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  1. My main bass has top loading lightweight monorail bridges. With TI flatwounds and a medium string height so that there is zero buzz it will sustain longer than I ever need it to. I have it for a nice clean sound and it sounds great with just passive DI and nothing else, no compression, and the notes just sing out. Mind you, it does have an ebony fingerboard, which I believe makes a big difference To quote the mighty Tap:
  2. adamg67

    Spark amp

    It's actually the only rig I have for guitar now (though typically I don't play much guitar at the mo) and it's nice that it has the same models I have in amplitube in my DAW (that's why I went that really). I do rate the positive grid amps as well, but I think you have to pick one, getting to know both amplitube and bias is a lot of effort. For bass I still like my Markbass multiamp best for the amp models.
  3. I know we did music at school but genuinely have no recollection of it at all. I wanted to play guitar when I was about 12, parents made me do classical despite me having no real interest in the music. The teacher was a horrible man, put me off lessons for a long time. Apart from his complete disinterest in whether I was learning or enjoying it, I have fairly tight tendons and my hands are not very flat as well, so when I curl my fingers they all tend to come together in the middle and it's an effort to stretch them out. He would try and get my left hand in the proper position for some of the more stretchy bits and I would say "that hurts", and he would reply "no it doesn't, don't be stupid". I do sometimes wonder where I'd be if I'd done more younger, but there's no point worrying about it and I'm learning lots now anyway. I've got a really good teacher now, more like a music coach but primarily teaching me keys, and also happens to live a few minutes away, although I'd happily travel a lot further for her. I tried another piano teacher a while before that, told her what I was interested in doing (ABRSM Jazz and things to help my songwriting) and she ignored it all and started getting me to learn "The Entertainer". Sacked her off after two lessons.
  4. adamg67

    Spark amp

    For me it seems better to have an iPad and an iRig and run it through my existing amp (it does power amp only which is handy) and FRFR speaker - but then I've already got the iPad and the amp and speaker so it's maybe not a fair comparison - and then I can use whatever apps are available. Sounds like the spark app does quite a lot to be fair, but it's not going to have backing tracks for the originals projects I'm into at the mo and I've got cubasis and amplitube on the iPad. I kind of get that they want to turn it into a single "device" and that's nice, but you're also into the land of bugs and software releases and upgrades. Does it come with all their models or are they trying to get you to buy add ons afterwards?
  5. Bass Direct have always been noticeably cheaper for the same strings compared to Strings Direct whenever I’ve compared them.
  6. Also, not improvising is not the same thing as not being creative. You can write original music without being able to improvise on the spot.
  7. Also, it’s worth pointing out that formal music education does not equal classical (now referred to as western art music) and hasn’t for a long time. I followed along a bit when my ex mrs now friend did a music access course and degree in popular and world music. Plenty of music theory but across all music including plenty of improvised stuff. That’s where I first came across jazz that I actually liked (and the ABRSM Jazz Piano stuff which I’ve now picked up again years later).
  8. The ABRSM Jazz syllabus includes improvisation. The pieces all have blank bits in, they have some suggested notes to get you started but you’re welcome to ignore them. The two teachers I’ve had have both encouraged originality.
  9. Well, I did not know Jack Bruce studied cello and musical composition. Now I do! He was already playing Jazz bass before that though, so maybe that gave him some protection from the anti-inventive waves.
  10. He also played trumpet in the school orchestra, apparently, so although he wasn't a music school kid, he was a school music kid.
  11. I found the fourth chord the other day, turned out it had been down the back of the sofa all the time!
  12. I nearly didn't post this because I'm strictly amateur so it doesn't prove much, but... I started out in the "formal musical knowledge and rules will stunt my creativity" camp. Getting back into music in the last 5-10 years, I started there again and it half worked - I can come up with ideas all day - but I found I kept getting stuck trying to develop ideas. I started learning piano, and that got me started with some theory, and I've kept going with that and am getting into it now. It makes no difference to your creativity unless you are a complete sheep, nobody says "you must write music like this" these days. You get a whole load of tools and options you can use and the option to use none of them.
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