We have had threads about what we all play and what our histories are, but I don't recall a discussion about the whys of our individual histories. So, here it goes. Early on, I played a cheap bass, then a bass I got for free, then a bass I got with the proceeds from selling the bass I got for free. Clearly, cheapness was paramount. The bass I got from the proceeds of selling the free bass was a Gibson EB-2dc that I still have. It started my preference for having the neck more vertical than horizontal. So, there's a criteria other than cheapness, but it didn't really come all the way out until later. More recently, I had an Epiphone Thunderbird. Why? Because it was dirt cheap. It had a lasting effect, because it showed me that a Thunderbird will balance how I like a bass to balance once the upper strap pin is at the heel of the neck. It will balance like the EB-2 does. Then I went down a bit of a brand name thing. I bought a Road Worn Precision because I had never had a Fender. What kind of bass player never played a Fender? It's a keeper, and it's good and battered from playing a lot, so it's not entirely a poseur any more. But, it doesn't hang with the neck as vertical as I would like. I also had a Rickenbacker for a while. It was cheap for a Ric, and I made money when I sold it. But, it was a brand name thing, for lack of a better description. I wanted to know what the fuss was all about. Now I know. I liked it, but not enough to keep it. Plus, it was cheap for a Ric. That cheapness thing, more or less, again. Which led back to Gibson basses and Thunderbirds. That's what I play now. Not because somebody or another played one or because I'm going for some specific sound, but because I like the ergonomics and have learned how to take a Thunderbird and make it do a lot of different things. It's not all about cheapness any more, although I could probably sell the bass guitars I have for what I paid for them. None were new. Ok, there's some element of cheap skate there. So there you have it. Cheapness, followed by brand curiosity, followed by my quirky preferences in ergonomics. How did others arrive at what they play, and was there a progression, or did the first bass just hit the mark and never change?