Who fell into bass?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by jnuts1, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. Bass is my only true love

  2. started on guitar and then fell in love with bass

  3. started on guitar and then was forced into bass by guitarists

  1. red_rhino

    red_rhino Artful Dodger Gold Supporting Member

    I wanted to be a drummer, but didn't have (and couldn't afford) a set. A friend took two strings off of one of his guitars, handed it to me and said "Play bass". It changed my life in ways I never came to fully understand until years later.
    Low Down Brown likes this.
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I started as a trumpet player in Junior High School (as we called it back then), and switched to bass trombone a couple of years later.

    That's bass trombone, which is related to, but distinct from, the normal trombone.

    Folks, that bass trombone changed my life. Sitting in Jazz band, I discovered how satisfyingly visceral those bass lines could be. Snarly, nasty, take-no-prisoners attitude in spades! From then on, I knew I was a true denizen of the bass realm. I never had a desire to be a "normal" trombonist, with their reedy tones and noodly soloing. Nope, give me the meat down low!

    A few years later I had a similar experience with "normal" guitars and bass guitars. The same reaction was there - the gut-punching devastating visceral nature of the bass was and is utterly intoxicating. I enjoy guitar too, but bass is home.
    EddiePlaysBass and kohanmike like this.
  3. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    I picked #2, but circumstances were slightly different.
    Starting as a toddler, always wanted to be a 'Beatle' when I grew up (not a musician, a BEATLE :laugh:)
    Tried group guitar lessons very young, but the strings made my fingers hurt and it was boring Mel Bay from hell.
    Calls for participants in a school orchestra, grade 5, had me volunteer to learn cello.
    When I got a little taller I switched to bass fiddle.
    Looking at a photo of Bill Wyman one day, I noticed he played a 4-string guitar (!); Looking at the credits on a Stones album, I learned his 4-string guitar was this thing called a bass.
    HEY, thinks I, I ALREADY KNOW HOW TO BE A BEATLE! (Or Stone, but you know what I mean).
    kohanmike likes this.
  4. red_rhino

    red_rhino Artful Dodger Gold Supporting Member

    That sounds like a character's royal title on Game of Thrones...

    "All hail Lord Low Down, first of his name. Bringer of Thunder, Maker of Rhythms, Mover of Boo-Tays, and Lord of the Lower Regions!" ;)
  5. Zak TMD

    Zak TMD

    Apr 22, 2016
    Outside of the heart of darkness, Washington, DC
    Breaking even is the new making money.
    My older brother was a metal / thrash guitar guy, so he convinced me I should play bass, so around 11 or 12 I got one and started playing. In my 20s I switched primarily to guitar (got a few guitars, including a nice LP, which is now my only guitar). During the latter part of my 20s I joined a band as a singer. At that point I hadn't really touched a bass in awhile beyond DAW recordings for demos or whatever.

    Fast forward to current band. Our bass player moved away (again) and we had already done the "find a cool guy to play bass" dance with craigslist, social media, the whole thing. It really wasn't a fun experience. So... at the end of 2015 my dudes hit me with the ultimatum: "Play bass and sing, or the bands done." Full disclosure, I played bass on all the writing / jam sessions for our 2014 album, and was set to record it too if our bassist flaked.

    Anyway, I thought hard about it, decided the work was worth it, bought a bass and a rig, learned some songs, and have been doing double duty since 2016.
    EddiePlaysBass likes this.
  6. fretlessbass

    fretlessbass Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2010
    Tucson, AZ
    Yeah, I jumped on the bass....but it never, ever fell!
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  7. chazolson

    chazolson Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2013
    Reston, VA
    Started on cello in 3rd grade, picked up the upright bass at 14 and the electric a year later. Only then did I pick up a guitar.
  8. MTN.bass72

    MTN.bass72 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    Blue Ridge, Ga
    Not guitar, but was a drummer for several years in Atlanta...

    After moving to N. Ga I was doing log cabin maintenance... was up on a walkboard on the side of a house.. I fell off and dropped about 15 feet hurting my back... couldn't play drums without severely hurting... so, while healing, I picked up a cheap Squier P that I could sit on my couch with and bang around..

    Ended up getting really into it..

    The rest is history, as they say
    kohanmike likes this.
  9. Williethump


    Sep 10, 2017
    I didn't 'start' on guitar, I tried to learn it for months with no joy.
    Then a friend gave me a defunct Ibanez Sound Gear 4-string bass. I fixed it up by soldering one loose wire, swapping one dead machine head and changing strings. Now we're talking- big fat strings for big fat fingers; beautiful sounds far below the freqs of my wartime buddy and constant companion tinnitus.
    And no finger contorting chords either, one note at a time. I have played bass almost every day since then, three and a half years ago. As much therapy as art, I miss it when I can't play. It's my ax. I donated the Ibby when I bought better but it sure changed my life for the better.
    kohanmike likes this.
  10. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    Piano lessons from age 7 - 10, then trumpet in jr high school. Uninspired & mediocre at both. Bought a bass @ 14 years old and it just rapidly made sense to me. It helped that I could practice it privately if I wanted to. Try that with a trumpet sometime.
    kohanmike likes this.
  11. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    I started on trumpet, music Ed major in college. So I got to try everything, at least something from each instrument “family”.

    I fell in love with bass and realized I just click with bass lines. It’s what I hear first and what I want to be playing.

    I picked up guitar about 10 years after I started bass, but it’s pretty much just acoustic strumming.
  12. JohnnyBottom

    JohnnyBottom Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    New Jersey
    Started on Eflat Contra Bass clarinet, then realized that doesnt get the girls.
    Then I switched to bass guitar and realized bass guitar doesnt get the girls either.
  13. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    I started on trumpet. I did play a little guitar and piano before bass, but it was only because they were readily available in the house. I always new I wanted to play bass, but it wasn't until I could find one to borrow that I got my start in my late teens. Bonus from starting on something other than bass: I can read both treble and bass clef.
  14. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    Looks like trumpet is more of a gateway drug than I realized...
  15. Dynomuttasaurus


    Jul 23, 2016
    My mom forced me to take folk guitar lessons when I was in 4th grade. I hated it and she finally relented after a year. In high school I heard Cliff Burton solo and I was all in. Bought a bass with money from my summer job and the love affair began. Oddly enough, because I couldn't find a guitarist, I now play quite a bit of guitar in addition to bass.
  16. baileyboy


    Aug 12, 2010
    Oddly, I've never even tried to play a guitar. Or drums. My friends needed a bass player and I figured I'd try it out.
    kohanmike likes this.
  17. AceOfBassFace


    Jun 23, 2019
    Kind of a funny story - I started on guitar at age 10 (didn't really gel with it as all I had a cheapo acoustic with mile-high action). Anyhoo, in my first year of high school, I signed up for music class. On the first day, the teacher went around the class and asked us what we wanted to play. I actually wanted to play trombone (I know right?) but when it got to be my turn, my mind blanked and I actually forgot the word 'trombone'. I was too embarassed about that so I just picked bass guitar at random AND NEVER LOOKED BACK! As a bonus, the bass I was given to use was a Peavey T-40 if I recall correctly, which was kinda heavy but very easy to play and sounded great. The classroom had a 100w Traynor all tube 15" combo which sounded lovely too.
  18. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    I just like bass the best. I had plenty of time to consider other options, but this is my favorite.
  19. smtp4me


    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    I started on piano at the age of 6 or 7. Alto saxophone came next, and was actually my main instrument and focus for several years. Somewhere around the age of 13 I picked up the bass. Along the way I also learned/played 6 string acoustic guitar, but.... nowadays bass is my primary instrument. I still play keyboards and 6 string acoustic for fun.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  20. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    piano lessons as a kid, a bit of trumpet in HS, Guitar & Sax lessons as an adult and was Sax in current band, then BL dropped bass when git player bailed, BL is now git player and singer, I gave up Sax to play bass, self taught with BL guidance.....love it
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