What Instrument Did You Primarily Play Before the Bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by lat, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. Nothing. Bass is my very first instrument.

  2. Drums / Percussion

  3. Guitar

  4. Wind Instrument

  5. Other stringed instrument

  6. Another instrument altogether (including carrots).

  7. Piano / Keys

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Eyesee7


    Jul 17, 2005
    Classical guitar. When I got an electric guitar to jam with friends I soon realized that I had no sense of melodic soloing at all. I only understood rhythm playing but my fingers were clumsy and hit too many dead strings with the closer string spacing of an electric. Figured since I understood rhythm better and the bass strings were further apart, I'd be able to play the bass better. Worked out well because I was the only bass player in the local music scene in a sea of guitarists so always had a band to fill in with.
    lat likes this.
  2. hotrhonda


    Feb 25, 2019
    viola. why be ordinary?
    lat likes this.
  3. Gwyn ap Nudd

    Gwyn ap Nudd Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2018
    8 years playing clarinet. Made it as far as 1st Clarinet, 2nd Chair in high school. Mom promised to let me study guitar if I proved I could learn the clarinet. I quit when she reneged on her part of the deal.
    lat likes this.
  4. GonePlaid

    GonePlaid "It needs a bridge cover" Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2016
    Southeast FL
    I took piano lessons from 7 to 16, played clarinet, bass clarinet and sax in junior and senior high school, and went in the Navy music program as a so-so saxist. My last year of service, I started playing bass because our regular tuba/string bass player lived 25 miles off base and didn't want to come in to play a 1 1/2 hour officer's club cocktail party. I wanted to learn bass; this gave me the chance to be "bad" while developing as a bassist. I could watch the piano man's hands, listen to the changes, and figure out what to play. After my 4 Navy years, I've played sax, flute, keys, or bass as needed within various bands. Now it's bass only. I still have the saxes, but my chops are gone, plus it's very difficult to sing and play sax at the same time.
    lat likes this.
  5. I started on violin age 10, but wanted to take up bass also by the time I was 13. At age 17 I was invited to play bass and contrabass balalaika with a community Russian group (Korowczenko Balalaika Orchestra), and I jumped at the chance to learn a form of bass. I played this instrument professionally with a touring group (Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival), and then eventually played electric bass with California Breezes, Celtic Stone, and other bands. I still play fiddle and bass, as well as a selection of other stringed instruments. Perhaps I am unusual as a bass player, for starting off on a giant (44-to-46" scale) 3-stringed (EAD) fretted acoustic bass.
    lat likes this.
  6. Dennis Pence

    Dennis Pence

    Aug 10, 2019
    I began playing a stereo but graduated to a cheap Fender Jazz knock off after discovering Jack Bruce and Jack Cassidy. I guess you could say I just got jacked-up on the bass (if you are not too embarrassed to say it that is.)
    Eyesee7 and lat like this.
  7. I started on Trumpet in 1958 at the age of 8 because I was fascinated with the one my mom had. I took lessons and played in the school bands through the 12th grade. At that point, I realized that I wanted to make a career in music, so I enrolled in college as a music major and completed my degree.

    Along the way, I played in rock bands, big bands, concert bands, and held the Principal chair in a regional symphony. After a 30 year tenure in the symphony, I retired from the trumpet section and was moved to the conducting staff. I also did graduate study in conducting at the conservatory.

    In 1983, to make the band I was conducting at basketball games more entertaining, I chose to do away with tubas and individual percussion and replace them with a drum kit and bass guitar. At the recommendation of a friend that owned a music store, I bought an Ibanez RB924 and the rest, as they say, is history.
    lat likes this.
  8. Started on piano at age 4. Was pretty serious until I discovered the French Horn in 6th grade (they needed a horn player). Went on to march and Jazz band on trumpet while seriously studying horn. As a freshman in college, my father said he’d never speak to me again if I became a professional musician, so I changed my major to business and took up bass so I could play in punk and new wave bands. I prefer being part of the rhythm section, and I liked the feel of the instrument and how tone is in the hands.
    lat likes this.
  9. I sang bass/low in choirs in Elementary and in Jr. High I started Tuba. I hadn't even considered playing an instrument, but I was approached by the Vice Principle about playing in the orchestra. When i asked what instrument would he recommend, he said Tuba. After that, I played Tuba through High School & into college. I picked up Bass in my Sr. year of High School.
    lat likes this.
  10. Dreamsinger


    Jun 3, 2012
    I started classical guitar at age 9 and got used to the carrier deck fingerboard. I was a big kid and by the time I got to high school garage band age my hands and fingers were way too big to fit on the 1 5/8" electric necks of the day. The school band director was looking for a string bass player and overheard me bitching about scrawny electric necks and slapped a string bass in my hands. It took a while to warm up to but playing a fretless P-Bass hooked me and bass became my primary *electric* instrument. I still play fingerstyle acoustic guitar and have discovered Warmoth wide necks only a few years ago. I built a Tele with a 1 7/8" neck but the nuances of electric guitar are so different than acoustic that I have a ways to go before I'd consider being *the* guitarist in an electric band (not even sure I'd want to).
    Eyesee7 likes this.
  11. WoodyH


    Mar 1, 2014
    I played the trumpet. From 5th grade through high school, and years after. Marching Band, Concert Band,Jazz Band etc. Even made all State one year. The problem I STILL have to this day is Treble Clef vs Bass Clef. I learned to read on the Treble, so I still have trouble with reading Bass. I guess it’s like learning a second language, but thinking in your original language. Lol.
    lat likes this.
  12. My parents got my first guitar for me when I was in Grade 11. I took ear-training lessons from then through the summer. When Grade 12 started, I took Music in high school. The first semester was guitar and got an "A". For the second semester, the requirement was to take a second instrument which read in a different music clef, so I chose Bass. I immediately felt bass would be my main instrument going forward. I do, however, still own a few guitars and pick them up regularly. In fact, I just bought a new (used) electric guitar from the TB Classifieds a few weeks ago.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
    lat likes this.
  13. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Okay, where's that sweet Peavey rig now?
    lat and staurosjohn like this.
  14. I played piano and clarinet through public school to university, and piano/ keys intermittently after that. I took up bass 3 years ago or so as: (a) it seemed a bit less daunting for me than guitar, which I had been unsuccessful with; (b) I have always really enjoyed basslines, and as I love to dance they are essential to most of the music I dance to.
    lat likes this.
  15. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Double bass violin. :laugh::cool::bassist::hyper:
    lat likes this.
  16. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Always bass. I was a huge Beatles fan as a little kid, and that's when I learned that the funny little four-string guitar played by Paul was actually a "bass", and responsible for those cool melodies down low. I didn't begin playing until I was a teen, but by then I was still appreciating bass lines in various bands (Free, The Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin, etc). So, I picked bass.

    My brother had already started playing guitar which would have ruled that out as my choice :D but I was already interested in bass so that wasn't really a factor.
    lat likes this.
  17. wow, you went from the easiest instrument to the hardest!!


    LoL - must have been nice to move to an instrument where you play a note and it is just that note.... not like french horn which, despite being an amazing instrument, is controlled by a multitude of bodily physics such as how warm your tonsils are or how tense your left baby toe is. :)
    lat likes this.
  18. RedsFan75


    Apr 26, 2007
    Got my first student guitar when I was 4, played my first song at 4 1/2. It was 'Home on the Range', I was into singing cowboys back then... over the years played in a variety of bluegrass and country gospel groups with friends and cousins and played in our church, learned the mandolin and fiddle on the way, then at 15 was playing in church and a buddy was playing bass, they asked him to sing a song and he handed my his bass and grabbed my guitar. I started to put it on his stand and he said "you know all the notes, play it, just play what you feel", I was HOOKED! After he finished singing I started to hand it back to him, he said "keep playing it, you play it better than I do." I still played the guitar and mandolin off and on until about 8 or 10 years ago, then the arthritis in my hands made me give them up, but after that first time at 15 the bass was and still is my primary instrument, although my body is betraying me causing me to not be able to play for the last year or so.
    lat likes this.
  19. JCobbs


    Oct 18, 2018
    Banged around on a drum at about age 10, but bass was my first serious instrument, keyboard right behind. I considered myself a bassist/keyboardist for the next 40 years or so, until I gave some serious effort to DADGAD tuned guitar starting a couple of years ago. My latest obsession is the octave mandolin, which I can't put down, but when I do put it down, I play bass.
    Eyesee7 and lat like this.
  20. staurosjohn

    staurosjohn Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2010
    Nottingham, MD
    Longgg goneee from my hands! ;)
    Eyesee7 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 17, 2021

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