Thursday, June 27, 2013

Only One More Step, right?

I don't have great luck with music stores near me, so I was not looking forward to dealing with a tech. I tried my darn-est to find a tech in Delaware, but had no info for me, so I was stuck near home. [Oh Facebook, double edge sword that you be] I messaged every person who had ever posted anything about playing a guitar.

Luckily for me a guy I knew in middle school posted about getting a guitar pedal, and he has a relative who does instrument repairs. After hemming and haling, an epic trip and more hemming and haling I emailed the tech, and his [quick] reply seemed friendly enough. I figured up what a brand new GSR200l would cost plus shipping and new strings, and the tech said that's would be ridiculous amount of money.

So I will be able to keep my beloved Igor! I just have to hand him over to some stranger....[Please don't be a jerk, please don't be a jerk, please don't be a jerk]

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bloody Little....

I hate tambourines. I really can't stand the consent jingling, so when I played the open E string on the New Guy and heard a metallic rattle I was not happy. Okay, honestly I thought it was his [is it weird I refer to my basses by a non-intimate object pronouns?] new bridge. I thought I did something wrong [again] got the wrong bridge, or messed up placement; so I ignored it.

Months later the bridge hadn't fallen off and showed no signs of movement, I started thinking it was something else, and I remembered the strap locks. They were metal, and had way too many moving parts, and sure enough they were the problem.

I went to TB to see about strap lock muting and all I got was, take them off/buy a thicker strap/get a different type of strap lock. Since I have too much invested in these strap locks [over $30] I want to keep using them, plus I love my straps. It looks like I'm in new territory here, but I will be trying some stuff.

[Or I could just played plugged in 24/7 since that's the only time I don't notice it.]   

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Last Stab

For fear that I would send Igor only to have him fixed by getting a new battery, I cracked open his back again. [I even tried to be mature about it and do it at the nice flat kitchen table, instead of my bed; but then remembered my amp was still in my room] By opening him up I was able to see that two pots were grounded again and one was loose. I'm not gonna lie, hope surged through me. [maybe I wouldn't need a tech at all!] I got out the hex wrench and went to work, all seemed well as I screwed in the last pot so I turned on the amp and plugged Igor in.

I decided to wave my hand by the wires to see if I could get any sound. 

Still nothing. 

I turn on the reading light I normally never use since it wakes the whole house [I meant business]. Third time is the charm for me. Another wire is disconnected [this one from the computer chip looking pot] and I'm not going to mess with it. I'm done, and ready to hand him over to a professional.

It's the grey wire, seen in the top right corner of the chip pot. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

On A Road Trip

I think whoever makes music should listen to their music through horrible speakers before they release it for mass consumption [and realize just how crappy formatting it to mp3 makes it]. Today I spent four hours in the truck my family has owned for for 13 years [read: therefore it has only one working speaker].

For nostalgia's sake I plugged in the live Rush album that was my lullaby as a child. [The Many Stages CD that had Tree, 2112 and Driven on it]. I was blown away but how Driven [my favorite] rattled the truck's floor boards with the bass.

Half way there the windows came down and the volume didn't come up, only the highest of notes registered with my ears. It's amazing how much a song can change with the windows down. I turned up the music at one point, and just when the low notes hit my ears is when the floor boards began to rattle again.    

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Homework

Summer is upon me, and in an effort to learn something I've decided to transcript some sheet music. I have this book: Bass Tab White Pages [also see photo]. It's huge, a thousand plus pages of sheet music and man I have alot to learn about music.

I grew up in a parish with lot of money, each hymnal had every music sheet along with the lyrics. Understanding the bare bones of sheet music went along with learning the Apostles Creed for mass. As I said before I dislike the lack of information giving on tabular and with my background given above, sheet music seemed like the obvious path.

It's not so easy, I'm gonna have to call for back up.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

So Long...

I picked up Igor for the first time in along time. It sucked, his strings don't sound or feel right, but there's no point to change them until I get him fixed. It had been so long that I picked him up like a righty [I still pick up New Guy like he's a lefty, every single time] When I went looking for the G notes I was totally, dyslexious, wrong.

I'm not gonna lie, fear hit me. My dreams of being a successful [successful here meaning playing both sides fluently] ambidextrous bassist were heading for the window. Then I remembered in my daydreams of being an awesome bassist including finding the F on the first fret [my psyche even gives me slack] before registering that I have a different bass. I try it out and I don't know if it was the chill time but I got the first fret F right.

After that everything fell mostly into place, I still had issues with fret placement since I was going from short scale to normal [called 'long'] scale but it was still home.

[With horrible strings, I can't get over those damn strings!]         

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I'll Take It!

I have a consistent history with ear buds. It goes something like 1) get new set of ear buds 2) use twice over a period of a week 3) somehow manage to have only one of the ear buds working by the end of said week. I have about five sets of ear buds scattered around my room, besides always being being broken I rarely use them because they give me a headache.

So the fact that there was an ear bud setting by my door still the plastic wasn't a surprise, the fact I noticed at midnight the other night was. This set was backwards, one ear bud and two plugs, my brain hit that punch drunk place of awesome and decided to see if one of the plugs would work with my amp [at midnight, bright idea uh?] Shockingly the first plug worked and I didn't wake up half my street.

This really is great timing, I was just thinking about getting getting nice headphones for my amp/when I traveled. I'd still rather have headphones but this saves me money for awhile.      

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Words in Passing

On the way home my mom and I had a layover in Boston. [Alas no Boston Cream Pie was consumed.] Mom wore a PRS shirt which caught the attention of our waiter who was a guitar owner. He starts talking about woods ect. and Mom directed the conversation to me since she loves music, but beyond drums I'm the instrument expert [scary, right?].

This guy had already brought up three different guitars he owned and when I said I had a bass he replied with "yeah I got one of them too. How many strings do you have? Six? Eight?" I was caught off guard by his nonchalant attitude of a bass is just another guitar. I felt so fake saying I that only had four strings, and that I wasn't a "failed guitarist". I picked up bass by default, not by the shadow of failure.

This all happened over this.

It's a mostly agreed upon fact that a bass guitar is more double bass then guitar. There's a number of reasons I picked up bass and not guitar, which lead back to this fact; I can't comprehend people not understanding this. I can't communicate with people when I can't see where they're coming from, it's my worst fault.       

Monday, June 17, 2013

Seventh Fret Haven

There is a saying in the bass world: "There's no money above the seventh fret." I don't know where this phrase comes from but if Geddy Lee's playing is any indication, [my seats were just that good, the second time around] it's true. All the '80s music was played strictly blow the seventh fret while the music off the newest album was all over the neck, including well above the seventh fret.

I've been spending lot of time learning the fret board and you know how you can check your tuning with the five frets down, one string over technique? Well using it you can play the the 5th fret of one string, and the open string of the string below it and have the same note. You can do this backward by going to [duh, duh, DUH!] the seventh fret! Suddenly [if nothing else] BEAD being the second most used alternative tuning [Drop D being the first].  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Nails

This is a decent post I did on this subject, but since this is my blog and I don't have much to post about at the moment, I'm stretching this one.

I travel when I can without checking any bags; besides the limited amount of liquids, I can't bring nail clippers. Let me tell you, I embraced having short nails before I started playing bass as I should, so the past three weeks have been killer. One week in I nearly killed an emery board filing down my claws. In London I decided against buying union jack nail clippers, which I regretted for the rest of the trip. I lived as long as I could with my nails digging into my palms until I gnawed them down with my teeth behind my mother's back.

Bottom line, I utterly hated it.       

Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm an impatient piece of sod

The moment I got home I had Igor in my hand [I had to wait for the shower]. I didn't bother to tune him because I missed bass, and it is all about the feeling for me. Today I decided plug in and play the new guy [whom I just wanted to call by another name!!]. Of course the first step was to tune the sucker, and to my amazement almost all the strings were damn near tune. We'd had another forty degree whiplash during my trip so that was a miracle, until I got to the E string, which was being unplayable again.

When this problem first reared its head I went to TB who said I had to stop being a wuss and adjust the neck [they didn't say that, but I believe I was being a wuss]. Checking the neck I saw that the it was indeed bowing. No big deal, I even know which way to twist the allen wrench [don't ask me which way that was].

To do this properly I should of taken off or at lease loosen the strings. If you can't tell from this post's title, I didn't. The main reason for my impatient was the storms threatening today was that the weather channel [whoa, never thought I'd reference that on this blog] had people prepping for a major power outages. So no lovely amp bass sound [can you tell I really missed bass?] since the most agreed upon wait time for neck adjustment is two hours [via what I've found on TB] I was out of the game until after the storm.

Now it's the next morning, and besides some some hail [and a tornado that touched down a few minuets away] it was all hype. Now to see what damage I've done....                

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I'm Back in Town!

I'm home!!! It was a three week trip of a lifetime through Europe, but my god I never missed something so much in my life. [That something being my basses, which is ready pathetic when you realize I have dogs.] I honestly don't think I can go that long without my basses again, which means I'll either have to shorten the length of my trips [something I plan on doing the rest of my life] or learn to like Uke Basses [something that currently makes my skin crawl].

About my trip:
Paris subway accordion player! I don't even know how to express how cool it was. On random stops they/he [I'm not sure if it was just one guy or what] would walk up and down the train for only between one stop with his hat out. Maybe it's the overuse of the acoustic guitar but the accordion seemed alot more portable and practical. I like the French they seem like a very practical people in general.

  Ireland was a stab to my bass missing gut at every turn. Actually the gut stabbing started in London when I saw electric guitar repair for cheaper then I will pay at home. [Even with the exchange rates, and no I haven't gotten no that yet.] In Ireland there was a music store on every street, music on every corner and in most pubs. All the music I found was on the acoustic/traditional [this is not a dramatization] though traditional sometimes meant Top 40 acoustic. Also seeing something relating to Thin Lizzy was the reason I went to Dublin [beyond having a city to fly out of]. Unfortunately vandals got to the Phil Lynott statue: [see my picture] Now I'll have to go back to Ireland. At lease Ireland has great beer.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Forward Motion From Backwards

[Disclaimer: I'm on a TFK kick as I title this post, and yes I'm just that impressionable.] Remember this post which I just happened to publish before this post? [And by 'just happened' I mean I thought of and tried first because my mind is just that backward.] Well I put both concepts together and the result was less then disastrous!

I played a random note [which ended up to be B on the D string] and tried to find the same note everywhere else it is one the fret board. I found B again on the G string but on the E and A strings I got within a full step or half step of being right. That means I was one [half step] fret or two [full step] frets from the right one!

There are twelve different notes on a fret board so at worst I was right slightly more then 50% of the time! Maybe I'm not as tone deaf as I thought [or just somewhat logical, yeah that seems more likely].