Your First Electric Bass-What Inspired You?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gabe Lamog, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. Gabe Lamog

    Gabe Lamog

    Jul 29, 2014
    D708B3E7-C445-481E-8113-2C48F1441F21.jpeg I bought my first basses after graduating high school in 1982. I had grown up living my life playing in various junior high and high school bands as a low brass specialist (trombone and euphonium), and eventually transitioned to the electric bass.

    Pictured is my 1981 Rickenbacker 4003, which at the time, paid $450, and a 1986 Alembic Spoiler. My influences included such greats as Stanley Clarke, Paul McCartney, Getty Lee, Chris Squire, and Sting.

    What inspired me to play bass was the need for a strong solid industry bassist, as most “bass” players, at that time, appeared to be guitarist posing as a bassist. Plus, I enjoyed the uniqueness of its role of establishing the foundation of a group or ensemble.

    Would love to see a photo of your first bass(es) and what inspired you. Thank you!
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  2. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    I was inspired to play bass a little over three years ago by the leader of my ukulele group who asked if someone was willing to take up the bass to fill out our 60 member ensemble. For the almost 50 years previously, I played rhythm guitar and was often told I should play bass, but I never wanted to be encumbered by a large electric bass and certainly not an upright/double bass. But when I discovered the various bass ukes and small basses that were available, I went for it.

    I started on an acoustic Gold Tone GT MicroBass, 23" scale, but wanting an electric and staying small, I converted an Epiphone Les Paul Express 22" scale guitar into a bass. It didn't take me long to fill out my collection, as you see in my signature. I actually just retired the LP.

    LP Gotoh 800.jpg
  3. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    The most popular band in high school needed a bassist. I traded my Kramer Aerostar and Series 10 six strings for a cheap, no name bass... 20 minutes before my audition. I played with those dudes until I went to college. In short, my inspiration for my first bass was girls. I wasn’t an athlete and smoking pot and riding a skateboard could only get me so far.
  4. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    What inspired me to play bass was McCartney with the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, February 9, 1964. Big moment. I was 8 at the time. Later, I somehow got the White album and CCR's Willy and the Poor Boys. That tune "Down On the Corner" did it. Shortly after that I convinced my mother to buy a bass for me for a birthday and Xmas present. Big present. It was a Gibson Kalamazoo bass. It looked just like this.


    Unfortunately, the headstock snapped off after I'd been playing it for a few years, and I then got a Fender P; which bass is (somewhat obscured) in this photo of my high school band. Anyhow, it was Oly White/Tort with a J profile neck.

  5. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    I started out during my high school daze as a drummer – influenced largely by John Bonham, Nick Mason and Stewart Copeland – and joined a band. I enjoyed playing drums – and still do – but found them to be somewhat less "musical" than I had hoped. One day, the group's bassist graciously allowed me to borrow his Cort J clone and Peavey Basic 40 amp overnight. I distinctly remember plugging everything in, plucking the E string several times, and rattling my bedroom's window panes, and I caught the bug right there and then. A few months later, I had saved up enough money from my after-school job to buy a Cort P clone and a Peavey amp, and eventually took them to college. While at college, I traded in that Cort bass as part of the purchase of a brand-new Ibanez Roadstar II. That was some 32 years ago, and she's still with me:

  6. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    I was primarily inspired by us never being able to find a bassist. I was "demoted" to bass from guitar. I remain thankful for that all these years later, of course.
  7. Going all the way back, my parents bought my first electric guitar for me Christmas during High School, Grade 11. From receiving the guitar, I took ear training lessons throughout the summer. When Grade 12 began, I enrolled in Music class with my guitar. Another guy and I matched for the top grades in the class.

    For the 2nd semester, it was a requirement to take another instrument which would be read in a different musical clef. I took bass since the fretboard notes were the same as the low 4 strings of the guitar.

    I started reading through local classifieds & found a blue Vantage FV-575B Flying V Bass (like below except mine was blue) and an old Yamaha B100 (similar pic is also included below). As soon as I plugged it in & turned it on, I loved the low end. This is what got me in the door regarding the world of bass, and I haven't looked back.
    I should add that I responded to the classified ad regarding the Vantage bass because there was one in the Music room at school that I tried and liked. The model would have been a VS-600B like the pic below.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  8. Gabe Lamog

    Gabe Lamog

    Jul 29, 2014
    It’s funny how people take bassists for granted. I also find it strange that some guitarists think that they could just pick up bass playing with no problem at all. Nine times out of 10, these people end up trying to play lead guitar on bass instead of concentrating on groove. LOL!
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  9. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    An Ibby like this one.
    I was 20. I'd been playing 6 string for a few years (haven't touched one since!), and then spent a year or so playing doumbek (arab hand drum) for bellydance performances. So I'd already made the mental switch from melody-focus to rhythm-focus, and was starting to really hear bass lines.
    I told a guitar-teacher friend that I was thinking about switching to bass, and he said "I need a bass player for my band. Let's take you down to the music store." I traded my guitar for the ibby, and was playing in 2 bands within a week.

    So yeah... girls.
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  10. Is that Michael Jackson on vocals? :D
  11. I think I owned the same model years ago. Sounded great but was HEAVY!
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  12. You got that right.
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  13. I now have a Traynor combo amp with twice the wattage of the Yamaha and about a quarter of the weight. Times have changed!
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  14. True. My present bass amp is an Ampeg B2 head and an SVT 1510HE cabinet. My Ampeg holds its own during any club gig. (Mine you it is still somewhat heavy, but it's definitely a more compact size.) Here's a picture beside my 25-year old Ibanez SR885.

    And my guitar amp now is an Orange Micro Terror Stack (like the one below).
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  15. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    My first bass was a cheap Kramer ZX-70 Aerostar. The only thing that was inspiring to me was just that I had it. It also inspired me to get another bass.
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  16. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    LOL!:thumbsup: Michael was three years behind us. Would have been in 9th grade at the time.

    That band actually had pretty decent vocals. We had three different front guys doing Elvis to Dion and 6 other chorus cats. All were in the school Glee Club.

    Two of the three front guys in Sha Na Na went to the school. Denny Green and one of the other cats. This band was somewhat modeled after She Na Na. 1972
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  17. Gabe Lamog

    Gabe Lamog

    Jul 29, 2014
    Lol..........Which Inspired me to get another, and another, and another! Guess I may as well be called a “Bass Addict”. As sick as the truth Sounds, I’m Constantly looking for a good new and used deal. Could be worse I suppose. Ha!
  18. Bass Man Dan

    Bass Man Dan Endorsing Artist: Ned Flanders' Bass-a-Reeno

    Oct 20, 2017
    My best friend from 7th grade onward is a drummer. We skate boarded together, played sports together, but I was not musical. Had taken piano lessons as a kid and absolutely hated it. But then I believe as a sophomore in high school, I did not know what to ask for for Christmas. I decided to ask for an electric guitar and amp so we could jam.

    Got the guitar and amp, started trying to learn on my own. However, we quickly realized there were other schoolmates who played guitar pretty well, but no bass players. Now I'm thinking "4 big strings instead of 6 little ones? Sign me up!"

    Quickly sold my guitar and amp and bought a white Dixon P Bass copy (I believe I paid about $80 for it) and a Crate amp. I had much more success figuring out how to play bass than I had with guitar (although I can now play guitar a bit).

    This was around 91-92, so obviously, it was the start of a lasting relationship. In summary, my inspiration was necessity!
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  19. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    My first bass was a T40 just like this one, same case and color, except it had a maple board. Picked it out at the used music store, had no clue what it was other than a Peavey. I didn't appreciate how cool it was at the time, and sold it to get a Fender Jazz in 1994. Would like another, but damn that thing was so heavy!

    I ended up picking bass since my twin brother was the more talented guitar player. Hell, I didn't even know that a bass was different than a guitar... Once I learned it I was hooked.
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  20. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    I started on guitar in the late 80's, but never really got into the shredder stuff. I was listening to bands like The Cure, Bahaus and U2 which looking back, were often more ambient guitar and basslines were the melodic riffs. My first "realization" of bass was Doug Wimbish 10 feet in front of me at a Living Colour show. I was amazed at the sounds coming from him and the aura of complete control he projected. A few years later, a friend's band needed a bass and I volunteered. I got a 5 string Fender jazz because I figured more notes was better. I found that I really like the bass, being able to subtly drive the song. Even though most of my influences push boundaries stylistically and technically, I'm a pretty simple player.
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