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I took up bass because I was the least cool out of my group of mates when we were 13 and wanted to form a Death Metal band. 😐

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7 minutes ago, CamdenRob said:

I took up bass because I was the least cool out of my group of mates when we were 13 and wanted to form a Death Metal band. 😐

But now you're older and wiser, you realise you are (and were) actually the coolest 👍

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I was in a band with friends from the age of 14 - however nobody could play anything. Over the next couple of years people learned instruments, and other musical kids joined. One day one of them asked "Why is Heathy in the band? He can't do anything."

I was heavily into Iron Maiden at that time, and also thought Phil Lynott looked cool playing 'Out in the Fields'. I spotted that our band didn't have a bass player, so used my first few months YTS wages to buy a bass and amp. As well as securing my place in the band, it also enabled me to lever out the guy who wanted rid of me.

And the rest is history...

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5 minutes ago, skankdelvar said:

To get laid. 

But why did you keep playing it? Because that doesn't work (erm, so I've heard…)

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1 minute ago, FinnDave said:

But why did you keep playing it? Because that doesn't work (erm, so I've heard…)

Well, it worked for me though to a much more limited extent than I had hoped.

The secondary reasons I kept playing bass (and guitar) were because I enjoyed making loud noises, hanging out with a little gang and showing off in front of audiences.

The issues of 'craft' and 'creativity' and 'commitment' didn't arise until later. About a month ago, if I'm honest.

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One riff, one moment in time.

John Deacon under pressure live at Wembley.

I had to ask my dad what instruement was doing the 

"Dum dum dum da da dum dum"

Dad. " I think its a Bass guitar"

 

That was it for me.

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Now that I come to think of it, it did work for me. Once. More than 40 years ago. Hope shines eternal, maybe in another 40 years some other teenage beauty will be overcome by my (bass) fingering prowess! Sadly, I'll need digging up by then, but still...

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1 minute ago, FinnDave said:

Now that I come to think of it, it did work for me.

'A consummation devoutly to be wished' ... as my old pal and wing-man Billy Spokeshave was wont to remark.

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I fell in love with bass from an early age. When I was just starting to get into music it was the very late seventies, and there was a lot of bass in the charts! Sting, Colin Moulding, Norman Watt Roy, Paul Simonon and all the 2-Tone guys like Horace Panter, Mark Bedford, David Steele... I loved it all and would listen specifically to those bass lines. I used to have a beat up old nylon strung acoustic guitar and I’d tune the E and A strings down as low as they’d go before they became too floppy and try to play along. I was 10 in 1979. 

For a while I learned to play guitar properly and played drums for a few years too. The first band I joined was as a drummer,  when I was sixteen. 

When I left school and started earning money I bought myself a Squier Silver Series Precision bass (how I wish I’d kept that!) and forgot about drums. That was 1990, I was twenty one and I’ve played bass pretty much ever since. 

Good thread, by the way.

Edited by BrunoBass
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I’d say Robbie Shakespeare was the biggest inspiration to me after seeing him play live in the early 80s , I was playing blues at the time but after hearing the rhythm and drive of heavy reggae I just knew it was for me , and I haven’t stopped playing reggae since 🙂

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I sang in choirs a lot as a kid but when my voice broke I discovered that I really loved singing the bass lines. Fast forward a year or so and my brother, who was in his 20s, played drums in a local covers band. Somehow I managed to convince him to let me come along to one of their practices (so long as I just sat in a corner and didn’t say anything). The bass player had a black, checkerboard binding Ricky and it was the most amazing looking and sounding thing I had ever seen or heard. It looked like it had fallen out of an episode of Flash Gordon. I fell in love with it and knew from that moment on  that bass was the instrument for me. It took 3 years of badgering my mum and dad until they bought me a bass and amp - my 18th birthday present (not a Ricky but an Aria SB which I still own). 

I still love the look and sound of Ricky basses. Sadly I soon found out that I hate pretty much everything about actually playing them! 

 

Edited by TrevorR
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34 minutes ago, TrevorR said:

[...]

I still love the look and sound of Ricky basses. Sadly I soon found out that I hate pretty much everything about actually playing them! 

 

Like what, exactly? :ph34r:

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I can't remember why, but my mum bought me a guitar and tiny amp from an older lad's mum from over the road. Turned out it was a short bass guitar (Musicmaster).

I suppose from then on I listened out for the bass on records, and liked a lot of what I heard... then I became friends with an older lad who was already playing bass in bands, and he kindly taught me the first steps - tuning up (I hated how long that took, using a crappy tuning pipe!), and some basic walking basslines...

And my best mate was a drummer - so that fitted in nicely. Even though he didn't actually have a drum kit until a bit later on, that didn't stop us from saying that we were a great rhythm section! 😃

Hearing the bass on recordings wasn't so easy in the 1970s, as most household TVs radios and record players didn't seem to have any bass... then came compact cassette recorders and car cassette players - which also didn't have any bass.

Luckily though, the following decades contained plenty of bass. 👍

Edited by Ricky 4000
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Wanted to play bass from the age of about thirteen. John Ford, John Entwistle and Chris Squire were my inspirations and i fell in love with the shape of the Rickenbacker.

Finally started learning when i turned fifty.

It takes me a while to get round to things...

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6 hours ago, Ricky 4000 said:

Like what, exactly? :ph34r:

Well...

  • The way they hang against the body when on a strap
  • The way they sit against the body when resting on the knee
  • The profile of the neck
  • The width of the neck
  • The string spacing
  • The feel of the varnished fingerboard (on rosewood... why?)
  • The size and mass of the pickups and surrounds is uncomfortable and inconvenient for how I pluck...

Reckon that covers it and apart from that they’re my perfect bass ergonomically! 👍🤣 All that said, I’ll never actually own one but I still love the way they sound and they still look absolutely gorgeous and are still one of my fave basses (just not for me)!

Edited by TrevorR
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A good friend bought a guitar (Schecter C1 She Devil). It was love at first sight.

I never knew guitars could look so good!

At that moment I decided to start playing.

 

My friend suggested I learn bass instead as bass players are always in more demand than guitards. 

Off I went to the local guitar shop and bought a purple Peavey and a little bass amp.

Ten days later GAS took hold and I bout my second bass 😀. Never looked back.

When my friend sold the guitar that inspired me I bought it from him, it is now my inspiration.

 

Learning to play was the best thing I ever did in my life, I love it.

 

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Hearing John Entwistle and Geezer Butler on my dad's records in the late 70s then hearing Steve Harris in the early 80s. What was the final nail was hearing Cliff Burton. Nonsensical GAS (is there any other kind?) had already set in as I wanted a Blue Sparkle Fender P, an Aria SB B&G and, erm, an Alembic Explorer...

30 years later I have 2 of the 3 (and several others that weren't on my initial list)

Edited by bartelby
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Mid life crisis :) 

I played guitar through my teens into my early 20s then Life got in the way and I stopped.  Fast forward 25 years to my mid-40s, decided to take up an instrument again (I stupidly thought it would be cheaper than a sports car) but had in the interim starting hearing music in a different way so I bought a starter bass kit.  Played it every day, then once a week, then abandoned it.  It sat in the corner for a couple of years before I made the decision to actually do something so I joined a band.  Had my first paying gig at 51 :) That was 11 years ago, been playing regularly since then.  I always say this but being a part of a group of people who create (or recreate) music is the best thing and once I started playing bass in a band it felt like the little piece of me that had been missing all those years had fallen back into place.

Joined Basschat around the same time and it has cost me  small fortune on gear. :) 

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At University from 1978 I was an avid keyboards player, (classically trained pianist) and played some great gigs with a bank of keyboards, synths, piano, organ etc. Then I had to spend an year in a bedsit in Germany as part of the Uni course. Whilst there, I missed the music so I bought a beaten up Framus jazz bass, with black nylon wound strings, to give me something to do. With no amp in the bedsit, I just learned to play acoustically, plucking along to songs on the radio. When I returned to Blighty, I sold the Framus for almost nothing (I obviously had no idea what I had in my hands) bought a spanking new Ibanez Roadster, and joined a new wave pop band. The keyboards were also sold to finance this bass obsession (still have sellers regret selling a beautiful Vox Continental organ) and I never looked back. Totally hooked. I think the classical piano training in my youth paid dividends understanding the backbone of the music and song structures, which gave me a leg up. 

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Birmingham. My elder brother and his mate were both in bands through the 60's. I used to follow them around and act as a roadie so, although underage, it got me into clubs and pubs.  Along the way I learned to strum a few chords. Their claims to fame - one once shared a stage jamming with The Move, the other did a stint in Germany a la Beatles. But like many others they got married, settled down, had kids and worked at their day jobs for a secure income as did I.

Fast forward to 1998, (with all our children grown up and all of us settled and prospering in our respective careers),  at my 50th birthday party, brother and mate had a strum together in my back garden on acoustics, singing and playing 60's tunes. "We should get together and form a group", said one to the other. "You'll can play bass" they said pointing to me.

I was loaned a no-name P Bass and an amp. Another old friend took up drums and another thought he could sing! Weekend get togethers ensued and we started playing at family parties, (to the amusement/embarassment  of our collective teenage off-spring).

The journey then began that would be familiar to many: new drummers and singers, new and better instruments and amps, pub gigs, club gigs, weddings, functions and local summer festivals. Our playlist consisted of Shadows/Ventures instrumentals and early Cliff stuff, Beatles and Kinks, Animals and Elvis, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, Hollies and Searchers, etc, the usual 50's, 60's, 70's hits: much like hundreds of other cover bands.

After 15 years or so we found gigs fewer and far between with venues closing and the remuneration poor for the all the effort involved, and we were all getting older, (those 3 a.m. Sunday mornings after unloading and stowing all the P.A. etc back in the garage didn't seem so much fun anymore.

We stopped being weekend warriors but now run a music club for has-beens and wannabes at Quarry Bank community centre.

Oh, I was also invited to play with a local amateur Jazz quartet, so I'm learning to play properly now.

The question 'Why?' could have been answered by just saying that I thought Jet Harris looked cool, as I I later found him to be when I had a nice chat with him. Just bumped into him at the NEC around 1999ish at a 'Mad About Guitars' show where he and Hank were separately doing demo's/workshops. Now that was a really nice day out because the first LP we had for Xmas, must have been 1961, to play on our new Portadyne record player was The Shadows first LP. We played it to death through it's 4" elliptical speaker. Those tunes are stuck in my head.

We still play them at the music club sometimes. It's about time I shut up, I've got the grass to cut today, front and back lawns. But that's uninteresting and belongs in another thread along with the cup of coffee I'm about to make and enjoy whilst I have a read of yesterdays Daily Mail. Can't you just tell I'm retired with far to much time on my hands?

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