Were you born a bass player or was it decided for you?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by HouseOfCroutons, May 11, 2021.

  1. HouseOfCroutons


    Apr 26, 2020
    This isn't a joke but I just didn't know what subforum to post in.

    I started playing bass when I was 9 because my older brother played electric guitar. He was my role model and I basically just did the secondary version of whatever he did. I started playing bass for the same reason I played as Luigi in Mario Party.

    Today I was talking to another bass player, and it turns out that she also picked up the bass because it was the only instrument nobody in her family could play. Then I thought of my favorite bass player, Victor Wooten. He was the youngest brother in a family of musicians, and they needed a bass player.

    My question is-- did any of y'all naturally gravitate towards the bass? Or did all bass players star under similar circumstances to this? I'm a serious player, and the bass is a big part of who I am! But as a music lover who has always been more interested in melody/harmony than rhythm/groove, it still surprises me that my instrument was decided for me by circumstance.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I always naturally gravitated towards bass, regardless of the instrument family. So bass guitar, bass clarinet, bass oon (ok, that last is a stretch). :p
  3. BLDavis

    BLDavis Master of Snarks. Gold Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Ellenboro, NC
    I was born this way.
  4. Born, I think. I bought an acoustic guitar in college (a pretty maroon Ovation, as I recall), and would try to play along to songs. Fairly soon I found myself just sitting in my dorm room plucking along to the bass lines. Traded it in toward a bass...
    George Dennis, Fialka and backin82 like this.
  5. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I choose it in third grade because it looked cool.
    bholder and Element Zero like this.
  6. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    Started on piano and guitar but always gravitated towards bass, it was my instrument of choice and at 13 I made the jump and never looked back...
    Ggaa likes this.
  7. Rob1957


    Dec 3, 2020
    Attracted to the low end since I discovered music. Played guitar for a year 72-73 but it didn’t fill me with the same feeling as when I heard ‘Roundabout’
    So 73 I went full bass only
    Swampish, punchclock and HardNHeavy like this.
  8. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    According to my mother's best recollection, I was not born with a bass guitar neck clasped in my tiny fist. Nor was it "decided for me."

    After many years playing guitar I decided to give bass a try. It's possible that I've been the subject of some extremely subtle hypnosis experiment, but it seems to me that I made that decision for myself.
    Swampish, punchclock and Dubious Aa like this.
  9. bwildt


    Mar 21, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    I'm naturally attracted to basslines (actually bass and drums). Melody was always secondary.

    My first instrument was accordion. Started about 10 yrs old. As a teen, I got my accordion "electrified" with pickups. I was always trying to get the sound of the bass buttons louder and fuller.

    I picked up guitar at about 15. I never fell in love with it.

    At college, the music dept had a school bass guitar. I loved it and various small groups and combos formed that needed a bass. I was hooked and I was home.
    Swampish, punchclock and Ggaa like this.
  10. It was decided for me. A friend of mine needed a Bass player for his band and couldn't find one. I'd been playing guitar for 6 years at that point. He asked me if I wanted to learn Bass. I said yeah and took to it right away. I still love it 30 years later.
  11. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    As a child I was always attracted to the low end instruments in music.

    "Escape" from the Exodus Soundtrack has the lows of the drums and horns against the highs of the strings.

    Bach, Beethoven and Messiaen could do some mean bass.

    My girlfriend played first cello in the school orchestra, 9th grade. She asked me to join as they needed a bassist. We basically made out in the orchestra room at lunch time. I got to take an upright home for the school year. My bow technique is still good. The first thing I did when I got home was to try to play walking jazz bass.

    Two years later my band opened for Grin which was the third incarnation of the Hangmen then Dolphin. Nils Lofgren was the lead guitarist. You'll have to Google him if you don't know who he is. :)
    HolmeBass and Swampish like this.
  12. John Webb

    John Webb

    Apr 20, 2006
    I chose it cause it vibrates my body....
    Timmy Liam, Swampish and MegaSwing like this.
  13. jimmydean


    Mar 14, 2009
    After seeing Duck Dunn as a little kid , how could you not want to play bass .
  14. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I began violin in 2nd grade and played that for years before picking up bass in high school. Had really just begun cello lessons so that is a possible lead-in. But bass came through a friend who was a bass player. I remember wanting to learn. I play guitar too but that came after I was already playing bass with others.
    Swampish likes this.
  15. WillyWonka

    WillyWonka My roadworn is in mint condition Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    Singer since 16, added harmonica in my 20's, got tired of musicians flaking and added treble guitar at 28, realized most projects were held up by the lack of a bass player and added that in my 40's.

    I'm making space in my music room for a drum kit in the next couple weeks.
  16. AboutSweetSue


    Sep 29, 2018
    It’s the coolest instrument. I don’t know that there are too many instruments where the music itself can give an image of the player being extremely laid back and cool while a bad ass at the same time. It’s just an instrument that exudes cool. How could I not choose it?
    Swampish and 4 Fat Strings like this.
  17. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    Famously, McCartney picked up the bass because Stu Sutcliff left the band. I chose the bass (at age 45) because my son was taking guitar lessons at the time and I wanted to do something different. That said, I think I was mostly responding to an innate connection to the instrument. Don't think I ever would have picked up a regular guitar.
    Swampish likes this.
  18. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Born a bassist. I dabble in percussion, but bass guitar has been my sole musical passion for 3/4+ of my life.
    Swampish likes this.
  19. kmon

    kmon Supporting Member

    May 11, 2009
    Austin, TX

    I think I was actually born a drummer, but when choosing an instrument to pick back up later in life a drumset was impractical. No regrets with bass.

    I did pick up an electronic drumset recently though.
    AboutSweetSue likes this.
  20. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I started playing violin at 8 years old. At my first lesson, the teacher saw my long fingers and said “you should play bass”. Took me a little over a dacade to get the hint, bit I eventually realized he was right.

    I was born a bassist - just didn’t realize it for a while.
    Dubious Aa likes this.
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