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GreeneKing

What got bass 'under your skin'

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Great lines and tone on Nirvana's nevermind, loved it. Tommy Cogbill on tracks like Wilson Pickett's Midnight Mover and Funky Broadway pushed me more to that style of playing.

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For me it was visual stuff first - roughly at the same time as a teenager I became aware of both Kiss "Alive II" and Iron Maiden "Live After Death".

The images on these album sleeves of Steve Harris and Gene Simmons; sweat, fire, pyrotechnics, heroic poses onstage etc blew me away.

Then I listened to the music and knew exactly which member I was going to be listening out for.

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Picture it, 1979, somewhere in the Northwestern USA. OK it was Salem, Oregon. I was a young man during summer break in what I think you Brits call early Secondary School. I was home alone trying not to be bored so I rifled through my brother's vinyl collection. There I found an odd looking record from a band called Rush. It had a big scary looking owl on the cover, and was titled Fly By Night. I put the record on the hi-fi, queued up the title track, and my mind was blown forever.

From the opening guitar riff, I was hooked. I found myself particularly drawn to the bass. In all those years though I never picked up the bass. It wasn't until decades later when my daughter started taking guitar lessons. I sat there in one of her lessons listening to her play, and I found myself envious of my own daughter. I figured if I didn't learn my instrument of choice now, I'd never do it. Been playing badly ever since, but I still love it.

Curiously enough, I don't know how to play any Rush songs.

Edited by Ironbar

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Dad bought me a guitat when i was 9 or 10, and it just seemed better with just the EADG strings so removed the rest..... then spent every waking hour learning bass runs from Yes, Taste, Frampton, Led Zep, The Who, Sweet, Slade etc etc.......
He bought me a bass shortly after.........it is thoroughly in the blood now, get withdrawal symptoms if i dont play every day,

Staring at 55 now, but still learning! Love it.

Edited by Harlequin74

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[quote name='Ironbar' timestamp='1488691918' post='3251056']
Picture it, 1979, somewhere in the Northwestern USA. OK it was Salem, Oregon. I was a young man during summer break in what I think you Brits call early Secondary School. I was home alone trying not to be bored so I rifled through my brother's vinyl collection. There I found an odd looking record from a band called Rush. It had a big scary looking owl on the cover, and was titled Fly By Night. I put the record on the hi-fi, queued up the title track, and my mind was blown forever.

From the opening guitar riff, I was hooked. I found myself particularly drawn to the bass. In all those years though I never picked up the bass. It wasn't until decades later when my daughter started taking guitar lessons. I sat there in one of her lessons listening to her play, and I found myself envious of my own daughter. I figured if I didn't learn my instrument of choice now, I'd never do it. Been playing badly ever since, but I still love it.

Curiously enough, I don't know how to play any Rush songs.
[/quote]

Check out Geddy Lee on YouTube (Rush bassist) and try and get the timing right on his intro to Spirit of Radio.....

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I got hooked on bass aged 15 in the mid 80s though it was listening to an older brother's 70s stuff that caught my attention. Not sure exactly what tune it was but it was either the Stranglers Rattus album, Rhythm Stick or Freak Out. JJ Burnel's tone offered sheer aggressive excitement while the other two were cool and slick and drove the songs.

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Seeing Gene Simmons posing with his Spector and Pedulla basses. At the same time i watched a video of Stanley Clarke! Absolutely knocked my socks off,I wanted to play bass after that. Not long after I discovered Jaco and "Barbary Coast" still gives me the shivers 😁

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Born in the 70's and having a dad that played only Beatles and The Who in my childhood, strangely, it was Duff.. from Guns 'n Roses :ph34r: I must have been 11 or 12 years old when Sweet child of mine hit the chart. That was the moment I got bass-curious. Flea, Gene and Steve got me to bass-enthusiast and by the time I was 13 I discovered the music from my childhood again.. the Beatles and the Who. That is when I got started. It took another 3 years when within one afternoon, in a local same record shop, I got introduced to both Jaco and Victor (who had then just released show of hands).. I was blown away and after a few hours walked out of the shop with a pile of CD's. after that there was no way back anymore.

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In or about a year ago I decided to see what a bass does and what it brings to a band. I have played six string electric guitars from the early 1970s with a fifteen year break from around 1980. So to further my research I bought a cheap bass, an Aria STB. A half dozen lessons later and I discovered that I love the sound.

And there are no surprises when I list what I found out:

The vocalist is the most important member of the band.
The drummer/bass/rhythm guitar provide the rhythm and foundations of the music and support the vocalist.
The lead instruments trail in in third place. Even when the lead guitar opens the song with a solo or riff.......

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Firstly, seeing Gary Tibbs live onstage with his Wal bass with Adam & The Ants.....
Followed by Gene Simmons with his Spectors (my love affair with Spector began here), Steve Harris with his P basses and then listening to Tiran Porter of The Doobie Brothers and Peter Cetera on the first 13 Chicago albums.....

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1488480399' post='3249362']


Man, they gave in quick. Mine took 40+ years. Dad was dead and Mum admitted to it on her death bed that they could have helped me a bit, but didn't see a future in it.
[/quote]
Although my parents are both (just) still around, this resonates..except even when presented with evidence of some success, such "rubbish" was dismissed out of hand. Still is.

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[quote name='Telebass' timestamp='1489489646' post='3257310']
Although my parents are both (just) still around, this resonates..except even when presented with evidence of some success, such "rubbish" was dismissed out of hand. Still is.
[/quote]
I know what you mean. The lack of any kind of reaction, let alone approval, hurts.

My old Mum was getting to the last few months of her life, not that she knew it. I sat down with the bass one day and played some simple tunes - like finger picking on a guitar, except this was on the bass. After all, that's what I do on a bass. She talked all the way through. She was that bothered she didn't even appear to listen.

It would have meant a lot to hear her say something like, "that's nice".

Edited by Grangur

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Exactly. As opposed to, "What's that bloody noise?"

Edited by Telebass

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