
    You could always enjoy both, but with your energies on the bass. It's great to be able to bust out some nice bass, and it's a nice to be able to belt out a few tunes on and acoustic for the folks.
  15. JoeyZ


    May 9, 2005
    my dad always tried to get me to play the god damn guitar..I never wanted to and didn't want to even more when he insisted i learn. When he finally understood that i didn't want to play guitar and backed off I actually did start playing guitar..The moved rather quickly to bass...He wanted me to play acoustic guitar and was reluctant to give me his blessing on my purchase of a bass guitar...I then got pretty decent rather quicly which in turn made my pops pretty glad that I switched...

    Moral of the story? PLay bass, Get good, show your dad up!!!
  16. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I've lived with the "why don't you get a real guitar" question for four years. I explain to him that I have one, and I use it to write, but that's the extent. Bass is my love, not guitar.
  17. Corbis

    Corbis Guest

    Feb 19, 2003
    Wamego KS
    Yeah my dad was trying to get me to play guitar instead of bass. He gave me the usual line.

    "You won't be able to play alone"

    He just kept saying how I needed to play guitar first. I kept to my guns and tried to educate him on what the bass really was and eventually he saw that I had no desire to play guitar.
  18. form52


    Mar 17, 2005

    My brother-in-law tried to throw that out to me once.
    He was always trying to inform me that the bass isn't as good as the guitar. You can't this.. you can't that... blah blah. Typical guitar player ego.. right? ALL THE TIME!!
    Until one day he came out with this..

    "Why play bass if you aren't in a band? You can't just play bass by yourself like I can on guitar. It's too boring!"

    I wasn't playing with anyone at the time. I decided not to and just spent the time at home for a couple years to improve my playing and learn the right way. Scales, modes, chords, ... pretty much just basic theory.

    Anyway.. I handed him Victor Wootens 'Show Of Hands' and walked out of the room.
    He never again ran his mouth about basses or bass players.
    He Really hates the fact that now I can tap better on my bass than he can on his guitar.
    From time to time I'll ask him.. "Why play a guitar? It's so boring!"
    It really pisses him off.

    anyway.. back on topic...

    To nosajwp

    Your answer is in your question.
    What should you tell him?

    "have recently aquired a really nice guitar and amp, but after noodling around with them some, I realize my passion is the bass."

    You already know what to tell him. Just tell him. I think he'll respect the fact that you are that passionate about the bass.
    As a fellow musician he should understand if you just lay it out to him like you did in your post to us.
    And if he still isn't convinced...
    Hand him Victor Wootens 'Show Of Hands' ;) :bassist:
  19. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    By getting a seven string. :)
  20. JoeyZ


    May 9, 2005
    or you can just push him into his drumset!!

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