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FDC484950

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  1. FDC484950

    Does anyone actually LIKE jazz?

    As others have said, jazz is a broad set of styles. It may also be argued that its heyday was up until the mid-late 70’s - whilst there has been a lot of great jazz music since, it’s not really in the consciousness of many musicians. Fundamentally, jazz is improvised music - this can mean playing a head (melody), taking solos and the head again to finish, or the whole thing is made up on the spot with little or no reference points. This is both very liberating and potentially terrifying; despite what some may think, good improvisers are doing anything but playing randomly. However, with the tools of reharmonisation and taking the music “outside” (so basically playing a line that belongs to a different harmonic context over the current chord progression), it can get quite complex and require a bit of understanding and appreciation, and especially listening. No wonder that the default response is either indifference or active dislike. Being primarily instrumental is a turn-off for many (but not an issue in film, TV or computer games). The average attention span for listening to or watching anything has waned significantly too, making long improvisational music even less likely to be tolerated. Certainly in mainstream (and even specialist) media, jazz doesn’t really exist and hasn’t done so for decades, so if musicians have to seek it out, get a grasp of what is going on and then embark on a lifetime’s study to be able to play it well, no wonder there’s little appetite for it amongst the general public. It is and always has been a cottage industry in music (with a few successes sales-wise). One of the issues with the way jazz and related music is played is the level of taste and restraint of the musicians. As others here have said, just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should! This applies even to the “greats” - Miles Davis and John Coltrane were as guilty as anyone else in this regard. It should not, however, be navel-gazing, apologetic, “safe” or that polite, either! The point of music is to communicate - it is an art form after all. Self-indulgence is a fine line between expression and dull, dull, dull. I’m not convinced that going to music school to learn jazz produces great musicians - there is the danger that you end up with a photocopy of a photocopy at some point the paper will be blank. If I do listen to modern jazz, I often fail to hear much that is novel, ear-grabbing or “the sound of surprise”. But without opportunities to hear it live, how would anyone learn it? An interesting question to ask is - would I still listen to jazz if I didn’t play an instrument? If so, how would it sound? Although I’ve listened to a fair amount over the years, I’m really not sure I would have listened to it (or liked much of it) if I didn’t play bass...
  2. FDC484950

    Bean9seventy - the first UK funk / slap bassist?

    I’m leaning toward AI chatbot. Actually scrap that, I’ve had conversations with a chat agent that made more sense than this thread 😆
  3. FDC484950

    Warwick basses - when did they up their game?

    One thing that Warwick do better than almost any other manufacturer IMHO is getting the B string to sound super-tight on a 34” scale. I never once thought I needed an extended scale instrument and recently had the chance to compare like for like with a Dingwall - to my ears the Warwick was better. It could be down to several factors, but the angled headstock and bridge/embedded tail piece are, I think the main reason.
  4. FDC484950

    Warwick basses - when did they up their game?

    Maybe you got lucky. I’ve had over 15 over the years and I know how to set up instruments. The fours are easier but personally I don’t think some of their laminated necks are rigid enough for 5- and 6-strings
  5. FDC484950

    Warwick basses - when did they up their game?

    I’ve had a ton of Warwick from the original 80’s paddle headstock up to one made just last year. I don’t think they’ve upped their game or had any particular rough patches in terms of build quality. Personally I wasn’t impressed with their move to non-replaceable truss rods as it means sanding off the fingerboard on an NT model, and they don’t seem very reliable. The barrel jack socket is rubbish and failed on every Warwick I owned apart from the latest one. Neck profiles varied over time but generally th pre 2000-ish models were slimmer. The current custom shop models have (I think) 3 different profiles on offer. I’ve moved away from them as a brand as I never found them very good at being set up with a low action - and without any other neck reinforcement some necks develop a warp or a lot of relief near the headstock. In terms of craftsmanship, I’ve always though they wer very consistent.
  6. FDC484950

    Courier size and weight

    Be very careful about sending a bass by courier. Not many couriers actually insure guitars/basses, and those that do generally insist on a double-walled box and the instrument has to be in a hard case. Of the couriers I’ve tried UPS seems to be the most accommodating, but after a bit of digging the maximum transit cover they offer is £1000. Parcelforce does NOT insure musical instruments - no matter what sites like Interparcel might say.
  7. FDC484950

    What do you value about your local music shop?

    Reading the posts on this thread, the consensus seems to be that having the stock that the internet offers, at internet prices are the most important factors. Running a shop is an expensive business - aside from ludicrous rates in most towns and business rates, providing even a reasonable amount of stock results in a pretty heavy line of credit. Whilst there are a number of tales of great social interaction on here, that doesn’t add up to profits. Another prevailing fact is that most, of not all local music shops have closed down or are closing down. What remain are the niche specialist shops such as the Gallery and Bass Direct - plus a handful of other multi-instrument shops. The fact that fewer people play musical instruments full stop did for a lot of them, plus trying to compete with the internet (whilst it’s great to sell a guitar in terms of turnover, you won’t stay in business long price matching some box shifter and making £25 profit), has sent musical instrument shops dwindle to where they naturally need to be today. I’ll leave the customer service element to one side, but I think it’s true to say almost all music shops have been set up and run by enthusiasts rather than professional business people, probably within a crippling line of credit either at the bank or with manufacturers, so maybe a lot of shops were doomed to fail anyway?
  8. FDC484950

    Luthiery is not yet dead

    If it needs to be electrified will they install soapbars?
  9. When I was a pro I never worked with a drummer who wasn’t absolutely sympathetic to the song. No “real” pro would ever get away with such nonsense. In any proper professional situation the first incidence of overplaying might result in some short words - don’t do that again, second time would be pack up and off you go. Same with playing in between sessions or songs in rehearsal (i.e. won’t shut up). There are loads of fantastic musicians to choose from in professional circles and a bad reputation travels faster than a fart in an astronaut suit.
  10. FDC484950

    Bridges - Do They Make a Difference

    This doesn’t change the tone or brightness, but an Alembic/Warwick-style bridge and embedded tailpiece, together with an angled headstock, sure makes a difference with a low B string. The defined angles between the nut and bridge and their respective anchor points helps to provide a proper bend at each end of the vibrating part of the string, although a tapered string probably makes as much of a difference. I’m not convinced that through body stringing is good for strings with the sharp angle from the saddle to the body, especially with vintage-style plate bridges. Extra mass in the bridge and different materials may affect the tone but in my experience, it’s quite marginal - different pickups and especially different strings have a far more pronounced effect.
  11. Any stringed instrument has many different ways to make a sound - standard finger style, use the thumb, tap, slap and pop, pick, strum, bowed, plucked etc. Each one gives a different attack, sustain and overall envelope to the sound. Less common are techniques such as using a volume pedal to cut off the initial attack and create a “swell”, or change the sustain part of the envelope with an eBow or similar. These are all tonal colours to add to your palette. However, new techniques may require a bit (or a lot) of work to become a useable part of your technique, so to the OP - nothing wrong with the thumb, if you find it doesn’t float your boat, woodshed it for a few months - you may be surprised. Regarding live performance - it’s not really relevant to a particular technique if the soundman turns everything to mush, and certainly no reason to not try to play to the best of your ability, and with as much variety, as is appropriate.
  12. FDC484950

    Warwick Streamer Stage 1 6-string PLEASE CLOSE

    Gone to Bass Direct.
  13. FDC484950

    Why isn't this system used by more Bass builders

    1. OK. If you find a ~1cm wide piece of metal ugly that you can hardly see when playing then - whatever! 2. It’s the weakest point of the neck when there is a truss rod adjuster present. Instruments with angled headstock usually include a volute to provide more strength in that area. Fender don’t actively thicken the neck at that point but because the headstock is parallel with the neck but set back the truss rod nut area is thicker and so stronger. I can’t comment on your Gus instruments as I’ve never played one. EDIT: looking at the Gus website they lay a skin of carbon from the headstock to the body, so probably don’t need to strengthen the end of the neck. Hardly relevant to every other bass and guitar made (excepting perhaps the Parker guitar range, with a similar idea, perhaps). 3. Have you used a bass with this type of adjuster? Not sure how asking a random selection of bass makers is relevant, other than for ease of fitting , which isn’t really an issue as for most Instruments with a fingerboard, a channel is routed out of the neck, the rod fitted and the fingerboard is glued on top, usually with a piece of wood above the rod to lie flush with the neck before the board is fitted. Which end the nut is fitted isn’t going to make much difference. If Fender and Musicman can do it, how hard can it be? In answer to your question, why not? It’s dead easy to adjust the truss rod wearing the bass without fiddling around with an Allen key stuck up the end of the neck, removing a cover and most likely shifting strings out of the way.
  14. FDC484950

    Why isn't this system used by more Bass builders

    1. It’s not ugly if the fingerboard isn’t cut out as per the OP pic - the newsest Fender Elites have it and it looks fine. It’s pretty small anyway so not noticeable from a few feet (as if it mattered) Additional to 2. is that a thick volute is no longer necessary at the headstock to accommodate the truss rod nut whe it’s at the body end. Having had this on both a Stingray and a Sadowsky it’s so much better and easier to use than the headstock-end version there’s no contest. 3. You could fit this style of truss on a through neck, albeit with a bit of extra carving.
  15. FDC484950

    Warwick Streamer Stage 1 6-string PLEASE CLOSE

    Ok, final price drop to £1350 and it’s going to Bass Direct at the end of the week if there are no takers.
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