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Who Else Started Bass at 14, or some other crazy young age?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by CaseyVancouver, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. Modulus 96

    Modulus 96

    Jun 10, 2018
    1983 @13 years old, give or take a few years. My brother played both bass and guitar. While he was out playing guitar his bass was left in his room so I snuck in to play it. It was a Gibson Thunderbird with horrible frett buzz. The first song I can remember focussing on was Metallica Ride the Lightening. Terrible idea, BTW, but that's how I started getting my chops (rhythm came later). I was into Queensryche, Racer X, Malmsteen, Helloween, King Diamond. My brother later worked at a music store and sold me my first bass, a Hondo 4 string with a tremolo. I broke many, many strings on that bass. I went to college with it and later got an Aria Pro II SB Elite II, same as Rudy Sarzo in the Still of the Night Video. I later went through a number of Ibanez basses, and some off brands (headway...). I stopped buying basses when I got my Modulus Quantum 5 sweet spot turbo. ... Well, almost stopped. Got into a band that was gigging a lot and decided I needed another, so I picked up another Quantum sweet spot turbo but with slightly different electronics. Some time during all the gigging we opened for Quiet Riot and I had Rudy sign my Aria Pro.

    My first bass rig was a GK mb series combo. I played it through an acoustic 4x12. Later I went all-in on Hartke - 7000 head, 2 4x10's and a 2x15. The 2x15 after i had destroyed two 1x15's. Had that for years and years. I now use a Mesa Impulse 600 on top of a powerhouse 1000, assorted effects and a GK 700rb 2x10 combo for smaller scenarios. Currently transitioning from rackmount gear to a pedal board.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  2. Jimbowhit7


    Mar 5, 2018
    I started guitar really young (I'm thinking between 10 and 12), then moved over to bass at 14. My first bass was a Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar - I sold it a couple years ago, and I kinda regret it, to be honest. It was a great bass. I have a Fender P-Bass now, though (along with an Epi Thunderbird and a couple Ray34-type basses), which sounds amazing. I haven't been playing for too long (less than a decade), but I don't see my enthusiasm for the instrument going away anytime soon! :D
  3. Ace on Bass

    Ace on Bass

    Aug 24, 2017
    I actually started playing up right bass at 5 years old in a small town in northern Illinois. I was forced to start taking piano lessons at 4 by my mother. That helped me to pickup and learn the bass quite easily. A year later, when I was 6, in 1949, I was asked by an older schoolmate if I would like to play in a band. I said okay and the bandleader, Tom Geotz, came and talked to my parents and I was in. I played with that band called the Esquires until I graduated high school, Fortunately for me I was the only bass player at that time in the North Chicago suburbs, so I started getting gigs with other newly formed bands all through grade school and high school. I did not pick up electric bass until I was 18 in 1961.


    Mar 4, 2017
    Orchard Park NY
    It's great to see some of the older cats chiming in. Kudos to you for keeping your passion alive for so long!
  5. Rodrigo331


    Nov 26, 2017
    My father had been a bass player (upright) but he quit when I was born. Years later he got a bass to play with his friends from his “musician” years, and he parked it in our living room. He had some Oscar Peterson records, with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen. I was in my mid-teens, and very interested in jazz music, and started playing along with this amazing unit, trying to emulate Ray (the most “logical” bassist I ever heard!) as much as possible. Faster than you could say “walk,” I totally understood his groove and his choice of notes. I learned a lot of tunes by following his concept. I love to tell people that Ray Brown was my teacher, even though I met him only once in my life. Happily, I was able to thank him for all the inspiration he gave me from listening to his playing.
  6. Pinheas


    Jan 15, 2012
    So Cal
    I did when I was 10. Couldn't sight read to save my life. When I picked up bass at 14 I could read over chord changes. I was 16 when I started playing lines because I played upright with a German bow. I had already been playing fretless for a year. Never looked back after playing for over 45 years (and never went back to bone).
  7. Pinheas


    Jan 15, 2012
    So Cal
    It sort of is - the lower 4 strings are tuned in 4ths albeit an octave lower. At 18 when I picked up cello after playing upright for a few years, I had a tougher time playing in 5ths. Wasn't used to it after 4 years of bass. Same when I got an old Spanish beetle-back mandolin from my grandmother I picked up guitar easily but the 5th tuning on the mandolin was unfamiliar.

    I also easily picked up flute and sax because both hands worked together like string instruments. And I played keys with my right hand and electric bass with my left in one band. But separating the left and right hands on keys is still tough these days.

    I learned jazz improv and played fretless and upright professionally for years. Wound up playing bass with country stars in my early 20s because that's what payed the bills at the time.
  8. Pinheas


    Jan 15, 2012
    So Cal
    Bassists are a unique breed. I've dabbled with and played many instruments - mostly strings and woodwinds (except for double reeds). I venture to guess that many on this site would say "once a bassist, always a bassist." Bass was my primary from 14, through music conservatory to gigging and studios. Never looked back.
    Old P Bass Guy likes this.
  9. So, you whippersnappers have like 20 years experice on me while the same age. I was too stupid/impatient to learn a bass at that age. I ended up punching in the Iron Maiden song book into the Commodore 64; it was better than me... I play to hear the sound; still, barely better than the 64.
  10. Hello to all my bass brothers far and wide. Over here in Australia, I started on EB at 14 it was 1972, originally left handed for a few months then switched to right, left basses were pretty rare. My first bass was a short/medium scale Fender Coronado Bass, Geezer Butler, Roger Glover, John Entwistle, Tony Levin, Bob Babbitt were my early influences until I heard Stanley Clarke & Jaco Pastorius.

    Ended up landing a gig with an up and coming band here in Australia at the age of 17 that recorded and toured under the name "The Reels" (yes, lots of cheesy youtube clips can be found). You see me playing mostly a Fender VI, it was the start of New Wave and electronic tech was moving in. I went with a rather staccato pick style to match the synths. Did a lot of shows back then supporting some big bands early careers, INXS, Midnight Oil, Split Enz (Crowded House), Nick Cave, ah memories. These days I play upright bass and a little eb in a few bands. Still love playing.
    Pinheas likes this.
  11. pbass4jz


    Jun 6, 2018
    Started upright at age 13; played first bass guitar gig at 14 years old; at 70 years I still love playing; what a long strange trip it has been!
    kittywithabanjo likes this.
  12. Started in Germany in 1964 when I was 16. First was a Silvertone electric guitar and I removed the strings and forced bass strings on it. Played it through a big stereo Hi-Fi system. Sounded bad but I loved it. A year later I began working and spent every dime on musical equipment. Hofner solid body bass, Hofner Beatle bass, Framus elec. guitar, Gretch elec hollow body guitar, 12 string guitar. Moved to USA in 1967 in August, traded both Hofners for new 1967 Fender Precision bass and with what I had left over paid my tuition for first semester at the university. Got in a band a week later. Within a few months I had a van, three basses, two guitars, a Standell combo amp with 100 watts and 2 12" JBLs, and a few pedals. Been playing ever since and I will be 70 in a few weeks. So that is . . . what . . . 54 years! Still learning and I can easily say I've gotten better over the years.
    Old P Bass Guy and guygorilla like this.
  13. Old P Bass Guy

    Old P Bass Guy

    Nov 26, 2017
    At 13 did you stand on a stool? :)
  14. Started at 14 in like 1998 or so, used to lurk this site back then.
    Never had cool gear, grew up poor. In 2003 switched to guitar primarily and played guitar and drums off and on until 2013 when I took a 4 year break from playing anything except theboccasial few minutes here and there. Jan 2017 decided to play drums again.. picked guitar back up a few months later and then was asked to play bass for a pretty popular local band.. so got back into bass again after a 14 year break this past October.
    Lot more fun now that I have a career and can buy the gear I want now lol
  15. Old P Bass Guy

    Old P Bass Guy

    Nov 26, 2017
    You've been busy!
  16. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Started at 14 in 1975. First popular song learned on bass: ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet’ by Bachman-Turner Overdrive. First bass: Gibson Grabber, natural finish. First amp: Alamo Fury 1x15 combo (They should have named it the ‘Dog’).
    pbass74, JimmyM and Old P Bass Guy like this.
  17. Old P Bass Guy

    Old P Bass Guy

    Nov 26, 2017
    You picked a cool first song!
  18. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Hah! One of my first songs was "We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet" ...Blues Magoos. ...quite a bit before BTO. Check it out, very cool bass line. It kept me busy learning the fingering for a while.



    Feb 8, 2017
    I started in 1962 at 15, with a Danelectro and a home build amp/cabinet...bought a '61 used J base in '63, traded it in for $100 off a new Gibson EB-3 in 1965, which I still have and play several times/month with a couple of old rockers like myself. I also have a a new 5 string "V" J bass and a '64 Vintage J bass, brought out by Fender about 4 years ago, but still love the 30" scale of the EB-3
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wow, the first song I learned on bass was "Not Fragile" by BTO, and then I got to "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet." "Not Fragile" was easier :D
    MegaSwing, Pbassmanca and pbass74 like this.

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