I've been doing a lot of reading about some of the most famous bass players, and there is an interesting pattern: a lot of them played another instrument at first, and did not begin playing bass until their teens. Here are a few examples: - Ray Brown began on piano - NHOP began on piano - Scott LaFaro played saxophone until he was 16 or 17 - Dave Holland started on ukulele (at least that's what I've read) and did not begin bass until age 13 - Ron Carter began as a cellist, and later switched to bass It's an odd pattern.... Perhaps the fact that they began on more melodic instruments helped them become better bassists. I know that sometimes I wish I played saxophone (or trumpet, etc.) too -- it might be easier for me to play more melodic solos, rather than just outlining the changes. Has anyone else here ever thought it weird, though, that so few of the the great jazz bassists began during childhood?