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  1. "Harry Shearer, who portrayed bassist Derek Smalls in the 1984 parody-rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, is releasing his debut solo LP in character. Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing) arrives on April 13th via Twanky Records/BMG. David Crosby, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, Peter Frampton, Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith, former Yes member Rick Wakeman, Dweezil Zappa, Joe Satriana and Steve Vai will appear on the record with many others." https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/spinal-tap-bassist-derek-smalls-returns-with-all-star-solo-lp-w515516
  2. If £2k is burning a hole in your pocket....

    She sounds surprisingly light and crisp until you push in that little red "bass boost" button and suddenly the growl and thump run up your spine and down the floorboards. No wonder reggae bass players loved EB2s. I had no idea until I first picked her up how much visceral response you get from a hollow-body. Let alone the emotional punch of knowing she's been part of 50 years of music history and makes me part of it too. I've tried playing tape-wounds once, on a borrowed Jazz, and didn't like the feel or the sound. I've put chrome flats on my fretless and love them - tape-wound on a fretless works if you want a jazz double-bass sound, but I'm aiming for a blues slide bass with that one. But I can see your point for this one, I might try it. Thanks for that :-)
  3. If £2k is burning a hole in your pocket....

    It happened. The hole now looks like this:
  4. I'm beginning to despair of the band I'm in (I don't want to call it "my" band!) We got together early October - I was the last to join of five. They had been talking about gigging before Christmas then changed the plan to January. As of last week the plan is for April. When I pointed out that as a completely new and unknown originals band with no contacts we were NOT going to get booked anywhere, the suggestion was that we book a church hall somewhere and invite our friends. When I pointed out that we would all need to learn - like really seriously learn - at least the 24 songs in our current setlist (mostly originals) in three months, the singer was horrified and the others were dubious. When I pointed out that collectively we were well short of a full backline and some of us would have to buy some gear, she was horrified, and the guy who has put it all together (who has played in gigging bands enough to know better) made vague noises about picking up something cheap second-hand. When I pointed out that, even if we knew the setlist and had the gear, we'd have to get it to the venues somehow (I don't drive, but live near the keyboard player, so we're ok, but the drummer drives a racy little two-seater sports car and can barely get her snare and cymbals into it) they pretty much all put their fingers in their ears, apart from the keyboard player who on the drive home agreed with me that at this rate it's likely never to happen. We're both hanging in for now, but not in great hope. I feel some loyalty, but if I had an offer from an established gigging blues band that would have me, I'd be there quick as a shot.
  5. Sustain? Discuss.

    As said a long way up the thread - why would you not value sustain? Ok my first (and still favourite) bass has exceptional sustain, and so I most naturally play that way - but I can play a controlled staccato by damping when it's wanted, or let a note ring for two or even three bars when that sounds right. I can play an open string and let it ring as a drone while I develop the line on the other strings. I can hold a single root note for each bar through a frenetic lead guitar solo so I'm just anchoring it and not distracting from it. I can run a slow gentle bassline through a blues or folk ballad and keep in that groove. When I play my son's super new MIA Fender P I just feel frustrated, the notes die so quickly that I don't have the range of expressive options I'm used to. Fair enough if you're just playing punchy rock'n'roll, but much beyond that, sustain opens up so many musical options, how could you not want it? All imho of course :-)
  6. New Original Rock Bands??

    Some of my best new band discoveries have been supporting bigger names (such as Virgil and the Accelerators opening for Walter Trout, then the Black Circles opening for Virgil a year later). I never understand why people pay good money for a ticket and then don't bother turning up for the support band. Oh, John Mayall opening for B B King was another good one, although not exactly "new" :-) (Ok, not exactly "rock" either, but same goes for the blues.)
  7. I'm learning to read bass clef, recommend a book to me

    Stuart Clayton, The Bass Guitarist's Guide to Reading Music - very clear with well-graded exercises and good explanations. This is the Beginner, there's also Intermediate and Advanced. I found it excellent to work through systematically. https://www.basslinepublishing.com/bass-essentials/the-bass-guitarist-s-guide-to-reading-music-beginner-level.html Josquin des Pres, Simplified Sight-Reading for Bass - covers much more material but throws it all in, in a dense format, just exercises with no text. Probably better as reference / reminder than to learn from to start with. https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=695085&lid=0&keywords=sight-reading&searchcategory=00&subsiteid=7& Both come with audio to download.
  8. My will leaves two of my guitars/basses to musicians who are close friends, and the others to my children and grandchildren, and specifically says they are "to be played and not sold". My guess is that my older son will end up with the guitars, my younger son with the 4-string basses, and my currently 4yo grandson with the 5s. And they will be treasured, and played. By the time that happens, I hope, the 1992 Jazzes will count as vintage, and even the 2012-ish GMRs will be "mature" :-)
  9. A 50-year-old bass with no signs of age or wear would feel very unnatural - at least to me - not like a real working instrument. A new bass that looks new is perfectly genuine too imho. Once when I took my Aerodyne out to my local om night, an older gentleman came up to me after a while and said admiringly "You know, from across the room that looks like a real Fender." I smiled and said "It is". His mouth literally fell open and he almost pushed his nose into the headstock to be sure he was reading the logo correctly. After a pause he said in a tone of almost religious reverence "I never thought I'd see one of those in my local pub".
  10. I love my 1966 Gibson EB2 partly because it's 50 years old, and it's been part of such a long history of music and makes me feel part of it too. It's slightly faded and worn and rubbed, as you'd expect, mostly on the back, but just enough to feel comfortable and genuine. From the front and from not very far away it looks immaculate. But I mostly love it because it's a joy to play and sounds wonderful. The only other EB2 I tried, also a 1966, was just dead wood. The down side is that I can't gig it - it's too fragile (and valuable, and hard to replace) to take anyplace I'm likely to be able to play. I do gig my 1992 Jazz Aerodyne, which is visibly better finished than the 2005 Aerodyne I saw for sale recently (and didn't try, so I can't speak for any other comparison). Ok, can't resist a bit of a brag:
  11. New Original Rock Bands??

    The Cadillac Three won "Best New Band" at the 2014 Classic Rock Awards. I first heard them play in about 2002 when they were promising high school lads (my younger son was their first drummer). They have hardly stopped touring in 15 years. Their last couple of UK tours have sold out in bigger and bigger venues - Mcr Academy in November was their biggest headline gig yet (almost 3,000). They told me this would be the first time they were going to make a profit on a tour - that's three guys traveling with very little gear and support personnel, keeping costs low. Any profit is coming from merch, not ticket sales - they have a fanatical fan base who will buy anything with their logo on it. (And they do keep prices affordable.) I'm completely in awe of how hard these guys have worked and for how long, to just begin to see the recognition and the reward. Well deserved. But 15 years of bl**dy hard graft ( as well as good management and luck) can be what it takes.
  12. 2018 What Are Your Plans?

    Get good at walking basslines. Learn to play from a score. Help my band get through its current near-terminal meltdown. Do well in my MSc course. Live on no money because until I finish said MSc course I'm unemployable. Grow and harvest decent crops of cherries, salad potatoes, and garlic, if nothing else. (That's a mixture of plans and hopes... As a dear Quaker friend used to say, "If you want to make G*d laugh, tell him your plans for the future".)
  13. Acoustic bass guitar chat

    Interesting comment... I got my first acoustic bass exactly because I thought it would be quieter than an electric, and less likely to be overheard by housemates. But I found (and it's also true of the two much better ones I have now) that to get a decent tone they have to be played hard, and are actually louder than an electric on lowest volume (let alone with headphones, which personally I can't get on with). I do quite often take one round to play with people who don't have a spare amp. I also love the physical feeling of those big light thin resonant bodies - I would play mine just because it feels good, if for no other reason.
  14. Post your Fenders here!

    1992 Jazz Plus V. A fairly rare beast - an experimental top-range model only made 1989-94, and the 5s 1990-94. This one still has the original Fender Lace Sensor Jazz Bass pickups and Philip Kubicki 9 volt active pre-amp - many of them have been "improved" by swapping these for something more conventional. Sadly too heavy for me - I should really get around to trying to sell it :-(
  15. Post your Fenders here!

    Can't compete with the serious vintage stuff above, but I love my 1992 Jazz Aerodyne, and eyes are out on stalks every time I gig her :-)