Sometime last week I was noodling around on my bass and Riley sat next to me on the couch. I don't recall what sparked the discussion, but before long, he was asking to play it.
I set him up with my Lakland (it has lower action than the G&L) and showed him a few basics. Initially I wanted him simply to fret with his left hand and then pluck with his right. I showed him where his finger should go behind the fret in order to let the note ring. I showed him how the note would choke if he had his finger improperly placed.
He messed around for a bit and that was that. But he did ask if I was going to leave the Lakland at home...
The past few days, he's been playing on and off a few minutes at a time.
Tonight he came down with a printout of Yankee Doodle, complete with bass tab. I taught him how to read the numbers on the lines (it's like reading music for people who can't read music), and away he went.
I did tell him that since he can read music, that tab is just for him to learn the relation of the notes to the neck. That he can't rely on the tab to read music.
But he played for about 15 minutes and he was picking it up pretty well. I started playing bass after 7th grade. He's just finishing up 6th grade. Unclear if he'll continue, but it's a cool start and I'm stoked that he's showing some interest.