I am still surprised to this day when people ask me if I “mind playing the bass”...as if it requires an act of humility on my part. They see the bass as an uninteresting part of the band which is there only because bands have always had a bassist ever since before The Beatles were on the scene. This negative attitude towards the electric bass is unfortunate for a number of reasons. One problem that has arisen over the years is a shortage of bassists as compared to their six-string counterparts. While I am not sure how many bass players there are compared to guitarists, one can guess what the disparity might be when looking inside any music store. The number of guitars on display compared to basses is at least five to one, if not higher! This leads us to the other issue regarding bass. Very few children are interested in playing the instrument or are even aware of its existence. They all know about the guitar thanks to a popular video game, but until there is a game called Bass Hero, most kids will want to ask Santa for a new guitar. I began playing the electric bass way back in 1985 just a couple years after I started on the guitar. I became friends with a group of students in my high school music theory class who were already involved in a rock band and were in need of a bassist. I didn't know much about the instrument, but I thought I would give it a try since it was the only way I could get into the band. It is now twenty-five years later, and I am enjoying the electric bass more than ever. Playing the bass has given me too many musical opportunities to name here, and has put me in situations where I have met many other great musicians. I have also earned extra money by playing bass to supplement my income due to a recent job loss. Another thing I really enjoy about playing the bass is that it is the part of the band (along with the drummer) that makes people get up and dance at the party. What more can you ask for?
Chris Saponara, Guitar Teacher