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Staggering on

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Everything posted by Staggering on

  1. Finally....the first gig since our last one which was on February 27 2020! Things are starting to open up here now and our jazz standards/swing quartet returned to play at a craft brewery that we have played at a number of times before Covid. It is in a small town an hour and a half from me and we were worried about attracting a crowd, partly because our pay is based on cover charge only and also because it is an out of the way place. As it turned out we had an almost full room of about 40 of our "fans" and some them drove for over an hour to get to the gig. The band has been together for 11 years and it was great to see some familiar faces and get out in public again and the crowd was in the mood to enjoy the evening and was one of the best we have ever played for. It was also the first outing in a club for my Shen SB 100 and it sounded fantastic through our Bose PA, band was in fine form and we had a fun night and made good money for a gig like that and we will be back at that venue in August. The downside is that our vocalist/keyboard player who is very talented and popular is moving away sometime in the next few months and the band will have to fold after 11 years of fun, it's been a great ride and we still have a few more gigs and we plan to make the most of them.
  2. I play DB almost all the time now and once the music starts I can't stand still, foot tapping at the minimum and "dancing" with the bass most of the time. I have gone wireless and one of these days I will do a real walkabout and shock the band and the audience but most of the time mic stands and various cables and wires make it too tricky to move that much. With EB about the same, I can't play bass, guitar or anything else sitting down.
  3. I recently saw a touring ABBA tribute band in a very nice old theatre that seats about 1000 that has very good acoustics and an excellent sound system. Unfortunately the sound engineer, who is very good, likes a lot of bass and kick drum and while the musicians did a fine job and the bassist played all the right stuff the overall sound was way too modern and that clean ABBA sound from the band turned to mush. The vocals were fine but the overwhelming bass was not only annoying but absolutely wrong for that music. To be fair, the sound guy was pretty young but he should have been aware of what ABBA sounded like and he had the technology available to get things right. A month after that concert I played DB in the same venue in a band that was part of of a musical drama production and I made sure to talk to the sound people at the first rehearsal and they absolutely nailed the sound I wanted FOH and I had a number of compliments from other musicians. I think the ABBA problem was just a matter of not knowing what the original band sounded like although I can understand bit of fiddling to get a bit more room filling modern sound but they overdid it.
  4. I know the O.P. referred to EB's , and other than clothing, it seems all of the posts are about EB's but I wonder what the snob factor is in the DB world. From my somewhat limited experience, for most DB players it is mostly about getting the right bass/set up/amp for the job, whatever bass works for you in that situation is the right bass. In many situations a high end carved bass would be overkill for a lot of gigs and a cheap ply bass will not cut it in major symphony orchestras so DB players just get the bass they need and while there may be serious GAS for a better bass I think most players respect the choices other DB players make and there is less snobbery than in the EB and guitar worlds. Perhaps in the high end orchestral bass world there is some snobbery but for most of us I don't think it is much of an issue. Any comments?
  5. I believe the owner retired and shut down the business at the end of 2019, I saw that on a TB post. At that time it seemed his daughter might continue doing some repairs but I don't know if that happened. Perhaps an email to Gage might get an explanation about why they aren't selling them anymore. There are other companies that make custom cases but that will get expensive fast.
  6. ...and a couple of pre show shots from last night. The screen at the back of the stage was used to show a series of images of the quints and their early life, from what I heard from audience members it really helped make the show even better. I'm hoping for some shots of the actual show tonight by someone with better equipment.
  7. Finally the first real gig I have played since February of 2020! I'm playing DB in a seven piece "orchestra" (trumpet, clarinet/sax,fiddle,guitar,piano,drums, bass) that is on stage in a theatre production in North Bay of a recently written musical about the Dionne quintuplets that were born near the city in 1934 and were a huge attraction to the area. The musical is written as a simulation of a live radio broadcast with interviews and comments from all the people involved with the birth and later commercialization of the five girls. It was done in the old school radio drama style with the actors reading their scripts standing in front of mics as it would have been done in the 1930's and with musical numbers added in, it sounds a bit odd but it worked well and we were on stage with them just as there would have been an orchestra in the old studios. It was performed in a fine old theatre where the first radio station in the area was located, I have played here before, excellent venue with very good technical crew. This was my first gig with my Shen SB100 and Acoustic Image amp and sound engineer managed to get a superb FOH sound from the Shen that absolutely filled the hall with glorious DB sound. The band was tight all all the cues were perfect and I only missed a few notes. The venue seats around 900 and wasn't full but close and we have another show tonight, it is truly great to be back playing in public and the two weeks of rehearsal were fun and the show ran well and we were paid very well...win, win, win.👍😊 More good news, both the jazz bands I'm in are rehearsing for gigs we have later this month and in the summer, life is finally getting back to normal.
  8. Yeah, I've often wondered about that too. Nobody else can play the stuff we can so let's do that and be really good at it...the heartbeat of the band and all that. Edit: I have tried a bit of thumb position and it sounded horrible when I did and it is very awkward to play so I will stay where the BASS notes are.😊
  9. Just to add a little fuel to the GAS fire, check this out on the Gollihur Music site...and they ship world wide. You might even find a lefty somewhere in the UK.😊
  10. I was born in '46 so I grew up when all this was going on and I remember all these songs being on the radio when I was about 8 or 10 and Elvis really was something big. The Beatles first appearance on Ed Sullivan was quite the show but when Elvis made his first appearance a few years earlier it was truly the start of a revolution. Lots of controversy and camera shots from the hips up only so as not to show those sexy gyrations. I remember seeing that show on our black and white TV. Of course I was in Canada and looking back it was really a remarkable era in North America for music as the new "rock" took over the radio waves and I'm glad I was there, not glad to be so old, but glad I was around for the experience. As said above, "you had to be there".😊 BTW, over here no one had even heard of Cliff Richards in those days although he did have a few hits later on, very soft rock and a lot of people here would not know who he is or know his music.
  11. Yes, not a cure or long term solution but some doctors here prescribe it on a long term basis at fairly high dosages and it reduces pain and sometimes the arthritis more or less disappears for some reason. It worked for me quite well and I no longer take the big dosage, just a couple a day once in a while.
  12. Yes, and to add to that my ancient brain is a bit fuzzy at the best of times.😊🍷
  13. Major error in my earlier post, it was late at night over here.🙄 I jumped on the OP's quote re ibuprofen and I was wrong about the medication my doctor suggested, it was Tylenol or acetaminophen NOT ibuprofen. The dosages were correct (4x500mg) but the product was wrong in my post, it must have been the wine and the time. Sorry about that but it seems to have got a discussion going and I agree with the post re side effects of ibuprofen. I still take Tylenol when I start to have a flare up as I have had the last few days due to too much biking and boat polishing and the fact that I'm 76.
  14. Re ibuprofen: A doctor who checked me over when I had some nasty arthritis pain in my arms and hands from several things including working as a farrier for 27 years and playing double bass suggested that I should take ibuprofen. I was surprised when she said to take 4 500 mg tablets a day and said I thought that was a lot but she told me that some people take more than that daily for arthritis. I tried it for several months and was amazed at how much it helped, I don't know exactly what it did but the pain has pretty much disappeared and I stopped taking them. Now if I am a bit sore I take a couple a day for a week or so and it clears things up. I realize that ibuprofen is for pain and not a medication that cures things but it seems to have worked very well for me. I wonder what dosage your doctor suggested, I know 3000mg a day is used by some arthritis sufferers so maybe you should try 1000 or 2000mg per day, ask your doctor if that's OK. Please note that I am not trying to be a doctor here, just describing what worked for me. Good luck!
  15. Good news! Things are finally opening up a bit here and last night we had enquiries re possible dates for both bands in the summer, possibly starting in June. Covid is still a problem and at least one band member is concerned about rehearsing and playing in small venues but with any luck we will get some gigs. Of course there is also the possibility of symptoms and/or positive tests close to the gigs and because both bands are established and well rehearsed jazz groups( 4 piece and septet) replacing anyone would be tricky. As mentioned in my previous post I have a theatre gig in early June, first real gig in more than two years and now we might be busy in the summer.😊
  16. Similar situation here, last real gig was in February of 2020. I am in two jazz groups and we have been rehearsing sporadically for months but with members getting Covid and not many venues available it is hard getting gigs, we are hoping things will improve as the weather warms up and outdoor gigs become a possibility. The one bright light is a musical being put on in a local theatre in early June and I will be using my new to me Shen SB100 and Acoustic Image amp as part of a seven piece band in the show and we will be on stage, not in the pit so that's nice. The venue seats about 1000 and has a great sound system and technicians so it should be fun. It's better in the big cities but I am in a very rural area of northern Ontario and even at the best of times pre Covid it was hard to get gigs, at least we are rehearsing both bands now and maybe by summer things will improve.
  17. The D'Addario mini tuner that I use on my EUB tailpiece(Yamaha SLB 200) sometimes gets a bit loose and the vibration gets picked up makes a weird buzz/rattle through the amp. This caused a major crisis at a rehearsal the first time it happened and after much fiddling about with the EUB, amp and PA I finally figured out what was causing the problem. A few weeks later the same thing happened, this time at a gig, and I went into crisis mode until it finally dawned on me it was the same problem. That would be bad enough but it happened AGAIN at another gig and more sweating and swearing until I got the offending tuner off the bass and things returned to normal. It amazes me how my brain can get so addled when something like this happens and I have no doubt it will happen again sometime. Maybe it's old age but you would think I could remember something so obvious. Definitely a D'oh moment and awfully embarrassing.🙄
  18. Usual drive home is at least an hour so it's coffee and maybe Boost or Ensure or something similar because I have a light meal before gigs.
  19. Yup, 4 strings and played with a flat pick not fingers like a 5 string. There is another 4 string that was used in many bands called the plectrum banjo, it has a longer neck than a tenor and is tuned CGBD. In the 20's and 30's there were touring banjo bands with eight or ten players and some soloists had amazing careers. Now there are some banjo clubs in a few big cities and big get togethers for 4 string freaks but they are not as popular or common as 5 strings. Some of these "conventions" often have mass play alongs with 50 to 100 banjos all playing at the same time, I've seen videos but haven't been at one of these in person, they must be LOUD. Since these are played in bands with horns some music is in C but an awful lot is in B flat, E flat, F, and A flat that are horn friendly keys and many arrangements have key changes in them. You have to know a lot of chords because capos aren't used like they often are on 5 strings. I'll see what I can find for videos.
  20. Yes. I have bought three double basses in 4 years and two of them were blondes because I love the look. The third one that I bought in January of this year is the one I should have bought in the first place and it is not a blonde. Right now I have my new non-blonde that will be my forever bass and I still have one of the blondes but it will have to go. Multiple EB's don't take up too much room but a couple of DB's take up a lot of space in my very small house and are more sensitive to temp and humidity so require more care. I should have known, the worst relationship I have been in was with a blonde...🙄
  21. Just discovered this thread and although I mostly play DB and EUB I am also a banjo fan. Anyone on here who plays tenor banjo? I have been playing tenor since the early '70's(I'm old) and have played in many trad/Dixie bands over the years and am currently playing in a seven piece band that is just coming out of a two year Covid shutdown and we hope to get rehearsing and gigging sometime soon. It's funny how most folks dismiss this "old fashioned" music but it always goes over well. Tenor banjo was big from the 20's to '40's in small and big bands as a rhythm instrument but there were and are some virtuoso players that are amazing. Tenors are tuned CGDA for band work, not Irish tuning. I have a Baldwin Ode that I bought new in the '70's and it is still going strong today. BTW there are banjo mutes that go on the bridge like a violin or DB mute and if you get a heavy steel one it makes the banjo very quiet. Easy on and off and can be used when tuning any banjo.
  22. When I came over in 2018 to attend the BC double bass bash at Bicester I was very glad that I found out that it was not "Bye-sester" before I actually got there, we colonials have to be careful when we get back to the homeland.😊
  23. And to add to the above... We are so lucky to be able to play music in a band and if we can play for other people who are enjoying it then that is the best, I still get all pumped up before gigs. After about 60 years of playing gigs I'm now in two bands and can't wait until we can get back to real gigs over here in the colonies, at least we can rehearse now and a few venues are opening up for bands. Most importantly have fun, that's the best part, if it's not fun find another band.
  24. I always say "hello beautiful" to my DB when I walk by, but I'm also the person who says the same thing to my 1951 Ferguson TEA20 every time I pass the tractor shed.😊
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