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. Spiky_Bassist

    Spiky_Bassist Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    NJ, USA
    I took lessons on guitar for four years back in HS and even bought a sweet Charvel. But none of the bands/groups near me needed guitarists, only bassists (go figure). I picked up bass and realized I'd rather try to be an above average bassist than a mediocre guitarist. I can still play guitar and love it, but I'm definitely drawn more to bass and enjoy it more.
  2. I learned music on piano at grade school age, picked up the guitar in early high school, got a bass here and there afterward, but because I live bass AND guitar and all things musical, I came here to learn more about bass.
  3. TJL


    Oct 22, 2013
    I was playing trumpet in my high school jazz band, but when the bassist quit, I decided to try playing bass because we had a second trumpet player. It was the right instrument for me, and I have never had to look back.
  4. Aldo Ferrari

    Aldo Ferrari

    Mar 20, 2021
    I started playing Bass as a teen and then went for the "cool" guitar thing. Picked up a jazz bass many years later and have not stopped playing Bass since.
  5. ElectricBass72


    Aug 6, 2019
    How about those of us who started on bass, switched to guitar.... but then came to senses and went back to bass?
    EddiePlaysBass likes this.
  6. Hawk9300


    Nov 12, 2014
    none to give
    I played guitar from the early 70's to late 80's then quit. My son picked up the trumpet in school in the late 90's so I bought a cheap bass so I could play along with him. I now play bass for our church and love it.
  7. jetgraphics


    Dec 12, 2007
    I vaguely remember having a red plastic toy guitar, with nylon strings. So that puts me a guitarist at first. But I also played ukulele, partly influenced by parental unit. I can recall being shown guitar chords, and told to use the upper 4 notes. I can still tune a Uke by humming "My Dog Has Fleas."
    In high school, some friends needed a bass player, so they talked me into it. Bought a mail order bass from Lafayette Electronics (NYC), which cost me $49 and cleaned me out - couldn't afford a case. Been playing bass ever since. . . the cheaper, the better.
  8. Zbudah


    Apr 3, 2020
    I was also a Tuba player in high school. The bass player in our Jazz Ensemble was graduating and they needed a candidate to fill the spot. I was a Freshman. I could read the music so the band director asked if I was interested in learning to play. Of course, I jumped right in. I also started my first band and have been playing ever since. That was 1980...
    I did take guitar lessons for a year (just 2 years ago) but didnt take to it like I did when I learned to play the bass...but I was also 15 at the time and have a 40 year 'comfort zone' with the bass. I had an idea that I could learn to play guitar and do solo gigs when I retire. I did learn a few things and it probably made me a better bass player...which I shall remain.
    bigdaddybass12 likes this.
  9. bigdaddybass12


    Feb 26, 2021
    I did not start playing bass until I was 35. Before i played a little horn, knew a few guitar chords, played some banjo of all things. Then I came to my senses started bass
  10. SabrePlayerAR


    Jul 29, 2017
    I picked up my first bass at 20 after having played the violin for a number of years before that. Never played guitar until my 40s (and I'm still not great at it). Once I got my hands on a bass - somebody in my dorm had one - it was love at first thump. Interestingly though I'd never really paid attention to bass parts in songs before. Once I started playing though, that was ALL I paid attention to - at least for a while! Perhaps as in Harry Potter's world, the instrument chooses the musician rather than vice versa (it was wands in Potter-land).
    EddiePlaysBass likes this.
  11. Jimmigrant


    Feb 16, 2020
    When I was a kid, the Aria bass hanging up in the hock shop was the only guitar in the window.
    So I bought it. $15.
    That was one of those perfect moments that change your life.
    I’m 67 now and playing bass has been a joy since that day.
    Clank Plank likes this.
  12. oddeotek


    Mar 28, 2010
    Sammamish, WA
    I started on keys in 1964 and realized after 2 years that I wanted to be a bass player instead. Paul McCartney and Chas Chandler were a big influence on my style and decision to switch instruments.
  13. I have only ever really been a bass player. I have occasionally owned guitars, but they are more for people who drop without an instrument, and want to jam. I own a baritone guitar, but play it like it was a bass, which doesn't bring the best out of it. If I want something in the guitar range, I play my piccolo bass.
  14. aureliab20gt


    Jul 19, 2011
    Back in the late Cretaceous when I was about 15, I was a big fan of early Roxy and wanted to sound like Andy Mackay....so playing Sax was my early intention.
    One day a guy at school put his arm around my shoulders and took me to one side and said he had heard that I was interested in playing music, but that Sax was not the way forward and that I should buy a bass and incidentally, he just happened to have one for sale.
    So I bought a Jedson short scale from him for £15. It was shaped like a Tele guitar and sunburst.
    A few weeks later, the same guy approached me and asked how I was getting on with the bass, 'ok' I said.
    'Well, I just happen to have a better one for sale and you really should upgrade'...and so he sold me a Grant EB0 copy for £25. It was in cherry of course!
    So that's my tale of how I ended up playing Bass....not that I have ever regretted my change of direction.
    Fast forward 30 years and I bumped into him at a gig.......'Let me guess' I said, 'You're in sales?'.....and yes, he is!!
    EddiePlaysBass likes this.
  15. Kawai2g4b


    Oct 7, 2018
    I started on piano. My piano teacher also happened to be the orchestra teacher at my high school and knew I played guitar. He needed an upright bass player and suggested that I jump in cold my freshman year of high school. By my senior year, I had made second chair. I picked up electric bass as an extension of my upright playing and that had been my main instrument since.
  16. squarepeg


    Dec 21, 2010
    I started piano lessons at age 5, then took up guitar at around 12. I played bassoon and baritone sax in the high school band and started playing guitar in a band with some classmates. When I graduated I decided I wanted to play in a band rather than go to college, found it was easier to get into one playing bass, so bought a bass. I found it pretty easy to learn, and since I already knew how to read music, even got a few gigs with a couple of jazz bands.


    May 31, 2015
    Lakewood, CA
    I had three friends that I grew up with, that along with me, all three wanted to play guitar. We had just entered a big public high school ( after knowing each other from a small parochial school ) back in the late 70's, when garage bands were common, and started seeing that some of the cool long haired guys at this school, played in these bands. We then got to know a drummer, wich got us talking about learning to play ourselves, that's when everyone one of us said " I want to play guitar". So the friend that had the most knowledge and interest in this shared endeavor, said, "we can't all play guitar, someone will have to play bass." Without knowing much about the role of it, ( other than I liked the animated way Geezer Butler played in my favorite hard rock band, Black Sabbath )
    I quickly said " I'll play bass".
    It was the right choice for sure, even though early on, I learned to play it like a guitar...guitar riffs, and ignoring a lot of what the bass was actually doing in the song. One good thing about that approach was, often, what I was playing was more difficult ( at least physically anyway) to pull off, and prepared my abilities more quickly to play stuff like Iron Maiden later down the road.

    Well, the friend that said " we can't all play guitar, someone will have to play bass", was the only one of the three that really stuck with it , and became a very good guitar player.
    We "jammed" a lot for the next few years before getting into a hard rock band. That lasted for two years before a roughly fifteen year hiatus ( mixture of reasons )
    but, so glad I picked it up again.

    Here it is over forty years later, and I'm still learning the proper role, and the less is more discipline of playing bass along with a little guitar as well. I can say this, playing guitar inspires me to play my bass, more than playing my bass inspires me to play guitar = I made the right choice.
    El_Charro likes this.
  18. Jimmigrant


    Feb 16, 2020
  19. El_Charro


    Aug 11, 2020
    Didn’t read thru all the responses, but personally I was terrible at guitar and gave up on making music for about two decades as result...

    Even when I was giving up guitar I was tempted by bass and almost felt it calling me, but didn’t have the money for the hobby at the time...

    Almost took the plunge two other times as I constantly thought about playing bass, but could never talk myself into it (probably out of fear of being happy or fear of being completely terrible)...

    If I remember right I heard Nikki Sixx say one time that you don’t choose the bass, it chooses you and I sorta agree with that statement bc that was kind of my experience...

    Thanks! \m/
  20. Jimmigrant


    Feb 16, 2020
    Jeeeeeeeeeze South Paw, you and I could've been separated at birth !
    Except for the heavy metal. My barely learned cronies and I veered more towards Crosby, Stills and Nash (and eventually Young). On our way to Led Zep and Steely Dan. To finally end my stage days with John J Francis. Who you would probably never had heard of, I'm Australian, after all .......... ;^)
    Onwards and upward, Southo,
    P.S. I never got past four strings !
    SOUTH PAW likes this.
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