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Posted (edited)

Why oh why, did y'all take up playing bass?

I'd be fascinated to hear your stories.

Were you inspired by a particular player or band?

Or did you just want a hobby to get time away from your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/children?

Were you roped into learning the instrument by a friend or family member who were starting a band, but had no bassist?

Or are y'all just weird, like me?

 

Edited by Ant1972

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A couple of my mates needed a finger-style bassist and knew I played classical guitar. The rest is history... 30 years on I'm still loving the bass. 

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I was a music loving teenager - all my spare cash spent on records and going to gigs. 

A fairly large chunk of my mates played guitar.  I saw a gap in the market.

Bought a bass and was immediately in a band

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1 minute ago, Monkey Steve said:

 

A fairly large chunk of my mates played guitar.  I saw a gap in the market.

Bought a bass and was immediately in a band

Exactly the same here

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I initially learned the violin/fiddle. In my teens, all my pals were starting bands and I wanted in. Playing the fiddle definitely wasn't cool/what was wanted. As they all wanted to be guitar heroes, I decided to take up the bass, reasoning that I would get more offers. It worked. I even played it for a living for a while.

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I fancied being in a band and reckoned bass would be the easiest instrument

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I was forced (not at knife-point obvs...) to play piano as a kid - got as far as grade 7 - but always preferred what the left hand was doing. Then a m8 of mine in 6th form took up bass and joined a band. He let me have a go and I thought it was much cooler than playing classical piano, especially as I'd also got into The Funk by then.

So I went to uni, borrowed a m8's acoustic 6 string guitar to learn the notes on and 3 months later was in a band with a borrowed shortscale Gibson.

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When I was a young lad there was a song in the charts (Seasons in The Sun, by Terry Jacks) that had this sound that I liked, didn’t know what the sound was but listened out for it in other songs. Fast forward a few years I found out it was the bass, and at that time, when punk was at its height, the cooled - imo - people in the bands were the bassists. So the sound I liked was played by the cool people, good enough for me.

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Posted (edited)

Sitting on my mates Doorstep listening to the first PiL single, I went indoors, picked up his bass, sat back down on the doorstep and I could play it. I was sixteen and already drumming in little local punk bands by this time so I put the bass back and continued drumming until I was 25. In whatever rehearsal situation I was in I would always play the bass during breaks in my drumming duties so in 1988 I stopped drumming (mostly) and switched to bass (mostly) just in time to take up a lengthy career as a bass and drum tech with touring bands so I mostly played other people’s gear for a few years. I’m wittering, you wanted why, not a bio!

Edited by Frank Blank
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Posted (edited)

My schoolmate Darren and me started getting into Maiden, UFO and the Scorpions when we were about 12, listening to records round his house most nights. His other brother had gone to uni leaving behind a Kay bass, which got my attention tho i couldn't play it.

Around the same time my older brother said he wanted to learn guitar, inspired by a bunch of his friends who had a school band.

I didn't want to be outdone, so got a bass - a godawful short scale Satellite - and a practice amp, which i paid off doing a paper round while dreaming of being Steve Harris. That was 33 years ago. (I still want to be Steve Harris a bit tho...)

Edited by bassbiscuits
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Listening  to Jah Wobble with PiL or Steve Harris with Iron Maiden. Two very different approaches, they both sounded like the most important and interesting sonic situations going on in their bands.

And, obviously, Lemmy.

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I actually wanted to learn how to do the solos you hear in every rock song from the period but, in my ignorance (I was very young), thought the instrument playing them was called a bass. My guitar teacher proceeded to teach me bass and I soon realised I'd been VERY wrong. I loved the new REAL bass parts I was learning though and kept with it. Don't regret it in the slightest....

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Saw a monochrome pic on the front of an early Motörhead EP. Someone told me that one of the band members was playing a bass guitar. It had four fat strings, massive tuners and produced really low, deep notes. I just thought that looked like the coolest instrument ever and I just knew I had to have one. Still think that, too.

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Johann Sebastian Bach. He didn't play the bass guitar AFAIK, but he did write bass parts that defined the harmonic drive of the piece. I concluded that if you had a melody and a good bass part, then you essentially had all you needed.

Then one Chris Squire appeared in my world...

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I played guitar for years (not very well).

I was working abroad, living in a portacabin on a construction camp in the middle of a desert and there wsn't much to do other than go to the bar.  I was having a smoke with one of the big wigs and he mentioned his band was looking for a bass player.  I said I could probably fill in for a while as they had a bass and an amp and I had loads of time on my hands.  I played a 2 hour gig two weeks later.

It turns out I'm actally quite good at playing bass.  Five bands later I'm still doing it.  My guitar playing has improved too.

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I was a drummer from 11, but a family house move a few years later meant that there was nowhere to set up the kit.

As such, and wanting to still be musical, it was a case of 'what do I like'? That was easy, besides drummers, I loved Lemmy and Geddy Lee. 

Choice made, and  here we are 27 years later! I have returned to the drums for a few occasions (the odd gig, but very out of practice now) but from the moment I switched I was a bassist.

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I wanted to be in a band and make music, and everyone I knew played guitar.

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Went to Denmark Street to check out some acoustic guitars. Found myself drawn to a fretless acoustic bass, fell in love, walked out with a solid body fretless Yamaha electric bass instead!

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5 hours ago, Ant1972 said:

Why oh why, did y'all take up playing bass?

I was my destiny to be a bass paying superstar.

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I wanted to be a drummer until I was introduced to a gatefold Fragile featuring this pic. Awesome player, cool guy and a Revox B77. 

Game over. 

ChrisSquire04-1.jpg

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My two best mates both played guitar, they needed a bass player and I wasn't doing anything...

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I was a guitarist, bought a bass for home recording. Friend said he needed bass on an upcoming gig, so I bought an amp too.

That was nearly 20 years ago...

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