Monday, April 29, 2013

I Hexed It!

This is a hex nut driver, I used one on the pots to get the get the terminals in the right spot. It was easy enough once I took out the cobwebs out. [Yes, there were actual spider webs inside my bass, no insect carcasses though.]  As I checked the last pot I noticed something that wasn't there before:

Bring on the soldering gun. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Doctor Time

Sadly the title is not a Doctor Who reference. I pulled up some not exact wiring diagrams and looked into Igor innards. With my mild knowledge electronics [everything has to go in an unbroken loop] I checked the wires and all seemed to be secured. I noticed a tape wrapped wire that didn't fit with any diagram so I took pictures and put it on    

The consensus was that the pots [round metal thingies] had spun around enough that the terminals [little metal things sticking out from the pots] were touching the side of the cavity and grounding the power. Also I must of just picked up bass, because who waits over a year to figure out what the knobs do? [...] 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Well Twist My Arm!

I'm going to uni, I'm in still a teen, I'm a girl who just wants to buy eyeliner once and awhile! Point being, I've been holding off buying a strap for the new guy because I'm poor. I was looking at a $33 Levy's strap [in the $40 range when shipping was said and done with] 2.5 inches, double snitched, leather ect.

I Liked Bass Strings Online on Facebook, and man am I glad I did. A 2.5 inch leather Levy strap popped up on my news feed for $11! My first thought was that it was a typo, the only leather Levy's strap at that size I remembered on that site had padding, and was $50 before shipping. I get the impression that this company is more competent than most so I figured they would caught this before it shipped and but it in my shopping cart.

 It was no mistake! It was on sale from $26 for the model below what I wanted [no double snitching]. It's in black but for $15 I'm not complaining!!! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Instead of Cash

I see worth in bass items. A textbook is an entry level bass; a date is a pack of strings [thank god I'm aromantic]. College is proving a challenge since a Ric cost about $2,000 which is the top of whatever I could ever want bass related. [Yes, I could spend insane amounts on stuff like walls of amps, but I'm just a bedroom bassist.] 

It's funny, I used to enjoy watching wedding dress shows, now I sit there yelling that's worth a fricken Music Man!

[What a stupid little post, eh, I've been swamped as finals near.] 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Oh Igor

Funky strap lock or not, I decided to give Igor some plugged in love. Since I discovered my cord reaches to my bed, I made up my mind to find out what his knobs do. I found the volume and all was good until I turned it all the way up, and the knob kept turning but the sound died.

I pulled out the allen wrench [because it does so much less damage than a screwdriver, when it's not messing with the truss rod] and took off the knobs. The half nut on all the knobs were loose so I tightened them by hand; but will I twisted the knobs all the way up they loosened again. I took off the back panel [you don't want to know, only lost one screw] and found the bass' pots twisted when I turned the knobs.

Tightening them by hand, I tried and tried but could not get the sound back. I don't know what I'd do without   

Friday, April 19, 2013

Glitter is Not Good

Well it seems like I don't even know how to use a screwdriver. I chalked up to the fact that the reason I couldn't get the screw all the way in was because it was too long [even though it was the same size as the old screw]. So I made up my to take out that screw out and use the screw that came with the bass.

Well the screw wouldn't come. In a cursing my dyslexia state I googled images to make sure I was twisting the right way. What I found made my gut drop: I was right. I was trying to be so careful, going so slowly, why wasn't it working? Looking at my screwdriver tip I found silver dust, and the grooves in the screw head looked bigger. Everything stared out fitting perfectly, now I fucking stripped the screw head.

In my weak defense I couldn't see the screw since it was cast in shadow in the strap knob, and I've been fed the 'girls have weak upper body strength' lie so I was going too hard at it [clearly]. But, just, shit. [This was to my beloved Igor.]    


Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm Becoming a Man

Strap locks are in! My mannishness is coming from how I put them together: fiddle first, glance at instructions later. [This is going to be a multiple post subject since it's day two and I have one SL on, and two kinda on.]

First Impression: Alot of metal, and seems pretty dummy proof. Push button [watch all the metal pieces fall apart] slide screw into strap knob, screw onto bass, pop all pieces back together and there you go. There are instructions with illustrations for when your struggling to put it back together, it even included where to put the strap tab [which the new guy doesn't have yet].

The instructions also bring up maintenance, lube once and awhile using WD40 and a Q-tip. The instructions also say to drill a new hole...I'm not really following that one, and it's worked for one so far....

[Behold madness.]  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

That was Jazz...

I decided to dust off the piano and try out the metronome while banging away on the keys. I thought it would be easier to keep time since I didn't have to mute anything. My timing sucks. There's no way around it. [Besides work at it, which is so much fun.]

There's a line between getting my body to do what I want, and to calm down enough to hold back. I found myself trying to use the metronome as a pocket, I had a blast playing three notes between 60bpm ticks, but that doesn't help my inner tempo.

So there was alot of jazz, no real musical progress, but playing something else really expanded my horizon. [In an ADD fashion, which I should probably not follow.]  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I Wood Shed-ed!

I've was listening to Muddy Waters and surfing when I came across a topic about what makes a good bassist; I devoured it. This has been a question I've mulled over in my head several time [I've been thinking of taking off the "Greenhorn" label off this blog].

According to a couple of random internet users being able to nail a walking bass line is a must. Do to my love of Muddy Waters and my ownership of Bass Tab White Pages [I haven't really posted about it yet because I don't use it enough, I really should get on that] I decided to take a shot at it.

I knew my bass book had the sheet music, but I couldn't find the book [a feat considering the book has over 1,000 pages]. So I went on to practice something one person mentioned: kicking fret marker dependence. I played the first fret on each string then the fret below it, back to the first fret then the third fret, so on and so forth until I got fret buzz. [All without looking at the neck, got to the fifth fret on each string before spacing messed me up!] I found that is I started at the seventh fret I could get to the second to last fret without issue. [And who uses those last two...besides maybe Jaco.]

I also think I found a dead spot on Igor, E string, fourth fret.      

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bipolar Weather

I live under the Jet Stream. What does that mean? I live in an area where the "seasons" [in reality days] are ruled by the wind, or whatever happens to gets caught up in the Jet Stream. Within the past week my area has gone from 50 degree [Fahrenheit] to near 90 degrees with 80% humidity.

Basses like consistent weather, they will get piss-y without it. New Guy had his first tantrum the other night. He was acceptably out of tune considering the wonky weather, but simply refuse to get back in line. The change on the metal/wood wasn't little which is understandable, but the E string [biggest] would not get in tune. It was either smacking the fret board or threatening to snap something at D#.

I will admit I was totally punch drunk, and it had be questioning if I had flipped string tuning [again...] but I swear he had an attitude. The next day the weather calmed down and so did the new guy; tuned without an issue.         

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'm Stale [screw bathing suit season]

It's a fact, I've been playing for just over 15 months and I know 0 [Zero] songs. Yeah I have a general idea how the bassline of I Love Rock & Roll goes; but I'm forgetting the top line [first line on a music sheet, I totally made that phrase up] of House of the Raising Sun which is my favorite song to play, and I've discovered I'm forgetting it. This summer I have nothing to do, so why not memorize a song? I've been listening to some stones and I gotta say I love the basslines. [The rest of the songs are abit meh, but good enough for me.]

So there be my summer plans. May they go better then last summer's [not] 10,000 pages, and discovering I'm asexual. Well it looks like I have a goal! [Famous last words...]

Different Necks

The other day I woke up with a sore thumb, it was the day after school so I thought I just held the pencil too hard. The next day I woke with the same pain and realized: that I'd played the new guy both nights [and I'm not left handed].

My CP just doesn't gel with the new guy's thicker neck's radius, which makes him a pain to play too often. Speaking of, I had no clue how well I knew Igor's neck until the new guy came along. May as well say it now: new guy will be my last beginner bass. I love the price, but enough with the jumbo frets! They really are insanely large, I don't understand why, the sweet spot in the fret isn't larger.

So Igor's neck is too thin, new guy's is too thick. [I guess too picky.]   

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It has a name

This thing:

It's a "string tree" yeah I would not of thought of calling it that. It helps with tone apparently. I tried figuring out what it was before but google metal on headstock and all you'll get is tuners. Count on to set me straight.

Picture of Intonation

As I've said before [I think, I can't find the post] I tune by tension, and I noticed without the string tree the A string [The Bloody A string!] doesn't have the right tension. Once it was on properly it all works out.

Okay it is abit of an eye sore, and googling pictures for this post I found alot of cute/demure ones, so yea! Something else I can upgrade.... [My poor wallet.]       

Monday, April 8, 2013

Strap Shopping

I love my mother. The other day I was showing her the Middle School-er's [not official name] new strings when she asked when I was going to buy him a strap. I have my mother's old strap and I must say, I am spoiled with the leather. I told her I found one for $10 and she rolled her eyes, and told me to buy a better strap.

To Levy's I go, one of the best guitar strap makers with straps under $50. For less than $35 I can get a double stitched, two and a half inch wide strap [half an inch wider then the old one, which I want since the new guy is heavier]. The one issue is that of the nine color options, five are a shade of brown. The other colors are red, blue, white and black [bleh]. The white could work but would get dirty quicker. The red could too easily clash with the bass [along with all the browns] The blue isn't too bad.

But then again, straps are seen mainly from the back and who cares if it clashes [I don't]. The strap with probably outlast the bass anyway.       

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Time for the Real Thing

Strap locks wise. Getting real install-able ones will prolong the life of all my straps and there's that peace of mind. I installed a bridge, how bad could strap knobs be? [Cue, dun, dun, DUH!]

I suppose I should drop here. I got my last set of strings from here and they arrived faster then the ones I got from up state [and my state is one of the ten smallest states]. The reviews for this place on are nothing but starring [I also believe the owner is an active member, so that's a bonus]. Prices are on point, if not cheaper with everyone else in the market; you do pay shipping and taxes but there's also a reward system which will get you 5% off an order once you spend $100.

Why am I talking about bass strings online in a post about strap locks? They have them too, cheap. Also the website is straight up about extra charges, unlike most other sites.  For $15 a set I have strap locks that will last me a lifetime. [At lease a risk taking teenage boy's lifetime.]   

Friday, April 5, 2013

Paint Options!

I want a hipster bass. A stand in since I can't afford/house a double bass. A mix of this:
These are the paint options:

Which should I do?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I Now [Kinda] Get The Beatles

My mom raised me on rock, prog rock, country rock, alternative rock, plain old rock was known in my head as that kinda lame '60s rock. My mom didn't really help break me of this thinking, she only had one Beatles record back in the day, and it was instrumental. The first version of Come Together I ever heard was the Areosmith cover, and the original still sounds off to my ears.

Sure I respect Paul McCartney [for more reasons then just being a major 1960s rock star and still being alive] but I can only listen to his music for deconstruction's sake, not enjoyment. I'll never forget when I looked up the bassline of Silly Little Love Song and was blown away by how complicated, yet demure it was. [I know that song is actually from the Wings, but you can not separate the bass tone from the bassist.] Maybe it's because I've been raised on in your face basslines, but the second I played my flat wound strings, it clicked.

The brightness of round strings aren't there. The strings are smooth to play, but you have to work to get more then a shush tone out of them, but I get where that tone comes from now. [Holy crap! Just played them with Mary, it's thunderous!] 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Using The Margin of Error.

I love the margin of error! It really is the best part of [hellish] math class. Actually I really like anything where something I learn in class applies to life, but this one helped my bass.

This should not of worked, I used two totally different sources off the internet and neither was [And most TB members agree, their advice is well meaning at best and laugh your ass off entertaining at worst.] I found a tool on some bass part retail website that said to drill holes 30.882 inches [from what I'm assuming was the nut] with .030 margin of error for the bridge I bought.That number lined up with the top screws of the old bridge, this bridge has no tops screw holes.

So I lined the bridge with the old holes [which were between the new holes, thus impossible to see] and drilled a hole. It was a little low compared to the original holes, but Mom's Luke was sure it was within the margin of error. So I marked all the new holes, noticed I had the dots on a slant, freaked, had Mom's Luke fix it, and now I have a lovely working bridge!!    

Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm a weakling

Image from the Graphic Fairy
Upon triple checking that I had the right wrist position I found some tips I'm trying to learn. FretlessMainly talked about lining up your palm with your elbow, and Fergie Fulton linked some video about muting with your thumb and using your shoulders muscle.

I tried to use these methods the other night and discovered you really can't do one without using them all. I was playing Igor, who can be uncomfortable to play sitting down; and keeping my plucking hand's wrist straight was absolutely impossible unless I was keeping my arm up with my shoulder.

I've been in physical therapy for most of my childhood, I know the shaking from weak muscles well, but that was the first time in my life I felt it in my upper body. [And it was instantaneous, which is rare.] I've always known I had low muscle tone in my upper body, but this was the first time it slapped me in that face like that. Hell sitting down I couldn't last playing for three minutes.

[I set down with the new guy and he was much more comfortable to play seated.]