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Why did you start playing bass?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by HamOnTheCob, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    My grandfather had played harmonica for years through a 1958 Fender Champ amp, and had bought a 60s Kay solid body electric guitar in case his son or anyone in the family ever wanted to play guitar. When I was a kid, I thought I'd like to learn to play guitar, so I signed up for lessons and after one session, I realized it was more than I could handle (I think I was only about 8 or 9), so the guitar and amp went back in the closet.

    Right around the time I turned 16, one of my best friends (Fuji, who I currently play in the band Lohio with, linked in my signature) started playing guitar, and I wanted to play too. Most of all, there was a girl who really liked music (and musicians) that I was trying to impress.

    I had a 1978 Yamaha IT250 dirtbike, which was my prized possession, and the only thing I had of value. I decided to sell it for $400, which is what I bought it for, and took my money to the local guitar shop. I had no clue of what I was doing, but I had some cash and I was going to walk out of there with a guitar of some kind. My favorite band was Metallica and I was hoping to get an Explorer like James Hetfield's. haha

    Once I got to the store, I looked around at everything (they have a pretty good selection for being a small area) and saw some guitars I liked, including an Epiphone Explorer, but it was a bit expensive for me. I saw some basses hanging on the wall and I said to myself "everyone plays guitar, so I'm gonna get a bass." The one I really liked (based solely on appearance) was a bright green Tobias. I said "Sweet, I'll get this one!" then I looked at the price tag. Holy cow. Ok, I better go for something cheaper. I checked out several other basses and ended up looking at a few identical Squier P-basses and picked a black one over a red one and a blue one.

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    I spent $240 on the bass, a gig bag, a strap, and a cable. I already had an amp (haha a 58 Fender Champ guitar amp!!! I was so stupid!!!). I turned that amp up as loud as it would go and played that bass all the time, learning very slowly using tablature. (Amazingly enough, even at full volume I never did hurt that old amp any).

    I really didn't know what I was doing at all until Fuji invited me over to jam with him and another kid we went to high school with named Phil Zoladz (I would end up playing music with him in two bands, one of which is Distraught's Son, one of the bands linked in my signature).

    Unfortunately, the girl I was after at the time was never really impressed, and after several years of subconsciously yearning for her approval of my playing and such, I finally realized that I would never impress her, and gave up on that. But I very much appreciate the difference she made in my life, because I might never have started playing bass if not for her, and even if I had still taken up the bass, I certainly would not have had the same motivation to get good at it! So I thank her out of one side of my mouth and curse her out the other. :)

    Anyway, why did you guys start playing and how did you come about getting your first bass? Also, what kind of bass was it, and how much did it cost?
  2. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    Well A couple years ago I started fooling around with my roomates guitar. Everyone was impresses with how fast I would make my fingers move ect. Eventually my roomate sold me his guitar for 100$, which was good considering IT was a 300$ guitar.

    During christmas break I went back home for a couple weeks, and we had many family problems, so that guitar was my buddy, it never left my side. Then after break I went back up to my apartment accidently fogetting my guitar.

    I wasn't going to drive back 3 hours to get it. So I figured i'm already obsessed with Primus, why not fool around on my roomates bass until I go home next. It was very different but everytime I slapped that bass relentlessly until my fingers and hands began to hurt I felt more and more like a real man finally.

    A couple a months later I recieved my tax return of about 300$ and decided I get my own bass and stop using my roomates. So I walked into guitar center and just picked out some random bass that cost 270$, which happened to be a Yamaha. I forget which type, but I did like the bass a lot and I still own it, and occasionally use it whenever I don't feel like using my higer end bass. Pretty much been hooked ever since.

    If I could do it over again, I probably would have researched more about basses and made a wiser first-bass decision. But at the time I didn't care.
  3. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Same here. But if everyone did that, no one would buy a Squier. :)
  4. grey


    May 13, 2004
    I originally played guitar for 5 years before playing bass. We had an old one lying around and I'd pick it up from time to time. Then I started getting into some music with more interesting bass work, and started learning how it works and how to write bass parts....then it just started becoming more of my main instrument. Now, it's probably about half an half, as I write both parts, though I prefer playing bass. I was luckier than you guys in my first bass. Having that experience of guitar gave me a bit more experience of what to look for and meant that I had a bigger budget for my first one. And before anyone says it, I like to think I'm not a 'failed guitarist' bassist, or one who 'thinks like a guitarist' - in fact, more the other way round when I'm writing guitar parts, haha
  5. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i had always been interested in playing guitar but never acted on it. My dad ended up buying an old hagstrom 4 string from a friend of his for me. it was terrible. My dad's friend shadn't wanted to be a bass player, but years before when he and his friends started a band they drew straws to see who would put their guitar down and stoop to playing bass. He told my dad and i that i could probably get more gigs being a bass player. Boy was he right. ;)
  6. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    To get chicks.

    I'm only being half-serious. :smug:
  7. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    I picked up the bass to be a rock musican to pick up rocker chicks!
  8. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    I had a hippy music teacher in 7th grade. One of the things he had us do was listen to Sgt Pepper in class and then discuss what the lyrics meant etc. We were "analyzing" Lucy in the Sky and Paul's bassline just "spoke" to me. The die was cast from then on. I'll be forever grateful to Mr. Metz for providing me that moment of enlightenment.
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    No one I knew played the bass. I wanted to be different.

  10. I went to a Sabbath concert... that was game / set / match for me as far as when I first really wanted to play.

    First bass and my current backup: Yamaha RBX270. Bought it because it was cheap and felt fairly nice.
  11. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001
    because i fell in love with the double bass sound when i was 10, so decided to start taking lessons the very next week!
  12. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    I hope you can play bass and sing.
  13. srxplayer


    May 19, 2004
    Highland, CA
    About 11 months ago I was sitting behind the kit at a rehersal and our bass player called and said he couldn't make it. this became a regular problem for us.

    We had another guy who could play drums and he was good so I agreed to learn how to play. I had a little guitar experience so I was chosen as the guy to do it. I bought an Ibanez SRX 300 bass and an Ibanez SW65 amp and started playing.

    Funny thing is I fell in love with it. I'm still a drummer and love playing drums but this bass gig has consumed me and I have so much fun with it. It's much more fun and rewarding than guitar.

    I never played bass before and honestly never had any interest in it. I thought that it would be boring.

    I think being a drummer has helped me in my bass playing. The timing comes easy to me and I know what the drummer is thinking so we relate really well.
  14. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    I started playing bass because I heard Rush's Moving Pictures and Geddy Lee's playing and tone just slayed me. Although, I was 13 at the time and it took me seven years to actually get a bass, and two more years after that to actually start playing. My first bass was a beat-up Vantage that I bought for $180.
  15. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Geddy Lee?!
    I thought you were the Mike Dirnt wannabe?


    Why bass? I got my first for Xmas '72, so-
    My response is akin to Chas Chandler's answer when asked why he played bass-
    "It only has 4 strings".

    A friend's older brother played guitar...looked complicated getting all the fingers together enough to form a chord. Too, I'm kind of an oddball & the bass was 'different'. And my drum playing older cousin hipped me to the fact that ALL bands have/need a bass player. When he said that, I asked, "...oh yeah, who plays bass in The Beatles"?

    He said-

  16. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    LoL all the "for the chicks" comments. hehe

    To those of you for whom that was a factor in your decision to pick up a bass, let's hear the verdict... did it work or not? :)
  17. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Yes it did. :smug:
  18. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Do you still have the Champ? That is a fantastic little amp, I'll bet it's worth a pretty penny on Ebay.
  19. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    I have played trumpet for years, as much as I love trumpet, I just had to pick up the bass. I was raised on Louis Armstrong, Maynard Ferguson and Rush (the moving pictures album as well).... I picked up the trumpet in middle school and started gigging with my brothers before I started high school.

    well I went on the road after high school and was with a touring group with a really, really, really great bass player and decided to get a bass (I grew up on geddy, mark king and james jamerson)... the bass player in the band would help me every once in a while, but I then gave it up...I was too busy on trumpet.

    then all of a sudden, I picked back up again when a band needed a bass player....I figured how hard is it to play these tunes...... :D

    one thing that I noticed is - the trumpet is way harder to play than the bass, but the role of the bass player is twice as hard as playing the trumpet. both instruments have helped me become a better musician. it really helps to have both perspectives.

    now I play more bass - I'm fine with that, but most bands want me to pull out my horn once in a while......I tell them $20 per trumpet ride...they tend to shut up after that.

  20. Guiseppe


    Oct 26, 2003
    Vancouver, WA
    I'd been playing tuba in school (along with most other brass) and a friend brought an old Gibson EB-5(?) to school. I picked it up and figured out 'Dazed and Confused' in seconds (all the girls were suitably impressed). My brother bought me a wannabe P-bass copy, and from that time, it was set in stone.