Why the bass guitar appeals to my Autistic brain

Ever since I picked up a bass and plucked my very first note, I knew that this was THE instrument for me. Here are some reasons why.

Stimmy low-end frequencies

The deep, rumbling vibrations of the bass are stimmy AF. It’s like a massage for my brain!

Patterns everywhere

The strings and fretboard of a bass are typically tuned and laid out in a geometric pattern. Once you learn the shape of a scale, triad, arpeggio, chord or mode, you can play them anywhere on the fretboard! And once I understood them, I could pick out the scales, triads, etc. used in other songs, which is fun for my pattern-seeking brain and gives me another level of appreciation for my favourite songs.

Unwinding ritual

Practicing bass for at least 5 minutes at the end of each day is always the highlight of my day. Whether I’m learning a song or experimenting with a new technique, it’s my favourite way to unwind by losing myself in the rhythm.

“Why bass tho?”

Some people find it strange that I decided to learn bass because I have no plans to join a band and am purely playing for my own enjoyment. They’d say, “Why don’t you learn guitar or piano instead? Those make more sense as a solo instrument.” But the sounds of the guitar and piano just don’t scratch that itch in my brain like bass does. Playing bass is stimmy and soothing for me, and I enjoy the exercise it gives my brain and fingers. At this point, it’s more of a mental health tool than anything!

Wanna see me play?

Here’s a video from 2022. I had only been playing for 2 months at that point, so my technique here isn’t always clean and my timing is a little off. The song I’m playing is “Anne’s Song” by Faith No More!

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