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Bass Guitar Nostalgia

I borrowed an electric bass guitar from a labmate. Brought it back to my dorm and just got done playing a couple of hours of metal and ska. Just like when I was in high school. I started playing the bass when I was 14, and I played it all through high school and college. It was my first rock and roll instrument, though I soon learned that bass is very handy across all genres. In 1997~98, there was some resurgence of ska with the likes of No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Less Than Jake, etc., and I really got into ska bass in a big way. I had started with Metallica in my freshman year of high school, but then by senior year I started really getting into the groovy jazz and ska basslines. I mean, typically up to that point I was used to simply holding the bottom end of a song and keeping the rhythm, but with ska and jazz, the bass was actually leading the way for the melody in many cases, while the guitar was on rhythm duty. I have to admit, it was pretty liberating. On top of that, ska basslines are challenging and satisfying as hell! But that only made them that much more satisfying to master and enjoy. Don't get me wrong, I still really love playing guitar, but there is a solace in a good bass line that you cannot know if you have only played guitar (in other words, everyone play bass right now!). And so, I had a nice time tonight playing bass and reminiscing about the good old days when my only concerns were learning how to play more songs on the bass and doing homework. Though admittedly, I am fairly certain I did far more of the former than the latter. Tonight's nostalgic playlist included:




The Climb


Sunday Morning


Rascal King

Royal Oil

Noise Brigade (love this song, but it is so damn short! I think I played this 15 times tonight)



The Shortest Straw


I remember that I used be able to play a lot more than that, but it's hard to remember it all. I mean, that was what, 20 years ago. But I'm glad I remember how to play at least this much. I really wanted to try playing "Different People" by No Doubt because I remember that back in the day that was my monster song in the sense that I was always just BARELY able to keep up with that song. Much sincere respect to Tony Kanal, and anyone else who can play Different People on the bass. My fingers hurt, but it is a good hurt.

About the Author

PhD Candidate in Japan, researching Narrative in Games. Responds favorably to Thrash Metal, Karaoke, and Dungeons & Dragons.

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