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Staggering on

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Posts posted by Staggering on

  1. Second to last gig with the jazz standards quartet last night, finally got to play after a Covid case in the band. Good crowd but a bit thinner than normal, mostly people of a certain age who are nervous about Covid which has had a surge in this area recently.

    All in all it went well but BL (sax and clarinet) was very tense and didn't play as well as he usually does but no disasters, it was a weird vibe knowing that after 11 years we are just about done. One more gig on the 20th before the singer/keyboard moves out of the area, it has been a good run.

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  2. Once again Covid spoiled the party and the seven piece swing band had to cancel last night's gig, the second gig in four days we have had to cancel.

    Since I had the day and evening free I was able to do a blacksmithing gig at a provincial park a couple of hours away. This park has a replica of a winter lumber camp as it would have been in the early 1900's complete with a blacksmith shop and I have volunteered to work at the forge many times over the last 25 years or so. With a background that includes 27 years as a farrier and blacksmith I have a lot of fun forging some things and explaining a bit about horseshoeing to people who are camping in the park and other visitors and had a very hot but enjoyable afternoon at the coal forge. Not the gig I was expecting on August 6 but a good one nevertheless, no bass but lots of rhythm from the hammer and anvil.

    I hope the band gigs on the 10th and 20th happen without Covid problems, fingers crossed.


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  3. I've just looked around a bit and found some interesting stuff about what Malcolm Gladwell actually said about the 10,000 hour theory. I have not read Outliers: The Story Of Success where he first talks about this idea but it seems that "10,000 hours" has become a catch phrase we all toss around without really knowing what he said, I won't try to explain it here but there are lots of online sources to learn about him and his theories, interesting guy.

    ...now excuse me, I have to go put in some time on my DB, a couple of gigs coming soon and at 76 my time to tally more hours is winding down fast, I may never reach "master" level unless it's soon, not counting on that. 😊 

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  4. A few years ago when I was working as a farrier a couple of large stables tried the same thing. If we were going to work on horses that were boarded at the stable we had to pay a fee to the stable to be able to work there. The horse owners were our clients, not the stable owners...crazy. The idea did not last very long. I think these money grubbing programs are dreamed up by business consultants with a nice new shiny MBA who are charging the businesses a lot of money but have no idea how the business actually operates.

  5. 14 hours ago, Dad3353 said:


    Basically it's a question of the physics of the instrument. A saxophone (or other transposing instrument, such as clarinet...) constructed to play a 'C' with 'C' fingering would not have a useful enough range, because of the length of tubing implied. They make the instrument sound right first, then adjust the dots to suit, as the other way round is not a physical option. B|


    What an excellent explanation! I could have used that years ago when I was teaching high school music and that question came up frequently. Thanks.😊

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  6. 4 hours ago, JoeEvans said:

    If you can do it, it’s helpful to shape the slot with a slight taper, so that as you push the pickup in it gets gradually tighter. That way you can adjust the tightness and therefore the tone.

    You want to use the sandpaper on something stiff and flat. Possibly you could wrap it round a credit card, or the blade from a plane would be perfect. That way you’ll end up with a flat slot. I’d use quite coarse paper myself, 80 or 120 grit.


    I have had the same problem when fitting pickups in the slot and I used a thin file and then fairly coarse sandpaper wrapped around a steel rule to get the gap big enough. The rule is easy to grip and you can even use both hands on it, I got the idea from the Gollihur website and from material they sent with the pickup when I bought it. Go slowly and check frequently, there is a sweet spot where it fits snugly and gives good tone, you will need to experiment playing it to get the best sound. If you get it too big you can use shims, thin wood or even a guitar pick trimmed to the right shape.

     Good luck!


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  7. 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. 


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  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?


  11. 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.

  12. ...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.


    IMG_0183 2.JPG


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  13. 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.


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  14. 1 hour ago, Owen said:

    Thumb position.


    We play the best of instruments. We have the best notes. And yet, people want to go and imitate 'cellos being played badly by playing really high up. I just do not get it.


    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.😊

  15. 4 hours ago, tegs07 said:



    Pretty difficult to judge music from another era entirely. When the world was listening to Vera Lynn and Doris Day he must have been astonishing.


    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.

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  16. 55 minutes ago, Chienmortbb said:

    Tylenol is basically paracetamol and generally considered ineffective against  arthritis, however my partner believes in it and says it helps. She recently had a real problem with sciatica and was diagnosed Gabapentin. That made her sciatica a lot better but almost took the pain of her arthritis. However I believe this is a class A drug so not a long term solution.


    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.

  17. 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. 

  18. 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! 


  19. 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.😊

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