Retired bass playing grandpa musings

Hello all you wonderful keepers of the low end!
A few thoughts today…
1.) THANK YOU so much for naming me one of two “New User of the Month”! Pretty cool!
2.) I’m a retired teacher (39 years teaching special education) and much of my retirement time has been helping take care of my two grandkids. As of last week, both are now in school together all day. I take them to school and pick them up, but during the rest of the day, I’m free to do whatever a retired wants to do…including my wife’s “honeydo” list…she is still working: she works with high school aged autistic and cognitively impaired high school students.
3.) Which brings me to this point: I’ve always had kids around during the day, until this school year. We would play games, watch a little tv, read, learn math, and even go treasure hunting with my metal detector and shoot off model rockets. Heck, to help my grandkids learn how to count, I taught them blackjack and craps…my grandson is a pretty good dealer and know to “never buy insurance, and never split tens!” My only concern is that he doesn’t get it in his head to run a blackjack/craps game during kindergarten recess!!! We played Monopoly a lot, too. It helped them start learning how to count money and read (the Community Chest and Chance cards)…and how to scam me out of trading for Boardwalk and Park Place!!! Haha! Now it’s…kind of boring around here during the day.
4.) So to put my new found free time to good use, I’ve really got into studying jazz walking bass lines. I’m working on Nelson Boyd’s line for Afternoon In Paris as my current project. I’ve downloaded all of the lead sheets of Aimee Nolte’s top 25 jazz standards list and made a Spotify list as well so I can play along. I’ve included a lot of Thisbe Vos’s interpretations as well…I just LOVE how she embraces reviving the old tunes and how she presents an air of “old school” class and sophistication to the standards. She actually sent me her own lead sheet of her song “Sophistication”. As far as I know, I’m the only person besides her who has it since she has yet to publish the music of her original songs…she told me she wants to hear a recording of my playing it, but I haven’t reached a level of comfort playing it yet that would be worthy for her to hear me…plus I haven’t learned how to record yet…(that Zoom recording seminar on Bass Buzz coming up soon, maybe???) So I am enjoying the freedom to work on learning jazz standards and improving my walking bass lines.
5.) But! I don’t play bass all day…I’ve also indulged in my two favorite games: cribbage and backgammon…(yes, I know, I’m from Michigan where euchre is the #1 card game, but I’m pretty good playing it and don’t really need to spend a lot of time learning euchre “strategies”…My father-in-law taught me euchre strategy…this is what he taught me: He led with a non-trump ace and all I had were trump cards, so I trumped it with 9…he cussed at me and a mili-second later a Budweiser bottle flew past my left ear. He was yelling “NEVER &^&^&%&^%#^#^))&&^%#@# TRUMP AN ACE YOU ()(&%$##@&&!!!” He didn’t care that all I had were trump cards…that’s the extent of my euchre strategy lessons!) So I’m enjoying playing a lot of cribbage and backgammon online and watching and learning from a lot of You Tube cribbage and backgammon strategy videos…plus some very good books.
5.) Which leads to my final point…I pretty much suck at cribbage and backgammon!!!, but I’m having fun trying to learn. What I don’t suck at, and I hope this does not come across as arrogance, is playing bass. I’ve been doing it since 1976 and I’m still learning. Playing bass, especially learning jazz standards and being able to confidently walk bass and throw in a little improvisation, makes me happy. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something special. Through the years I’ve put this “talent” to good use playing for 15 years at church which makes me feel that somewhere during those 15 years that maybe my playing helped a lot of people. (I did have a teenager ask for my autograph after a Christmas show we did one time!!! I was thinking of being funny and signing like Jimmy Dugan did on that kid’s baseball in the movie A League Of Their Own…“Avoid the clap! Johnny StingRay!”, but since it was a Christmas show, I thought better of that…I wrote, “You’re my first fan!!! Peace & Happiness! Johnny StingRay!” When I was teaching in L.A. I was mistaken for Kurt Rambis and asked for an autograph by a little wide eyed kid whose mother was very excited for him to get “Kurt’s” autograph! So I did sign, but I don’t know if they caught that I signed “Best wishes to my bestest fan! Curt Rambis!” I wonder if he still has it?
Anyways, if you read all of my ramblings, THANK YOU!!! I just dropped my grandkids off to school and now I get play bass!!! YAHOOOOOO!!!
Peace, Love, and Happiness to all my Bass Buzz lowenders!!!


… also, always split aces, always double down on 11, and a few other more intricate rules of when to hit and when to stand, as a way of increasing your odds of winning at BJ.

Nice story @Johnny_StingRay


Thank you, PamPurrs!


It’s 1976. You just got your first bass.
How old were you?
Why did you get a bass?
What was it?
What was the first song you learned?


Hi, Eric!!!
1.)I was 19.
2.) I wanted to play bass because I was in love with Suzi Quatro aka Leather Tuscadaro!!! I’m a Detroiter, like her, and figured if I played bass she might pay attention to me!!! :wink::+1:…still love her! ….I loved how jazz walking bass lines sounded.
3.) First bass was a sunburst Univox!
4.) First song learned……can’t remember, but I’m sure it was a 12 bar blues……or probably “Can The Can”!!!..…first song I ever played in front of a crowd was “Freebird”.
Thank you for a great trip down memory lane!


That’s awesome. I keep looking at that song and thinking I might learn to play it, but just chicken out.