Top Ten Bassists Who Were Originally GuitaristsA lot of times, when a band is starting out, one of the trickiest musicians to find is a bass player. Oftentimes, a guitarist for a band will have to learn bass guitar, or a guitarist seeking work will take up the bass to get in a band. This usually has an effect on the playing style; guitarists who convert to bass have a tendency to use a pick more often and play more complex bass lines. Feel free to add to this list.
The Top Ten
The Beatles originally had three guitarists, with Stuart Sutcliffe playing bass. After Stuart left the band, they decided that one of them would have to play bass. Reluctantly, Paul did it. - Gg2000
Lemmy had never played bass until the members of Hawkwind cajoled him to doing a benefit gig with them, which led to him becoming a full time member. This explains why his style is so unusual; he treated the bass like a rhythm guitar. - Gg2000
He played bass in an unique way. That made him so good. - Userguy44
Noel had always been a guitarist in his earlier bands, and he never played bass until he started working with Jimi Hendrix. - Gg2000
Originally, Geezer was a rhythm guitarist. But when he and Tony Iommi founded Black Sabbath, Tony did not want another guitarist in the band, so Geezer moved to bass. - Gg2000
Originally a jazz guitarist, she began playing rhythm guitar at rock and roll recording sessions because she needed the money. Then one day, the session bassist failed to show up, and the other musicians drafted her into playing bass. She ended up becoming one of the most prolific session bassists of all time. - Gg2000
Originally a guitarist and singer, he was taught to play bass while in King Crimson because Robert Fripp didn't want to have to look for a bass player. - Gg2000
Some time after he joined Ronnie Hawkins' backing band, Ronnie fired his original bassist, Rebel Paine, so he told Rick to learn the bass. He did, and he and the rest of the Hawks eventually became The Band. - Gg2000
From Steely Dan. Donald Fagen started to work with Walter after hearing him practice his guitar playing. When they formed Steely Dan, Walter played bass on their first few albums and live shows. He eventually began playing guitar again after meeting session bassist Chuck Rainey, who played on the rest of their work. - Gg2000
Best known for being the bassist for Bad Company (and to a lesser extent, King Crimson). His story is similar to Greg Lake's. He was originally supposed to be the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for King Crimson, but their bassist, Rick Kemp, left the band after only two weeks. The other members taught him how to play bass. - Gg2000
From Oasis. Originally the guitarist for the bands Ride and Hurricane #1, he became the replacement for Oasis bassist Paul McGuigan despite never playing bass before. He went back to playing guitar after Oasis disbanded and the remaining members formed the band Beady Eye. - Gg2000
He has said in numerous interviews that his first instrument was acoustic guitar, and took up mandolin later as his interest in country music was sparked. His third instrument was bass guitar, but he was not a bassist until the inception of The Byrds.
He wasn't originally a guitarist. he was actually a mandolinist. He didn't start to play the guitar until the mid 60s. - Gg2000