What inspired you to start playing bass?

Except it didn’t cost a dollar/pound/euro/yen (have I covered everybody here?).

You know, as I read these deeply personal accounts, it makes me understand something about my own situation that hadn’t occurred to me before: music connects me more to my dead mum more than I’d realised. Her passion for it and the forms she introduced me to and encouraged me to listen to. Hell, she would even sit & listen to whatever I was into at the time - as she did with my much older brother & sister. My mum must’ve had the broadest taste in the street: She introduced me to mostly orchestral and operatic, but also big band swing, soul/blues and folk. We introduced her to Slade, ELO, Status Quo, Rainbow/Deep Purple, The Damned, Sex Pistols, and so much more. Thinking about it now, I don’t think my siblings had that relationship with her because today they don’t have the same interest in broad musical genres (except my brother’s interest in classical because that’s what his wife plays professionally).

I wish she was still here to listen to me proudly boast that I’d just learned a new song and could understand the basics of reading music at last.

The doctor is now in the free and awaiting their next patient.


In all honesty it was an accident. My YouTube suggestion play list all of a sudden started throwing bass player videos at me, and while I’ve always admired the bass I figured at 46 I was too old to pick up a new instrument. I was a percussionist in high school band so the basics of music weren’t foreign to me, but not having played anything in well over 28 years only discouraged me further. I began to search YouTube for beginner bass videos and found that the only thing holding me back was me. A few days later Amazon delivered two very large boxes and I’m proud to say I’m on my way to becoming a (kinda sorta) badass. Oh, and my wife rolled her eyes at me but she hasn’t left me yet so I think I’m gonna be ok.


That’s awesome Rick @rickpalacios1973! You’re the first person who I know of being coerced into playing bass by Youtube suggestions. :slight_smile:

And just learn to play a song your wife likes on bass, she’ll be sold. :wink:


There’s quite a few on TalkBass.com who aren’t cool.
There’s some right ‘safe space’ type stiffs on there.

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Bass players are cool but, sadly, not all of them are nice people. TB can be a hostile environment.


Hi @JoshFossgreen,

Do you also play guitar?

Just curious as to whether or not a lot of bass players are proficient in both instruments.




Hey, Chris @cmalnyk . . . :slight_smile:

Don’t forget that when you want to get someone’s attention, you need to use the “@” sign directly in front of their user name. So “Josh” would be @JoshFossgreen.

I’m sure he’ll see this thread and get back to you!

HTH and all best, Joe


Don’t feel bad, I threw my sax into the case in the direction of the teacher. My parents were very, very unhappy to have to replace the neck and unbend keys, and were shocked I was capable of getting angry enough to throw Charlotte(my sax), let alone act out…And the new neck was never the same, alas poor Charlotte!


I stated as such in my welcome post but for me it was all Mike Herrera playing a Stingray on stage when I was 15. It was all inevitable from that moment forward.


Hey Chris! Yes, technically, a bit, as you can see here:

But I wouldn’t call myself a “guitarist,” more of a guitar owner. I only play out of necessity for backing tracks, or for fun occasionally. My picking accuracy is dreadful though…


Actually, I guess it was after the death of my Dad, he had played guitar all his adult life and left two acoustics, (one a 12 string) an electric, and a bass. I decided to take the bass, and the amp that came with it, both from 1968, Silvertone. I had been living at home, and when I retired I got me a place and just started investigating the history of this bass and amp and that evolved to me trying to learn to play. But this particular bass needs some work, and I had a little extra money so I put that aside for the time being and bought the new GSR200 I now practice with.



I think this is one of the threads that every new student/player should at least skim through and add to. It’s so fundamental to everybody here; the reason we want to learn an instrument (or another one).

It’s also an interesting way to check back on yourself and see how much your attitude/motivation/ambition has changed since you began making progress and improvement.

I wrote that in September, and although I’ve been a little bit lax in working through the course and practising, I can still feel the progress I’ve made. What’s changed though are my ambitions now that I’ve got some basic skills and feel more confident: I now want to play some small gigs, and I’ve even been toying with the idea of getting together an ensemble of players I know to play a jazz set - ultimately playing background at a Sunday coffee house I’m familiar with.


What a good question.

Growing up, music was everything. Those in my family who couldn’t/didn’t play instruments were hard-core audiophiles. Music was all around me, almost all the time. But I was a bit of a weird kid. Tall and uncoordinated, I’d play D&D on recess instead of whatever team sport was in season, and write Commodore 64 programs after school instead of running around with the neighborhood kids. And I embraced it, too. I knew I was a nerd, and I was OK with that.

So when it came time for my folks to ask me if I wanted to take music lessons and, if so, on what instrument… it was only natural for me to think of Weird Al Yankovic and saddle up with the accordion. I took… two years of weekly accordion lessons at the local Milton Mann Accordion Studio, and I still have my accordion today; it’s a mother of pearl, 120 bass Contello purchased through the studio where I was being instructed. I love that thing, it’s the only thing of import I still have from my childhood.

Of course I finally grew into my body and put the accordion down for BMX and cars and girls, but music was always one of my main interests. I went to high school during a time where the metal fans hung with the metal fans, and the punks with the punks, and the mods with the mods, and the new wavers with the new wavers. They all called me a “poser” because I didn’t fall into one of those groups; I dug Metallica just as much as I did the Sex Pistols and DEVO, and I often wore my checkerboard Vans (a BMX racing necessity as well as a hallmark “headbanger” shoe) to school on the same day I’d wear a Siouxsie and the Banshee’s t-shirt.

Anyway, it was about that time that my brother started playing guitar. I hadn’t thought about playing music in a long time, but seeing him play really sparked up the drive to play again. I couldn’t get into guitar, of course, because that was “his thing” and neither of us were mature enough to realize that guitars are big enough for the both of us. I couldn’t pick up the accordion again… that would be TOO nerdy, even for me. So I started thinking and I realized that when I hum music, or hear it in my head, it’s the bassline I’m focusing on. Not the lyrics, not the guitar solos or melodies, but the basslines. At that point I said, “if ever I get another instrument, it’s gonna be a bass”.

A few years later, bands like Primus and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Infectious Grooves started popping up, and I knew I was hooked. I didn’t want to play that style of bass then - and I still don’t now - but I knew that an instrument that could go from something like Linda Ronstadt’s Blue Bayou to Primus’ Tommy the Cat was an instrument I wanted to play. I went to Guitar Center and got myself a white Epiphone Accu-Bass, and it’s all been downhill since then.

There have been a couple of times that I’ve “gotten out” of playing bass, where I’ve sold off my stuff only to buy new stuff later (like, my original Epiphone Accu-Bass and 20w Fender combo amp was sold, later I bought a Yamaha RBX170 and Carvin 300w combo amp, which I later sold and re-bought an Ibanez SR300 and Hartke 15w combo amp) but bass has always been something I’ve followed and been enthused about.

And there you have it. All sorts of details you didn’t need or want to know, to answer the “what inspired me to play bass” question. :smiley:

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Like others have said, music was and is a huge part of my life. Growing up in the late 70’s and 80’s, well it was a great time for music. Many of the bands I loved (Queen, ZZ Top, Duran Duran, GnR, etc. ) all had strong bassists and bass lines. When playing “air guitar” I always played an air bass and I guess even then I knew about two finger plucking. LOL

Earlier this year I transitioned from “air” bass to the real thing and enjoying the journey.

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my first inspiration is cliff burton, but what’s yours?


Strange my very first inspiration for playing the bass guitar was watching when I young. A man playing a stand up bass fiddle. Than at church I noticed that musicians didn’t last long. So the only instrument I wanted to play was the bass guitar. I learned a little at first about playing a acoustic guitar. Which VA medical center. Loan me a guitar to take lessons. Instead of buying an acoustic guitar, I made the decision. To go to a pawn Shop in search of a bass. This is the instrument I prayed to God. This is the instrument I wanted to play for him. Than bassbuzz was sent to me. So I could be the best I could be. My thanks for these lessons that I can understand and start playing for my church soon.

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Gene Simmons. Good bad or indifferent, I was a teen and saw them many times, the most memorable being 12/27/1977 in Birmingham. I wanted to be just like him at the time. And I saw the bass as the instrument to allow me to live out my rock and roll fantasy. Of course age and flab has prevented me from doing it now. But, I can say I at least can play (at) the bass.