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When know bass mattered more than guitar?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by joegrant413, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. joegrant413


    Dec 6, 2009
    Like many people, I learned guitar as a kid, and have kept up with it most of my life. Three years ago, I made a departure from a short stint at electric guitar on a worship band, and came to the worship team to fill a sorely needed bass spot. I had never touched a bass in my life up until then, but learned quickly enough. Bass has always seemed like a comfortable fit. And a blast to play during worship time.

    I have continued to play electric guitar, and currently take lessons to improve my lead chops.

    Now part of me wonders if I really should recognize bass as my main instrument. And focus on being the best I can at it.

    I wouldn't drop guitar completely. I've tried.... it can't be done ;)

    BTW, I have a full-time non-musician job, kids, etc. So I don't have a ton of time to pursue both to a great degree.

    Anyway, I know there's a lot of bass and guitar players out there. When did some of you realize bass was really your main thing?

    -- Joe
  2. As much as I hate to admit it, Korn. I used to be like, "Man, what is making that awesome deep rattling sound?!" and people would tell me it was the bass player. I know a lot of people don't like Fieldy's playing much, but it served the music well, and it turned me onto bass.
  3. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    As a teenager, I had a completely horrid little garage band in which I played the guitar. The bass player never practiced, and tended to leave all his stuff at our practice space in the drummer's basement. We were a 2 guitar band, and one day the bass player didn't show up, so I decided to play bass. I was hooked instantly.

    A few years later, as a senior in high school, I played bass briefly in a band with a guitarist named Joe Grant. We basically only existed to play our high school battle of the bands. But this guy was active in church, and I could see him on a worship team. You didn't go to Maple Hill in upstate NY, did you?
  4. Rinder


    Oct 12, 2012
    NW Suburbs, IL
    Was just about to make damn near the same thread. I tried practically every other instrument before I found which was right for me. I played guitar for awhile but got bored with it even though I was decent, it felt too small in my hands and I always felt I was meant to be more rhythmic. I tried drums because I was always a tapper, couldn't stop tapping on desks, my leg, whatever. I'm actually really good at the whole pen tapping thing (, still working on the rapping part ;)).
    So I got the drum kit, and they were fun to play but it was at the expense of my family and neighbors. I didn't really feel like I would be able to properly progress when I couldn't allow myself to really jam out. Anyway, one day I picked up and fiddled with my friends bass and I knew this would be something I could be good at. The thick strings felt great to my fingers, I liked the weight of the instrument and the length of the neck. So I pawned off the drums(cheapo kit anyway) and bought my first bass around Christmas last year. I play for at least an hour everyday and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

    (edit: first instrument I actually ever played was the sax in 5th grade band, but I quit in about 2 weeks. They made it seem so damn fun :/. I also have a ukulele thats fun, an ocarina and I'm a proficient Jaw Harp player(I made 5 bucks one time just sitting on the street playing it haha)
  5. joegrant413


    Dec 6, 2009

    Wow... small world!! No, I'm not that Joe Grant.

    -- Joe

    BTW, the only artist who worked on both Fantasia movies was a man named Joe Grant.
  6. joegrant413


    Dec 6, 2009
    Sometimes I think you are defined by the tedium you're willing to go through.

    Over the last year or so, transcribing guitar solos has become tedious. Which I did with my music teacher. By the time I learned the riff cold, it felt like it took too long to get there.

    However, of late I don't mind taking time to learn something like a James Brown groove on bass. And by the time I learn it, I'm happy to play it.

    Of course, some of this is the fun of the learning curve for a new instrument. At some point I'll hit a wall / plateau on bass, too.

    -- Joe
  7. I think I am just starting to realize it now, after many years.

    Here's the story.

    I originally started out on guitar, many years ago. Never thought about bass. In my first band, I was the rhythm guitarist, we had a bass player, drummer, and lead guitar. Played that way for some time.

    Then, our drummer and bass player left us for another group. I ended up taking up bass for some time, to continue playing with the other guitarist. Then we got back together, and I went back to guitar.

    We all moved away eventually, and at one point I had sold all my equipment. But I can't stay away long.

    Few years ago, I got back into guitar. Recently, I was just really wanting to get back to bass. Recently bought one, and haven't stopped since. Love guitar too much to give it up altogether, but I have come to be primarily bass oriented.

    Definitely consider it my main instrument now.
  8. joegrant413


    Dec 6, 2009
    Thx again for replies so far
  9. I started playing guitar at 13, with no prior music experience or interest. For some reason I quickly became obsessed. It just tapped into some part of my brain that I had never been aware of before. Not to say I was a prodigy or anything, but I loved playing.

    Played bass occasionally, when a band needed one. I had no idea what I was doing (no knowledge of theory or proper technique).

    It wasn't until after college that I realized the following things:
    1) I love music and want to keep playing it as a serious hobby for the rest of my life.
    2) I'm never going to be a great guitar player; there will always be a ton of guys better than me.
    3) According to the law of supply and demand, it's much easier to get a decent gig as a bass player.

    Now some folks on this forum may argue with #3, and I certainly don't mean to say that bass is easier than guitar or anything like that. It just seemed like a wise move. And after I started playing bass more, I realized that it suits me much better. I still play guitar quite a bit, but bass has been my main instrument for about 3 years now.
  10. For me it was always that I would be playing guitar, and it would still be enjoyable, but after a short amount of time, my mind would wonder towards playing bass, learning new things on bass, and wanting to experience all aspects of it that I never really felt the need to on a guitar. I still play guitar and other instruments, but bass just feels 'right'.

    I suppose sometime you just have to come out of the closet and admit that deep down, you're a bass player at heart. :p
  11. cronker


    Feb 13, 2007
    I started on guitar, but even with a lot of lessons and practice, was never much good.
    Went onto keys - same
    First time I tried bass? Success! Just felt right,I could feel it. Never looked back.
  12. heynorm


    Oct 21, 2010
    Omaha, NE
    At age 13 I used to sneak into my brother's room to play his guitar while he was at work. Being left-handed I had to convert to righty. After school in junior high on the way to YMCA basketball got diverted by a friend to the 'band room' where his combo was practicing. No bass player, but a Kay bass and an Ampeg combo sitting there. They said go ahead. Had no idea what I was playing. 48 years later still gigging and learning.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I consider myself a musician. I play bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and keyboards. The instrument I like best is bass. Paul McCartney plays just about any instrument and sings as well, and is still a very good bass player.
  14. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I played guitar in my first band, in 1967. We had an excellent bass player, albeit a beginner, just like the rest of us. I quickly started hearing bass lines in my head, and was drawn to it. Two years later, I quit that band, and started playing bass in my second band, and never looked back. For 15 years, I did play guitar for about 1/3 of the time in a couple bands, switching to add variety to the three pieces I was in, but I have been a bass player in my heart, head and hands. For the last 30 years, I have played bass (except for the single performances I do.) I love how bass sounds...how bass fits in with any music I listen to, how bass affects how a band sounds, how bass affects a dancing audience, how it works with the drummer, and how it, (along with the drummer) creates a platform for guitar to do it's thing. I love the range of bass tones, and bass playing. One can be a simple, rudimentary player and still be a great bass player. One can be more intricate than the best guitar players. What NOT to play is as much a skill as what one does play. One singer on a worship team I was with for 17 years asked why I played such a "simple" instrument. I told her I have more control over a song than does anyone else in the band. She asked for a demonstration, so at practice, I started changing bass styles, and took the song we were doing from old time country, to reggae, to metal, to hard rock, to 50's rock, to funk, to soul, to a polka, and back to what we intended the song to be. She was amazed and amused, and that one demo gave her an appreciation for us lowly bass players.
  15. zarah825


    Sep 21, 2012
    I will say they're back to even for me (guitar feels more free and experimental to me/bass feels more tight and ground in a good way) but I guess in high school it felt sort of like "everyone" played guitar. Bass has a special sort of power to it, especially live. It's sexier :D
  16. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    When Magical Mystery Tour was released.
  17. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    I think everyone's ear naturally gravitates toward a particular instrument or area of music. Some people are drawn to the singing or to the beat etc. My ear goes to the rhythm & melody.

    I like the bass because it's in the middle of everything. It's the link between the beat and the melody and it provides the groove that makes the ladies' hips sway. What could be better? Plus, name a band where the bass player is not the coolest guy in the organization!

  18. joegrant413


    Dec 6, 2009
    .... Good stuff

    One thing I'll note is there are instruments I've tried and don't care about. Keyboard included (though I'd like to learn more to get better at DAW software.)

    It's safe to say that since I tried bass, I always "got it". And enjoyed it.
  19. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    Two friends in summer camp in 1970 played guitar and I wanted in. Loved the bass immediately, still do. So many guitarists out there, few good bassists, and keyboard players as well, of course. I did pick up the guitar some years later, for fun, but the bass is THE instrument for me.
  20. When I was a kid (12) I was taking classical guitar lessons when my best friend and his brothers got instruments for Christmas. By pal got a 5 piece Pearl kit, middle brother got a Gibson guitar and amp, and oldest got a Fender Rhodes. Well you can see what was missing. I talked my parents into buying me a $99 National bass plugged into the 2nd channel of the guitarists amp and we played our first gig 2 weeks later! We quickly became the "house" band at our junior high and I'm sure drove the neighbourhood crazy with rehearsals. Like most I still play guitar somewhat (helps for writing I find) but I loved the bass from those early days on.