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Everything posted by Skol303

  1. [quote name='Ou7shined' post='1080311' date='Jan 6 2011, 07:39 PM']My first ever project bass was to all intent and purposes made from crap...[/quote] ^ That honestly made me laugh out loud, nice one I was picturing some 'wattle and daub' bass with flies buzzing round it... Thanks again for useful feedback here, folks. The bass I'm doing up (Hohner Rockwood LX90B, as mentioned) is a nice little player - I've just converted it to fretless and I'm very happy (surprised in fact) with how well it plays and sounds. The action is a little high, as I've yet to properly adjust the nut after removing the frets, but I've strung it with some lightweight flats (40-90) that sit low in the nut and help to lower the action overall. I've checked the intonation and it seems fine, but I'm no expert on that front! (i.e. the 12 fret on each string harmonises perfectly fine with the open strings.... but I've got no more technical understanding than that). The current pickups looks cheap but the overall sound is ok - great bottom end but lacking in treble. Generally speaking it's very playable, which is why I'm now set on doing it up as a DIY project. Pickups are now definitely in the pipeline after reading comments here. I'll post again once I've got round to changing them (with pics!) and will no doubt be pestering y'all again for advice if/when things go wrong...
  2. ^^ Thanks to the rest of y'all too... Yeah, I'm thinking that this is a good opportunity to learn some new skills and practice DIY on a bass that wouldn't cause me to weep if I messed it up! And as truckstop says, I'd still have a set of decent pickups at the end of the day... [that's my kind of thinking- i.e. the sort that's used to justify spending money! ]
  3. ^ Cheers Mog, that's good advice... those DiMarzio pickups look right up my street I'm amazed that you used to own a LX90B! There's not much about them on Google and I've yet to meet anyone else who even knows what the hell I'm talking about when I mention it. Not a bad little bass at all - I've just converted mine to fretless and it plays very nicely. PS: off topic... but just noticed that the word "sw***y" (as in "showy" or expensive) was automatically moderated in my original post. Reminds me of the following UK place-names, which have been known to cause problems: Penistone (the noise made by one's private parts??) Clitheroe (a hero of women everywhere...!)
  4. Yeah, this is probably a dumb question, but heh! I'm just wondering how important pickups are to the overall sound of a bass? I'm currently working on an old second-hand bass as a DIY "do-er upper", and I'm considering replacing the pickups (once I've learnt how to solder a bit better, that is!). The bass in question is a Hohner Rockwood LX90B - it's a cheap P-bass copy, with split-coil passive pickups. My limited understanding of such things mean I see pickups as being little more than lumps of magnet wrapped in copper coil - I know there's more to it than that (!), but at the moment I don't understand what I'd be paying for if I invested in a pair of sw***y new pickups (e.g. a pair of P-bass pickups via evilBay or similar). Given this is a cheap bass (less than £100 brand new), is it really worth replacing them or should I stick with what it's already got? Any info gratefully received as always
  5. ^ Cheers folks. I think it is a plywood body, but can't be 100% sure. I'll post some picks ASAP so you can give it a better diagnosis
  6. [quote name='daz' post='1077397' date='Jan 4 2011, 03:11 PM']pictures please. You know the rules [/quote] ^ No probs, I'll upload some pics later today or tomorrow (I'm at work at the mo...). PS: Rocket pants! [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twkn9cR5Mjk"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twkn9cR5Mjk[/url]
  7. [Yes, that title does sound a wee bit rude...] Ok, here's my problem. I've just acquired a second-hand (and very cheap) P-bass copy from my brother: it's a Hohner Rockwood LX90B. I've very recently converted it into a fretless and it plays rather nicely, if I do say so myself - see this thread for my ramblings about it: [url="http://basschat.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=117094"]http://basschat.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=117094[/url] It's a fairly tatty old bass, but I want to spruce it up a little as a 'DIY' project. One thing I want to fix is the upper horn on the body - this was split years ago when my brother fitted it with straplocks (i.e. screwing them in caused the body of the guitar to split). It's been taped up with gaffer tape (aka duct tape) ever since and appears to have held together ok. My plan is to remove the tape and try fixing the split - but before I do so, how should I best go about this? I've asked my brother about the split and he says it was a hairline crack on the surface of the body (i.e. not too bad). Trouble is, it's been taped up for a good few years so I don't know how bad it's got since - but also, I'm slightly nervous about removing the tape in case this makes it worse (i.e. if it ain't broken, don't fix it!). So my question is: should I risk the repair or simply leave it be? [Pics to follow later today or tomorrow]
  8. Mine would be: 1. Cliff Burton (Metallica): he's the reason I first picked up a bass as a teenager. The rest are in no particular order: 2. Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) 3. Rob Wright (NoMeansNo) 4. Horace Panter (The Specials) 5. Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) ^ A very metal-heavy line-up! Not strictly what I listen to these days, but that's what got me started in the first place...
  9. [quote name='Ou7shined' post='1077298' date='Jan 4 2011, 01:45 PM']I was doing ok until you said the bit about the soldering iron and a hammer and screwdriver. [/quote] ^ Ha ha! Yeah, you're not wrong there... I certainly took the more 'brutal' approach defretting - mainly because I'm an impatient so-and-so! - and there were a few times when I dinted the fretboard with the screwdriver, but these were fixed ok with a bit of filler and/or sanding. The end result ain't too shabby, but I'll definitely know better for next time! Cheers for advice re: the wood filler - I wasn't sure if it would shrink or expand over time, so I'll keep an eye out for shrinkage over the next couple of weeks. Veneer would definitely a give a better finish, but I needed the filler to help patch over a few chips from my efforts with the hammer and screwdriver - ! - yeah, I know, less haste next time. I'll post a few pics later today or tomorrow so you can marvel (or chuckle) at my efforts... when you see the bass itself, you'll also realise why I wasn't too precious about it in the first place! Let's just say it's got a certain 'distressed' look about it - I hear people pay good money for that, don't they?! Next stop is to rip out the original pickups and replace with some second-hand ones from a Fender P or similar. I just need to learn how to solder first...! Ah, the joys of tinkering...
  10. Firstly, happy new year to y'all! (2011... can't be long now till we get jetpacks, surely?). Anyhow, just wanted to share my recent experience of defretting a bass, DIY-style. My one and only guitar is currently in for repairs, so over the Xmas holiday I decided to dust off and tinker with an old budget bass that my brother was throwing out: a Hohner Rockwood LX90B (a cheap P-Bass copy). I've always wanted to try a 'DIY defretting' project, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go. In fact, it was a lot easier than I'd expected and I'm surprisingly pleased with the result! I'm sure most of you have done this before, but here's a few lessons learned that might be useful for any other first-timers like myself: 1. Use a soldering iron to heat the frets before pulling them - I read about this online and found it makes the process much easier. For the more stubborn frets, I used a screwdriver and hammer to carefully tap them loose (half a dozen taps on each side of the fret). While this works great, I'd be especially careful if you're wanting a more professional finish, as this did leave me with a few shallow scars on the fretboard. 2. Standard wood filler does a fine job of filling in the empty fret slots. Some tutorials recommend using carefully cut strips of veneer, as this would undoubtedly give a neater finish - but I found wood paste to be very quick and convenient, and to be honest, the finish ain't too bad either. I used a standard filler bought from my local B&Q: [url="http://www.ronseal.co.uk/products/multi-purpose-wood-filler"]http://www.ronseal.co.uk/products/multi-purpose-wood-filler[/url] 3. Remove the neck and sand until perfectly smooth (I used a range of sandpaper grades, something like 60-80-120-180-320) - being careful not to strip the curvature off the neck! 4. Clean thoroughly and apply lacquer/varnish/epoxy as you wish. I opted for approximately 6 coats of a polyurethane-based varnish (clear gloss finish) - this one: [url="http://www.ronseal.co.uk/products/diamond-hard-varnish"]http://www.ronseal.co.uk/products/diamond-hard-varnish[/url] The resulting finish is super-smooth; quite literally not a bump on it, despite my earlier slip-ups with the screwdriver At first I strung the bass with roundwounds, but soon found that these were starting to eat into the varnish (after just a few hours of playing), so I can see why people recommend using a hard epoxy, rather than a lacquer or varnish, if you want to recreate the 'Jaco' roundwound sound. Instead, I re-strung it with flatwounds and it sounds pretty damn good for a cheap Hohner bass! Nice, upright tone and the neck is very smooth to play. What's more is I'm really enjoying playing fretless! It's much easier than I'd expected, though that's probably because I still have the wood-filled fretlines on the neck (i.e. cheat lines!) which obviously help a lot. The whole project took about 2-3 days (including drying time for the varnish) and like I said, was a very easy and satisfying job - even for a klutz like me! If you're toying with the idea of doing the same and converting an old bass, then I say go for it - just take your time and be patient.
  11. Came across this on YouTube: [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf56jYDv2fc"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yf56jYDv2fc[/url] Firstly: Super Mario Brothers theme tune on the bass... you've gotta love that. Secondly: OMG, what the hell kind of bass guitar is THAT??! Eleven strings! You could sit on that thing and paddle yourself down river...
  12. [quote name='Bass_Guardian' post='1066360' date='Dec 22 2010, 01:41 AM']...my dedication to my church (I'm not expecting anyone to understand) means I'm taken 4 nights a week....[/quote] ^ It's lines like that which put a smile on my big, stupid face :-)
  13. [quote name='risingson' post='1066128' date='Dec 21 2010, 08:28 PM']I'd just like a piece of the Hacienda floor, forget the bass![/quote] Oddly enough i actually have a piece of the Hacienda dancefloor! Perhaps enough to make a set of pan pipes, if you're interested?! ;-) I also have an original (unsigned) Hac membership card, which I'm keeping in the attic for a rainy day. Shortly after they closed the club, there was a skip outside full of loads of Factory goodies that were being slung out by the builders - I was lucky to get there early and came away with armfulls of stuff, most of which I've since sold. The place was certainly a landmark for Manchester, but it's reputation is over-hyped in my opinion. I had some good nights there, but much better times elsewhere... at weekends it was generally full of 'townie' a-holes who didn't give a damn about the music, despite the club's reputation. The sound system was shoddy, the bouncers were gangsters and let's not forget that it was grandly opened by Bernard Manning! Still, I was livid when it got sold off for flats instead of being kept as some kind of public venue. But then Tony Wilson was never precious about it; he seemed quite happy to see the back of the place once it was gone - and I can understand why. Anyway, £4K for a piece of wood that I probably spilled beer on nearly 20 years ago? No thanks, sling yer Hook! ;-)
  14. From another thread... but I thought this summed up the whole 'career in music' question very well: "For the [Uni music course] interview, the killer question for auditionees was, and I paraphrase: "You do of course realise that it is incredibly unlikely you will be able to make a living playing music, even if you get into this course and get the degree. What do you think of that?" " Props to 'endorka' for this pearl of wisdom.
  15. [quote name='dbass' post='1065698' date='Dec 21 2010, 02:27 PM']How the hell did I miss them.. Roads - what a bloody song, got to be one of the saddest/beautiful songs ever.[/quote] ^ Glad you agree! I used to love Portishead - well, still do in fact. Saw them one year in the acoustic tent at Glastonbury: by far one of the best live performances I've ever seen. Beth Gibbons' voice is a true spine-tingler.
  16. I can't speak as a practiced musician because I ain't - I'm still very much a beginner. But I can speak as someone with first-hand experience of the music industry, having worked as a music journalist in the mid-late 90s. Here are my top tips: 1) Music theory doesn't make girls (or boys) throw their knickers at you on stage: charisma does. Music theory is a very useful knowledge to have, but it's not what makes truly great bassists (or musicians in general) stand out from the crowd. Of course, some musicians achieve fame because of their technical merit - people like John Myung spring to mind here - but they are a rarity (and often a bit geeky/boring, to be honest!). What makes musicians get noticed above all else is personality and charisma, and you don't get that from studying books - you get that through 'life experiences'. Luck also plays a huge factor in music industry success: the old adage of being in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, music is one of those industries where hard-working, studious types tend to get ignored and self-promoting, charismatic dickheads tend to rise to the top. So you ideally need to be a bit of both and become a hard-working, charismatic dickhead ;-) 2) Don't give up the day job: you're going to need it. Very few people actually make a healthy living from playing music. Yeah, I know, you're probably thinking that you're going to be one of them - but chances are you won't, and that's a cold hard fact to keep in mind (but don't let it ruin your confidence either!). The majority of gigging musicians play in bands at weekends for the fun of it, obviously with hopes and dreams in mind, but they don't often rely on gigs to pay the bills - i.e. the majority of musicians hold down day jobs. So be realistic, manage your expectation and always, always have a 'Plan B' up your sleeve in case it turns out that a career in music isn't for you. I've met plenty of aging, rockstar wannabees who still dream of getting their 'big break' in the music industry - or worse, those who have become bitter and resentful of music they once loved, because they failed to make a career out of it. Don't become one of them. 3) If you want to earn big money, pick a genre of music that attracts big crowds and sells records (ok, mp3's!) Jazz is a hugely respected genre of music, but it's not a big seller and so competition for the top earning jobs is fierce. Be flexible, especially in the early days of your career: experiment with different genres of music, adapt to popular trends and fashions and don't fall into the trap of being "snobbish". You might become a superb jazz musician, but chances are you'll be earning a fraction of what your contemporaries in other genres are earning, especially those "doing it for the kids" (who are, let's face it, the core market for gig and record sales). So think carefully before starting that "folk-thrash" band or "country'n'bass" outfit, because you might find that your fanbase is too niche and limited to earn a living from. 4) Understand the difference between patience and stubbornness... Chances are, your career in music will be a long, hard road without overnight success. You'll need to be very patient and motivated, but you also need to be prepared to change things if the path you're on is leading nowhere. This can be very difficult to notice at the time, as more often than not musicians get very precious of their material and aren't able to pull their heads of their backsides and see the big picture - which in most cases is an empty dancefloor, with a few of their mates shuffling around at the back. Dedication is a good thing, but stubbornness is a sure-fire recipe for going nowhere. Be honest with yourself and if the road you're on feels tired, then change direction and try something new. 5) Lastly... enjoy it! Everyone will tell you this, but that's because it's so important. Music is a career in which you really DO need to love your job, otherwise it'll show in your performance and that's your career over and done with. Manage your expectations, set realistic goals and be cautious whenever playing music start to feel more like "work" than "play" - because that's when you're in danger of turning your great passion into a chore. Hope that helps and good luck with it!
  17. +1 from me regarding old Ibanez basses. I've just recently got back into playing and picked up an old Ibanez EDB600 to get me going again. And I'm loving it! Low action, super-fast neck and a very nice sound, even using the knackered old strings I bought it with.
  18. Q: When is it time to turn your back on playing music and go fishing instead? A: When you've spent all your money buying gear on Basschat, and have none left to buy food...
  19. "My old band used to support them loads in Brighton a fair few years ago and they more often than not kipped around our flat after the shows. Always remember one occasion where both the brothers slept in our singers bed, they had a bottle of whiskey and were trying to contact aliens with a laptop! Good times." ^ Wow! You lucky b....assist! ;-) Must have been great gigging with them, and good to hear they're suitably bonkers in 'real life'. "0+2=1 is one of my favourite albums." ^ Yep, mine too. That particular album switched me on to NoMeansNo in the first place.
  20. ^ Good to see I'm not alone on this! I've never seen them play live, but from clips they appear just as tight on stage as they do in the studio. I guess that comes from them playing together for nearly 30 years, or whatever... Old they may be, but they still gives the young guns a good run for their money ;-) The intro to "Day Everything Became Nothing" was a favourite of mine back in the day. I play fingerstyle, which doesn't give it the same 'crunchy' sound, but it still gives me a good workout whenever I jam along to it.
  21. Hi folks, Just wondering if anyone here has any love for Rob Wright of the (now ageing!) Canadian punk band NoMeansNo? I've just dusted off some of their old albums and had forgotten how solid this guy is as a bassist-cum-vocalist. I mean he's not brilliant, but in my opinion a possible 'unsung hero' of the bass world. If you have no idea who/what I'm blathering on about, then have a look at this YouTube clip: [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJi0_WcJHkg"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJi0_WcJHkg[/url]
  22. The answer to this question seems fairly straightforward to me. The key issue being: who is the book going to be marketed at? - If it's professional, semi-pro and 'hardened' hobbyists' then you probably don't need to include Tab. - If it's garage amateurs and pub band members then Tab will be essential. Personally, I'm in the latter category: I don't read music and so the book would be useless to me without Tabs. Given the subject of the book, it sounds as though it's aimed at a more professional market - but again, this is really a decision for the author and publisher.
  23. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 1 post to view.
  24. Cheers folks! There seems to be a good community around this website, so I'll no doubt be picking your various brains for tips and advice along the way. "Mmmmm, brains!!" [quote name='wotnwhy' post='1044129' date='Dec 1 2010, 06:29 PM']...be prepared to say goodbye to any money you had in your bank account, as your room starts to fill with more and more toys [/quote] ^ You're not wrong there!! I've already made my first purchase via the Marketplace on this site (Morley wah pedal), so that's me on the slippery slope to bankruptcy...
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