Just some quick notes on this:
- four tracks of bass
- slap bass attempting to replicate a bass and snare drum
- palm-muted and thumbed bass for the bass line
- some chords in there
- the lead line
- I play the wrong instrument to be in a brass band, so I had to make some adjustments
- I'm a transplant - please forgive any trespasses. I just heard the song and tried to make it work as a solo bass piece
- Happy Mardi Gras!
Nope, I'm not shipping jobs overseas. However, Wiley Publishing recently licensed my book Teach Yourself VISUALLY Bass Guitar to receive a Chinese translation and publish, expected some time next year. Honestly, I just want to see what it ends up looking like. I'm also hoping for a press tour - not likely, but I can dream.
For the most part, I'm here and functional in my new home of New Orleans. Moving a ton of musical gear is never an easy feat, but compressing it into a smaller area than before is truly a challenge. On the plus side, I managed to turn up three or four pedal power adapters I'd forgotten about - that pedal board will be much happier with less batteries now.
Now that everything is back together, I should be able to get the Playboy Psychonauts EP uploaded to Bandcamp for sale to the general public within the next week or so. Still tweaking the files a bit, but everything else should be ready to go.
And Victor Wooten is in town next week, with a bonus Anthony Wellington clinic earlier in the day, at Howlin' Wolf. Gotta manage my work schedule.
And, of course, gotta find a gig now. So I'll be hitting the streets - let me know if you hear anything, okay? And if you're just running across this blog for the first time, feel free to peruse sound samples at my SoundCloud site.
No sound samples coming from this one, but that's not really the point. This bass represents a triumph, a huge success. Make a note of it. And hope it doesn't drop through any holes in space or something. If you lose the bass, you don't get any cake.
Many months ago, I sold my Digitech Bass Whammy pedal to some lucky soul in Detroit. It was a cool effect, but I just didn't use it that much. I didn't really expect the effect to come back into my life (and that particular pedal hasn't - just the overall effect), but Reason's Polar has done just that. Check out the video to see exactly what's going on there. And that's why Rack Extensions make Reason so much more fantastic. It finally allows 3rd-party developers into Reason's walled garden, and I'm having loads of fun playing with what's now available. The best part is that, combined with my SoftStep, I have the Whammy effects back (without messing with a finicky pedal). So very cool.
I picked up the Electro-Harmonix Steel Leather pedal more on a whim (with available store credit) than anything else. Bassists usually emphasize compression (making the notes more level overall volume-wise) over expansion (making louder notes louder), and I'm not needing to cut through any metal-crazed mixes any time soon (the advertised reason for the pedal's existence). I'm finding that a little of the pedal (9 o'clock on both knobs) brings out a nice presence with tapping, though - just a little extra shine. And it's tiny - my gig bag is getting a little too packed at this point. Good stuff.
Please tell me why we don't have a sample for this instrument yet. I'm intensely curious as to the tonal properties of early-80s-era injection-molded plastic casing.
Also, since there are no tuning knobs on the bridge, I'm guessing it has a regular headstock. Which is a shame. Given the vintage of this instrument, it should feature a headless design. And be used to play synth-based pop. At all times.
Aside from the fine clinic to be taken in (and it was - great insight into tone and playing as a unit), part of the reason I traveled to Ft. Wayne Monday evening for Bryan Beller's bass clinic was the fact that I knew I'd be missing the Indianapolis stop for his band the Aristocrats. Beller is a fine bassist (from assorted Zappa family members to Steve Vai to Dethklok and more), and his writing and lessons are nothing short of inspiring. Nevertheless, a poorly scheduled business trip takes me to Chicago, a large city that surprisingly has no Aristocrats stop on this leg of the tour.
So, please - go see this show at Birdy's on Monday, May 21st. Not only for the amazing music and great show, but because I'll be kicking myself for not making it. Here's some sound:
Here's the website:
Have at it, and enjoy!
Take the 5-string bass you've been playing for a decade and restring it with a high C instead of a low B. Nothing groundbreaking here - it's good enough for Matthew Garrison, Steve Swallow, and Janek Gwizdala (among others). But man, it's messing with my head. Having the extra high end makes for easier chording and more defined melody lines, but I'm still getting used to the positions. And being a fourth or fifth off at random times is never fun. Still, I like the setup, and it actually seems to be better for my Stingray 5 - a lighter gauge with the higher string agrees more with the action on the bass, and it's much easier to play and maintain.
So I'm going to try using it in the new production Songs in the Key of Blues for Q Artistry, opening tonight in Irvington. Should be fun!
If you saw me roaming around downtown Indianapolis or leaning over the railings near the White River with a portable audio recorder late last year, there was a very good reason for me to be doing so. I was recording background and foley sounds for Catherine Crouch's new short film A Pirate in Alphabet City. She was also gracious enough to use some incidental music I composed. Cast and crew got to see the final product last Sunday, and I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out. What surprised me was how much easier it is to put music in video than when I first started researching the subject years ago. No more messing with SMPTE code - just play along to the video (I did all of my work in Reason) and nudge the clips as necessary.
The movie should be hitting the festival circuit soon, and hopefully I'll get to do more work like this in the future.