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  1. It's Squier, Squire

    Some of you may know whether this is true: there's a town in Belgium called Ypres, which was in the battle zone in both world wars. I've been told that in WWI most British soldiers only heard the name rather than seeing it written, and called it "Eeps". In WWII, based on the written name, it became "Wipers".
  2. Band names - how did you come up with yours?

    My friend Rowland Jones - an excellent blues man - plays with so many different local musicians from time to time that they're called "Rowland and the Moveable Feast". I'm now playing in the Plastic Mojo Blues Band - my idea, it was meant to be just a private joke taking the mickey out of ourselves, but the others all seem to share the same strange sense of humour and decided to go public with it.
  3. Recycling opportunity for bass strings

    My guitar tech gives them to a friend of his who makes jewellery with them. Walk down Broadway, the tourist main street in Nashville, and you'll see lots of street stalls selling guitar string bracelets. Mostly nothing like as well made or attractive as the ones here: https://yhoo.it/2HEwygW
  4. What bass would you get for your 50th?

    50 is long gone... but on my birthday last year I had a little day trip up from Manchester to the excellent and dangerous Promenade Music in Morecambe, and came back with a Michael Kelly Dragonfly fretless acoustic 5, for half list price with a new set of chrome flats thrown in. I know there's not much love for acoustic basses here, and the look of this one is a bit Marmite (someone on BC at the time described it as "looking like a tart's handbag") but the build quality and tone are excellent, and I love the feel of playing it. https://michaelkellyguitars.com/en/products/view/dragonfly-fretless-5
  5. It's Squier, Squire

    The singer in my ex-band insisted on calling me "Ace of Base". Note the "ex". In my new band I'm "the groove machine" - completely acceptable :-)
  6. It's Squier, Squire

    Just testing whether our swear filter falls for the "Scunthorpe effect". Apparently quite a lot of them do. My mother once spotted a church calendar marking the saint's day of St Michael and All Angles. She insisted that made him the patron saint of geometry. I knew a law student whose spell-checker changed statutes to statues. I can't be the only one of us who's been described as playing base.
  7. Birthday Gig Lineup

    Sadly no. Virgil could shred, but it was his his slow mode that made him so outstanding. You had to see them live - I wept helplessly through a 20-minute instrumental at one gig. Matt Long of Catfish comes close. http://www.catfishbluesband.co.uk/home.html
  8. Birthday Gig Lineup

    My 60th birthday party was a charity gig with Kyla Brox opening for Virgil and the Accelerators, both European Blues Awards finalists that year, in the Garrick Theatre in Stockport. Buffet in a side room for family and friends. Honestly even if I'd been HRH I wouldn't have asked for anything else :-)
  9. Fret Buzz on one of five strings - SOLVED

    The same thing just happened to me - fret buzz just on the G string of a 5 - I've changed the strings and it's fine now. I've re-strung it E - C (using a set of strings kindly donated by Spondonbassed, so I don't know exactly what they are) and I did wonder whether the change from G to C might have something to do with it (different tension perhaps??), but it sounds from the above as if it was just an old tired string.
  10. Post your Fenders here!

    They're lovely to play. Correcting myself though, I'm sure was told 1992, but in fact it's 2002 - one of the first batch of serial numbers.
  11. I Hate Tobacco Sunburst

    I was reminded of this thread on Saturday at Sheffield Blues Festival, when 6 of the 8 basses I saw were tobacco sunburst Fender Ps with tortie scratchplates. All mediocre heavy blues-rock bands, I could no more hear any difference among their sounds than see any difference among their basses. Does it have something to do with the width of the dark edge as well as the subtlety of the shading? Or the flatness of the central colour? Looking at the pics above and from memory, if the center looks flat and the edges are wide it's very different from if it's natural wood grain and narrow. I'd have said I don't like bursts, based on the Fender cliché, but thinking about it, my first and forever true love is. She's stunningly thin and light, but looks much thicker / deeper (and heavier) than she is. And under lights the red glows, surrounded by the black. (Note to self: I should read my own .sig :-)
  12. Any Jam Nights in Manchester

    Blues & jazz jam at the Old Abbey in south-central Mcr (sort of behind the Whitworth Art Gallery) this Thursday https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Manchester/The-Old-Abbey-Taphouse/Blues--Jazz-Jam-/13176047/ Some of the Plastic Mojo Blues Band will be there mob-handed, including yours truly. (We're not the house band, just doing a slot from the floor.) Please ask him to come and say hello if he's there. It's a fun place, run as a community social enterprise, the beer and pizzas and staff are all excellent. Thirsty Scholar on Mondays definitely still happens, we're planning a mass invasion of that one too but haven't done it yet so can't say what it's like :-) More generally, Matt & Phreds in the Northern Quarter have jams on Mondays, mostly jazz, but blues on first Monday of every month. Crowded, noisy, and not easy to get a slot if Franny Eubanks who runs it doesn't already know you, especially as a guitar player. http://www.mattandphreds.com/
  13. plectrum choice

    I admit to being a serious serial customer of TimberTones: https://www.timber-tones.co.uk/ Their 2.5 wood picks feel a bit slim to me, but have a lovely soft tone that suits a Jazz or similar. I also have some 2.5+ sharp-pointed stone picks for a harder brighter sound. I've been to guitar workshops with a tin full of wildly different picks and seen more experienced bass players amazed at the difference. If you want to experiment with your sound it's a lot cheaper and easier than changing strings - or basses :-)
  14. That's a useful point - if jamming it works, and you do listen to each other, then that's fine. My new band is making a point of original interpretations of classic blues songs with tight arrangements - breakdowns, call-and-response sections, &c - and we have to all know exactly what we're supposed to be doing to keep it together. My ex-band - indie-pop originals - I felt should have been doing that, and the music had a lot of potential if played that way, but it wasn't.
  15. Inappropriate profanities in songwriting

    This isn't actually a music reference but I can't resist. I've long been convinced that many books for young children include double entendres to amuse the parents reading them. (Postman Pat, lost in the dark with his cat Jess, "reached out and felt something furry..." ) There's a Ladybird Early Reader about Richard and Jane (honestly!) in which they go to the river hoping to catch fish. Some of the letters are blanked out in some of the key words so the children will learn to fill them in. "Richard and Jane love to f _ _ _"