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Was Bass your first choice?


michael saulnier

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Not trying to troll here. But I have a question.

 

I know that Paul McCartney for example played guitar in the Hamburg era Beatles. It was only after they booted their bassist (a better painter than player), that Paul was "elected" to play the bass.

 

Obviously he's gone on to be an innovator in style and harmony...

 

Noel Redding was another example. Although he certainly didn't have anywhere near the influence on bass that McCartney did, he was a guitarist who "became" a bass player to fit into a band. (Hendrix liked his hair).

 

What about you?

 

I'm in a situation where I may be asked to do this, and I'm curious to hear the opinions of anyone who's "been there".

 

~ for now still a

 

guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

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bass kinda ended up being my first choice. my friend got all into guitar, he had 2 of them at the time and I would go over and he would have me try and jam with him. but I was real bad, and fudged up on all the cords. so I went with him to the GC and while I was there I picked a bass and I took to it like a fish in water. so I bought a squire p-bass package on special and here I sit 4 years later.
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I played percussion for 7 years (6th grade through high school - marching band etc) then picked up a little guitar but never really liked it... played bass because that was what was needed in the band... later tried to play drums set (a whole skill in itself compared to percussion) and went back to bass cuz I missed melody...

 

Sooo... bass, although not my first choice... ended up being the best and what matters most than that?

 

Dave

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When I first picked up stringed instruments.. I played bass for about a month and a half. I wasn't taking lessons from anyone and I got really bored (due to extreme lack of direction... and I was only 13 at the time). I switched to guitar and thought I'd be a big metal god for about 5 years. That's when I went back to my original calling and switched to bass. Best single thing I ever did in my life. I liked playing guitar, I LOVE playing bass.
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bass all the way. in junior high we had to pick instruments for orchestra and band classes, one semester each. in orchestra i chose cello, in band baritone horn. so i guess i just gravitated towards the low end. then my brother started buying iron maiden albums and playing them at full volume. steve harris sold me.
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
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I wanted to play drums, but, my parents refused. We made a deal that if I got straight A's for the rest of the school year, they'd buy me a guitar/bass and an amp. My best friend went earlier that same day (he made the same deal with his folks) and got a guitar, so I got the bass. I don't know if it was fate or if I would have picked the bass anyway, but I got it and haven't looked back since. My parents told me I had to take lessons, so I did, but, if my grades dropped, the bass and amp were in the next garage sale. My friend still plays and is quite successful. His band is in negotiations with a few labels right now, so hopefully they will get what they deserve. I still have that bass, although it's more of a "Franken-bass" now. A few years back I named it "Abby Normal," but, I put a "MacDaddy" sticker on the headstock and all my friends call it "the MacDaddy," but I know it's real name.

 

Sorry for the tangent.

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No, bass wasn't my first choice. I played drums for 28 years. I took up the guitar but found very few opportunities to play publicly. The opportunities I had were rhythm guitar -- repetitive strumming of chords bored me senseless. I picked up a bass one day and everything clicked. Whereas I felt "locked in" with rhythm guitar, with bass, the opportunity (necessity) of improvising over a basic chord structure freed me to have fun with the music. Nothing feels as good as this -- well, almost nothing. Another benefit is that whereas there seem to be a dozen good guitar players lining up for any chance to play, I'm usually the only qualified bass player.

 

I still own and play a couple of guitars, but my "public" instrument is bass -- it's the most fun, by far.

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Well... let's see.

 

I mainly play guitar, but I play it more like a bass. I write most of my band's basslines. I've even recorded a lot of them. At one point (three years ago), a friend of mine needed a bassist and drummer to fill out his band. I offered my services (along with our drummer's) for the gig since we liked the music, and I wanted to see how it felt to play bass in a band where I wasn't the primary writer. I like it. To me, playing bass offers me the chance to be part of the heartbeat of an arrangement. I revel in the repitition and the big strings. It's nice. I would never dream of playing guitar in that band. I'd be out of my element. So is bass my first choice? It is for this band. In my other band, I can pretty much do anything. Yay for me.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Well...In middle school I was forced to play a "traditional" instrument so I chose sax, then switched to french horn 6 months later because I was sick of reeds. After middle school I picked up guitar for a little while but didn't really care for it. Two years after I stopped playing guitar I picked up a bass and now know it's the only one for me.
~Shivall
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Nope...Tinwhistle...Hey lay off, this IS Ireland after all. But I couldn't even get the hang of 3 blind mice !! I was only 11. After a long break from anything remotely musical (it still shows, maybe even always show) a mate bought the worst guitar ever.

 

I was intruigued, was given an old battered acoustic from an uncle, failed miserably, got a real battered bass, failed miserably, got a better bass, showed signs of failing but with rythym....and here I am! Still not perfect, but I get compliments from people I deem much, much better. (hey I've fallen in love with this comma button)

 

From tin whistle to bass, can I possibly get any lower?

 

CupMcMali...this monkey's gone to heaven :freak:

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Yup. Well, bass wasn't the first instrument I had played, in elementary we had to buy recorders for this little crappy music class. I wanted to play guitar, but since my family "couldn't afford it", I got squat. I saved up my cash and bought a bass a few years ago, and have 2 of them now, as well as an acoustic guitar that never sees my fingers.

 

(I said "couldn't afford it" because at that time, that's what was said. Now, my little brother plays the violin and wants a guitar for Xmas, and my momma is going to get him one...seems to me like we "could afford it" when my parents were together, and "couldn't afford it" now that my parents are split. That's what I see, anyway.)

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Started with piano, then trumpet, then a brief flirtation with drums/percussion. Then chose bass, which is now my "primary" instrument (and I've also taken on some harmonica). I chose bass because there were already so many damn g****r players. By choosing bass in high school I automatically got the bass seat in a cover band. I now dabble in g****r since I inherited one a few years ago, and I think that dabbling is just beginning to help my bass playing. My passion, however, is laying down phat, funky, rump-shakin' grooves on my electric bass! :thu:

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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While I started on sax, I fell in love with bass. My cousin played and I looked up to both him and his bass. It's the instrument I feel the most.

 

On a sorta-related note, there was a recent thread that asked about everyone's musical training. One of the elements that came out was the instruments we learned. Look at

http://www.musicgearnetwork.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=003103

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Santa Claus brought me a set of drums for Christmas when I was 5. (You know, those cheap paper things...imagine what they were like in 1960)

 

I had those drums a week, and Santa took them back. I musta played the hell outta them at 5 oclock in the morning or something.

 

The first instrument I lusted to play was guitar...all through HS I taught myself.

 

But bass was the first instrument I played and went, yeah. I could do this.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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When I was in high school there were three of us that lived on the same block that played guitars. We all had just started so it was easy to switch. One of us needed to play the organ and the other bass. I actually started out playing the bass parts on the low strings of the guitar until I was able to buy a bass.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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I started off on the drums... shortly thereafter I realized, I wasn't any good. ;) Not for lack of practice, but I don't think it was my "voice"... I've always been attracted to the bass, beginning probably with my first forrays into early rap, but I never realized the sheer power and voice inherent in the bass guitar... Now I'm an addict... I guess the L.D. is like my "AA"...

"Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress

... But I repeat myself."

-Mark Twain

http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/63/condition_1.html (my old band)

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Started on guitar when I was about 12. Bugged my parents to get me into lessons and I remember Puff the Magic Dragon kickin' my ass! But even before that, I used to turn up the bass control on my parents huge record player/radio console and listen to the Motown sounds (didn't know that name then...just liked what I heard).

 

We moved overseas and dad bought me a bass, at my request, from a friend of his. I was hooked! And my first endevour for bass was a song by Archie Bell and the Drells, called Tighten Up.

 

Kept on the bass, but still love doing the rare acoustic guitar gigs.

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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For me it was the bass and nothing but the bass. It didn't stay that way as time went on. But, bass is my first love.

RobT

 

Famous Musical Quotes: "I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" - Xavier Cugat

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With me, I was the one sitting on the basement couch when my other 2 friends had the drums and guitar. First song learned was Smoke on the Water. Sure glad I was the 3rd man in, to play bass.
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Lets see...

 

played recorded in 6th grade ( I can still play Hot Cross Buns)

 

From junior high till the end of high school I played clarinet.

 

Ive always sang, started lessons in high school and almost majored in voice in college before I gained my senses and ended up an attorney.

 

Never playws guitar or drums.

 

How did I come to bass lo' those long 5 weeks ago? Me and some friends have a little group, nothing serious, a guitar player, I sing some bongos, mostly fun. Someone mentioned we should have a bass player. On a complete whim I bought one! And surprse surprise, I loved it!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Pirate- Idnarb
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I started out playing drums for about 5 years in both the school band and in bands around town. Selfishly, I was jealous of our guitarist/singer being in front whilst I toiled in back. Because we had two guitarist, I made the only switch I could. Though I made the switch in a fit of jealousy, I am so happy I made it. Bass is clearly the coolest instrument, and at least I stayed in the rhythm section...
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Yeh. My brother got a Sears guitar for his birthday that year, and said I should get a bass. Saved money from the ol' paper route for months and my parents pooled that with their own money to buy me a Fender Bullet and a Sears amp for Christmas.

 

The Sears bass amp was the worst piece of shit ever created by man. Whoever thought that it had any redeeming value can rot in hell. I played for two years wondering why my bass never sounded like the ones on the records I was playing along with.

Andrew Mazzocchi
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Great replies everyone... it's nice to see all the background of everyone... I guess everyone's got "their story"...

 

And Tom, I checked out the thread you linked. It's amazing to me how many of you have formal music backgrounds... I bet a similar post in the "guitar forum" wouldn't yield the same results!

 

Well, I've got a decent little MIM Fender Jazz bass... I got a great deal on some Duncan antiquies pickups, and since I installed them, my bass has been sounding a lot better...

 

It's hard sometimes to hang in the pocket when as a guitar player my instinct is to go melody... but I always have fun when I play at the bass... (notice I don't consider myself a bass player yet!).

 

I've been wondering about technique, especially right hand... I've largely played guitar with a pick, and am the most articulate with it... I suppose I should build my bass finger picking chops, but I hate to impose my weakness there on my bandmates.

 

If I stay with a pick, do you have any preferences as to what kind, thickness, etc?

 

If you think I should "drop the pick", any tips on quickly building my technique.

 

I notice that if I'm not paying attention, I occasionally fall into useing my thumb when I'm finger picking... other than slapping, is this considered bad technique?

 

guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

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