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Why did you pick bass?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ScenicRoute, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Experimented with violin, bass clarinet, and acoustic guitar no older than age 7. None of them took. In 7th grade dad gave me his old Gretsch guitar and again it didn't take. I had a problem with chording and truth be told wasn't interested in learning it. During this time I found myself being drawn towards the bass lines in the music and really really liked those low notes, so for Christmas 1986 (age 16) my parents bought me my first bass guitar. A cheap $135 Fender Music Master, I've never looked back and have been a bassoholic since.
  2. i listened to the albums 'Antics' by Interpol and 'In love and Death' by the used
    and wanted to play THAT instrument.

  3. faiz0802


    Mar 24, 2009
    London, UK
    Because I could. :hyper:

    I played guitars for 2-3 years before I realized I was more groove and less move. And so we lived happily ever after... :bassist:
  4. E2daGGurl


    May 26, 2008
    Always liked listening to the various parts/voices in classical music and hymns. Played bassoon. Eventually figured out that there was often a kind of guitar in many bands that did much the same kind of thing.

    Was surprised to find out I could sort of play one.
  5. I started playing cello. Then i heard Orion for the first time.

    I had a really cool uncle who bought me a Harmony p-bass and a cheapy combo amp that next birthday.
  6. Steve Harris
  7. I was primarily a guitarist, but had always dabbled with the bass and keys, so when the bassist in the last band I was in decided to move on it was a case of "do we look for another bassist, then take months to teach him all the songs and hope it works?" Or... "Gimme the bass and we'll go play the gig next week!" Needless to say the bass has been my primary instrument ever since.

  8. JQ1986


    Oct 30, 2008
    Rice Lake, WI
    I guess you could say I'm a failed guitarist who turned bassist. I wanted to play bass (to me it sounded better than guitar), but my parents and I couldn't afford to get one. SO my grandma's friend had an old classical guitar laying around so she gave that to me. I have no idea how old it is, but it sure needed new tuners, so there went $50 toward a bass. Gave it an honest shot, still wasn't digging it so I babysat my cousins for that entire summer so I could buy a bass. 8 years later I haven't looked back. I still mess around on the guitar from time to time to switch things up, but it feels like...I'm cheating for lack of a better term.
  9. Well, responding to the thread's first post, I didn't switch to bass, I added it to the arsenal. I was 13 years old, going into grade 8 on the first day of school, not knowing anything about what to expect. I had been a classical violinist since I was 4 and pianist since I was 1 (according to my mum who taught me piano and theory). My elementary school let me play violin in the (boring) band.

    My high school had no use for classical string players, stupidly, considering how competitive the high school was in music programs country-wide. Whatever, anyway so my big brother who had just graduated from the same high school said I should pick up another instrument, it would be relatively easy for me and I'd be able to use my talent in music and have fun with the other kids. I said "ok, I want to learn DRUMS!'. That didn't go over well with my mum and my brother politely guided me away from that route (by the way I do play drums now as well LoL, although definitely more in the sucky skill range than my bass playing). So I said "electric guitar" and my brother said that in high school band electric guitar doesn't get the same amount of use and in jazz band it's boring (his words, he was right of course, although again I took up electric guitar at age 16 finally as well), and so he said I should play bass guitar. I said "bass" guitar, not having a clue what the instrument was. He assured me it's an electric guitar that plays in the bass range and I could play it in concert band AND jazz band and it's way more fun and there's improvising all the time and the parts are far more demanding and important than guitar parts in high school bands.

    Of course he was right :). I went to my first day in high school, told the music teacher who my big brother was (just graduated remember so they knew each other), and said I wanted to play bass. He was happy since there was no other bassist in grade 8 that had registered, so off to the first jazz band class I went, different teacher, and I just knew to take a bass with me from the music office. Looked in cases, saw somethign looking like an electric guitar, brought it with me, was assured when I got there that it was actually someone's priceless electric guitar and that I needed one of the "rectangular cases" (school's fender basses LoL, I didn't htink a rectangular case looked like it held a guitar of any kind so I skipped them my first time through the office). Got the right instrument, went to rehearsal, had never played a bass before, didn't even know what notes it was tuned to (fortunately it was in tune already), sat down and sight read grade 8 jazz bass parts by working it out by ear, knowing how to read music already, and making a HELL OF A LOT OF GUESSES about the keys, sharps, flats, names of notes and so on. for the first 3 months I don't think I knew what note names I was playing at all, I kept thinking of them as the treble clef equivalents from playing violin so long LoL. But I could play just fine thanks to my musical training/experience, and I guess just a natural gift for the bass.

    So I became a pretty serious (as in dedicated to working hard on the instrument) bassist then.

    A little different from the trumpet players etc that actually had to learn how to make a sound and for whom fingering and their mouths took years to learn/develop.

    It's a little different coming from a violinist background, made it much easier.

    From then on for years I was on a path to find out how much I could do on a bass that most people figured required an electric guitar or hammond organ for. With effects and just lots of experimenting with harmonics and mostly just getting better at playing/bending notes, I got to where I still am today, in search of a way to put together a band that has one other musician playing something like a stick or something unusual like that, and a drummer, to form a JPJ-thunderthief-like power trio. PS - my big bro also told me back in high school that I should learn to play the stick, it's like bass and guitar at the same time he said, but I never saw the frickin instrument in any stores so it never happened.)

    but dammit all anyway JPJ did it first. I procrastinate too much, but I'm still going ot do it, although I'll be called a copy cat when I do finally get it out the door LoL. PS - I'm 40 now. ;-)

    But then I'm sure 50% of the bassists on here have had the same idea their whole lives :), so the race is on to see who can do the first JPJ copycat album!


  10. Exophysical


    Nov 19, 2009
    Good bass players are like hen's teeth, way harder to find than guitar players. In something like 6 or 7 bands I think I've played only ever played with 2 bassists that drive the song like I wanted them too. All the guys I wish would play in my bands either just wanna play jazz or do covers so I figured if I wanted it done right I was going to have to do it myself.
  11. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    "Why did you pick bass?"

    Dennis Dunaway's playing on the Alice Cooper album Killer.

    'Great tracks, great :bassist:. :)
  12. I played drums for 20 years. During this time I could always hear basslines in my head. A year ago this month, I picked up a bass for the first time, just wanting to mess around. Never played a music note before. After 6 weeks, I got my first standing gig playing with our church's praise band. Fast forward to today, I play every week and don't touch the drums. I couldn't be happier playing anything else.
  13. jam.majors


    Mar 24, 2009
    Louisville, Ky
    I began on violin when I was 10ish because I thought it was a beautiful instrument. I got pretty good, but the only teacher I had any real respect for was in college. By that time I was long sick of playing with a 300 year studied and forced technique.
    Long before then I had picked up my older brother's guitar and thought it really cool. My twin was going to pick up bass and I guitar so that we could play in the church youth group and lead worship. Then I had a dream that we went to Six Flags and he won a guitar and I a bass. So we switched.
    Now I have an instrument I love. Coincidentally, my mom loved violin and hated that I started bass. She's cool now, but the rebellion side of it helped my passion for the low end;-).

    Now my twin is playing bass for the Army band. Why? Because it's hard to find somebody that knows how to play bass for bass, not guitar-on-bass.
  14. Goatee220

    Goatee220 Bassist/Photographer/Goalie Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    Spring City, PA
    I dabbled in guitar, then switched to drums, when my cousin let me have his set. I had a friend who played guitar and another who wanted to play bass, but didn't know how. I taught myself songs on bass to show him, so the 3 of us could jam together. Later I joined a band in college as a drummer, and at the first rehearsal I asked if I could play the nice Rickenbacker sitting all alone in the corner. They asked if I could play bass for them instead, since they didn't know any bass players, but knew a few other drummers. I learned 40 songs in about a month for our first gig. Been playing bass full time since then.

    I consider myself the glue that holds the band together. I play the same notes as the guitar, but at the same time as the drummer.
  15. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    Originally I just wanted to get in a band to meet girls, but I couldnt play drums, guitar, keyboards, or sing. Eventually I figured out that I could pump straight 8th notes like AC/DC, so I figured I'd be a bassist. I never considered myself a musician anyway- just an "audio illusionist"
  16. Why did you pick bass?

    I didn't pick bass, it picked me. In a big room full of instruments, it was the only one not being played. I picked it up, figured out the roots, and fell into the jam relatively quickly.

    Since then I have evolved into a jack of all trades, I actually teach bass, guitar, mandolin, and ukulele, I can play banjo, violin, and keyboards as well.

    But bass is still my first love, the instrument I can play effortlessly, I can sing lead and harmony parts while playing bass. I've played lead guitar and keys in several bands, but I'm now back to playing bass in a classic rock band.
  17. Minotauros


    Nov 23, 2009
    I am almost two years into learning and playing guitar, but right from the very beginning I wanted to learn bass one day, alongside guitar. Keyboard will be next.

    I've always liked the driving and rhythmic pulse and deep sound of bass. My favorite drum sound is that of the kettledrums playing a steady booming rhythm. I prefer piano songs along the lines of That's All (Genesis); Let It Be; Bad Company's Bad Company; Leon Russell's Magic Mirror, and so on. Even my preference for playing guitar is rhythm. I'm just a rhythm kind of guy.

    So here I am, with having a bass for not even 24 hours yet. ;)
  18. I always loved the thump and the way that the thick tone just fills the
    room and goes through your body and makes you want to move to
    the rhythm. I've always tuned in to the (good) bass players in a band.
    It's like a whole 'nother tune going on in a song. It's often simple as
    a nursery rhyme but adding to the overall complexity of the tune.

    And who doesn't like a funky bass line?
  19. I'll tell ya why I picked bass...weirdly enough.

    For some odd reason I enjoy the deep sound of the bass in rock bands. It's awesome hearing that low tone come out, and within punk rock music, it's got a punch to it that no other instrument or style has.

    it's awesome.

    Sure not many people I know play bass...but that didn't really affect my opinion. It's just much more fun, cool, and perfect for me.
  20. gareth dunster

    gareth dunster

    Dec 8, 2009
    I was twanging guitar without getting anywhere for years, then I was in a pub with a band that had "open tea-chest" day. Anyone could get up and play it , so I did. Tea chest is a bit of a nightmare to amp so I got a bass guitar.

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