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why play bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bass theory, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. bass theory

    bass theory

    Oct 7, 2020
    Portage WI
    I think most of us, as kids, when we first become aware of music, dreamed of being a rock star. But, not just a rock star, the guitar playing front man and BL.

    This site is full of talented professional musicians, intermediate players and beginners. But we all share a love of playing Bass.
    I am curious as to when and why each of you determined, or discovered that Bass was the instrument for you. What was the draw that lead you to play bass?

    For me, I was hyperactive, and drawn to playing drums, which I did for many years. so when I decided to expand to a new instrument Bass was the natural choice, after so long sharing the rhythm between the drums and the bass.
    leftybass54, murphy, BassinCT and 2 others like this.
  2. chicks....

  3. fretno

    fretno Supporting Member

    May 10, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I heard Steve Harris in the 80's and said "that sound " Why I still do it all these years later is .. creative outlet . It's one of the joys of my life .
  4. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Sir Paul was the draw in photographic form. Carol Kaye was the draw in non photographic form.
    back in those days studio musicians didn't get much of the spotlight but the mountain of music that she played on was the soundtrack of my youth.
  5. Interspace Station

    Interspace Station Director at THE SPACEPORT Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    New York
    I like those low tones, man. I played cello at an early age and I think those four strings resonated in a way that bass became the next logical step (after starting on guitar).

    Also, Primus.
  6. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    For me, when I listen to music, I like the Groove. That's the part of the song that I feel deep down inside. It's the overall tone and emotion of the song. The melody and solos are the decoration on top that adds color and excitement. But the Groove is the core.

    I like making the groove with the bass, and then enjoying what my fellow musicians can do with everything else. I don't have the dedication to learn to be a good soloist. And I don't really want to be one. I like making the bottom structure that everyone else builds on.
  7. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug Supporting Member

    I like the low end of the sonic spectrum. Simple as that.
  8. Old Fart

    Old Fart Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2011
    I had some musician friends as a kid. I was a fair 6-string guitarist. Nobody played bass and I had never even held one when we got a bass and rig. I was in love from the first moment I held it. Then I plugged it into the amp and promptly informed the rest of the band that I would be playing bass guitar. They could fight over the scraps. I have never wanted to play anything else. I have never wanted to be the front man, though I tend to have more moves and personality than other bandmates. I think bass is a state of mind. We played defense on the football team. We are catchers and outfielders. We can play chess. BMW motorcycles are more attractive than crotch rockets. Bandmates do not know what we do or how we do it, but they sure appreciate our craft. Not to mention audiences. ;)
  9. Old Fart

    Old Fart Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2011
    Ha! One more thing: We are generally not 'front men.' We are 'support' guys working in the background to create a solid foundation. That said, NOBODY controls the song as much as we do.
  10. A lot of you aren't going to like this, but ... I switched over to playing bass because after 5 - 6 years of trying to play guitar, I just couldn't cut it. hidebehindsofa.gif

    I'm not claiming that I'm a virtuoso on bass, because I'm definitely not, but I can play the bass lines in many of my favorite songs from my yoot in the '80s. I could never do that on guitar.

    Also, I'm currently into cycling during the warmer months, but it's not my first choice either. I have a bad back, which prevents me from running like I used to.

    When life deals you lemons, you learn to make due with what you have.
    Fishtude, bpmben, Miles_ONeal and 9 others like this.
  11. bass theory

    bass theory

    Oct 7, 2020
    Portage WI
    Now that is a great answer. And one I can relate to. I was a catcher, and played chess, but never related that to loving to live in the background where "Bandmates do not know what we do..... But they sure appreciate our craft.
  12. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    You can drive the train or just be a passenger.

    You can be the cake or just the icing on the cake.

    The low end is the secret sauce.

    It's the Rhythm that makes music.

    It's the Rhythm that makes people dance.

    Bass and drums for the win.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  13. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Because trouser-flapping groin thunder and butts moving.
  14. Inara

    Inara Fierce Fun Fretless Female Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2017
    Seattle, WA USA
    When I was a kid, I saw the local high school jazz band, and the bassist was playing a fretless Fender Jazz. From that moment, I wanted to play bass. I sing and play a number of instruments, but bass, and fretless especially, has been my love and what I've stuck with the most consistently. I've fronted rock bands, singing lead while playing bass, and it's a thrill, but the bass playing is my favorite part. Like others have said, it's the groove.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  15. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    Groove: bass is what people dance to
    Glue: bass is central in connecting the drums to the harmony
    Counterpoint: while outlining the harmony and holding down the groove, the bass can also interweave with the melody

    You can do any of those three things on different instruments, but it is specifically, exclusively a bass instrument that does all three at once.
  16. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    My older brother was a drummer, so I learned to be the other half of a house rhythm section. None of his friends were any good at bass so I was in demand right away. I learned fast from older neighborhood guitarist dudes who were more musically sophisticated than I was. For me it was also entry into a world of girls and beer and cigarettes. When you're 15 that's kinda reason enough.
  17. theduke1

    theduke1 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    Manitowoc WI
    Sir Paul and I like he stand up front and sing, lead or harmony and co front man
    Love it up front
  18. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    You all know the story of the worst guitarist is chosen to play the bass, right
    For me it was the other way around
    I can hold my own on the guitar and was often asked to switch to guitar
    When I was playing guitar in a band all I wanted was to play bass
    When I am playing the bass in a band I don't really care about playing the guitar
    That is when I knew I love the bass and gave up on playing guitar in a band setting

    And for all the great reasons already listed

    Thanks, good question
  19. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    1.Stanley Clarke.

    Anthony Jackson.
    Louis Johnson.
    Geddy Lee.
    Chris Squire.
  20. I knew from an early age that my ego wasn't big enough to be a guitarist.:laugh:
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jan 25, 2021

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