why I started playing the bass

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by Digital Larry, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted

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    I really got into music my 3rd year of college. I met some guys and gals around the dorm and we started playing some rock and roll tunes and going to the open mic at the campus coffee house.

    A guy in the dorm had a white Music Man he said he wanted to learn to play but I never saw him doing it. So I borrowed it for awhile. i liked it. I think some of the reasons I continued to play bass include:

    a) I'm a team player and don't mind not being in the spotlight
    b) Playing something simple and repetitive actually made other people happy
    c) The lines for bass players at the blues jams I wound up at a few years later were WAYYYYY shorter than the guitar player lines.
    d) There is a visceral component of throwing those heavy ropes around completely absent in guitar playing.

    How bout you?
     
  2. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    25 years on it recent guitar conversion.

    The bass & drums is the motor..it drives...

    what you can do on bass can eliminate xtra guitar stuff

    would rather play bass but stuck on guitar

    Buttercup (2).jpg Jazz (2).jpg pf50t (2).jpg
     
  3. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I started playing bass because I needed one to lay down tracks on my recordings. Fell in love with it and the guitar took a back seat for a couple of years to my bass. Still play it pretty frequently. I love locking in with a drummer and laying down the funk.
     
  4. Gaz_

    Gaz_ TDPRI Member

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    I'm just trying to buy my first one at the moment. We've ended up with 3 guitarist and a drummer. It's a merge of two bands, I was the rhythm guitarist, and lead singer in both. We thought we'd get a bass to pass around for whoever has the least important role on guitar. I thought I'd best get one to practice on at home! Alot of youtube watching coming up!
     
  5. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    Yup. Nowadays I play bass more when I'm with others. I play guitar when I'm by myself. I should probably woodshed on bass more than I do, but it's not as satisfying as guitar noodling. Bass is just not a solo instrument in my little corner of the basement.
     
  6. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My wife plays bass and has them sitting around, so I just started to pick them up and started playing some standard bass lines. Then I started looping cover basslines with the guitar songs I have learned over the years. Then I started looping my own basslines to develop my own original guitar songs. Now into recording, it has been a great advantage knowing enough bass to make my own backing tracks.
     
  7. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    Good music choice - can't beat a solid, driving back line.
     
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  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I enjoyed "piddling around" on bass for many years, but all through high school and college was blessed with playing with one of the best bassists ever. Not only would bass have interfered with my "frontman/lead guitarist/rockstar" role I envisioned myself in, but I simply couldn't compete with Joe.
    25+ years ago, another friend (who was a much better guitarist than I) were putting together a band, and simply couldn't find a good bassist that was compatible with us. I took up bass, and put my specific philosophies on bass playing into action. My beliefs were then (and now) that most bass players PLAY TOO MUCH. I think most bass players are frustrated guitarists or think every second of a song has to be "bass", and that just isn't right. My role models for bass are guys like Duck Dunn, Bill Wyman or Andy Fraser.
    I've long been back on guitar, although I still play my P-Bass or Hofner Club regularly, and STILL have the difficulty finding and keeping bass players around.
    As Tom Waits said in the live Nighthawks at the Diner, bass players ought to be locked up somewhere....;)
     
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  9. BluesGuitarMart

    BluesGuitarMart Tele-Meister

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    I love playing bass but I can't see me ever playing with anyone else and as you say, bass is just no fun to play as a solo instrument so I stick with guitar. If I ever genuinely thought i was gonna get out of the house and play with others I'd be much more inclined to stick with bass, but I've been playing guitar for 22 years and have never jammed with another person and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon!
     
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  10. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    I played bass before I played guitar, or harmonica or mandolin.

    Ended up playing guitar because I was in a band with a neighbor who also played bass and guitar. And he was a much better bassist than I was. I actually gave away my bass at one point to the sister of a friend of mine.

    After many years passed I picked it up again because the church I was playing at needed a bass player. I'm playing bass quite a bit these days and enjoying it.
     
  11. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I LOVE playing bass!
    It’s my “new” instrument.
    I started gigging on bass 25 years ago.
    At this stage of the game, bass playing is much more fun!
    I started by goofing around on my friend Tommy’s P bass when we took rehearsal breaks, eons ago.
    Tommy would take off on a mini bike (that dates it, eh?), and I’d impersonate a bass player till he got back.
    It’s all about the drummer when you play bass, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  12. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    you can gig 7 nights a week in 7 dif bands if you got bass skills....my cuz plays upright in an orchestra...jazz dinner club...rock band & session work...gets calls for last minute fill ins(knows the Real book inside out)
     
  13. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    You probably had an "inner" bass player inside you for years, Bill....just waiting to break out. ;)
    Too many of the bass players I've come across (and you've probably known some too) were the guys that wanted to play music, and figured four strings, playing one note at a time, would just be easier than six. No sense of rhythm or musicality, or fitting into the "song", but they "think" they're playing rock and roll. I've said it before and I'll say it again.....playing "good" bass is WAY harder than "decent" guitar. It is the backbone and heartbeat of any good song. Listen to Gimme Some Love by Spencer Davis Group. All through the song, except for a short bit in the chorus, the bass does that "do-do-do-do-do....dum" signature lick. Very few bass players want to do that like the original. They say it's boring, uninteresting, or un-challenging.....however, it MAKES the song. It's the "heartbeat" that anchors the song against the more syncopated rhythms of the organ/piano/guitar. Fortunately, few bands play/butcher those Brit-invasion numbers anymore, so I don't have to cringe upon hearing them. My hats's off to you "real" bassists!
     
  14. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    Bass was my first instrument. I also enjoyed the anonymity of being part of the rhythm section, playing a supporting role.

    Until I discovered prog rock, then it was bigger and bigger amps, pedals, and psychedelic freak outs.

    I moved on to guitar a short time later. Seemed like a logical progression.

    I still have a bass I pick up now and again.
     
  15. Smokin OP

    Smokin OP Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Played guitar in a band 35+ years ago with 2 brothers, 1 guitar & the other was the bass player. The guitar got a regular Friday/Saturday night gig, didn't like his brother so he asked me. I bought a bass on Friday, started the gig the next day & played bass every weekend for about 3 years. Now I play bass when needed. Although I'm primarily a guitar player, I will do whatever it takes to make the band sound better.
     
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  16. teleman1

    teleman1 Tele-Holic

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    I was ensconced in music at an early age. I was listing to Cream and everything else in 69. That's when I got even more involved listening and it actually screwed me up for enjoying listening to music. Cause at that point I stated to realize. I just listened to a Beatle cut and I only hear Lennons voice or Pauls Bass though I had listened to the whole song. I put the blame on one guy>>> Jack Bruce.
    My earliest days with he guitar were challenging. THe first thing I noticed was I couldn't sing and play at the same time. It took a long time and only the simplest songs to be successful at it.Creams live stuff was incredible and Jack to me, was the main force in Cream. AS I got into them, I focused on Jack. HTF? How does he do it. His singing is complicated enough, but he plays bass at the same time, doing lines that blow the mind and singing at the same time! TO me it was like hopping on one foot, picking your nose, and balancing a cherry on your head. HOW DID HE DO THAT?!?!?! SO with that, every time I come across a bass, I am not singing, just trying to emulate the notes my hero easily pulled off. I even play fretless
     
  17. Taildragger

    Taildragger Tele-Meister

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    Long-time guitar player and bonafide geezer, here. About 6 years ago, arthritis in both thumbs started making playing barre chords and holding a flat pick quite painful. I found that I could play short-scale basses finger-style without pain, so thought I'd give it a shot just in order to keep playing something. Quickly realized how different playing bass "correctly" is from playing guitar and that it is more challenging to do it well than I had previously thought.

    What originally started out as me just "settling" for another, "less interesting" instrument so that I could stay involved has turned out to be big fun. Think I can honestly say that I now actually enjoy playing bass more than I ever enjoyed playing guitar. My first instrument in grade school orchestra was drums, so maybe that has something to do with it: "back in the rhythm section again!" Full circle.

    I'd say playing bass also has changed how I listen to music and appreciate each instrument's contribution to the whole. Before, I was too often overly-focused on hearing the complexities and nuances of the guitar parts so I could figure out how to play them.

    After having started out with guitar during the late 1960s (era of the 20-minute guitar "solo") I had gradually arrived at the "less is more" aesthetic over the years. Not "over-playing" the bass parts seems like a natural continuation of that sort of restraint. That has probably been an advantage over having picked up on bass when I was younger while my tastes still leaned toward excessiveness and flash.
     
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  18. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Bass as a solo instrument? Yes!!

     
  19. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Holic

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    I love playing bass:D Play it at blues jams if bass players are in short supply.
    I certainly can't hope to come close to
    what bass player does in our jazz group!
     
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  20. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I once read an interview with Chris Squire in Bass Player magazine, and he was asked how in the world he could sing his complicated vocal harmonies while simultaneously playing his elaborate bass lines.(live) He said he would go back and learn the bass parts he had recorded, and then practiced them until they were simply "automatic" and he could play it in his sleep. When that was done, he would then practice his vocal part until it was also "automatic". THEN, he'd put the two together. So, it was a combination of work ethic, practice, and being the most accomplished and gifted bassist in the world.....;)
     
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