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Everything posted by TheLowDown

  1. I suppose it depends how the band formed. If it was originally one singer who initially aimed to sing to some random backing band or session musicians, then they would have to use their own name to advertise their 'brand'. They would have been new to the music business, so as time went on they may have learnt enough to realise that maybe they want to have a regular backing band for stability. It's not always about ego, but marketing.
  2. It's upstairs in the loft, a bit knackered now but still plays last time I played it.
  3. You don't need to go beyond the 12th because it repeats. I think it's a good idea, to begin with, to go up and down each string singing each note as accurately as you can. Some people name the sharps going up and the flats going down, and others just say "A B" for A#/Bb. After that I would play the major, natural minor and dominant/Mixolydian scales from the lowest possible note on the B string to the 12th on the C string, singing the scale degree(just say ....3...4...5...6...7....1....2.......3....) as you go. Pay attention to where the various root notes are on the neck so that you can see where all the intervals are related to the root. This helps to not only enable you to see the 6 string bass as not just a 4 or 5 string with an extra string or 2, but gets you out of the root to root thinking. It really helps for you to see where all the intervals are on the neck so that you can truly know the fretboard. One thing I also used to do was to put on a drum track find and play a random note such as Ab as quickly as possible going from one Ab to another Ab randomly. Then do the same with another note. I would do the above every day for a few months, and then after that maybe refresh every so often. Use the floating thumb technique.
  4. @[email protected][email protected] I thought I emphasised the point about the backend of the music. Effects may be useful for things like slap and other circus exhibits that are key part of idle home noodlings, showing off in record shops, and the w#*kery section in some bands, but are much less effective for the rhythm section. Janek is more known for his solo stuff which is very much in the foreground.
  5. I prefer a nice clean organic sound, but for the last few weeks I had considered adding some multiFX just to see how much I can make my sound even worse as well as scratching a curious itch. I don't think effects goes well with bass unless you're playing rock/punk/metal and fighting for your life for any leftover morsels of sonic space. I think effects are much more useful with guitars that are more front-end instruments. It feels quite wrong adding effects to a backend instrument like drums or bass, akin to having puppeteers in fancy dress.
  6. In our defence, none of those littered items are British. The fact that there's a sunset makes it even less likely.
  7. The thumb should only be used as a pivot and a sort of stabiliser for the hand, and there should not be any pressure applied by the thumb to the back of the neck. In fact, it's quite possible to play many basslines even without the thumb touching the back of the neck at all, albeit not with 100% success.
  8. I have the Snark ST2 clipon but I never use it. It's advertised as being fast and accurate, and it's definitely neither of those. I tune manually first and then check with a phone app.
  9. I prefer Maggot Brain (Funkadelic)
  10. Boss GT-1B seems decent. It's got most everything apart from rhythms, and with better quality samples than the more artificial sounding Zooms.
  11. I've never had a 5 or 6 string without the problem with the low B string. The heavier the gauge the worse the problem gets. There is some theory that the strings have to be in balance. So the gauges selected for 5 string that work 'ideally' on that must be rebalanced to work on 6 string or 7 string or even 4 string. In other words for the 6 string for example you can't just add a C string and expect it to work ideally using the same gauges on B-G.
  12. A lot of Smashing Pumpkins are laid back.
  13. Usually when there is wrist pain it's because it's an uncomfortable angle on the fretting arm or the plucking arm, often by having the bass too low slung or the neck being almost parallel to the floor. Painful issues can arise if you're using your fingers with the wrist at a bent angle. The wrist must be as straight as possible at all times when plucking and fretting. Lighter gauge strings can also help with fretting, but some people don't like the less full tone. My guess is that they get you playing songs quickly is because they think that's what most beginners want to do and to make it fun. Some people just want to play songs and that's all, just like with guitar. They're not interested in self improvement except where it serves them to play songs that they know. I would get the basics such as posture, stance, where to place your thumb and fingers for plucking and fretting before you begin a song. The basics that you develop early on will help help to minimise future injures. I think it's much better to develop good habits early on rather than waste time later on undoing bad habits and dealing with carpel tunnel and tendonitis. Songs are more of a fun day activity, but don't do much in the long term for increasing skill, especially if that's all the beginner wants to do IMO.
  14. What I do is search ebay and Discogs for what they sold for to get a rough idea. In the olden days it used to be Record Collector mag. Never ever sell to a 2nd hand record shop. Never ever ever.
  15. The neck should be around 45 degrees so that your wrist is not at such an uncomfortable angle. I don't know anything about what bass you're using or how you're holding it, so at a guess there may be neck dive, which means that I would invest in good wide leather strap that has rough material on the inside to grip well. The more it grips the less effort you use to hold the bass in a comfortable position, which means that you can focus on playing and have less fatigue over a long play session. Try using the simandl technique where your little finger and ring finger are pressed together to give extra strength to your fretting. The nerves in the little finger and ring finger are joined anyway, so this makes them less independent from each other than other fingers. But yeah a lot of it is just building up the required muscles and actions in your hand an fingers.
  16. The only one I've made enquiries with in in the recent pat are Andertons, but they sound like stingebags. Up to around £150 they give you half value of what they think it's worth, £150- £!500 they will give you two thirds, and above £1500 they give three quarters.
  17. As long as a can get anything similar to a p-bass-like sound I don't care. Anything too bridgey or jacoish gets returned or sold, but I've never had to do that - except once when I wanted to try a stingray type bass - because the placement of the pickups near to the neck determines that aspect of the tone. Other than that I don't go out of my way to get any specific sound. All my gear is inexpensive for what it is and does the job.
  18. My plucking hand thumb 'floats' up and down, and will rest lightly on the string immediately below(in pitch) but never on the pickup. I try to position my thumb as a sort of "free wandering agent" because it's tempting to anchor the thumb, so this mindset avoids that. My thumb is always muting all of the strings below on 4 and 5/6 string. If I'm plucking the C string then the base of my thumb is muting the B and E string. From the base of my thumb to the tip of my thumb is always pressed lightly against all the lower strings at all times. I'm not sure how that would be achieved. Perhaps you're holding your elbow out too far. The problem may stem from your posture(best not to sit low or slouch while playing).
  19. They're extremely niche. I would hazard a guess that 80% or probably much more of basses sold are 4 string. 5 strings are a fun instrument to play, but when high street shops, already struggling, have to balance the books and consider what will sell and what wont, a 5 or 6 string is unlikely to be considered high on the list. They're more likely to get more of what will sell.
  20. I think you're spot on the mark. It's why I don't bother with expensive basses. Lots of people mistakenly judge quality by price tag or brand name, totally oblivious to the fact that they're getting screwed most of the time. People believe that if they pay a lot for something, it must be good lol. It always pays to do extensive research before purchases and to be aware of the market.
  21. It will pass. It sounds like it's not the basses you're dissatisfied with but something closer to home. Sometimes if I'm whizzed off with life or people or whatever, I find I will 'transfer' it onto something else and then blame the stinky poo out of it. "The garden looks like crap", "the tone on my basses really don't do it for me anymore", "family are doing my head in", blah.
  22. I bought an amp head from Thomann recently and they supplied a UK plug in addition to a 2 pronged plug.
  23. I'm one of those who suggested that, but you would be barking up the wrong tree if you believe that it was in any way a "defensive reaction". The purpose of the post, given the OP and subsequent comments, was to remind that there is a lot more to music than perfect chops, and people should not feel so defeated. At the end of the day, it's not about how good you are, but about how much you enjoy making music. It's not a competition.
  24. I recall seeing a film one time about 2 competing pianists. One of the pianists was "brilliant" and technically perfect, but his playing lacked feeling (the film was almost like a metaphor for the technically proficient but sometimes robotic classicist vs the improvising jazzer). While the other pianist often made mistakes and always felt inferior to the technically perfect one. The latter was the one that was always preferred because he had something to say, whereas the former was more like a robot. It just goes to show that it's rarely about being perfect, but about having something to say in your playing. Music is expression. If you'e got nothing musically to say, it doesn't matter how good your chops are.
  25. Each day I practise one finger per fret involving shifts on the fretted so that I have the muscle memory of where the fret is, and I always always fret almost on the fret on a fretted. Practice scales up and down the neck every day on the fretted for ear training. An exercise to do is to put the drone(ideally, a bass, cello, or sine wave) on C or whatever scale you want to us at the correct octave, switch off the lights and feel around for where you think the C is. With muscles memory, you'll have a good idea of where it is anyway so you will be able to make an approximate stab at it on the fingerboard. If you can't find it, then cheat and put the light on for a bit. Then slowly slide up the fingerboard on that string, plucking the string to hear the note every few seconds to hear where you are, always listening to the 'beats/pulses' that you hear. The slower the beats the nearer you are to a note (even if it's not in the scale), the faster the beats the further you are in no-man's land. After a while you'll hear that some notes/intervals(well, it's 2 notes that you're hearing in harmony) sound sweeter. The unison, octave, and 5th and to a lesser extent, the 4th will tend to sound slightly sweeter sounding(that's when you'll be thinking that there's got to be a note somewhere around there). Do that until you've reached the octave further up the fingerboard. I like to play in the dark because most of the time I'm trying to see with my ears. The ultimate goal should be to rely on your hearing much more than what you see on the fingerboard, but even the best will have to look at the fingerboard occasionally. Regarding strings, choose either roundwounds or flatwounds depending on which sound and feel you prefer, either brighter/rougher or duller/smoother. Some people advise against roundwounds "because they'll eat into your fretboard, man!", but it's silly advice, like being advised not to leave the house in case you get run over by a bus. I prefer SS roundwounds because it makes it easier to grip the strings to do a vibrato each time I mess up, and I prefer the tactile feel of them anyway on both fretted and fretless. Maybe in a few decades the fingerboard will start to show some wear that makes any difference whatsoever. But by that time, the bass will have long been sold or forgotten about, but I will have enjoyed playing the bass much more along the way than if I have have heeded the advice. Play with your finger tips rather than finger pads.
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