Saturday, August 31, 2013

I Kinda Remember

I'm crunched for time with school back in swing, so I try to be somewhat focused when I pick up a bass for fifteen minutes before bed. Last night [which wasn't really last night since there are delays between writing, and actually posting a blog entry] after a fast tune, I tried to play to play House of the Raising Sun from memory.

It's been months since I last looked at the sheet music, but the song itself gets played about once a week so I can hum the tune. I can kinda remember the tune, it's something like E E, A A, B C, D E. [I memorized this way before I learned that a number sign on a line means a sharp note, which I think applies here.] Starting out on open strings, it sounded great until I tried the open D string. That sounded sour even though I know that string was in tune. I tried the riff again with the D on the A string and that sounded much better.     

Friday, August 30, 2013

Poor Guy

New Guy needs more love. When I first got him, he was going to be the bass I was going to gut. These plans got totally derailed when Igor shut down because I refuse to have two bass out of commission at the same time.
Well I want to give New Guy some dignity. Remember how I took off his string tree and totally stripped the screw head in the process? [It should, I've done it plenty of time.] Well I've decided fixing that will be the first order of business.

[Yes this is a "I'm planning..." post, and yes I know how they normally turn out.] 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Damn Clip On

Igor wasn't too out of tune when he came back from the tech; not that the clip on would tell me. [That came out dramatic.] Yet again the clip on wouldn't pick up the open E string. I tried to play the 12th fret [also a natural E] but glancing from my finger on the 12th fret to the tuner on the headstock had me freaked out [I was paranoid that I wasn't keeping the pressure on the right fret].
This is all I want to see!
Awhile back I complained on TB about the Clip-on's issues. I wasn't alone and someone said to just use the 5th fret. [the same note as the open string below it] I could see both my finger and the headstock with that, and it was also just within my fickle tuner's range.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It is Finished!

Igor is home, and working great! Okay so far I've just plugged him and noodled away, no tuning or anything, but man do I love his roar. I remember When I started this blog and all I said I wanted from my tone is something that would scare small children.

Igor's got that. He reminds me how New Guy's pick up sucks, New Guy needs a new one... Just wanted to say: MAHAHAHAH I'm back in business! The Madam is back! [I should of put that in orange.]

[P.s. I started school again so super short posts like this will be the norm. If a manage to post at all.] 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I Remember You!

With Igor gone, I'm forced to turn my attention to the New Guy. In all honestly, I've been neglecting him. I decided to finally put his fancy leather strap on. I got the strap ages ago, so I lost the instructions, which I could of used.

The Levy strap doesn't have a sliding buckle [is that the right name for it?] you just weave this piece through the right hole of that piece and you got it. [Yeah, it was as easy as I stated, as in: not really.] The strap has two holes for the bottom strap knob. The first was too high, and the other was a tad too low, right out of the box. After far too long spent thinking [thanks to being punch drunk, yet again] I realized I could lower the leather string with the knob holes and use the too high why.

With the strap at the proper length, I turned the my attention to the strap locks. [Thank god I kept the instructions!] With a little fussing I got it all together, until I gave the strap a a tug to test the lock. The sucker came right off. I tried again with the same result. A distant memory, possibly a dream came whisking back, of a stripped screw, frustration, and trying to put the old strap knob back on. I gave up then, I have no idea what my next move is.       

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Last Noodle

Look organized noodles!
After washing my hands, I went on to noodle [but slightly more focused noodle then normal]. I tried a variation of this octave thing I've done. This time I started G string this time [Side note, I now totally understand why I keep mistaking the E and G strings]. and to F, E ect. Starting with the Open G made the whole thing sound wrong. I think it was too high a note, I really need to dig up some sheet music basics.....  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Small Treat

I got the call that Igor's part is in, so for his last night I decided to give him the treat of washing my hands before manhandling him. They [they being most members of TB] say you should clean your hands before playing your bass, if you want to prolong the life of your strings, care about fingerprints, and being one of those people who actually take care of your bass. I never did this because I wanted to break in the rotos as fast as possible, and since that didn't work so I don't seen the point in breaking the the habit.
I had just had my hands in the olive old [don't ask] and since I didn't want to kill my new P-wounds before I could hear them plugged in. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, I was worried that without my natural oils my fingertips would end up raw, but I honestly couldn't tell the difference.     

Saturday, August 24, 2013

THE PREAMP IS IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Freakishly close to two months since this ordeal began [or five months if you count all that times I tried to fix him] his preamp is in and Igor is back at the shop! The dude said that Igor should ready to come home in a few days. [Let's say Murphy Law get's tied up in this and it will be a week, AKA the day I go back to school.]

The dude also said the part came from Asia, which explains why it took over six weeks to arrive.  

Friday, August 23, 2013

Things I Learn

I shouldn't of picked up Igor, but I did. I didn't even bother to tune him, but I did noodle around [do I do anything else?]. But I did do something different, I tried to play down an octave. Starting the first fret's natural F then I went to the open E string and so on. [Why did I go in this order? I was flaming punch drunk].
 Besides my dyslexia kicking in on top of going backward down the alphabet, it sounded pretty good. I really wanted to see how this notes looked on a music sheet, but again I was too punch drunk and lazy.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I'm on a kick

[Older Post Alert]
A Janis Joplin and The Animals kick to be exact. I never realized how bluesy their music is, and for groovy blues you need awesome basslines. For the utter lack of making my own bass waves, I've been able to pick up basslines from songs more often then not. I've come to realize that I can't help but smile when I hear a walking bassline. It's kinda ironic since they mostly happen in blues music, but it's awesome! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Extra Purpose

My dog loves sleeping on my bed, and I hate having dog dirt in my sheets. [I'm coming around to how this is related to bass, wait for it.] For ages the only solution was closing my bedroom door, but since my basses get all wanky without air conditioning I was at a bit of an impasse. [Okay, so technically I could of left my AC on all summer, but I don't play the electric bill and I would of felt guilty.]

Not my actual dog.
Until one day I picked up a bass midday, instead of putting it away I just left it on my bed. [Allow me to explain some history.] When I first got Igor he spent the night in his shipping box, after manhandling him one day I leaned him against the sofa, only to have my younger dog run by and knock him over [umm, yeah, I totally caught him before he hit the floor...] and as a result that dog is terrified of my basses. So when my bass is on my bed, my dog stays off it!     

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Don't Bite Your Thumb

When I started playing my plucking hand technique was just to rest my thumb on whatever was available. [i.e. On the string above whatever I was playing or the pick up if I was playing the E string.] On one of my many posts on TB about proper wrist position someone brought up the floating thumb technique.

Instead of having your plucking wrist at an angle, you just make an loose A in sign language, flip it over, [see picture] and your wrist is straight! This is also great for muting because the thumb can rest on all the strings above what you are playing. The only downside to this is that it will take the polish off the thumb that rest against the string[s].   

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I am on the Tracks!

With the clip on now powered up, I'm in business. I did some old stuff, went searching for C and got it  right 50% of the time, I chipped my nail polish, I also found another book [with white pages] to keep as a log. So these blog posts might actually pick up until I get back to school.
I also got down on myself for not learning a single song this summer, and being too lazy to go find the sheet music that I know is somewhere in my room. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Would you believe I would post about getting new batteries, before I actually put them in? [If you answered no to that, go, now, and read more of this blog.] The batteries work! and I even got it [I got a multi-pack] in the right way the first time!!

The little bugger just jumped to life, and it finally picked the E string! [So long as I play the open string or anything below the 5th fret.] And I am off to TB to see if this is normal.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Cold fingers

The joys of going to a new school include getting a check up and the doctor requiring that you get a blood test. [This is related to bass, wait for it!] Low iron runs in the family, and I'm kinda scared that I have it. I have several reasons to believe I do, [beyond the family history] I tried to give blood once, but couldn't because my iron was too low. I'm also always told I have cold hands and feel, which I've heard is a sign of anemia.

I've never thought I was cold, but I do know the pain after playing bass without warming up. I've heard of [women] bass players having to use heating packs to warm their fingers. I know I should do this if this test says I need it [hell I should probably just do it since I think I might need it] but the thought of having to adapt to yet another thing is frustrating.      

Dull Pain

I Grabbed New Guy today. I've been reluctant to do so because Igor is home, and I found playing right handed for more then twenty minutes a day [Something I do absentmindedly every time I pick up a bass, yea for blind love!] I end up with a barometer [measures humidity] for a left hand, for the next three days.

I managed to not noodle for long, but you know what else causes me dull pain? The tuner on my amp. First you need to have your bass plugged in for it to work [plus you need at least a working preamp]. Second, the list of notes are tiny. I [who has no problem reading] have to squint to see, half the time I honestly just guess. Once I see where the A and G is. I get it close enough. More often then not I'll just flat out forget to check the green light, since I'm just glad to get the right not.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Have Power!

[The clip on tuner] has power! I finally got the battery.

I don't have much of a story to tell, but I have to shout out a 'thank you' to the guy at the mall. The first stop I stopped at the guy told me flat out where I could get them cheaper. I had to stand in line for ages, but it was worth it for one third of the price.

 [THANK YOU RANDOM DUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!]

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Farewell, and Thank You

Superchick is officially bowing out. 

 A Christian answer to the secular Girl Power bands, come five years too late; Superchic[k] was the first 'girl band' that my guy friends unashamedly loved too. Most of my [musical fan] firsts came because of this band:
  • First time recognizing a band member off stage, and in totally different clothes.
  • First time I entered a Mosh Pit.
  • First time I got to the barrier.
  • First time I grabbed a record from the stocking cart. [AKA the second best feeling in the world, second only to bass waves.]
  • First [and only] time I've ever yelled something intelligible at a band.
  • First [and only] a band member has replied to me in a crowd.
I've never been suicidal so I won't say they saved my life, but they helped a lot during the hard times.  During the worst of it I'd listen to their song Suddenly, knowing that one day I'd be on the other side of this horrible place. It took me eighteen months, but I got there. If God hadn't worked through these people, I don't know how I would of learned to cope. 

I think it's silly thanking people who get paid to do what they love, but that's what I'm doing. Thank you Max Hsu and gang.

--a fan.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Bunch of Nothing

The title sums up my week. I went to the mall looking for the watch kiosk [to get a battery for the clip on tuner] it wasn't there so I bought a lace vest instead. Igor's part [it's the preamp] was suppose to come in last week, but it isn't in yet.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Why the Stress?

I don't get the panic behind handling the truss rod. Upon finding the needed allen wrench [Look I waited until the second sentence to link!] I couldn't remember which way to turn the wrench [for the result I wanted] so in my ever trustworthy state of punch drunkenness, I decided to just twist it one, remember which way and see if I got the result I wanted.

Since I only really trust my dyslexia to mess me up, I try to pick up on fixed points that don't move. [i.e. The wall with nothing on it vs the wall with crap on it.] Actually it would be smarter to notice thickest string vs thinnest string [since you can't mistake that, unlike say notes...]

Anyway I twist, got it wrong, righted it and no harm done.

Monday, August 5, 2013

General Update

Preparing for uni and other life stuff has been getting in the way of bass playing. I'm not saying that that's a bad thing, it's just how life rolls.

[Here is a list of reasons why I haven't picked up Igor]: Since cleaning my room there's been a bag of clothes to donate and a storage box full of tube socks [don't ask]. This makes it a hassle to grab him and drag him to a place where I can sit and play. The pressure wounds are a kind of uninspiring mellow [although the seem to get snappier the more I play] I'm much more aware of the sound of the bass with these strings and with both tuners out [the Clipper's battery is dead and the amp's tuner need working electronics on the part of the bass to work] having an out of tune bass is making my skin crawl.

Also the only silver sharpie in the house is out of ink. [Meaning I have nothing to write in my binder with.] 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Damn Rattle

Igor's new strings are bringing out his hobo. Pressure wounds are know for their lack of string noise [also know as the only reason I like the rotos] and as a result I can hear every loose part. I've actually been working on killing the wanky strap lock rattle [by wrapping a rubber band around the screw].

I swear, every time I hear rattle beyond the strap lock I think it's Igor's pissed off tuner; but if that was true the string would never hold its tuning, which is still does well. Now the biggest culprit is the truss rod cover [as dashing as I believe it looks] my screwdriver skills have left it on with one screw acting as a hinge. I'm going to get new screws [one day] so it will look nicer then if I fixed the problem with tape.      

Friday, August 2, 2013

This One is for a Cartoon

I spent my birthday weekend on a road trip, the result was me without a bass and the stereo cranked way up to compensate. I was wearing Chucks as I always do for important events, and I found that if I put my foot up against the car door I could feel the vibrations through the hollow toe of my shoe. 

One of the best characters of the best cartoon of my youth [Avatar the Last Airbender] is Toph Beifong. Short and with a kick ass attitude, I took to her right off the bat. Without a doubt her coolest attribute is that without her disability [blindness] she wouldn't have her awesome super power. Toph can feel things, where stuff is, other people's heartbeats ect.

You always hear about people who lose a sense gain in their other senses, but sense of touch always seems to be overlooked. The more I play bass, the more I relate.