Why Bass? (What's your origin story?)

I was thinking back to what first got me started with bass…

My dad is also a bass player, but for whatever reason I never got bit by the bass bug, until suddenly when I was 13. Then there I was with my cheap blonde P bass, playing hours and hours every day. Just couldn’t get enough of learning new songs that I couldn’t have played the week or month before.

For a buddy of mine, the story is he was really into rock and grunge when he was 15. So he got a guitar and tried to learn Nevermind, like ya do. Couple of years later his friend’s indie band needed a bassist and the rest was history. (on a very small scale of history lol)

What was the first spark and chain of events that led you to picking up a bass?

Was it the music? Want to play a song? Join a band? Jam with buddies? Escape from boring life? Just achieve something? A fun hobby? Wanted to rekindle something from your youth?


I’ve been a guitarist off and on for 50 yrs. More recently for the 20 yrs before Covid I was a competitive martial artist, on the mats somewhere nearly 7 days a week. When the lock downs began my son suggested that I start recording these songs I had been writing over the years. It wasn’t long after that I discovered I’m going to need to learn bass if I’m going to record. Once they let us out of the house again, it was easy to see in a group environment even a mediocre guy with a bass is in demand. So now I bring a bass and a guitar to jam session and play what’s needed. Recording wise I’m generally happy with the bass lines I come up with and the way they carry the song. Not much of a story but it’s all I have.


I think we might have a thread here on this already somewhere @JoshFossgreen. I feel like I remember typing my deal.

Edit: yup - starred by you, lol


I always wanted to play drums. My best friend in high school played drums. I bought my first drum kit when I was 23 or 24 and played on and off for years. I never did get into a band. My wife’s dad played drums in a band in the 70’s. Her brother played drums in a band about 10 years ago. Her brother in law played drums in a band in college. Her nephew played drums in a band in high school. I realized I knew too many drummers.

Around Covid time I started seeing Davie504 videos on YouTube and just thought it looked so fun. (I tried playing guitar briefly, but I have big hands and big fingers that didn’t like the small strings.) So in March of 2020 I ordered a Glarry bass on Amazon and started fumbling through some songs. In January of 2021 I started the B2BA lessons. Then I discovered this forum and the “Post your Covers” thread.

Now I own, like, ten basses and a handful of amps and cabs and I am still hopeful that I’ll have a jam band of my own someday.


Well @John_E there is a small difference.

I wouldn’t call my story cool. But there is a story, so… I guess it goes on this thread? :joy:


I transferred schools in the middle of college, and - because I had the lowest registration priority - wound up with an odd of collection courses my first term at the new school. Intro to epidemiology, non-western art, dinosaurs, and jazz history, which included doing writeups of concerts we attended. One of the concerts on the list was the Ray Brown “Super Bass” group with Christian McBride and John Clayton. I don’t remember the other concerts I went to, but I do remember that one. After that, if someone asked me what instrument I’d want to play, it was bass. And years later I finally did.


I wanted to learn guitar the first time I saw the Beatles on TV. I got zero musical support from my parents, so I saved up for my first guitar when I turned 14 (super-cheapo classical knock-off: $40) and a Mel Bay book of chords to cheesy songs.

Even though my guitar had nylon strings, I practiced until I bled past my blisters.

After ignoring the dinner time call from my mom because I was gamely trying to play, my dad would often bellow out, “Come to dinner! You going to eat that guitar?”.

For years, I played pretty good rhythm guitar in a lot of jams, then bands.

I wrote dozens of songs, music and lyrics, that I ended up performing with a good friend, both of us playing steel-string 12-string acoustics. We worked really hard on our vocal harmony as the songs evolved in complexity. It was extremely satisfying to perform songs we’d rehearsed a million times as we were able to float above it all and actually listen as the audience did. I miss those days.

Fast forward years, after life has interceded on musical pursuits, as is its wont. I had been out of my college music school days for years, and I ran into a hodge-podge gathering of guys who wanted to be a band. Most of them had very little playing experience, and no experience playing with others. I was invited to listen to them and provide a critique and/or tips.

A shorter-long story, the lead guitarist, the only guy with chops and experience in bands, ended up telling everyone except the drummer to go home. He then asked if I’d play bass in a rock three-man band. I accepted, bought a Danelectro Longhorn short scale and a used Fender Bassman, and off we went. We played ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, bleeding-early Beatles rock ‘n’ roll, and fun was had by all.

A whole lotta years and many in-depth musical adventures with acoustic players and playing later, Covid lockdown came and I decided to actually learn to play proper bass. I researched the online bass instruction offerings, signed up for SBL (and promptly cancelled that within the free trial period :face_vomiting:), and came across B2B.

Seven basses bought, two returned for refund, one custom build in the works, and a whole lot of lessons and playing later, the rest is history.


Always played about with guitars and music has always been a major part of my life but it wasn’t until Lemmy Kilmister passed did I seriously consider picking up the bass.
Things went really badly and the poor old bass I initially bought languished in a dusty corner until a drug driver hit me at work and threw my life a real curveball.
On the road to recovery I discovered B2B ( eventually), the really cool people of this forum and my interest in bass not only reignited but exploded. And here I am today


got really into funk jazz and music with slap bass, friend had a bass he didnt want so he just gave it to me



Honestly, Kiss concert December 27th, 1977. Saw Gene as a bass God. Could not afford bass. Life happened. Tried guitar for several years. Didn’t click. Traded the last of my guitar equipment for a bass amp and an LTD B-50 FM. Still have both. Reignited my bass passion. 8 basses, 4 amps and all the other crap to go along with it, and here we are.


I mainly picked up bass back (long ago) when I was a teen because at that time, numbers of my metal-head friends/acquaintances started picking up guitars or drums. I had an interest in guitar at the time, but thought to myself that bass would be a better option as there would be a higher likely hood of getting in a band. I mostly taught myself (getting some basic scale/chord tips from friends who were learning or playing guitar and drawing from piano lessons in my earlier youth). I learned to listen to the bass in the music I loved and tried to replicate what I heard to the best of my ability and found I had a love for the bass as well. Unfortunately once college and life hit, my interest in playing/performing waned. It wasn’t until last year that I picked it up again and found this awesome little corner of the net and Josh’s amazing course. I can honestly say I’m a better player this time around and truly enjoying the journey.


That is an amazing picture :metal: :rofl:

For me, it was Hooky and Simon Gallup. I always kept stealing my roommate (and bandmate’s) bass and noodling New Order, Joy Division, and Cure riffs. At the time I was a keyboard player.

Fast forward 25-30 years, when I wanted to get back in to making music, easy choice for something different to start with.


Good find. Perhaps a reboot after five years is in order!?

Still, you might want to apply your merger skills here, @JoshFossgreen, in order to weave the stories from your oldtimers together with what the new kids have to tell :grin:

Anyway, this is me torturing a bass for a home-recording project when I was around 20 years old. It would be another 35 years or so before I decided to learn bass properly:


Because those guitar guys are nothing but treble.


I always liked the sound, I felt the bass revealed tension and emotion. Pink Floyd’s ‘We Don’t Need No Education’ has always resonated with a ‘sinister’ feel, while Money has the bass in the foreground with a milder feel. My personality is ‘stay in the background’ and be competent while there. The bass suits me.
My mum was a pianist and could sing, my dad played the saxophone and could sing. This gave me extra confidence I could probably learn an instrument eventually.
In 2003 I bought an acoustic bass and the book ‘Progressive Bass Guitar’, with CD, by Gary Turner and Brenton White. I completed the book in less than 12 months then bought ‘More Easy Pop Bass Lines’ by Hal Leonard. I learnt 5 songs moderately then the songs became too difficult, I realise now I had failed to connect theory with practice.
I found the free Bass Buzz videos on You Tube 18 years later then decided I wanted to restart my education. I bought the B2B course in Jan '22, completed the course by June '22, completed the easy songs (adequately) by June '23. I will post my evidentiary videos before Dec '23 :slight_smile: .
My main reason for learning is to give myself the opportunity for an interesting life when I, hopefully, reduce my work hours in about 10 years.


pretty much i saw joe dart on youtube and i wanted to play. always enjoyed bass but had not picked up an instrument (guitar when i was around 13 or so) in literally 35 years. found B2B on YT and really enjoyed @JoshFossgreen whole teaching style. ordered the DVD, got a yamama trbx174 and a rumble 40 and started playing in december of '21.

to be honest have not really played in a few months - life got distracting but i am redoing all of B2B again and will make it into more of a habit once school starts again.


No real touching story for me. I spent many years learning piano as a kid and eventually translated that to keyboards/synthesizers. I eventually fell in love with music production and such. I can make beats and melodies but the basslines were always a struggle for me.

So I figured if I learned to play bass, it would help me with my other music. Bought a Fender Jazz bass and the rest is history. Didn’t expect to fall in love with the instrument as much as I have, however. It has clicked with me like no other instrument ever has.


When I was 12, (1992) my older brother came home from a friend’s house. The friend was a guitar player. My brother grabbed my dad’s old Yamaha acoustic guitar and - using only open strings - played the intro to Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’.
It exploded my brain.
It was the first time a song I loved was brought into my house and - potentially - into my hands. This stuff could be played by me!!

My dad showed me guitar chords and I was strumming and doing my best to learn every Paul Simon and James Taylor song.

I went to school and told the guitar-playing kid in my class (30 kids in the class, there was only one guitar player), Nathaniel, “hey, I play guitar now.”
He told me I could be in his band.
But he played guitar. He needed a drummer. I was down to play drums.

I went to Nat’s house. He turned on his Marshall combo and his Memphis electric guitar and sat me behind the drums. He started playing sweet thrash riffs. I had no idea what the hell to do with sticks and feet and drums and cymbals.
“You suck and drums. You can play bass.” That’s what he said.

I had no idea what a bass was. I didn’t know bass existed. Prior to this moment, I didn’t know how a drum set was set up. My 12 year old music listening brain was hearing music as one big thing. The idea of different instruments doing different things was crazy to me.

Nat grabbed a torn up, electronics-exposed, beater electric bass that his dad had given him. It worked like a guitar, and I knew guitar, so I plunked along.
That was it.
He let me take the bass home to practice on.

I had a paper route, so by my 13th birthday I had the money to buy a bass and practice amp, which I did under the watchful eye of my father. As a negotiation, I had to agree to also take lessons.
So me and my Hohner Rockwood (P bass clone) and my 25 watt practice amp started playing. I had a rad teacher (shout out to Tom Beyer!) and I fell in love with the damn thing. I had a new best friend, a band, and that became my life.


I wanted to play trumpet going into 7th grade band, but that instrument cost money so it wasn’t allowed. The school had an inventory of baritone horns for loan and so I began with the bass part. I played for several years in the symphony band, the jazz band and in the competition marching band. Then landing an acting role in a theatre production derailed music for a bit as the time commitment didn’t allow for both band and theatre and I continued to work on theatre shows up through graduation. Even the theatre work I was doing had migrated back to sound design by then. When I went for college I decided I needed to choose a high odds of secure employment career and started with engineering. That lasted 6 months before I was back in the theatre again and figured out that I could study an interdisciplinary program in engineering and theatre sound design, but I still wasn’t playing an instrument. Fast forward 30 years when I went to see a music duo of harp and Swedish nyckelharpa where I was completely entranced and inspired. I started harp lessons shortly thereafter and found myself gravitating toward the lowest strings most of the time. I ultimately decided to reduce size and just stick to that string set.

In parallel I also keep trying to build my piano skills. I would like to play in a band and I think I’m more likely to get “good enough” at bass than I am to develop that skill level at piano anytime soon.

I’ve been spending time recently studying orchestration techniques. My recreational retirement plan is to play bass in one of the bands at the pizza joint at night and spend my days composing underscoring for films that don’t exist.


I thought learning to play the ukulele during the pandemic lockdown would stave off some boredom. After about a year of playing it I bought a U-bass. Didn’t take long to realize that bass was truly the thing I needed in my life. Sold the ukuleles and bought a bass. Immediately signed for the Bassbuzz and have been happily playing bass ever since.
Big thank you to Josh for for creating such a streamlined, informative and fun beginners bass course.