Friday, October 27, 2006

My one year anniversary with bass

Jazz bass: 1 pot © Andrew D. Barron, 10/2006

Here's a shot of my bass with the pickup modification. The lower left chrome piece has two black circles where tone and volume potentiometers once lived.
Ad hoc bass rig, first show, Davidson's Distillery, Renofailure, NV©Andrew D. Barron, 10/29/05
It's Friday before Halloween. I learned to play bass when a guy named Jim quit one year ago. I had three days to figure it out. That first night we played at Davidson's. I assembled my Dad's old Mustang bass I had owned for a couple of years. I had aimed to refinish it for heirloom's sake, so 53 weeks ago it was in pieces. It was the bass my dad bought when I was one year old and played in bars around Chico until 1991. Anyway, in 2003, I was jammiing with a friend Kevin Mass, who was going to learn to play bass. Funny how things turn out, cause Kevin barely held the thing. (Just a note, if you learn a wind instrument, pick up a string instrument at the same time.)

Back to the first show. My friend and former bandmate Joseph Martini (banjo) came out with his wife. I can't remember the last time he's been to a show. Anyway, I borrowed (another former bandmate) Luke Hoffman's 1x15 cabinet, which failed during the second set. Then I played through Adam's pedal steel amp, a Peavey Nashville 15. We made it through.

But the next day I spent nearly $2000 on a new bass rig, the one I am using still. Shannon at Bizarre Guitar gave me a reasonable price on 1x15, 2x10, and a 400 watt head, all Fender PRO stuff. I have numerous compliments on the overall good sound of these speakers. I had some trouble with the Mustang over the next few month an purchased my Jazz bass by January 27, 2006.

I didn't imagine things would take off this way for me. Playing bass has put me in touch with elusive musical qualities like tone, soul, groove, and taste. If someone told me playing electric bass would sharpen my musicianship, I'd have scoffed. The proof is in the pickin', which I can't honestly judge. But I think I'm better.

Happy anniversary to me and my bass. Nothing I have ever taken on has given me so much for so little.

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