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Everything posted by LeftyP

  1. It's amazing how quickly tech changes. When I used to attend country music festivals and gigs in the 90s everyone wanted cassettes (tapes as they would say) to play in the car. CDs then made an impact but now downloads seem the in thing. If you want to get your music played on the radio a CD may get more attention as it is a physical product and cannot be lost among a load of emails. The booklet that comes with a CD (or Vinyl sleeve notes) provides useful information and gives a better "connection" between the artist and the punter. I work in radio and would much rather have a CD than mp3 attachments to emails. Emailed tracks may get played once but then get forgotten about because they are not constantly in front of me. If you want airplay the station will need a lot of info from you i.e.; Song Title, Performer, Composer, Music Publisher, Record Label and catalogue number. Without that information you stand little chance of your songs being played or receiving royalty payments.
  2. Wow Owen, you set a very high bar. I'm not sure I can play it that well!
  3. When I get a list of songs I check out the music manuscript on our church site and make up a chord chart. I then work around the chords with arpeggios and chromatic fills if there is room. Most sheet music shows the bass line for the left hand of the pianist and is not suitable for the bass player. In a few weeks time we shall be playing "Crown Him With Many Crowns" and our sheet music actually has a bass line I can follow on the bass guitar! It's not too involved and has been great practise at reading music. I've tried to become more proficient at reading music but, as so little of our songs provide bass guitar lines, I don't get much opportunity. I still think that the old KISS principal is the best (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and that we should play as well as we can but not be distracting. I just hope that when I get to play the rest of the band have learned the same version!
  4. Although I can play using all four strings, I do prefer the tone of notes played on the E and A strings. The note D played on the A string has a much better tone to it (to my ears) than an open D string. I'm currently working on a song for church which has a top note of G but instead of using the open G, I play the note on the D string for a more muted tone. In theory, you could play most bass lines on just the E string - now there's a challenge! Anyway, four strings and four fingers - a match made in heaven.
  5. I've been following a series of Youtube podcasts by Sovereign Grace Music and enjoyed this episode very much. It deals with the instrumentalist's role in worship and gives a lot of food for thought.
  6. The main problem with Bass Direct is their weekly emails that do nothing to supress my GAS!
  7. Before covid hit we sometimes had a get-to-gether of friends from church. There would be a few daft party games, good food and (non-alcoholic) drink. The fact it was New Year's Eve was immaterial. Come 12.15am we all went home! I've never understood why some people make NYE such a big deal. There's that awful countdown, party poppers going off and a rendition of a song no-one understands. The date changes but that's it. Life goes on as before. If you are going out, have a great time but life after midnight will be the same as before the clock strikes 12 - only a bit drunker!
  8. These little gadgets from DAddario are great for securing the strap to the bass. A combination of a thick leather strap and the shape of my bass guitar's strap buttons means that the rubber, beer bottle locks, keep shooting off in all dirctions! These do the trick.
  9. I do wish shops would quote the weight of the basses in their adverts. It would save a lot of time when trying to find a nice lightweight bass
  10. My wife plays oboe in the local amateur orchestra and posted part of one of their performances on Faceache. Faceache took it down as they thought it was The Royal Philharmonic! Out local orchestra carries that as a badge of honour!
  11. It always amazes me how many "apparant" left handers play the bass. There are loads of people showing off their bass licks on Faceache who look to be left handed until you realise that they don't have the gumption to alter the camera on their 'phone to show them the right way round. It was always a comfort for me to see that most of the Muppets were left handed!
  12. I don't take my mobile 'phone to church. I'm there to worship and praise God not check my emails and texts.
  13. We are doing a new song (to us) this weekend and although I am not involved, I'm having a go at it anyway. It's "Sing We A Song Of Emmanuel" by Matt Boswell & Co. It skips along at a fair rate of knots so there isn't much scope, within the verses, for anything other that root notes (that's my excuse). The problem is that it only has three chords; A flat, B flat and E flat but I keep doing an Eric Morecambe, playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order! If at first...
  14. Picking up on rotas for playing; Our latest rota, sent out via email, takes us to the first week in March. It lists who is doing what at each service, from the welcome team to setting out the chairs, playing in the band, leading the service, preaching, children's activities etc. I print out the schedule and highlight the dates when I am down to play or do the Bible reading. I received the song list for the next two Sundays yesterday and although I am not due to play until three weeks time, I shall be practicing the songs at home. This has two benefits. 1) It makes me pick up the bass and play it. 2) I shall be ready to fill in incase someone has to drop out. Our system is that if someone cannot do the week they are scheduled for they have to contact someone else on the list to swap days. Obviously a drummer will swap with another drummer, vocalist with vocalist etc. The rota is prepared by our church secretary, who has just given birth to her third daughter, and it is a work of art! Being able to plan ahead is essential for things to work well but, of course, situations arise when last minute changes have to be made because of life getting in the way. As the old Boy Scout motto said, "Be Prepared"!
  15. I agree that many modern day worship songs are a bit bland and predictable but they are there so that congregations can sing them. "When I were a lad", we sang at school assemblies and in church but fewer people are experiencing that these days. Some feel uncomfortable singing out loud in public so a simple tune is often best. I must say I'm finding the phrases; "You Are Worthy To Be Praised", "Magnify You Name" and the like appearing in more and more songs. My wife was playing through some recent releases from American churches and they were long, wandering, anthem style songs that did not catch my interest.
  16. I've never tried to use a pick and don't even know how to hold one. Do you pluck the strings with the pointy end or the roundy end (technical terms!) I am a fingers player but I do have some inconsistancy of tone. I like a nice dull thud, via flatwounds, but sometimes a note will 'twang' for no apparant reason. It mainly happens when I use my second finger so I'm experimenting with the angle of my hand in relation to the strings. As to finger nails; mine seem to suddenly sprout overnight and I wake up looking like Edward Scissorhands!
  17. Following on from the discussion about people turning up late and things being disorganised, yesterday's services were "interesting". The band has a quick run through of the songs at 8.45am, before the first service at 9.30am. My wife and I arrived at about 25 to 9 only to find the church closed. A key holder arrived at 8.50am as the snow began to fall. Inside we found that all the chairs had been moved around and the band's microphone and music stands pushed into a corner. It was after 9am before we could get started but with a depleted line-up. Covid had hit some band members so we were down to four people; my wife and another woman on vocals, an 80 something year old woman on piano (really lovely person but now becoming very deaf!) and me on bass. While we were running through the songs the sound guys were trying to work out why there was loud crackling noise through the monitor speaker and attempting to change a cable feeding one of our large television screens which kept flashing on and off. Pianist was a little unsure of how to start "By Faith" (Getty's song) and the vocalists couldn't hear the piano anyway! When she started the second song, "God Sits In The Highest Place", she played a rhythm similar to "If I Were A Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof. It wasn't how I'd been doing it but I went with the flow and we got through it. In the final song, "It Is Finished (The Messiah Dies)" the pianist dropped out of the final verse leaving just two vocals and me! Somehow it worked and we got through the two services - 9.30 & 11am - relatively well. By the time the second service started the snow was ankle deep and the congregation was down in numbers. We have two services because our church is small and there isn't room for everyone at the same time - a nice problem to have. My job was to keep everyone together so it was "hit the root note every chord, on time, and fill as necessary". I think it is easier to play in a full band where any fluffed notes can be hidden but when you are one of the few you have to get it right. Playing in church is an education. If you can play there you can play anywhere!
  18. They are sometimes a bit OTT but they get the message across!
  19. I see Amazon is making a stand against Visa for their recent increases in transaction fees. Amazon will no longer accept payment via Visa credit cards after 19th January 2022. I know of a couple of local small businesses who no longer have payment by credit card because of the fees. Let's hope Amazon can force Visa to lower its charges. Visa's value on the stock exchange dropped with the announcement.
  20. Chain Reaction were taken over by Wiggle and I believe Wiggle are now part of some large conglomerate! Always had great service from both sites for my cycling stuff.
  21. Amazon is my first port of call for anything I'm thinking of buying - except food. They have a huge selection on line and their delivery times are super fast - even without Prime. We have an Amazon depot just about eight miles away and I have not heard anyone who works there complain about their conditions. I first used them after a trip to London several years ago. I spotted a handy camera tripod in a shop on Tottenham Court Road but the £29.99 price tag put me off. I checked with Amazon and the identical tripod was £9.99! Guess where I bought it? Super markets saw off your individual Butcher, Fishmonger, clothing shops etc. and out of town shopping centres have hit the high street. It is the way things are. Amazon is also the shopping outlet for many small businesses who attract sales via that medium. All my Christmas shopping will be through Amazon as I hate fighting through the high street and finding a very poor selection and indifferent "assistants".
  22. I don't understand why wood is so expensive - it does actually grow on trees! Good news that the guitars are to be made in the UK. I am getting really fed up of everything being made in the far east. All of my grandchildren's toys are made in China and trying to source any electrical gadgets not made in China is near impossible. I've just bought a new push chair for my latest grand daughter and was delighted to learn that it was made in Keighly, Yorkshire! Most of the top of the range bicycles are made in either Taiwan or China (all very well made) but I was pleased to learn that my bicycle, Italian Bianchi, will be made in Italy again from next August. I wish Chowny all the best. I had an SWB-1 for a while but had to sell it because of my back problems. The bass was just a little too heavy for comfort. So, if they can lighten them a bit (Alder wood is lighter) and get the neck dive sorted I would certainly be interested in a Made in UK bass - in natural wood - not painted, and with black hardware.
  23. *In April 2021 we moved from Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire to Shropshire for family reasons.
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