Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Genre Breakers

[Since I'm clearly losing my momentum with this blog writing thing, I might as well break from my much delayed timeline and write the post I bugged other people about.] [Finally publishing after six months. Hahahah....] 

I went to Warped Tour for the first time ever this year, and it was a feast for the blog making. I went with my main concert going buddies [meaning that they drive me, I manage to ditch them, and met back up when it's time to go home without any hard feelings] but since Warped Tour is not the place to wander aimlessly alone, I stuck with them, and I'm glad I did.

I love my best friend since she'll stop for bands I'd never bat an eyelash at; and she's totally fine with me muttering in her ear about the bass on stage. The first time she did this at Warped Tour was at a this neat little bread trucking looking/not camper thing that was plastered with the brand of guitar strings I buy. This bazaar-o truck had a pop out stage. The cause of my friend's attention what that the band on the stage had horns. The part that made me right a post about it, is the fact that the bassist was playing a sixer like a true metal bassist.
I'm in the obnoxious yellow hat. 

I've only read about six string basses on TB, never have I seen one played live; much less used well [actually using all the strings, and playing it as a bass, not just a large guitar]. So to clear this up, the band had a metal bassist and a horn section, thus a total genre break, which happened to totally work. This is why I love music.

After the show I was so impressed that contacted the band via Twitter, and they were more then willing to answer some questions. [This is were I admit that I'm writing this to appease my guilt for taking six months to write this, yes I'm writing this off a six month old memory.] Two things really stood out to me about my conversation with the bassist: He played one of the cheapest sixers out there, and I [who have seen a few concerts in my day] had no idea. It sounded great, and it's clearly connected to his skill as a bassist. The second item is that he was ashamed that he was playing a low grade instrument, yet as I said before he could rock it like any high end bass.    

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dog Days

I have a problem [honestly I have several problems with my bass playing] that needs to be addressed: I only bother to write down my riffs when they are inspired by dogs.  

This lovely pup is Fable, and when she comes to greet you she brings so much joy. It seems to be a crime to at least try and capture her movements the best [by best, I mean most fun] way I know how.  

This would normally where I'd end this post, and totally forget about this riff as I move on to whatever gets my attention, but Fable's owner had to go and ask for a recording of the song I was working on. [Okay I called it a song first.] That means I had to rediscover other instruments I own, work with other people, and actually record myself for the first time in ages. It's so annoying having other people making me move forward, when I've clearly plateaued and unintentionally help me without being asked. [I really need to open up and let people in.]    

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

New Artists

For all my stage hopping at Summerfest one band notable piqued by interest. Moonrise Nation was another local-ish [Chicago based] playing relatively early in the day. They'd actually been opening for a band out of upstate New York, so I think that bumped them up the status list.

The band consist of two sisters, a friend, and some dude on drums I didn't get the connection of. Ever the fan of off beat [not the best use of words here] instruments, I found the cello was a lovely touch. Even with the distractions of Summerfest I hung out until the end of the set.

Even when I got home I found myself seeking out their music. After afew listens of their [entire] ep on youtube, I decided to be an honest listener and buy the CD. The problem was there was no CD, the official website told you to get it on itunes [and I don't do itunes]. Instead of saying "oh well, on with the internet piracy" I decided to contact the band. Trying to make an educated guess, I emailed the name under PR. Must of been the right person [makes sense since PR stands for public relations] because I got a email stating that the ep was available on Amazon, and in physical CD!!! Now to rake up $35 wroth of Amazon goods...     

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jack White

If there's one Youtube rabbit hole I fall down on a consistent basics, It would be Jack White's. The White Stripes, The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs, and his solo career; he's got a resume of a legend, and I've never been a fan.
I was never into The White Stripes because they had no bassist [shocker] and I kept mixing them up with The Plain White Tees. Jack White's solo act has gotten enough buzz online to get my attention [the phrase 'the last of rock and roll' will do that]. He kept my attention: white guy deeply inspired by the blues, from a city known for having it's musical golden days behind it, brilliant mind when it came to using gimmicks, and I'm not gonna lie, I could relate alot to the Catholic background.

All this said, I generally have a love/hate relationship with his music. I hear Punk influence when he talks up the Blues legends, the Whites Strips music just sounds unfinished to me, and every time I listen to him, I get the urge to pick up my bass. This is where I see how this love/hate relationship is totally backwards. I love the fact that his music inspire me to pick up an instrument, and I hate the fact that I can't listen to his music for hours on end.

He's coming to a venue near me, and I am completely torn on whether or not to go see him. [Holy crap, Ian Anderson, flutist of Jethro Tull, is coming to my area!]            

Monday, July 21, 2014

Room Cleaning

I overhauled my room after Milwaukee; I can see my entire floor, and the only things under the bed are my instruments [in their cases]. I found alot of things: sheet music for House of the Rising Son, my original fretboard poster [which suddenly makes sense, thank you dyslexia].

I also found the lost plastic strap lock I posted about ages ago.     

The Skilled Ones

Alice Cooper was technically the special guess of the headliner at Summerfest; and with that said, I just considered Montey Crue another band. It is there last tour [supposedly] but I've never been a huge fan of 80s rock.  

Still I seat through them, and I must say, I was impressed. I honestly didn't think they could follow Alice Cooper, and I was wrong. I knew who Nikki Sixx was because of TB, so I knew I wasn't going to be blown away musically; but the fact that he's the composer on just about every [or maybe it is every] song is awesome.
I also missed the fact that Tommy Lee is the drummer, but after the first few songs it was clear, and it was a hell of a treat. He broke a snare during the second song, [and he apparently broke the kick drum the show before] and this was the second night of the tour. I'd never heard of the Guitarist before, but his skill was phenomenal. I'm pretty sure he was tripping on something since his fretting hand kept going even after he took it off the fret board, but hot damn, that was lightening fast, well honed skill.

There comes a time when you just have to be in awe of the fact that you are in the present of a master of a craft, that is your passion.    

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Alice Cooper

Sixteen years and countless concerts later, I can honestly say I been to the best concert of my life. [For perceptive, the dude in the top hat is like seventy.] The music, the spectacle, the morbidity, I loved it all. As in, I, who wants nothing more then to not copy anyone ever, would be honored to be in an Alice Cooper tribute band.  

No one stopped, ever. There was an act with every song, and the band was so stellar that you didn't even notice when the singer ran off stage to prepare for the next act. 
To put this in another light, I paid $150 for the tickets, and it was worth every penny. I also bought the tickets before seeing Wayne's World, and being the history buff that I am, Alice Cooper's part was the absolute best.  

 [I feel like this post needs more text because I want to use all these images, but I've run out of things to say.]

Friday, July 18, 2014


I started out as a concert goer, and I'll die a concert goer. That's why I traveled eight hundred plus miles to spend the Fourth of July weekend in Milwaukee. Summerfest, do you see those dates? It spans almost two weeks, and has [pardon me while I fact check] damn, twelve stages.
The mornings are all local bands, and Milwaukee has a solid music scene. I didn't see one band that I would classify as a 'garage band' [who need to spend more time woodsheding].

It's in a fair sized park, but with the number of stages, I consonantly found myself being distracted by the band at the next stage over. This was worst during the headliners, when there are a minimum of three bands you want to see at the same time slot. The crowds [in number] were horrendous during the evenings, but [as people] they were the most amazing people ever.

[This is were I say I love you Midwest! If anyone would like to offer me a doctorate program/job/spouse, which would allow me to relocate, please let me know!]

I had my [wheel] chair with me, and running into metal footplates is not fun for anyone involved. The most common response is normally a death glare and a few expletives; here it was a "sorry" or "sorry, hey! Move out of the way!" Even when people didn't bother notice the fact I rammed into their calves, other people apologized for them.

The range of music here was pretty cool as well. I saw Ziggy Marley [Bob Marley's kid] I wasn't too excited about it, but I figured I'd see some respectful slapping for a change. That didn't happen, since there was a amp stack in the way, but it was an experience: On the way to the handicap section [which was the most awesome thing ever, seriously, go Summerfest!] I nailed this stoner with my footplate, and he promptly offered me his joint.

I've listened to Bob Marley's music before and it didn't float my boat, but it was awesome seeing so many people of different ethnic groups, religions, and ages, dancing and having a good time. [I saw an eighty year-old woman dance for an hour.] That was also the first concert I'd been to where the audience was the smoke machine.                        

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Battle of Apps

I got a smartphone, and along with the joy that comes with being able to carry the internet anywhere without fear of being struck by lightening; I have unleashed the fury that is musical apps. [It's wildly underwhelming.]

First thing first, guitar related apps that don't work with basses are the majority. While it is nice to be able to tune both Lula [the acoustic] and Demon [the electric] with the same device; I wish I could use the same app with my basses without having to pay.

The apps that are bass related wreak havoc with my dyslexia. None of them have a flip over/left handed option, so whether or not they make sense depends on the day and my mindset. Most involve the entire fretboard and scales. There is one that teaches you the tabs for loads of songs. [My disgust of tabs hit the wall when I found the Addams Family theme.] I do really enjoy the guitar game that is Guess-the-Chord, but sadly, there's no bass version of it. [No, I have no idea what it would do.]    


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

There's a Hole in the Wall Now.

I plan on moving after college [bachelor's degree] so of course I put a fair size hole in the wall of my bedroom, but it's for my instruments. Demon now has a place [that isn't my top bunk] and it's working out quite well.

It's been up for about two months now, and as stable as anyone would want it. It'll hold Igor without complaint, but I've found it's rather hard to grab Igor one handed-ly. There's also his weight, and his higher position on the wall [farther from my center of balance] which makes him more accessible on the stand.

I don't live in an earthquake prone zone, but I went for one without locks, and I haven't had a problem with slipping/falling

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ace Ring

This is my ace ring. Sign of my sexuality [or utter lack there of, if you wish] and silly token that makes me smile; it's been along time coming and I happy to have it.

One of several superficial reasons I put off getting one is my playing. I'd heard from the internet [TB] that wearing a ring could get in the way of playing. For every person who claimed this, there seemed to be two people who called it BS. After getting the ring, I'm with the later [while I realize wearing a ring and playing is totally personal taste].

I did feel my ring digging into the back of Demon's neck as I hung him [a post on that will come] up, but this is oddly not an issue with Igor. Otherwise I feel like the ring helps with my playing in a way. The ring is a large by the sizing of the store I got it from, maybe it's because of this, or just the fact I'm not a custom to wearing rings, but it makes me spread out my fingers more.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hello Old Friend

It's been far too long. I should apologize, I need to to apologize, not to the internet, but to myself. I took time away from this to focus on school, and it didn't get me far. [It's only a dramatic statement if you don't realize my high standards.] I kept my paper log up for awhile, but even that became neglected. I'm still playing, I still want to take lessons but I'm not sure that's financially possible.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

CP Awareness Month

March in Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. In a weak attempt to acknowledge my ascribed status [not in the mood to go into it, just Google it] I am making this post [and hopefully posting it before April].  

A statement that always grates on me is "I hope they find a cure for CP". Beyond the fact that the more likely path is that science will stop kids from getting CP (and leave those who have it to just have it [me] will just die out) if I was given a cure I'm not sure I'd know how to function. People see my limp, they don't know that my eyelids are uneven, that I burn energy like I'm running 24/7, that almost everything that my nervous system touches is effected. And it's been effected since I was born, and this is my normal. Imagine that people randomly started telling you, don't chew food correctly [I'm just going to apologize now for that one person who has been told/has difficultly chewing/whatever and finds this analogy offensive.] you thought you were chewing along just fine, but you give it a try. You find it takes you longer to eat, and you're generally uncomfortable, and it's mainly to make others around feel more comfortable. You don't see the worth in it, why bother? [FYI doing stuff solely to make others comfortable sucks.]

Now how this imaginary cure business would affect my bass playing: Tone is in your fingers, or as I'm inclined to believe, your nervous system. With a cure I'd lose my tone, because the way I move upset others. Yes, my CP wears on my joints, but no cure will take away the damage that has been done. In the end I'm happy with my body, others will have to look at it for a moment, but it's the only body I have for life.

[This is only my thoughts, as someone with mild CP. If you want to know what someone else with CP thinks, ask them. Not their caregiver, them.]       

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Types of songs

The recharged mp3 player is bring me face to face with my tween music taste, and I have to say I had good taste.

It's surprising considering all the stupidness one accomplishes during the middle school years [ages 11-13] that I can point to either really good [read understanding my teenage angst] lyrics or rather complicated basslines.    

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bass vs Vocals

While using the mp3 player I've found that I prefer to play over the lyrics. There could be loads of reason why, I know the lyrics of the songs best [that's what I get for speaking English fluently] or they are just easier to play over, compared to the other instruments.

Either way, it's something I'll have to get over. But it's so fun to play like that, it can't be totally harmful to play like that for a little bit... 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Power Cords

[That is a misleading title.] My headphones came with a double jack ended cord. My amp has the ability to act as an amp and mp3 player speaker at the same time. Sadly I can not use my mp3 player and my headphones at the same time, so it will be a treat. More on what I'm learning from this new tool is coming later. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


An epic arctic cold is gripping my region, and my basses are reacting as I expected. What I didn't count on is the roundwounds ripping up my fingers. No matter how often I reiterate the effects of weather on materials to myself [and the great internet] I still find myself surprised by the results.

I've called roundwounds cheese graters before [somewhere, I'm too lazy, take my word for it] but now I'm wondering if I'm biased by the cold weather. Cold makes your skin dry and flaky [or maybe it's the dry air making your skin dry...] so maybe I should give them another go in the summer.    

Sunday, March 2, 2014


My metronome has dropped off the face of the earth, I thought I had set it up on my amp, and it might of tumbled backwards, but I looked behind said amp, and no luck. It seems that the metronome is just as trilled with practicing as I am. But it's not in any of my other places for music stuff [and I have a grand total of two].

I also learned that I should not mindlessly reach behind my amp while holding Igor. My knee is not enough to hold Igor upright.   

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Going off the interpretation wave, my noodling has become alot more melody like. I'm not sure if it has to do with all the Paul McCartney listening I've been doing [guitarist turned bassist have a more melodic approach to basslines, I think it has something to do with the different head space].

I guess it's just hit me that I'm just playing with myself, and I have space to fill, so why not? No one is here to hear. It's taken a load of my shoulders, it's good to have some no pressure fun. I need to remind myself that.       

Friday, February 14, 2014

For the Birds

In honor of the birds that made me aware of my ability to tell pitch, I decided to listen to The Beatles' Blackbird obsessively. Farther inspired by chat with my uncle, I decided to not look up sheet music [or the how-to videos, that youtube keeps suggesting for me] and just go by my ear.

The result was me finding two of the notes on the fretboard. Like what I said before, the note duration is clear in my head, but the actual notes were a crap shoot. But I relaxed and I'm 90% sure I got at least two notes right.

[I should point out here that Blackbird doesn't have a bassline, so by doing this, by dissecting the song, and interpreting.]     

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


The best lesson I got from my uncle was when he said he would practice what he heard on the radio. I've heard this comment a hundred times before, but where most bassists say they copy what they hear on the radio, my uncle said it interpreted what he heard [too redundant?].

I don't know if there is a level of musical freedom that drums get over bass or not, but I found this phrase inspiring.       

Friday, February 7, 2014

Hitting Things are Fun

At my last doctor's appointment the physician got on me about doing some form of exercise. Since I refuse to work out for the sake of working out I decided to hit up the drummer in the family.  It took him awhile to find the throne [no really, that's the real name for the seat] but once he did it was fun.
Add about six more Toms.
The drum kit is modeled after some kit Neal Pert had [probably in the 70s] and my uncle swears it was used by some famous Scandinavian band. He's got about five inches on me, so I had to reach abit to use the kit, but it was good.

I love toms, they are like the bass in drum form, [but not like the bass/kick drum, in some way]. The expensive pedal on the bass drum [chain drive] was amazing for my range of motion on my right ankle, when it was all said and done I was sweaty, but I didn't feel gross about it. When I finished I felt that muscles sore high that was awesome.    

Friday, January 31, 2014

Turning a Judging Eye on Myself

Fret marker dependence has always been a sign of amateurism to me. I started on working on it ages ago, but as a recent spin on the fretboard has reminded me, I've forgotten it. While I'm doing well on the fretboard, I've found when I look away, I tend to hit a fret high of the sweet spot, and if I go to correct myself [without looking] I'll end up on the sweet spot of the fret above where I intended.

Too the woodshed I go, but the dose of humble pie was needed.       

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wise Man's Money

There's no money above the 7th fret, this phrase is heard over and over again in the bassist community, and I understand it [more] now. I picked up awhile ago that the 5th fret has all the open notes, but one over; and that the 7th fret is the 5th fret backward [which also happens to be a popular tuning].

What I've recently come to realize is that between the 7th and 12th frets are all the notes, in fact, just within the 7th and 8th frets are six of the eight natural notes. Below just about every natural note is that note sharp [I don't know how or why, but I'd love to find out] the exceptions to this is when B jumps to C and E jumps straight to F. In standard bass guitar tuning the first fret has only the natural F on the E string and the rest are sharps. On the 7th fret you have both B and E, so all are conveniently with reach.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Misgiving Songs

I tried to work on I Love Rock & Roll, and I'm learning that the book's tabs are actually on spot. The song goes something like EE, AA, BB [in the first phrase]. This song seems so easy, but it's hard to play at the standards I have.

I don't care about timing [the metronome is still MIA] so much as hitting the right note clearly. All these notes are on the 7th fret, and the trick is being able to bounce from one string to another and than jumping over a string smoothly, while muting the others takes some thought. I've been using the floating thumb technique to mute the strings, and that just doesn't work here, It took me a couple go rounds, until I figured out how to mute while playing the E [top of the fretboard] string. If the G string was string #1 the riff would go #3, #2, #4 and I can mute the other strings with my index finger if I'm fretting with my middle finger [on your fretting hand].     

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sick Relief

I cut my thumb [the adventures of dish washing] it was large enough to considered stitches but in the end butterfly bandages are my friend. I don't give a shit about having a scar. I counted my blessings that I didn't have to take notes for class for another week, and that it wouldn't have any affect on my playing.

I was so grateful that it was my thumb and not my fingers, of all the possible injuries I could possibly end up with, it was something I could still play with [well maybe not that Carol Kaye thumb thing].      

Monday, January 27, 2014

Boomer Review

Like I said before I've been eyeing these strings for awhile but my experience with the rotos put me off rounds for a time. [Feel like cheese graders they did.] The thread on these strings are red like the rotos but the strings deferentially feel different. I'm pretty sure the thickness of the rounds [I'm trying to say the space between the top of the rounds to the core of the string] is less on the Boomers then they were on the rotos.

The Boomers are easier on my fingertips, they still make my fingers sore after a time, but it takes three times longer then the rotos. The sound is much more like a bass guitar [the rotos sounded like a piano] actually the GHS review of 'sounds like Pressurewounds when broken in. I haven't broken in the Boomers yet, but they are snappier in sound [without being annoying].     

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I say the death words

I plan on cleaning the pressurewound strings. Now if you follow this blog [I don't blame you if you don't] you know me publishing the word 'plan' automatically jinxes it. I could link after link of examples, and for a real life example I told all my facebook friends that I was going to read a Lord of the Rings book over break, I haven't cracked the thing since the last day of finals. [But I did listen to Ramble On for a solid six hours over break, that has to count for something.]

Anyway, I really like the Pressurewounds, and I'm really interested in seeing how much the sound comes back after the cleaning.  

Saturday, January 25, 2014


I noticed a few days ago that Igor's neck was like Demon's [the open strings would be tuned to a point, but the fretted notes were off]. I dug out the allen wrench and was prepared to get to work, when I remembered that I had new strings coming so it would make more sense to adjust his neck between strings.  I also decided to dig out the wood polish since Igor's neck has been looking dry.
[Short story made long] Igor got a load of pampering between strings, his fret board soaked up three coats of wax, but it leaves swirly mess on the finish.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Somethings Stick

I haven't worked on fretboard note placement in awhile, so when I decided to  woodshed it, and I wasn't excited for the results. Come to find out, I grossly underestimated my ability!

I did my standard find E A D G on the fretboard [and tossed in B just to fuck around]. Several times my hand jumped to a note before I could think. I thought there was no way my body could know the right note before I recognized it, I double checked myself every time, and the majority of time [all but once actually] I was right. On the money, not even a half step off.

The one time I was off is when I was going for a B note and hit a F [which matches with a B chord...I think...].    

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Humming a tune

I've been plateauing and with chords just out of reach I need to move on to songs. As I was realizing this I was walking into my bedroom and the harmonica caught my eye. I love blues and southern music and have been tinkering with the harmonica for ages, but its acoustic volume has restricted when I could play it. Once I looked up how to play a harmonica on Youtube and the beginner's first lesson was how to play my favorite hymn Wade in the Water.

I hummed this tune and deconstructed it in my head. I could see the whole and half notes imprinting on my mind's eye, but it took me minutes figure out if a note was higher or lower than the note before it [and forget knowing how the note compared to the note, two notes before that one]. I guess that's just my audio processing delays at work.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thumb Placement

That Carol Kaye video is turning into the most useful video I have ever viewed. Recently I was recalled what she said about fret hand thumb position. This gist of it is to plant your thumb behind the neck and instead of shifting your whole hand up and down the neck, you just move your thumb a little bit, and it's less stress on your body.

Upon trying this out I learned this technique is useless for noodling. I'm sure this would more great if you had a song which was playable within five frets, but when you don't know what you'll be playing it's just a useless piece of knowledge. [So I just bit off more then I can chew, again.]      

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Listen for Birds

I spent the majority of my childhood weekends outside. I learned young to listen for the birds comings or goings for the signal of spring or fall. Without fail the weather would change within three days of hearing a goose's call.

One morning [in the cold of winter] I awoke of the sound of chirping of birds outside my bedroom window.  It sounded like a pair of birds were arguing, the fact that I thought that made me think. [Why did think they were arguing?] One bird would start a long blast of chirps, when another bird [with a lower song] would cut in over top of the first, and tweet the same number of chirps.

I was impressed that I could tell that one bird was lower then the other, but even through I heard this exchange repeated maybe six times I couldn't how many chirps each were doing.      

Monday, January 20, 2014

Thumbs up for Sweetwater.

I ordered my Christmas gifts to myself from Sweetwater since didn't offer wall hangers. Since Amazon upped it's free shipping line, there was no point in ordering from there. I had heard good things from TB on [mainly something about candy] and the no tax or shipping pulled the trigger for me.

Days after ordering I got a call asking if I'd looked over the order form they e-mailed. [This was a real live person]. I will admit, I was a little peeved that it had been a few days and my stuff hadn't been shipped, but it arrived a couple of days later. The stuff was what I ordered arrived undamaged and there was candy.

Honestly this company had me decent prices and free shipping, the lack of tax and candy were an awesome bonus. If human contact is your thing [I'm showing my generation aren't I?] utilize this company.        

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Spending my Christmas Money

I just ordered a wall hanger and more strings. The wall hanger is so that I have a 'proper' place to keep all my instrument [I'm not counting the top bunk] I will admit I spent a couple extra dollars for an oak backed hanger. It was a treat, and I do come from a wood conscious family [and it wasn't my money].
It was no this much.

The strings are GHS Boomer, which I've been eyeing since I began buying strings. In the beginning I was just attracted to the name, but I decided to try out the Rotosound 66 that everyone was talking about [and because buying something just for the cool name is silly].    

Saturday, January 18, 2014

My Tone; Unplugged

Played Igor unplugged, and in a sad excuse of practicing I listened to my tone, and tried to compare it to when I'm plugged in.

It took me several hours, but I think I've found a simile that explains it: My tone is ham and Swiss Cheese sandwich. My fingers make the filling of the sandwich [in this case the meat and cheese] and then there is the bread. I can change the outer shell of my tone with various knobs, but when push comes to shove, it's still ham and Swiss Cheese sandwich. The core of tone is made by the players' fingers.       

Friday, January 17, 2014

Music and Dyslexia

If children's program is to be believed music is a dyslexic person's good friend. Maybe it's because my hearing sucks, but I find this to be total bull [most notably when sheet music gets involved]. I decided to transcribe some sheet music I printed out ages ago.

The music was Mary Had a Little Lamb, and to transcribe it I just wrote the letter note over the actual note. The sheet music tells you the first note, but I decided to double check that the notes went they way I thought they would, and turns out they do not. I also learned that just because note x [there is no musical note x] is one the third line on the treble clef doesn't mean it will be the same note will be on the bass clef. The lines also wrecked havoc on my dyslexia as I mistook one line for another [in pen of course].        

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Tone

I've never heard a tone in my head. When I started out, I just wanted a sound that would frighten small children [see how words can be subjective?] beyond that I didn't care. Well using the knobs on my amp I believe I've found my tone:

The treble and bass [that would be the clefs, that I know of] are cranked all the way up. The highs are church like [which can be creepy on their own, see the Evanescence video] but when you mix it with the thunderous bass underneath, I am one happy girl. I used just enough mids to give the sound a good kick and enough grain cut the static of the pups.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reacting to Actions

Since I've started using my ring finger to pluck I've noticed that I have to watch how I clip my nails. While every other fingernail on my hands are curved, on my left ring finger the nail is straight across the finger pad.
As I use my ring finger to pluck, I notice that the finger pad has no meat to it, my nail is making more contact with the string then my finger.

[The morning after update:  using that finger pad is firming it up. I've always thought that of playing bass as a mental thing, and to have a physical reaction is pretty cool.] 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Why I Watched 'It Might Get Loud'

On my many weekend trips on Youtube I've seen the suggestion for this documentary several times. If I've learned anything from music, anything more then two guitarists without sheet music will become a clusterfuck. I heard other people commenting that it would probably be an ego fest.

Come to find you it wasn't an ego fueled clusterfuck [I like that word]. All three of them [This documentary focused around Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White, I guess that's kinda important to mention] are musicians who play guitar well [and have vastly different styles].

I'm really happy I finally watched this; I sure most would think I'm wasting time watching videos like this and claiming that it helps me coming a better musician; and in a way it is a lie. [With the expectation of the that Carol Kaye video] I watch these videos for the feeling of comradery. When I started play I got crap, for being too old and acting too foolish. [Being all of eighteen when I bought Igor.]  When I see the musicians eyes when they listen or play something good, I feel less alone. It's okay to feel joy. Maybe it is silly, but it's okay, because music is awesome.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Fingers are like me

Paid attention to my plucking fingers, my pointer still has its shit together, my middle finger is still 'meh', and ring finger feels flabby. I switched from just pointer to pointer and middle alternating [p,m] and it was a sad clusterfuck. Oddly enough, p,r [pointer and ring finger] went almost perfectly for something I never practiced before.

Now to decide if I should continue p,m [which is a pretty basic skill] or just switch to p,r. It would be interesting to see how wear on my hand would be different since I'm 70% sure the tendon for the ring finger goes to a different place then the pointer and middle finger [which I think is a same place].   

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Word Are Not Enough

Thank to my Headphones I can pick up details and nuances that I never noticed before, in other words I can actually tell what Igor's knobs do. Igor has four knobs, in an almost square configuration on Igor's body. The top one controls volume, and the bottom is is pre-amp which controls the pick up balance. [Okay, it's more of a diamond shape.]The forward knob controls the neck pick up which has this rich, bouncy, tone. [I think it's kinda like a P-bass, but I've never handled a P-bass to know.] The farther knob has a more, zinging sound.

Words just don't work when trying to describe tone. Beyond the fact that tone is subjective [what one person will call thumpy, another would call muddy] words just don't seem to do the sounds justice. Honestly I think hand signals are much more accurate, since that's where the balk of the tone comes from [I'll write more on this later].          

Friday, January 10, 2014

Demon's Neck

Not surprisingly Demon's neck is from hell. With Igor down until I get some new batteries [I really should stockpile D-Volts] I decided to play around with the guitar. After tuning him I was ready to get down to business,when I fretted a note while still in tuner mode [on my amp].
Close enough!

The tuner said that note was deeply in the red [it should be green, or less red and more green] so I tested all the strings to see if the neck need adjusting. The e [That's for little E] string was on point until the 14th fret, which is pretty standard compared to Igor; but every other string was in deep red at the first fret. My gut told me there was an issue with intonation, Micheal agreed with me, but also let me know that it might just be a cheap neck.       

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hello Murphy

Yesterday I thought Igor's battery had died. With that familiar feeling or dread I twisted all his knobs, hoping that they were the problem [despite the fact that I haven't touched them in ages]. Come to find out the cord somehow got unplugged from the amp.

This is stupid, and kinda an embarrassing story, but I'm typing it out because the next Igor's battery died for real. This irony needed to be told, along with face that I've had an active bass for two year, the battery consistently dies every six months. I will learn [one of these days].    

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

It's Ticking and Clicking

I played with my metronome, and within seconds my plucking hand was cooperating. In disbelief I moved to 60bpm [I started out at 40pbm] and it meshed well. [Okay, that might be cheating since that's closest to a player's heartbeat; and therefore the easiest tempo to play.] To triple check this phenomenon I played with 72bpm and I had it under control.

I than realized I was only using my pointer finger, and I worked my middle and ring finger [I didn't get the same result]. That was grounding, but a step forward is a still a step forward. I also noticed that my pointer finger has more surface area contact with the string when compared to my other fingers. [I think I hit a new level of anal.]         

Within my Stocking

I got a handful of metal CDs for Christmas:

The Door's Waiting for the Sun: I really [really] like it. There's a level of nostalgia when I listen to it. [I can't believe I'm typing this for the whole internet.] It reminds me of my middle school years when I listened to too much Evanescence. There's a creepy aspect to The Door's music that I found similar Evanescence, and I have to say I still find it appealing.

Black Sabbath's Paranoid: This record is getting the most play of all the CDs. I picked it out because of Iron Man, but I have to say that song is now at the lower end of my favorite Black Sabbath songs. I need to figure out how to make Fairies Wear Boots into a Halloween costume.

Korn's Follow the Leader: This would be the least played album. I bought this CD because I'm a fan of Love and Death, and as of right now I'm not bowled over. It may get better when the other CDs lose their luster.

Megadeath's Rust in Peace: This album has an odd spot in my mind, I know the able well because of streaming sites, and I decided to get it in a better format. I only listened to it part of the way through, but I don't regret getting it.       

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Holy HeadphonesI

Where has thou been all my life? I'm in love, utter love. I can feel the bass in the connecting piece between the two ear thingies [I am so knowledgeable about these headphones it's ridiculous]. I bought them to go with my amp since they have the adapter for the wonky sized headphone jack. Come to find out, I never needed it.

In all honesty, it took awhile for the phones to get to the amp. [Remember the awesome speakers on my new computer, yeah not so awesome now.] Not surprisingly pop music that I was kinda 'meh' about is horrendous with headphones [I pity that sound engineers that listen to this stuff like this for a living]. The stuff from the 70s that I love sound even more stellar, and I finally listened to Abbey Road, and caught every nuance. I was so impressed that I than listened to Dark Side of the Moon at 1 AM [I would not recommend doing that].    

Grooving Ticker

I was impressed by this interview with Carol Kaye, one of the major takeaways for me was when she talked about working on her tempo.

Every single bass resource I've found talked about working on timing, it was just straight forward playing with a metronome. [Playing on, before, or right after the tick.] When I first got my metronome I would play to every other beat on 40bpm, because everyone seemed to stress the importance of getting something right at a slower speed, but that was as fancy as I got.

In the interview Ms. Kaye said she worked on her timing by making the metronome groove with her. I'm not gonna lie, this totally blew my mind. I never thought a human could make a machine appear to have soul [and I have to say pulling it off myself was a blast].

At first I thought it would work by me playing two beats before the Ticker got it's chirp in, but it wasn't about thinking and anticipating [like I was doing with the common 'play with the beat']. It only worked if I just chilled out and played. It went like [me, it, me me, it] I had a blast pulling it off, but this nagging voice in my head is telling me this isn't gonna work.