The Ace of Bass

I’ve not updated the blog for a while, that doesn’t mean that I’m not making progress it just means the progress I am making is too mind numbingly boring to write about, nonetheless I shall try (and there’s an opening sentence that’s GUARANTEED to raise my readership figures).

Mostly I’ve been recording bass guitar parts. I’ve also been working with a violinist but I’m going to save that for the next post and instead thrill you with bass guitar information only.

I’m trying to be methodical as I work my way through, which goes against the grain somewhat. In what is either very organised or very sad (probably both), I’ve created a nice wall chart (essentially an excuse to get my colouring pens out).

A yellow box means ‘this song needs this instrument’, a black line through the yellow box means it’s done. So as you can see I’m getting there. Progress is slow but steady and each black line through a yellow box takes me slightly closer to finishing the album which I’ve now worked on for 9 months.

Having dazzled you with my exciting chart I will now move back to the bass guitar. I used to love playing bass in my school band, but these days I find recording it a pretty torturous affair. The drums and bass guitar hold everything together, if they are rhythmically a bit sloppy the whole song sounds loose and basically a bit crap. If they are together and on the money, it can make the whole recording sound much tighter. I am a decent bass player, but prone to lapses of concentration which can make the whole process a little frustrating.

Out of interest I looked up the following article to see how many of the criteria of a ‘good bassist’ I meet

Well it’s not a bad start, I do actually own a bass AND I have somewhere to practice, 2-0 to me. But then it all starts going a bit wrong … I’ve never had a bass guitar book, or a teacher, I don’t know what all the notes are called, I haven’t researched music theory, what the hell is a triad? I don’t think I’ve ever played a scale on the bass, in fact I’ve never played anything on bass that I didn’t write myself, I’ve never played music written for other instruments, and is there really such a thing as a bass pick (plectrum)? I just use my guitar plectrum to play.

But it’s not just the fact that I use a guitar plectrum, apparently even using an official bass one is something to be ashamed of… “For people who play with picks, people who use their fingers may ridicule you!” Wow, what kind of evil bastard musicians do these people hang around with? Should any fellow bass players be thinking of ridiculing me for this, I would like to point out that your bass playing will most likely go rapidly downhill once I poke you in the eye with a guitar plectrum 🙂

This also frightens me quite a bit… “Always ALWAYS warm up before playing. Failing to do so may result in permanent hand injuries!”

Right. Well today I’m going to the studio to record some more bass, acoustic guitar and piano, I guess I’d better run there in order to warm up and avoid any bass related hand maiming, wish me luck.


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