Monday, September 30, 2013

I Have Neighbors

Good news is that they didn't call the cops, the bad news is I cried [and am somehow willing to admit that to the internet]. I mean that was like the third time I cried this year, which is really good compared to my depressed period, but it still sucked.
I mean I plug in less than once a month, and I still get yelled at, and I am way too emotionally invested in bass as it is [I'm gonna stop typing now].   

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Breaking Rules

I realized I haven't plugged in Igor since he came home from the tech, and that was only because I wanted to make sure the tech did his job. I decided that was total crap since the amp covers up the sound of the rattling the stripped screws cause anyway.
Using the knobs didn't change the sound much, I'd say it made the sound 'more'. It was busier, but I wouldn't say better. [I still wonder why I bought the damn thing]. There seemed to be two options, the busier sound and the other sounded like Igor unplugged. Which one is better?  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Light Bulb!

I googled chords for the umpteenth time and I'm finally seeing the fruits of my frustration! This random site [that I didn't even bother to bookmark] laid out C, E, G with a picture of a keyboard. I tried it out on the piano and it actually sounded really good.
It took me awhile to translate the chord to Lula, and it didn't sound as good, but I'm blaming that on Lula's old strings.     

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I See The Draw

I've been playing around with the tiniest strings on Lula, they hurt, but man do they sound different. The thickest strings remind me of piano strings, but these last too just sound exotic. They really make me think of a sitar, and I can see why so many guitarist seem to be attached to them. [sitars]

I actually met a guy at uni who's day job [pun alert] is a studio musician; and he just bought himself a sitar. Those suckers take 20 minutes to tune! [I'd go absolutely mad if I had to do that; O, and he had yet to learn if the damn thing can stay in tune! I hope he as a more reliable tuner then mine.]

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wrap It Up

Beyond the more strings and odd spacing, guitar strings have one major difference: Two of the strings aren't wrapped. Bass strings are all the same, only differing in gauge [or size]. While all bass strings are wrapped in metal [or wound, like Flat would, Round wound  et al] only the four largest string on a guitar are like that.

Now I've only ever noticed Lula strings [so this is being said out of damn near pure ignorance] but the tiniest two strings are just wire; what is the core of the other strings.    

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How Do They Do It?

I been thinking about guitarist I like, there aren't that many of them [guitarist that I like], but I think that because I know so many guitarists whom aren't musicians. One trait stands out among the guitarists I like, they sound like more then one person. I've only seen three musicians do this with guitar [Alex Lifeson, and a couple of awesome studio players whom names I can't recall] but I tried something I vowed I'd never do with bassists, purposely copy them.
Alex Lifeson
I figured out you have to be stellar at muting [I think] to mute some string[s], while letting others ring on, and start playing others.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

A New Level of Snark

I suggest that the powers that be should rename the snark tuner to simply Jerkwad. I tune Lula just about every other time I handle her, the last few nights this routine has been sidelined, when the tuner would pick up nothing. [That would be absolutely nothing.]
I broke my self imposed rule [of not picking up a bass until I got these screws] and tested the tuner on New Guy. The stinking tuner worked fine! Placing it back on Lula the tuner didn't have an issue! [Besides the big E string, which is always--just blah!]      

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What will I do for free shipping?

I love but it doesn't have the [plain old] guitar strings, so I'm going back to my old standby Amazon. One thing that Amazon has that BSO just doesn't is free shipping [if you spend $25].
Yeah this is what I'm talking about.
Well Amazon has mid-range gauge strings from a decent company for about $5, and I pretty much needed the $11 the gel shoulder pad. That left me with $9 I just had to spend. Thank god that's just the price of the Steppenwolf greatest hits album!

...actually it was .22 cents short. So I went of the hunting for a cheap ass fret board poster, what do I find is a fret board stamp. The really neat is that it has four fret [in other words] if I turn it on it's side it becomes a bass guitar stamp!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

New Spazing

I was too tired to pick up an instrument one night, and as I fell asleep something odd happened, my pinky and ring finger on my right hand shook. It was unlike any tremors I've had before, the spazs [yes that is a made up word] I get in my legs are in short bursts and stay under the skin [yes these are hard to explain] but this shook my fingers; like I wouldn't be able to play, or hold a pencil with this going on.
I'm still not sure what happened, or if playing that night would of helped/made it worst, but I was fine the rest of the school week writing in class, and it hasn't happened since. [Never mind it happened again, last night, on a smaller scale. I guess once every five days aren't bad.] 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Trying the Calibers

Have you ever wondered if gun calibers and guitar gauges are the same? Well as far as I can tell, they are! [Fun Fact I can't check gauges punch drunk.] The smallest the caliber would go is .11 and that just [kinda] fit into the smallest of Lula's nut slots [her nut is fitted!]. I couldn't really tell the size with the strings in, but I got a slight idea.

The largest of Lula's slots will probably fit .67 and I have yet to check the basses.   

How I'm Keeping Up

I warned ya'll about the short postings because I started Uni, but I've decided to tell the world how I'm keeping up this blog. [I won't lie] Keeping up with the work load has been hard, I have about an hour of me time a day, ten minutes a day I give to some stringed instrument.

I have a bass log I keep on paper, I make sure I jot down whatever I just did on [bass] guitar. Thursday nights are my Friday night, so that's when I type out as any posts as I can handle. I've make just shy of a weeks worth of posts a night [if I'm able to get on the internet each night].

So that's how I do it....[riveting isn't it?]

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lula is

I was playing down Lula's neck the other night when I came to realize something: Lula is cheap. There's a fret right under the nut, the strings have patches of black, and the last five frets are impossible to get to because of body style. I realize the strings have to be a huge part of the problem, but some of the dead spots I just have to blame on poor construction.

I've always heard to play on a cheaper instrument because money can't buy you talent, so don't waste your money. I got Igor as a better instrument because I knew I could get $100 if I gave up, but I wonder if he's spoiled me sometimes.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This is about space.

Did you know that guitars and basses have different string spacing? [Yes I knew this before hand, I just recently had it thrown in my face.] On basses the string are evenly spaced, including the space between the string and the edge of the fretboard; on guitars it isn't.
This is the reason my fingers keep slipping off the edge of the fretboard. [I'm also blaming it for the reason my fingers suddenly seem fat, and keeps touching random strings].     

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Mad Dame Needs to go Shopping

Lula's strings are at lease 12 years old, she needs new ones no questions asked. This means shopping, which I'm not so excited about since I'm super busy with school and I have no clue about plain guitar strings [besides that one story I've heard about guitar strings going dead after an hour of playing...].

I did find out through my guitar friend [by a miracle] that nobody cares about the length of guitar strings, so that means I just have to figure about gauge. 

And on a slightly related note I'm thinking about getting a removable shoulder pad for my school bag for my basses. I can get one from but I'd kinda like to get the strings and the pad shipped in one bundle...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It wasn't all my fault!

The glitter, and the stripping, and apparently I wasn't [totally] being a She-halk! The screws [that I mangled] were cheap stainless steel. According to my resident handyman they're crazy easy to break! Sadly I have no other news on getting new screws, but I know a step forward when I see one.    

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Look it circles 'round!

In case you haven't noticed, I've been confused by chords [really, really confused]. Well I just hit the goldmine of why you should study different types of instrument:

This little gem was in a basic beginner's guitar information site. For those of you who don't recall what my main issue was [I don't think I was ever clear on that] I couldn't for the life of me, tell in which way the other notes were lay out around that base [that was a pun] note. I guess the 'bass' bit was supposed to make it obvious.   

Friday, September 13, 2013

Scaly Bits

I only know the barest of minimums for playing guitar, so I decided to look into that one thing I kinda know about: Chords. My understanding standing of them is that when you strum it, it sounds pretty [and when you pluck/pick the string one after another it sounds nice too].

One defendant plus to the overwhelmingly popularity of guitar, is the plethora of internet resources. This website will keep me busy for ages, and it's [currently] free!       

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hello Mr. Hendrix

Allow me to explain for the umpteenth time why I never took up guitar: I was gifted a guitar, which I never requested. I thought the strings felt like cheese wire [read they hurt my fingers] and I discovered I held the guitar southpaw.

Upon picking up Lula again, I found the strings don't hurt now, and that I'm still holding the damn thing upside down. [Umm, maybe naming that guitar after my grandmother wasn't the brightest idea.] I tried to play her properly [okay that phrase seems so wrong and anti-feminist] but I found the tiniest strings were painful and the neck seemed huge in my left hand. I was kinda worried about being able to play chords backwards, but then I remembered another southpaw:

Hello Mr. Hendrix!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Naming My Instruments.

It took me months to name Igor because I was hesitant to name an inanimate object, once I got over that, his name became clear very quickly. I'm still waiting for New Guy's name. My first reaction to him was that he was a middle schooler [I decided to be nice and just call him New Guy for the time being, that time continuing now]. I honestly think New Guy's real name will come out when I'm done modding him, even if that name will just be Guy.

My student guitar is clearly a girl. She's that femme voice, bright sunburst finish, tiny like a giant ukulele [yup, it's just like that]. Maybe it's because she's technically my oldest guitar, but her name just popped in my head: Lucy. My first thought was 'O crap!' Firstly for the fact that I had a very dear friend in high school with that name [Hi Lucy!] and as much as I love her, having a guitar with the same name is kinda creepy. Secondly because B.B. King's guitar is named Lucille. I try to respect musicians, and I refuse to knowingly copy one.

So I shall call Lula, after my great great grandmother. Lula was an Appalachian mother of sixteen, I can trace my love of music back to my grandfather, and I'd like to think it goes back to her.         

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm Hearing Things!

I was manhandling Igor [holding and manhandling now mean noodling, because I rarely do anything else, and believe me I'd make a big deal about that] for ten minutes before bed on a school night when I played down the neck and I hear it.
 I heard the difference of sound, not the metallic sound of playing a fret, but the deeper sound just from playing lower! Just when I think I'm stuck in my ways, I find out I just need more time.      

Monday, September 9, 2013

To be Published on the 9th

Today marks one year since I saw Rush for the first time. That show blow my mind in several ways, but three thoughts have stuck with me.
  1. I was never going to be that good.
  2. It was okay to love this.
  3. I wanted to be better. 
I knew the only way that was going to get anything done was if I incorporated words. This stupid blog popped into my head on the ride home [and as you can see I haven't given up yet.] Since I decided to not put the date on this blog, this is what I'm calling the one year mark. I think I'll pat myself on the back, in a year I've published over 200 post, and have nearly 3,000 views.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Screw It

I gathered up my multitude of stripped screws, and handed them over the resident handyman so see if I can get replacement. This includes the one for New Guy's string tree, and another tiny screw to secure Igor's truss rod cover. These screws are for minor things, but maybe I [really] should have less hobo looking instruments.    

Saturday, September 7, 2013

In a Little Blue Case.

On an epic journey [that was in no way dramatized] for something school related, I found my old student guitar; I got it for my 5th birthday, to complement the drum set I got for my 4th birthday. Upon moving it I was startled to hear the strings zing against the frets. My mom had pulled out her old acoustic guitar when I first got Igor, left neglected and with the string on it, the neck had snapped.
  She was dinged up but still functional. I thought I broke the A string at one point but the string had just slipped off the tuner. The clip-on helped me tune her, even if I had to look up what the last two string are [and the tuner wouldn't pick up the lowest E, shockingly]. Madam has another servant!      

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Umm, this blog is about bass right?

It feels like currently this blog is more about the antics of my snark tuner then my bass. [This post will reinforce this point.] One night I was tuning Igor when suddenly the clip-on wouldn't pick up the open A and D strings [along with the open E, which is normal].

Having an almost brand new battery, I looked at my own playing technique and noticed that I was plucking above the pick ups. Bringing my plucking hand down to the big space between the volume pick up and the other two, the clip-on registered the middle strings. I don't know why this is happening [but I really want to find out why].  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

More Math

Last night was another night that I went without manhandle a bass. I did think about how many possible positions a bassist can be in. [I'm punch drunk, and not planning on proof reading this before posting. Oh, also I'm talking about one finger on a fret and the other hand on the proper string.] Supposing that both hands were on the proper string, as in one hand knows what the other is doing, there's 76 possible positions on New Guy [4 string and 19 frets] and 96 positions on Igor [whom has 24 frets]. That's made up of just 12 notes.

I had a hard time believing that there are 8 places on the neck to find any note with Igor, so I testing it. I was most skeptic with the notes that appear as open strings. I played all the way down the neck and was totally shocked that the lowest fret could be honestly played, and it stopped just above the desired note. Even others notes applied to these rules I figured out. [It's nice not having math let you down.]      

Sunday, September 1, 2013

As I lay me down to sleep

I was exhausted after my first week of school, so I greedily watched an extra half hour of television and hit the sack. I was so tired that I didn't have the energy to ignore the spasms in my legs, that is my CP. I can only feel these spasms as I fall asleep or when I'm really weak. If I feel them from the former it's just mildly annoying, if it's from the later, I find it terrifying.
That night the spasms felt familiar, just like the bass waves I find so comforting. It was somewhat of an epiphany, to realize that by taking up bass, I am by proxy, taking back something I can never have control of.

[Look there's no orange in this, it's all brutally honest.]