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. mattj1stc

    mattj1stc Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Dallas, TX USA
    I didn't play anything prior to bass, but I don't fit neatly into the 3 choices either. When I was about 12, I had friends who played guitar and they asked me to join their band as the bass player. I didn't know what a bass player did nor did I have a bass. They chose me because I was a friend and I was the tallest. Turned out that I really liked playing bass and took to it pretty well. I never really was interested in guitar - too small and too many other people play. I did eventually pick up double bass as well, but that's about it for me musically.
  2. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    Got my first bass at age 12 because I wanted a bass.
    mattj1stc likes this.
  3. Vodyanoi


    Mar 24, 2020
    It was bass from the beginning for me; around 12 years old, though I only bought my first bass when I was ~17. If it weren't for bass, it would be drums since I'm *very* proficient at them (lots of air-drumming experience!). Before that, I had a passing interest in aerophones as a kid, mainly the flute.
    mattj1stc likes this.
  4. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I disclose nothing
    Back in the late 60s my brother and his friend started a band. My brother played drums and his friend played guitar. They needed a bass player so they asked me to play bass. I said "yes, what is a bass?" well my first bass was an electric guitar that I simply removed the high B and E strings. It was strung with 4 heavy gauge flat wound strings. Then later I got a real bass, a Hofner copy. Well it turned out that the bass was a good fit for me. I always liked low notes, and I also got a guitar and learned guitar as well which really heaps because now I can see what the guitar player is doing and understand it. I also picked up keyboards and learned to sing a little. But I still like the bass and the low notes.
    mattj1stc likes this.
  5. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    In all truth the best and honest choice for me is "started on guitar and then was forced into bass by guitarists" because I was a guitar player first started back in '97 and then when I wanted to join bands no one wanted to be the bass player so I sucked it up at the time and moved to bass...now years later I love bass and still love guitar.
  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I disclose nothing
    here's me with my old Hofner


    and with my first Rickenbacker


    and here I am playing a 5 string Fenderbird

    2012 007s.jpg
  7. I started on trumpet at 9 years old and then got my first bass when I was 13 and bass has always been my love. I do play guitar also but very rarely on a gig. The only gigs I’ve played guitar on were small acoustic type deals and mainly cover gigs in the styles of grunge and alternative rock. I mainly got into playing guitar for songwriting purposes. To be able to have input on the guitar parts in original bands. Which I think is somewhat common. I mean everyone in my main band plays guitar. Ironically the drummer I play with literally owns the most expensive guitar out of all of us (high end PRS) and he helps write guitar parts also. I also play keys which also started off as a way to help with songwriting but these days I actually do a bit of keys work I’m the studio also. Basically for any additional layering (strings, pads, piano, synths and so on). Gear wise I don’t have a lot of money in guitar gear. I’ve never spent more than $400 on a “little” guitar, have always bought them used, and amp wise I currently just use a pedal (tech 21 gt2) which imo actually sounds better than a lot of the cheaper guitar amps out there.
  8. Bass was my punishment, it took me a while to discover bass as my special purpose. I started to play guitar when I was 8 free folk guitar lessons at church on a borrowed guitar, soon I was teaching the class and playing coffee houses. That same year I started playing cello in the school orchestra in the third grade. Whenever I learned to play and sing a song I usually fingered out the bass line too and I knew that bass had the same tuning as guitar.
    First day 6th grade new orchestra teacher is late so I start messing around on a string bass, as one does, plunking out bass lines. One of the cute girls (yes it's always about girls) named the song so we made it a game of me playing a bass line and the class guessing the song. The new teacher Mr. Barta comes in and says "Oh good we do have a bass player after all"
    "On NO, I play cello" says I.
    "Well now you play bass" Says Mr. Barta.
    So now I'm a bass player in school and a guitar player outside of school. Next year I meet my nemesis Emmet also a bass player but just a little better than me and the competition is on. For the next 6 years we are neck and neck ~~ tooth and nail ~~ but in a friendly competition. I want to beat him just once - never quite happened - but we both got scary good - good enough to both later easily get music scholarships when sports failed for us. I had always figured baseball was my ticket to college, but a petty sideline conflict and a couple of vindictive coaches spoiled that with the UIL and therefore the NCAA.

    My senior year I made the Jazz Band and the director insisted I play some songs on electric bass so the summer of 1976 I bought the cheapest bass i could and a good friend inspired me with the records of Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorious and I discovered my special purpose.
    I've got a Special Purpose - Steve Martin The Jerk.jpg
    BlueTalon likes this.
  9. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Eastern Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    I started out on cello in elementary school, so I've always played in the lower register. I dinked around on guitar when I was younger (still do, actually), but I didn't take to that like I took to playing bass.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  10. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    All Ive ever wanted to do. All Ive ever done. And sing!
    Herrick likes this.
  11. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    Sounds like a whodunnit when you come back from set break and some drunk had tripped and fallen onto the stage, knocking your bass over.
  12. Sixgunn


    Jun 6, 2012
    Colorado Springs
    I don't wait 30 minutes after eating, to go swimming.
    I never fell into one but it looks like someone could have fell into this one.... or maybe it was the... you know... pressure... ;)

    dkelley and PWRL like this.
  13. McG

    McG Goat Hill Gamblers

    Oct 6, 2010
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Got my first guitar at 14 after seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan (like half the male teen population of the day).

    A year later I was walking through the neighborhood and came across a band jamming in a garage with the door open. The guys were a few years older and not bad. There was a bass rig set up (Fender P with a Dual showman amp and 215 cab) but nobody playing it. I asked where their bass player was and they said he was running late. Then they asked if I played bass. I said I played a little guitar but wasn't very good. They said to give the bass a try.

    They asked if I knew the Byrds version of Mr. Tambourine Man. I'd heard it of course but never played it but I'd try. Now I'd never even held a bass, let alone play one. They started the song and my fingers just went to the right places. Bass felt so natural. During the song their bass player showed up. When we finished he said i sounded good and asked how long I'd been playing. He was surprised when I said I never played bass before.

    I knew I found my instrument. Guitar was forgotten and a bass player was born! :cool:
    EddiePlaysBass, coy garcia and PWRL like this.
  14. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    That Pressure Drop, gitcha every time.
    Sixgunn likes this.
  15. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    One of my first times playing was very similar. It was a convincing moment for me.
    McG likes this.
  16. Got my first guitar at 12. Played in a folk group for two years, got into an RNR band at fourteen. Played with that same band for years. When our bass player quit, we could either look for another bassist or carry on with me on bass. The other guitarist was okay, so took to the bass.

    As it was then and is now, having fun was the ultimate goal. All good and decades of loving the gift of music and the ability to create it has been a blessing
    McG likes this.
  17. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    Started with clarinet, bass clarinet, then tuba through elementary and middle school. My parents got me an $8 guitar somewhere along the line, but I never could find the enjoyment on a really bad instrument with action a mile high (but I sure tried, and I loved the idea of having it and was so grateful to my parents for it - I just never caught on). Any time I would go to the music store, I always gravitate to basses. Pure lust for them over guitars.

    Then at 15, I got the chance to play with a gospel quartet. They had the bass and amp, no longer had a player. "Sure, I'll give it a whirl." The clouds parted, the angels sang, and everything musical finally made perfect sense. BASS is what I should have been doing all along!
    McG likes this.
  18. Cavemanfrmc


    Apr 11, 2021
    First came piano lessons, then guitar lessons. Both at a fairly young age. Guitar wasn't my thing. In the late 70s I chose bass. Gave up in the 80s. Got back into it in the 90s.
  19. I've met a TON of bass players who started on violin and took it pretty far, myself include (I was a very serious violinist).

    I played a guitar a few times before I played bass, but I was a "bass player" long before I was any good on guitar. But I started on piano and then violin long before I knew what a bass was.
  20. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I played cello through high school. Meanwhile, the middle school band teacher started a jazz band and asked me to play bass. The school basses were all unplayable, so I got a Fender Mustang Bass, and de-fretted it a couple years later. Then I got an upright and learned to play it during college.

    I had a guitar for a while, but it never really called out to me. One of my lockdown projects has been to get my old cello out and learn to play jazz on it.
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