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  1. Don't start down that rabbit hole! Gear obsession is strangely common amongst bass players. My other half is a pro violinist and a completely brilliant musician. What rosin does she use? "No idea, whatever that stuff is". How much? "as little as possible, only when I absolutely have to, I hate it"
  2. There are loads of teachers who can teach German bow. There's no point switching if you have put the effort in to make a start, and if you have a bow you like. I play French bow, but only because that is how I started. I tried German for a while at college, and it was fine, but I was in the reverse position you're in. I was just past Grade 8 and starting to think about my Diploma,and the work to get to that standard with a German bow would have been crazy so I stuck with French. My advice would be to keep going with what you have, it sounds like you have a long way to go before you reach the limits of your potential. Oh, and if you ever want to audition for the Berlin Phil, you will HAVE to play German bow!
  3. When I was a student at RCM and playing in youth orchestras etc, I took my bass on trains, underground and buses, and carried it walking. Now i'm an old, lazy man I have a Merc E class estate to carry it for me. I have to be honest, I wouldn't take a gig that I couldn't drive to, and all of the various wheeled contraption scare the life out of me with what the shock loads are doing to my near 200 year old bass, so I carry it rather than wheeling it, and I have a K & M folding stool. Not much help, sorry! N
  4. 1978. John Paul Jones' playing on Led Zeppelin 2 and 3. Still for me the finest all-round musician working in the popular music world.
  5. Chances are it was built the way it is now. Mine is what is known as a "blockless wonder", albeit an early and high quality one. they were built in thousands in Germany/Austria/Bohemia in the 19th and into the 20th century. I suspect they were cheap then, and a bit disposable, and only the best of them have survived. The blockless construction makes it very difficult and expensive to reset the neck, so a lot of them end up with a wedge. Mine has a beech neck, so in order to strengthen it for modern strings it was planed thinner, and a parallel slice of maple added, with the wedge on top of that to give the right overstand and bridge height. A very famous American Luthier very sniffily told me it should have been "properly" restored, but it plays beautifully, sounds amazing (right at home in the CBSO bass section on one occasion), and I couldn't possibly afford to replace her with a "properly" constructed bass that sounds or plays as well. A well-executed neck wedge can be the making of a bass....
  6. If you're signed up to do it, pay or no pay, the contract might well be enforceable... I did some digging about this, and it turns out that the "accommodation" they so generously provided was in tents! In Edinburgh.... It's a disgrace, given the number of tickets they sell, why could they not have put a quid on the cost of the tickets and paid a fee? Oh, and high horse time. I've been a member of the MU since 1983, when I played my first session. The reason the MU doesn't have the teeth to deal with this is partly the attitude of "it's a rip off, but I'd do it" and partly the fact that so few of the "working " musicians in the country actually bother to join...
  7. I don't think music is necessarily getting worse, but for me, recorded music is certainly getting less enjoyable. Autotune, protools, all of that has taken almost all of the humanity from it.
  8. The strap that my 79 Aria SB1000 hangs from at every gig is the strap that Handy Music in Reigate threw in when I bought the bass in 1982.
  9. I use Smoothound, I have 2 transmitters and use it with a variety of basses. Aria SB1000, very high output active, WAL Pro active, Cort B4 active and Gibson Thunderbird passive. Never had a moment of concern. Very low latency, almost completely transparent, utterly reliable. Can't reccommend it enough. Neil
  10. As a double bass player and lover of fretless basses, the biggest lesson you can learn is that your ears are what tells you you're in tune, not your eyes. Practice with your ears wide open and your eyes closed and you'll be amazed how quickly you "get it"
  11. There's a lot of experimenting to be done to find how the particular combination of bass, bow, strings and setup works. The variables you can easily change are bow weight (not the actual weight of the bow, but the weight you put into the string through the bow), bow speed and position on the string (distance from the bridge). In particular you should try bowing slowly with decent weight, around 2" or a bit less from the bridge. Give it a go. If you can't find a big, focused tone, move the bow slower until you can. Try it, it's amazing. It may not suit the stuff you play, especially if you play orchestral music, but if you have any interest in solo playing, it's the way forward.....
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