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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. twrshredmaster8


    Oct 27, 2013
    I started playing bass at age 8. It was my older brother's Gemco bass. Gemco was a store chain in Sacramento, California that sold groceries, and other stuff~ the precursor for 'Walmart' or 'Costco'. They had guitars and basses hanging along the check out aisle. The bass cost $35.00. I'm left handed and learned to play Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Beatles and Deep Purple songs for the next two years...on an "upside down" right handed bass. At age 10, my older brothers had decided I was going to be a bass player for life, and to my horror, changed the nut and strings around so my E string was on the TOP OF THE FRETBOARD! They said I would thank them later when it came to reading music and playing with other guitarist's. I got a Danelectro bass at age 10 in 1975, played it until 14 when I smashed it at a backyard keg party "Who style". Then got a lefty Gibson bass w/ EMG's, then a custom Carvin LB-75 with maple fretboard, and finally a lefty Modulus Graphite 5 string (the 2nd one ever made in SF, CA). Had the pleasure of going to 'Bass Clinics' with Stu Hamm, Alphonso Johnson, and Michael Manring, after the incredible luck of studying jazz theory and playing in a 32 piece 'Jazz Orchestra' lead by Ray Brown. I feel very blessed to have met most of my heros and legends in the Rock Pantheon, and cherish the wisdom and knowledge they've pass on to me about music, but more about real life. REAL songs have meaning & emotions, and are crafted from real life experiences. You can FEEL IT when you listen to the music. This is what makes an Artist vs a 'Music Star'....massive difference.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  2. Tigerclaw_x


    Apr 25, 2016
    Started bass at 41. Year and a half ago. Last time I played an instrument was 17. When I finished musical school in class of piano...
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  3. Pbassmanca

    Pbassmanca In the pocket n' thumpy. So woody, so greasy...

    Back when I was about 13 years old in 1994, I found a beautiful old Yamaha neck through BB series Precision style Bass in a sunburst finish, sitting idly in its case in the hallway behind the baptismal at our church. I was running through there with my friends after the church service and happened to notice this giant looking guitar case, and upon opening it I found to my surprise a bass guitar. I had seen a guy playing the bass at one of the youth group services and I thought it was pretty cool but I'd never had a chance to pick one up, so I went and found the pastor and asked him if I could take it home and borrow it, and since no one seemed to be using it he "said sure no problem", and even let me take an old Traynor 115 solid-state combo amp with me that happened to be hanging out behind there as well. To make a long story short, I was hooked right away and spent all my time trying to figure out how to tune it and and do the fingerings and pluck the bass, and it was pretty funny because I didn't even realize that you weren't supposed to play the melody of the song at first, so I was trying to play all these songs by ear with the melody line. The music director who was a great classically trained piano player thought that having a bass player during the church services would be a good idea, and so they were nice enough to give me a bunch of lyrical word sheets with the chord name written above them and that's how I learned to play the bass! I don't consider myself a religious man these days, but I'm thankful for the opportunity to play live music when I was a kid all those Sundays and at the youth group because it really helped develop my sense of musicality and my ability to fit in with a group of musicians in a live performance setting. :smug:
    BEADG63 likes this.
  4. I started playing when I was 10, I believe. Got my first bass as a birthday gift in 2010. It was a used Ibanez Iceman ICB-200 in Mahogany.

    Not nearly as long ago as some of the others on this site, but seems like I’ve been playing forever.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    You're not dyslexic, are you? Surely, you meant 14, right? :D
    BadWithNames likes this.
  6. Tigerclaw_x


    Apr 25, 2016
    Nope. 41 is correct:) Just one day decided to pick up the bass...
  7. marius1777


    Dec 17, 2016
    I started when in 2014 when i was 11
  8. levonrocks


    Nov 21, 2012
    Easton, PA
    I started playing electric bass when I was 9-years-old, which was in 1999. My dad is an upright player, my mom plays piano, and my grandpa was an accomplished guitarist and tenor banjo player. I started playing upright in my teen years. I was always drawn to the bass, which was convenient because my older brother played guitar very well. I bought my first electric bass (a sparkly red Yamaha) from a friend for $20 and a used skateboard.
  9. Joshua B

    Joshua B

    Jun 19, 2018
    I spent two years with an upright in high school. Absolutely loved it. I’d reallly like to own one, but they’re expensive, require periodic maintenance, and, well, I drive a Honda Civic
    Irishrebel and Pbassmanca like this.
  10. Old P Bass Guy

    Old P Bass Guy

    Nov 26, 2017
    Feel your pain! You would be a great candidate for a squire fretless bass for a few years. " what you can conceive you can achieve" Earl Nightingale
    Joshua B likes this.
  11. Irishrebel


    Apr 17, 2018
    Yes, 14! It was 1979, the height of the punk era. Friends in school in Belfast were forming a band. I had done piano to grade 1 so fancied myself as the keyboard player. When I got catalogues for synthesisers (mainly Moog and Roland then), I was shocked at the prices. I just knew my working-class parents were paying enough for me to be in this middle-class school so I'd not be getting one.

    Then my friend said that since the rhythm guitarist wasn't joining, he was giving up the bass to do rhythm, so maybe I could do bass guitar.
    "What's that?" I asked.
    "It's a four string guitar an octave lower." was the reply. Another friend overheard the conversation...
    "I know a guy who's selling his first bass for a better one." So we met up that night for me to go and see this bass. It was a cheapo short scale. The seller played Teenage Kicks on it and handed it to me. While he was chatting to my friend, I fiddled about. Found the notes I was looking for. Within about two minutes, I was playing Teenage Kicks too!!!

    He watched me play this in silence, then turned to my friend. "He's good, isn't he!?"

    I didn't buy the short scale. Being near xmas, my parents bought me a Grant full scale and a Merlin 100 watt amp as my starter.

    Haven't looked back. :)
    Joshua B likes this.
  12. I started playing when I was 13. My dad bought me a bass and an amp and surprised me with them for Christmas two months after I had turned 13. I am still, and will always be, grateful for him doing that for me.
  13. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Pipoquinha at 11yo:
  14. Irishrebel


    Apr 17, 2018
    I remember getting my Marshall 4x12 into my friend's Metro! :D
    Joshua B likes this.
  15. Lauren Knight

    Lauren Knight

    Oct 21, 2016
    San Antonio
    R Briere likes this.
  16. Lauren Knight

    Lauren Knight

    Oct 21, 2016
    San Antonio
    My Dad began playing his Fender Jazz Bass at 14 after hearing the live blues shows broadcasted by KATZ. Radio station from the Gas lamp district's Chitlin' Clubs in St. LOIS. MO, (1959). At 15, he was sneaking out the window after his parents went to bed and snuck into the audience in any and all the clubs down the district strip. He would take his Jazz Bass and Stratacastor in with him and play along with the band's from his seat in the crowds. I believe it only took about a week or two before he was asked to join Chuck Berry up on the stage, and from that moment forward he gigged 6 nights a week with Chuck Berry, The Ike Turner Band, Little Milton, and anyone one else who would let him...As he jokingly says, "I was a 15 year old white Jewish kid on stage or in an audience during the time when clubs were segregated. I never felt uncomfortable, mostly because they all thought I must be crazy...but after they heard me Jam, they treated me like family. I believe my Dad was either the first, and possibly only white kid to become a card holding member in the Black Musician's Union which was a requirement for anyone who played in those clubs at that time. Although my dad was playing expert level violin, viola, Standing Bass, and French Horn by 9 or 10 for the Missouri Philharmonic Orchestra, it was the Blues and that Funky Bass that led him into his real passion and career. My pop's is now 74....and he still plays in his band with the same Fender Jazz Bass that he bought at 14. He has lovingly joked that his bass has stayed with him longer than any woman...and by the time I was born he had already had 20 years with his trusty bass. He even met back with his destined Bass 4 years after panning it after he was drafted to fight in Vietnam. ..I guess...it was his Fate...The Bass, his perfect Mate!
    btmpancake, R Briere, TomB and 2 others like this.
  17. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    Say hi to Larry for me. Love his music, some of it sounds like 'Downchild Blues Band' out of Canada. We have more than a few things in common. Bass, gigs, and my daughter's name is Lauren :)
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
    R Briere and JIO like this.
  18. Lauren Knight

    Lauren Knight

    Oct 21, 2016
    San Antonio
  19. Lauren Knight

    Lauren Knight

    Oct 21, 2016
    San Antonio
    Absolutely! That's so cool! First, women playing Bass totally Rock...and gotta love the Laurens of the World. You are one cool mamma!
    R Briere likes this.
  20. Lauren Knight

    Lauren Knight

    Oct 21, 2016
    San Antonio
    Here's a gift for you...cause I love the Soul that you can feel when a woman rocks her Bass. I used a picture of Dad's 1959 Fender Jazz Bass as it looks today and superimposed the image over my own artwork after color reversing the Bass photo. I hope you like it :)

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