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  1. Sibelius vs. Harmony Assistant.

    I've never heard of Harmony Assistant. I'd have thought a better question would be Sibelius vs Musescore. I've used both - I tried to learn Sibelius but found it tough going; I am more successful with Musescore and can do it reasonably well. It comes down to, do you need to share music with others? And do they use Sibelius? It is possible - via MusicXML - to save something in Musescore and load it into Sibelius, and I presume the other way round too. But I'd not 100% rely on it without a bit of further research into it. Regarding Musescore, its a bit simpler than Sibelius to get into, but its not quite so rich in features. I guess it depends what kind of things you're doing in it - if its an entire orchestra and professionals who will be reading the music, Sibelius might have features you need which Musescore doesn't have. Otherwise, and for simpler stuff, Musescore would do it. And of course there's the cost - Musescore is free, Sibelius is quite expensive.
  2. Alternative Tunings

    I regularly play - and sight read - in EADG (about 80% of the time) and DADG (about 20% of the time). I can see the advantage in tuning in 5ths but pragmatically I think you'd need to tweak the string gauges used a little, ie replace some strings, than try to 'stretch' a regular set to achieve that tuning. I used to use 40-100 but switched, firstly to just replacing the lowest with 105, then to regular 45-105, just so the lowest string doesn't go too floppy. Regarding actually playing, the gap between D-A (ie a 5th) on the lowest pair when in DADG is a bit of a pain in the derrière when you have a piece with lots of (for example) Eb and Ab since you need to switch positions much more frequently, so I don't think for "normal" bass stuff being in 5ths is going to make things any easier, in fact it could be harder still. And I don't get involved with cello pieces. I've considered other tunings too, for example Db Ab Db Gb to achieve the low Db/C# if needed, but its bad enough reading and remembering 2 tunings! I think for anything with more than a very occasional note below D, a 5 string bass would be much more sensible; but for music which goes as low as D, then DADG is a very viable alternative to having to use a 5 string, especially if you don't already own one etc.
  3. Jazz bass dilemma

    I'd say option 3 is the best - the Japanese Fender Jazz. IMHO they are better than Squier VM and Fender MIM Jazz basses, although those are not too far behind. It would be worth researching the cost of importing, since I am in the UK I can't help with the specific details but it should be possible to find out. Also, I dare say, there will be other MIJ Jazz basses on Reverb too. Its up to you, if you're happy to take the risk of buying a bass unseen (and unheard), then go Japanese. If you are unsure, then visit a large music shop, try the MIM (and pay a bit more) and a Squier (pay a bit less) and buy the bass you were able to try out. I think all three will keep their value long term, but obviously buying new you will take an instant hit on the depreciation.
  4. I once had a similar issue with my amp......turns out (you'll laugh at this) that I'd inadvertently engaged the "overdrive", a feature which I never use and had forgotten existed. Pressed the button to turn it off and it was back to normal again.
  5. Hand Signals

    I've never heard of signalling the key by hand signals - I'd have thought you knew by knowing the music or simply listening to it. But I've heard of the hand signals to indicate the structure, ie moving on to the next section in a repeated bit, or ending the song.
  6. A couple of points: sight reading is a different (but related) skill to reading music. Sight reading is only really necessary the first few runs through of a piece and being good at sight reading means you save time - a LOT of time - in the initial phase. BUT orchestras don't perform music sight reading. They have the parts in advance; practise them, rehearse together then perform it. If you're reading something the 2nd or subsequent time, its not sight reading. Its only really advanced or professional orchestras where the amount of actual time rehearsing would become minimised (so they're more reliant on their reading ability, than falling back to the progress they would have made during many rehearsals), a subset of the many amateur orchestras and various groups etc which do typically read music. Also one of the main reasons why these kinds of groups read music is that its more complicated - rock/pop songs are typically a simple structure with repeating elements, a classical piece can be fairly unique from start to finish. So caution is required in drawing comparisons anyway. Secondly, for a beginner player, reading music is such an advantage because it probably means they'll save time in getting the right notes, and a good deal of the "emotion" or interpretation right first time, due to the dynamics, phrasing etc markings on the music in addition to the pitch and rhythm stuff. A similarly beginning player who has spent the time so far, improving their ear training (rather than learning to read music) would probably still get some of the pitches wrong - AND have spent more time in trying to learn by ear, thus having less time to improve it or apply "emotions"/etc
  7. Am I missing something?

    The actual price the transaction, if any, occurs at. Just because someone lists a bass at £800, it doesn't mean its worth £800 or that anyone would buy it at that price. Having said that, there do seem to be people out there who will pay over-the-odds for something, I have no idea why! I guess with this in mind, its worth taking a punt by overpricing it. Or setting the price leaving plenty of wiggle room for negotiation, ie the buyer thinks they knocked off 30% and got a good deal when in fact they paid the going rate etc.
  8. A better approach is to look at a chord progression rather than each chord in isolation - hopefully at least 3 chords. If the music genuinely only uses 1 or 2 chords for that section, then there will (by definition) be more choices of scales which "fit" (note, I've not said 'right' or 'wrong' - there is no right or wrong as such, although some will sound much more pleasant than others!!!) If the music has more than 3 chords, (and even if it has less....) there's always a chance of the chords not being diatonic, thus there's some kind of modulation, or use of harmonic minor, or other explanation for the non-diatonic chord (like the use of a Neapolitan 6, or an Augmented 6th chord, or other interesting stuff - or 'just' a modulation). So its not really possible to say with any certainty "3 chords means you can fit a scale to them, 4 chords means you can't" - it really depends on the chords in question and the musical context. But the basics are well-defined - the chord(s) have the notes of the scale in them, which 'fits'. If you look at (a lot of) music, you'll see the same progressions pop up again and again - for example a I IV V, or a ii V I, or a I vi VI V or a variation thereof. So after a while you'll see possibly 2 of these chords and know what scale is most likely to fit, and also what other chords might follow or precede the ones you looked at. I'd say you need to have a reasonable understanding of popular chord progressions, to be able to make sense of it all.
  9. If you are in the key of C, then you know the scale....its C
  10. There's lots of ways to "enhance" it but basically, the scale would have the notes of the chord in it. This, of course, leads to >1 scale possibility. If its a triad (3 notes) there could be a lot of choices; if its a 7th chord then it narrows it down a bit. Once you have a choice of the scales, there's ones which are more common than others. For example, for chord of F (major), you could have: F Major (ionian) F mixolydian F lydian (and others, weirder stuff) I've listed them in order of most common - so you'd choose F Major, but there would be nothing wrong with the choice of F mixolydian either, given just one F chord.
  11. Thinking of trying guitar again

    With a budget of £200 you could seriously consider not buying a guitar amp, instead using your existing bass amp for now, then possibly later buying a pedal or two to add some variation. Amps in the price bracket of £200-whatever a guitar costs, will be a bit rubbish and unlikely to have a decent overdrive tone. Or, hunting around for a secondhand bargain. Tons of people buy guitars (and other musical instruments), play them for a bit then lose interest so there's tons of entry level stuff out there at good prices. (Applies to the guitar too).
  12. "I don't have much money until payday at the end of the month, can I leave a deposit on this bass?"
  13. Every variation of pickup position will give a different sound, and will only partially be able to be altered by equalisation (you can't boost what isn't there etc). If you're unsure about where to place the pickup, then personally I'd copy some well-known location eg if 1 pickup, Precision or Musicman (since its a humbucker), because there's (apparently) a few "sweet spots" which seem to be the best, when you ask a number of people, over an amount of time. I am not sure how accurate you'd need to be before you missed that sweet spot and it was basically "not right" - but I'd imagine within 10mm or so would be okay. Of course, 2 is better than one, BUT with a caveat (which doesn't apply in your case, because you're using humbuckers). The Jazz pickup arrangement noise-cancels with both pickups on; and the PJ configuration (a split coil and a J-type single coil) DOESN'T noise cancel with both pickups on - the split coil noice-cancels, but add a J pickup into that and you'll get noise.
  14. Pragmatically, if you order something online from USA (or anywhere outside of EU) and you don't like it, or it has a fault, and you send it back..........you're never getting that import duty back are you? I am not even sure if the Distance Selling Regulations thing (the one which means if you order online and change your mind in I think 7 days, you can just send it back for a refund minus postage costs) applies. Obviously if its faulty or not as described etc then you would have more legal rights but do they match the typical service level you might expect from a UK retailer? And I bet there's a massive amount of hassle if it has a rosewood neck!!
  15. Sparse basslines

    Talking Heads went through a bizarre phase where they expanded to an 8-piece (or more) for live performances, including at times 2 bassists. It was short-lived.