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Everything posted by NickA

  1. Before I got a 5 string I didn't understand the fuss about string damping either. On a 4 I just used my left hand. On a 5 you suddenly don't have enough fingers and it's easy to set a string ringing ... had to learn right hand damping and forced to admit it's really quite useful.
  2. Raising an interesting question about picks (I never learned) .. how do you stop strings ringing on? Edge of right hand? In which case, extra string confusion apart, shouldn't be too hard to play a 5.
  3. I never used right hand damping on my 4-strings, the left hand handled it all. On the 5 I've adopted this "floating thumb" thing (where your thumb lies on top of all the strings below the one you're playing) - almost the opposite of your technique. Still, even with the thumb in play; like you, I usually damp the B-string separately, but doing it with my ring finger on the B string to give me a position reference and my thumb damping the higher strings! A major problem for me was the extra string and the A string being in the middle of the fingerboard; I still hit the wrong string sometimes, playing a G instead of a C for instance; it's not the narrower string spacing, just the extra string! Anyway, there are evidently many ways to kill this particular cat ... and I'll give your method a go next time I deserve a break from "working at home" (aka idly browsing Basschat!)
  4. Lee was playing a pro2e (with a pick?) and mine are customs played with fingers. Pull out the pick attack, all bridge pickup with the filter knob out and turned to 8 .... getting there I think. Just listened to two blood sugar etc recordings .. the live one's pretty harsh, but he's playing a stingray😄 Maybe depends what we're calling "aggressive". I'm still voting thumb tho.
  5. Had my 5 a year now. Just getting the hang of it. You can't really just play it like a four, because damping methods most people use on a 4'leave the bottom B ringing on which muddies up the sound. Also you can't dig in to the E string easily because there's another string in the way. I've sorted damping ( floating thumb ) use the bottom D quite a lot and now starting to learn new fingerings that use all 5 strings and fewer shifts. Different beast to a four.
  6. Wal aggressive? Mine aren't. Fat yes, aggressive, not really. Subtle and gentle beasts. Thumb has more growl than anything, even without the bridge pickup! Ryan Martines Vs Lawrence Cottle / Mick Karn / Percy Jones. I guess that bloke in tool sounds a bit aggressive, but it's all effects isn't it?
  7. How do you play electric? Some of us use all four fingers on an electric bass .. but it's not possible on my 4/4 db; had to learn some proper simandl (and rabatt) techniques wher you use only 1st, 2nd and 4th finger a semi tone apart ( with occasional pivots to reach a finger down or up an extra semi tone)...if you already do that on electric then you're half way there. I just find the two instruments are quite different and didn't really manage to transfer much from one to the other .. tho it helps that the notes are (relatively) in the same place. NB: I have pretty short fingers too .. my female double bass playing friends have smaller hands but the same length fingers ..they also tend to play smaller basses ( mine is a whopper ).
  8. A hurdygurdy with proper bowing? So I guessing you bow all the strings at once but the keys tune and push the strings up onto the bow? What about the sympathetic strings, are they bowed or just resonant ( like a viola dAmoure ) and do you have to retune them to play in different keys ( like nothumbian bagpipes) As for the electric version .. sympathetic strings synthesised? I love strange instruments. That early music shop in Bradford was alladins cave for me..
  9. Itching to get mine raised as the g buzzes around c, c#, d.... Didn't bother me till we were locked down and could go to the bass menders.
  10. I thought I'd kept in shape double bass wise and had been doing a bit of practice for the impromptu big band gig we were going to do on the upcoming VE day. Anyway, it was cancelled so the band leader decided we should all record our parts at home and he'd mix them into a virtual gig! It's 1940s swing, it's in three, four and (briefly) 5 flats. Lots of shifts and 1/2 position, quite fast too. I reckon I've done 15 odd takes into audacity, now my hand's ceased up and I can barely hold the strings down! Soak hands in hot water, lots of stretches, then right back at it till the muscles grow back .. I guess. Do those squeezy spring hand exercisers work?
  11. Excellent article btw. Full of things I'd thought but never managed to put into words. Had me snorting into my glass of red.....nerd that I am.
  12. Mention of Chick Corea reminds me . Stan Clarke! Why has no one mentioned Stanley? Best known as a funky slapper of Alembics, but he's a better double bassist. Check out the John Coltrane tribute on "Johnny McLaughlin Electric Guitarist" and "jazz n the garden" with Hiromi Uehara. He has massive hands, plays fast and is spot on in tune. His big trick is playing in unison with someone playing a much easier instrument ( Kai Ekhardt does that too, but only on an electric ). Not a hope of emulation, but hear and marvel.
  13. Incomprehensible. But then, I feel the same way about battered 60 year old fenders. Might keep it as part of my pension fund!
  14. Why not just get an oc2? How much do they cost these days? I've got one in a drawer (cost £30 in 1988). I never use it as it tracks low notes badly and makes midrange notes sound muddy even when it tracks. Works ok if you play an octave up. Works better if you feed it sounds from the neck pickup with a bit of filter applied. I'll sell it if there is a demand.
  15. Hmm, never has GAS for a precision before .... £2300 for a passive single pickup bass mind. Still, better value than a beat up 60s fender.
  16. Double bass =it's too big and makes my hand hurt playing in tune Bass guitar = the neck is so long and lacking in tactile clues it's impossible to shift positions accurately 5-string bass guitar = as above but add an extra string for more confusion and a lot more possible hand positions ..and mine has frets (!!) which buzz if you don't exactly hit the spot. Cello = the music is so hard Alto recorder = the order you put your fingers down belies logic and intonation is hard as blowing harder makes it louder as well as sharper. Harmonica = as above, but which holes you blow or suck at Viola da Gamba = six strings, (moveable) frets, weird tuning, written in the ALTO clef rendering the music unreadable even without all the double stopping. Don't even go there. Conclusion: there is no easy instrument, especially if you want to play hard stuff and do it well.
  17. What's that tail gut made of? Mine is bare stainless wire, like sailing boat rigging.
  18. It's all country and western so far ( sorry, " Americana" ) but I shall persevere. Doing my German skills some good at least, as keep trying to read the ( grossly inaccurate) sub titles. Well spotted.
  19. Baritone sax = one of the bestest and coolest instruments every invented. Goes nearly as low as a 5-string bass guitar. Remember my brother taking up the (tenor) sax aged about 14 ... the dog used to crawl under the dining room table and howl every time he picked it up. Done him alright; though I'm not sure the current device is really a sax any more; same buttons on the front but all kinds of gubbins on the back (shameless plug for big bros band):
  20. HOW much ... I thought that was a joke. Like, WHY would ANYONE pay $12,500 for a precision? https://www.notreble.com/buzz/2019/07/27/fender-custom-shop-unveils-limited-edition-phil-lynott-precision-bass/ Oh, I see " Fender includes a custom Anvil case, leather strap, and studded wristband, a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses " Fair enough. I was going to ask the neck profile, fingerboard radius and string spacing .. but Skankdelvar got in with that joke first!!
  21. That really is quite some end block. Looks like it's been bolted (rivetted?) to the bass! I think relocating the tail gut to the proper place will be fine. It will put LESS force on the end pin, due to lower torque on the end pin assembly the closer the tail gut goes to the end block. The end pin assembly is usually taper fitted into the end block; mine was a bit loose so that the end pin and its housing were coming out at an angle with gap on one side (replacement now done); yours looks very solid .. extremely solid ... nuke proof probably. Slack off the strings with the bass lying on its back (to minimise the chance of the sound post falling over), then move that tail gut!
  22. See a physio; they will hand out some stretch exercises and strict instructions not to overdo it but not to stop playing either. Worked for me. BTW, physios often say to take Ibuprofen as part of the treatment; reduces pain and swelling and makes the exercises easier to do. Though also said to reduce your immune response so that the corona virus will hurt more when you (inevitably) catch it! Cold packs and hot packs also good and without side effects.
  23. PJB are great .. at a price. That double 4 is probably the best practice combo you can get, especially if you want to hear what you're playing rather than make a noise. But those Roland MicroCubes are suprisingly good too. Like the PJBs, they don't have any heft to them but the sound is all there; they even have a few DSP presets so you can model different kinds of amp. I was very impressed at the price; nearly bought one, but then got a PJB flightcase as a main amp which is pretty portable itself. My home office is right next to the room my basses, amp and hifi live in and it's very hard not to sneak in for a noodle when I'm supposed to be working. A dangerous path if you want to do any actual work in said work room ;¬)
  24. That's the one! It was a great day, good to meet you, and I'm looking forward to another one! Though I guess dragging you, and Marilyn over the pond to join in would be a tall order!
  25. Very Smart 🙂 Several of my orchestra colleagues have bass capes - makes the basses look as though they are in dinner dress (like the players). Personally I've never bothered as after 150 years mine looks like it's been re-finished with a wire brush and ronseal wood stain Still, one of our orchestra number dropped her nice 5-string Paul Bryant the other week, whilst wrestling it into her car, and took a chunk out the edging.. quite upset, the first bruise is always the worst. And my dad (retired pro 'cellilst) had his bow come loose inside his 'cello case which put some deep scratches in the front of his (crazily valuable) 250 year old 'cello - which having been refinished and cleaned at great expense had barely a mark on it; he's getting a "cello blanket" for his birthday to protect it in its case.
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