Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lay Down The Chords

And step on them [okay that's just my feelings about them]. Chords make me like tabs, really.

This is what chords look like. At lease tabs and sheet music is set up the same way [horizontally].  This, how the hell am I supposed to tell what order the notes are in!? [Okay normal people would be able to tell A though G but like I've said, I'm not that brilliant] Did I mention the vertical placement throws my dyslexia into havoc? I mean a bass guitar's neck is held kinda catty-cornered, but it's closer to horizontally then vertical.          

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

For the Love of Music

I've had a thought running around the back of my head, pounce if I saw a Bronco used at GC [I know, I hate the big store thing and the local store is run by jackasses but I kinda slightly trust the website.] for less than $80. But today that plan got put on hold for yet a few more months.

The short politically correct answer is that I needed to buy my mom something for Christmas. The [lets just call it what it is] selfish answer is that Rush added more tour dates. As I posted before I was lucky to see them once, so I'm just checking this off my bucket list [again] which I will continue to do until I must come to terms with the fact that they are moral for limited time:

I did get my only tour shirt at the last Rush concert, and since they are coming closer to home this time I might as well go all deadhead style fan on them. I mean how many bands of this caliber are still alive much less still touring?  


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Held Frozen

I'm in the cold snap [How sad that? That is what I have to call it with global warming going on in the middle of winter.] and my fingers are always cold even in summer. Since hand injuries have me terrified I haven't picked up my bass.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I tasted crack

Otherwise known as a Fender neck. God it felt so comfortable! I'm sorry Ibanez, I love my little tank of a bass but the neck is just small in my hand. I want a right handed bass, I want one bad. I don't need it, I already have a great Henchman but I want it. I want to play with my right hand, and that neck was just begging to be played all over it!

Therapy is a legitimate reason to get a right handed bass [why is there no word for right handed thinks like lefties have southpaw?]. Even if it will only help me do nothing but play righty better. Being for my left [fretting] hand I'm going to need a short scale, and a maple neck makes a black bass look good [and may sound different].

My options are The Bronco which is so cheap fender won't even but 'Squire' [the name for the bottom of the line fender they don't actually call it fender] on it. It's what kinda accompanies my amp, so cheap it doesn't have a fretboard but can be found used for under $100. The other option is a Vintage Modified Mustang which is cost enough to have 'Squire' written on the headstock. [$250] Sadly this model has only been out two years and can not be found on the used market, but that's a good thing...right?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I'm not as bad as I thought!

When it comes to calling myself tone deaf.  I found that if I had one string tuned, I could tune the other string by just comparing string tension. It always got me into right note [I want to call it a letter so bad! Is that bad?] always in the red of my snark tuner but still in the right ballpark.

On a whim I checked out this website which was linked from a TB wiki labeled "Test your ears",  and it says with my score of 61.1% I have good ears. At 2.77% a question I believe I got in on dumb luck since less than 60% is average [and less than 50% is 'you should go see a doctor']. I've sent the website to my classically trained friend to see if it's worth a grain of salt. 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DE is Mystical! Part I

When I called Delaware 'The Mythical Land" it was due to its lack of sales tax [a point I think I've beaten to death with a stick]; after actually spending some time in shops there I have to say, it's freaking Narnia! [Okay, so no Christ-like talking lions about, but they have nice, attentive, sales people!] Story Time!

[I lied] Prologue: Two days before the trip I 'laid down dramatically' [stolen from Tea Hacic-Vlahovic's article on xoJane] causing a pulled tricep and forming a huge knot on my shoulder that took three days to get back to normal size. Of course this all happen to my left side, making the thought of playing right handed cringe worthy. By the day of the trip the knot on my shoulder was about half its original size but I still really didn't feel up to playing.

Actually Story: Heading in the direction of Dover I was totally prepared for what's happened in just about every other music store on the Western Shore [GC of Rockville, you are the exception.] It looks something like this:

But then I walked into Earle Teat Music.....              

Sunday, January 13, 2013

When I can't have wine give me bass!

Every so often I get head aches, four times out of five aspirin will take care of it; but every once in awhile I'll get that one head ache that will walk the line of migraine. Just a pounding head ache that'll last for hours with points where most lights seem too bright.
When I was in Spain I discovered sipping a glass of Sangria for an hour made me feel better, but alas, I am not legal here. My only options are trying to time my aspirin intake throughout the day so I don't go over 900mg [mediocre results] or lean the pounding part of my head into something hard. [Like a lobotomy but not.]
I don't remember how I stumbled upon this considering high pitches make my head aches worst, but one day I listened to P.O.D.'s Satellite and within three song my headache was downgraded to deal-able. That CD has been my go to for head aches for years and I've never been able to figure out why it works; P.O.D.'s record Murdered Love also works but not as well.

The other day I was bopping around Youtube when I came across a playlist of bass tracks. Upon playing it I discovered it! Without a head ache I was getting that zen, very relaxed feeling of bliss. Bass waves have been want I always needed.     

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Mythical Land

Oh Delaware, My Delaware! Pardon me singing my state song unto thee! Delaware, the really awesome part of Eastern Shore. [As apposed the already awesome Eastern Shore, but a wee bit cooler with the no sales tax.] I'm going to try and hit up two music stores while there.

Here's to hoping it's better then MD music stores!   

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm in Pain

So what am I doing? Thoughtfully typing this out. Its from playing last night, I've been playing before bed every night. I'm not sure how long since I don't have a working clock in my bedchamber [yeah that's my history buff slipping] but it can't be more then twenty minutes.

Odder still is that I actually remembered to stretch. I don't think I did enough work on my right [fretting] wrist because that's what hurts the most. My ring finger is also sore, I made a point to do those bend back for 15 seconds but it seems that I put too much pressure on it or something.

To bed with a heating pad tonight I go and no playing tonight.  [And to Youtube for my bass fill, how about some southpaw pride?]


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"The Worst"

Broke out the metronome today. Going off the second most given piece of advice on I set it to the lowest bpm [beats per minute, on my metronome that's forty bpm] That is so slow! I wish I was kidding when I say it putting was me to sleep.

I found playing to every other click helped alot, it gives you space to not play to. [advice said by every other TB member.] Though I did find it odd when it seemed to speed up in my head but that might my delayed audio processing again.

Overall it was really fun. I think this it what people mean when they say 'woodshedding' but it's hard not to noodle just while playing/not playing. [You know, just randomly running around the neck.]  

If this is the worst of playing bass, I think I could do this for the rest of my life.    

Saturday, January 5, 2013

He is Well

I tuned Igor, and he is now in tune. No impulsion, no snarky attitude on behalf of my bass; I am positively in shock. I had told myself I wasn't going to tune Igor until I had my college applications in, but I let my Id and sleep drunkenness sway me. [You know that girl who's loud and crazy just when she has a drink in her hand? That's me tired: I stumble, I find everything funny, I end up with smudged make up, and my decision making is sub par] This is a reason I make myself wait a day before posting in this blog.

There was no horrid string snap, there is no fret buzz. Just by sitting on my bed, with my snark tuner [yes, I actually looked at the thing and noticed the N] which did have some attitude of its own, but that's not important.

The important part is that I did it.

I did it.

I feel like a proud five year old and I don't care.     

Friday, January 4, 2013

From the Time Capsule

When I ordered my bass my mom went to dark corners of her Grandmother's basement to find her electric guitar that hadn't seen the light of day since 1975. The lone savable item from the stash was a three inch wide leather leather strap that cost my mother a pretty penny when she bought it as a Jr. High student. The leather and strap width alone would make it worth $50 today. [The awesome part was when I saw nearly the same strap in MIB III!]

It has been a year and I began to noticed a crack forming from where the metal strap knob meet the tab part of the leather strap. Since I don't have $50 to blow on a good strap I  posted my plight on  Ignoring the suggestions to use duck tape and super glue [I'm hoping it was a joke, sorry if it wasn't but it made my history buff self shrink back in terror.] I decided to try out 96tbird's advice of leather balm.

This is what I'm trying, it's Vermont's Original Bag Balm. It was laying around the house, seemed good enough. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'd also give a shout out to Auguste who's advice to have my strap sewn up, it will be used in the future. Thank you to all who replied!   

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Changing Strings Take II, there was blood.

I did it all by myself! [more on the blood later] At first I tried just winding the strings without cutting them but they were too long and popped off. I cut off about four to five inches, but it will depend on the style of head stock you have to say how much you should take off.

First thing I learned was not to chew gum while changing strings. It will [under the law of God's alter ego Murphy] die when you are in the middle of changing strings.

I had just finished coaxing the A string on [need I say why?] when I looked at my hand and saw three fingers covered in red, my thought process was as follows:
What's that?
It looks like Red M&M dye came off on my hand, but I killed the M&Ms days ago.
It doesn't taste like blood.
Why isn't there blood everywhere and not just my fingers?
Okay that finger tastes like blood, but where is is coming from?
There's some under my thumbnail, is that from cutting my nails two hours ago?
Unlikely, did I bite a hangnail absentmindedly?
That's a possibility, oh look, there's a red hole in my finger that wasn't there before.
I could just hunt down the source of the blood and suck on it, but that'll take too long; where are the band aids?

After doing the beautiful bandage job you see above I seat down and as I was unstringing the D string from the bridge the pad of my thumb snagged on a unnoticed hangnail on my finger causing pain and more blood. Giving in I sat there with my finger in my mouth for five minutes. After that all went well, there was one moment of panic when I discovered part of the bridge was free standing and can be moved.

It's to the point that the strings sit in the nut but I'm waiting to tune it because I promised myself that I'd send in my college apps before I'd play again. [And I'm alittle scared.]          

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Terminology Confusion

In my months of bopping around two terms came up just enough to make me raise an eyebrow at they're meaning. The terms in question were "Woodshedding" and "Gassing".

As I've said before my Grandfather worked with wood, even had a drying shed out back; I thought people were saying they were working on their craft. Well they were [in a kind of, not really way...keep reading] What they were really referring to honing their skill [which is another way of saying 'working on your craft'...] This history of the term goes to back to the days when you needed a woodshed to keep your wood burning stove going. The woodshed was the original Man Cave. Yes men didn't always have the basement like back in the days of yore when women folk used the cellar for can goods [held in mason jars!]

[In case you haven't noticed I'm abit of a major history buff.]      

The term gassing again invokes thoughts of the pass, the unpleasant past of 1930s-40s Europe. Come to find out Gassing has its root in G.A.S which stands for Guitar Acquisition Syndrome. I just call that lusting, but being the larger portion of male musician I'm not surprised by the not so grammar-icly correctness. [Hell look at what I just typed! Okay you may ignore me now.] But am I the only not surprised by the maleness and the typically gross word meaning something good? [well for your id, not so much your wallet.]