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14 hours ago, skankdelvar said:

To get laid. 

This^^^ 😜

I was at college in 1991 and still considered myself a g****rist. Then a funk band with two gorgeous female singers came along. The guitar chair was filled, but they needed a bass player. I had a bass, but no bass amp, so played through my 100W Laney Linebacker guitar combo, so I must've sounded awful. I was blagging it terribly, but the rest of the band were a talented lot, and we were well received wherever we played. Though I failed to seduce either singer, I was myself seduced by the ways of the low note. People started calling me 'Dave Bass', and it stuck. 

(On reflection, I do actually remember a successful liasion with our backing dancer, so perhaps the low-notes did the trick in the end - My playing hasn't inspired anyone else to take their clothes off since, mind.) 😕 

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I was all about drums and learned to play them to a fairly good standard and was in several bands in my early teens.  However, I was listening to a lot of funk, soul and Acid Jazz at the time, but most bands I was in the bass player was the most rubbish guitarist that had been "demoted", so was not getting to play in bands along to amazing basslines like I was hearing on records.

My epiphany moment was watching The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour film and watching Paul play those funky bass notes at the start of I Am The Walrus.  I just thought he looked so much cooler than Ringo and to quote @skankdelvar, I was surely much more likely to get laid if I switched to bass.

Well, I went straight out and bought a cheap battered 4 stringer as soon as my paper round money could cover it.  28 years later, I'm still waiting to have ladies fall at my feet after I've vibrated their sexual organs.....

 

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My best mate got a drum kit for Christmas and picked it up really quickly so decided he should start a band. Seeing as I was his best mate he asked me if I'd like to join rather than try to find somebody that could actualy play already. He suggested bass as I wouldn't have to learn to play chords so we could start playing sooner.

Because he was really into Nirvana at the time he gave me a cassette copy of Unplugged in New York to learn and an old acoustic guitar with only the E and A strings on it. Within a week I'd learned the bass parts by ear (pretty accurately to be fair looking back) to about 2/3 of the album and I was hooked.

So that I could be heard against his drum kit, my mate then lent me the money to buy the cheapest bass that was available in that week's Free Ads paper - a Hohner B2a for £70.

I didn't have an amp so I plugged into his Goodmans twin cassette home karaoke machine which was just about audible over the drums with the volume on full but distorted horribly.

My older sister then introduced us to one of her husband's friends who played guitar and sang so I had to get my first bass amp (a Laney Linebacker 30) so that the karaoke machine could be our vocal PA. We were terrible but it was a start and within a year I'd joined the band that I'm with today and have been gigging with for over 23 years! 

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Me and a couple of similarly underage schoolmates sneaked into a pub to see a punky/pub rock band who were getting a bit of a local reputation. That experience of up-close, sweaty live music in a tiny, packed venue, so different from the couple of "big" gigs I'd seen, convinced me that was what I had to do.

Inspired, (and lubricated by a pint or two of illicit bitter top), me & the other guys formed a band & chose our instruments on the way home. Bass was a (mostly) rational decision based on the fact I only had a little bedroom & wouldn't be able to fit a drum kit into it! And talking my Mum into letting me get a bass would be easier...

Anyway, me & my "band" mates all got instruments and went on to do various musical things - apart from ever playing together.

 

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When I was 17 , many many years ago ( and playing guitar quite badly ) someone showed me a recording of Duran Duran live on a VHS tape .

Watching John Taylor play Rio in front of 1000's of screaming women convinced me bass was the way to go.

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Oh, and part of my decision to pick up the bass was that all my keyboard gear was so expensive and had such limited life spans.
Then, in just three years I spent more on bass gear than I've spent on keyboard gear during my lifetime. 😮

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I started with a guitar but found it very fiddly. First time I tried a bass, it seemed to fit my hands much better. That was in 1974 (I think). Never looked back!

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23 hours ago, BrunoBass said:

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.

One crucial aspect in my formative years from a bass point of view totally slipped my mind, until a conversation with my mum this morning took me back to 1977 and the summer we spent living with my grandparents on a council estate in Stafford. We were relocating to north Oxfordshire (where I still live) due to my dad’s job but our new house wasn’t quite ready and so we spent about eight weeks living in Stafford with my grandparents until it was. 

The estate they lived on had a sizeable West Indian population, and everywhere we went we’d hear reggae and dub coming out of the houses and flats. Of course as an eight year old boy I didn’t know what dub reggae was, but I remember loving how it sounded. I had no clue what I was hearing, no idea what bass was but I remember how it seemed to travel through the air and through the ground. Years later I started listening to Culture, King Tubby, Burning Spear, and many more, all of which I still love, so I guess it must’ve all sunk in!

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17 minutes ago, BrunoBass said:

The estate they lived on had a sizeable West Indian population, and everywhere we went we’d hear reggae and dub coming out of the houses and flats. Of course as an eight year old boy I didn’t know what dub reggae was, but I remember loving how it sounded. I had no clue what I was hearing, no idea what bass was but I remember how it seemed to travel through the air and through the ground. Years later I started listening to Culture, King Tubby, Burning Spear, and many more, all of which I still love, so I guess it must’ve all sunk in!

This sounds very similar to me as a kid , only I was on a council estate in east London, great story,  thanks for sharing BrunoBass 🙂

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On 19/08/2019 at 18:13, BreadBin said:

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

This is underplaying things slightly - my dad played bass, I was surrounded by it in my first years. After he gave up playing one of the jobs my dad had was to setup Mike Oldfield's studio at Througham Slad, and then engineer for him.

https://images.app.goo.gl/JPAsYqNcJPTixr4E8

I always wanted to play the P-bass in this photo whenever I saw it leant against the wall, of course I was forbidden to touch it at 5 years old!

I grew up listening to Mike Oldfield, Pierre Moerlen, Ian Dury, Peter Gabriel and The Stranglers. It was inevitable I would play bass.

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20 hours ago, TrevorR said:

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)!

You want locking up. 🙄

 

With nothing to play but a Rickenbacker! 😃

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I never really had any aspirations to be a "musician" in my teens. Now in my mid 40's, and I still don't. 

I started playing bass at 15, because a few of my mates wanted to start a band and needed a bass player. I liked hanging out with my mates so figured I'd give it a shot. 

30 years later and my motivations are pretty much still the same. I love hanging out with my mates and making music, but dislike most other aspects of being in a band. 

I really hate gigging, and generally, having done a series of jobs over the years dealing with idiots on a daily basis (bus driver, doorman etc), I have absolutely no time for the great unwashed, so I have no desire to mix with them in any context. Not even as part of a band. I can't stand the endless discussions about what song we're going to learn next, what will get people dancing, where we're going to play. Etc, etc. 

I'd happily just sit in a room every day, jamming with a small number of people, just for the pleasure of making music and hanging out. Sadly (although understandably) the rest of the band don't see it this way. So i think my days as a bass player are numbered. I've never really seen the bass as a "solo" instrument, and if I wasn't playing with other people I don't think I'd even bother to pick it up. 

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11 hours ago, BrunoBass said:

The estate they lived on had a sizeable West Indian population, and everywhere we went we’d hear reggae and dub coming out of the houses and flats. Of course as an eight year old boy I didn’t know what dub reggae was, but I remember loving how it sounded. I had no clue what I was hearing, no idea what bass was but I remember how it seemed to travel through the air and through the ground. Years later I started listening to Culture, King Tubby, Burning Spear, and many more, all of which I still love, so I guess it must’ve all sunk in!

I discovered recently that the Number One record in the UK charts on the day that I was born was "Double Barrel" by Dave and Ansell Collins. I like to think that this subliminally inspired my later love of dub and reggae, and my musical career as a low-note specialist.

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I started classic guitar lessons. But I got bored very soon. I wanted to switch to electric guitar. So I went to the local music store to see what they had. I got to the store and there was random guy playing bass. I listened to him for about 20 minutes while pretending to be looking at guitars. He then finished, bought the bass and left. I was just blown away. I loved what I heard. I wanted to play that sexy instrument...so I changed my mind and I told my dad that I needed a bass.

Funny thing though I realised some years after: while in classic guitar lessons, I always played the bass part of the song, while my friend played the upper register. I used to choose that part.  

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Average interest in music growing up 

Enjoyed the Ogwt NYE shows as a teen ,loved seeing the live dynamic 

Punk landed and it was like a shot straight in the veins 

Saw the Stranglers on totp, JJ, the look ,the attitude ,the SOUND !!

Bought a kay bass and started teaching myself 

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5 hours ago, jazzmanb said:

Bought a kay bass and started teaching myself 

.. that you wanted something other than a kay!

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I'd played several different instruments in the past - piano, violin, snare drum, bugle, trumpet. If it hadn't been for a particularly vicious dental abscess, I might now be quite a reasonable trad jazz musician. But pain of that nature put me off in a big way.

I tried guitar when I was a student, but found it really difficult to play chords as my thick stubby fingers kept getting tangled up with each other. I should really have gone for an acoustic, but I wanted an electric because, y'know, guitar.

At the time, I was knocking about with the original bassist from the Dogs D'Amour. He tried to get me to take up bass, but me being me and Knowing It All, decided I was meant to be a guitard. Which it turned out I wasn't.

I think a seed might have been planted, though. Fast-forward a few years and I was chatting to a friend on Facebook. She was making noises about learning some Thin Lizzy songs and I said I'd be up for learning bass. Don't ask me why - it just seemed a logical step, albeit one fuelled by rather a lot of home-brewed wine.

The next day, I wandered into Dawson's Music and mumbled something about bass guitars. Shortly afterwards, I left with my first bass - an Ibanez GSR200. It just felt like it dropped into my hands and it instinctively felt right; I knew there and then that I'd discovered 'my' instrument.

I've been playing ever since. Just wish I'd listened to my friend's advice years ago.

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I had a guitar and a bass when I was younger and always loved Lemmy but it was when I heard Rex browns tone and playing on panteras far beyond driven that was a game changer for me 

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When I was at school, myself and some mates had guitars and cheap amps and would jam and pretend to be rockstars in the garage where we had created a bit of space for ourselves .

one of the neighbours heard our racket and mentioned that Graham , her eldest had no use for a broken old guitar he had in the loft . On inspection it only had 4 black strings and a broken neck socket.

£15 lighter I put some wood screws in it to hold it together , and lo , I played bass :D

a hofner violin bass 

after a while my younger brother took it up and followed on playing at school in the sixth form and joined a band....

On 19/08/2019 at 12:33, Leonard Smalls said:

........... 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.

Then a month or two ago , the original garage jammers of 40 years ago went to see this young upstarts latest band in Whitchurch .

true story :drinks:

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