bass guitars

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
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Andrew Fryer
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bass guitars

Post by Andrew Fryer » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:27 pm

We have an excellent bassist at our uke group, but when he's on a fag break or late or away, his absence is sorely missed, so I was wondering about learning bass guitar myself in order to stand in occasionally. I suspect it will destroy my fingernails. But if not there are a couple of kits availale from Gear4music that include a 15W bass amp. Both very similar for £120 and £130, one "LA bass" (black and white, a colour-scheme I don't like) with a set of humbuckers and another "Chicago bass" (all black - nice) with two sets of pickups, but the front set are not humbuckers. I'm not sure if the difference matters or not. If they are only cheap humbuckers on the LA, maybe I should buy the Chicago and replace its front pickup with good humbuckers? I could buy 2nd hand from e - b a y, but then piecing together a kit of stuff would be harder. What do you think? I might also look out for a slightly shorter scale too.
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doug
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Re: bass guitars

Post by doug » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:49 pm

Have you checked out the Kala U-bass?
If you play a regular bass guitar, I would recommend nylon tape-wound strings. They're not quite as 'aggressive' on your nails as are regular strings, and I think they sound "softer".....more like an upright bass.
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Andrew Pohlman
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Re: bass guitars

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:03 pm

The simple answer is to use a pick, that way you can use normal bass strings. And I recommend a short scale bass which will make the transition from guitar to bass much more easy. I own a stereo short scale bass from Carvin. It has beautiful piano like bass tones. I played that instrument semi-professionally for a decade.
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Andrew Fryer
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Re: bass guitars

Post by Andrew Fryer » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:49 pm

I'll have to ask our resident bassist tomorrow night. I had emailed him, but his ISP is useless.
A few of them at the club have got Kala U-Basses and the equivalent, but apart from being shown around when new, I notice they never get played, and I'm not convinced. I can't remember which ones are electric, and some of them have got horrible sticky rubber strings and you have to use talcum powder to avoid friction burns. I don't really mean a very short-scale bass, just a 7/8 or something: I know you can also get long-scales - our bassist used to own a Vox ultra-long scale and regretted selling it.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

razz
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Re: bass guitars

Post by razz » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:37 pm

I play a bass guitar regularly. My nails get a little rough but I have yet to break a nail playing bass.

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Michael K7
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Re: bass guitars

Post by Michael K7 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:04 am

I second the suggestion of using a pick. Shorter scale will be a little easier to play, but is not essential IMO.
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HNLim
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Re: bass guitars

Post by HNLim » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:11 am

Maybe you can consider a guitar like my 14-string harp guitar. Killing 3 birds with one stone(guitar).

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: bass guitars

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:10 am

I'd be one of those dead birds, I think.

Well, I had two discussions last night about humbuckers and stuff, first with a man who fancied himself as knowledgable, although I doubted it, then later and slightly drunker with my bassist friend who contradicted most of what the first man said. We had a long talk about the joy of his most recent purchase, a Nanyo Bass Collection black Speakeasy 4, made in Japan, to which he had added £150's-worth of pickups and had the action lowered. Then I found out it needed one of those old-fashioned 9V batteries, and I didn't like it so much after that.

Now Googling has made me confused - I don't know if it was modern or an original SB310. Maybe I should have looked at the damn thing!
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

malc laney
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Re: bass guitars

Post by malc laney » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:44 pm

Not another instrument !! Stay away from keyboards , and everything will be fine.A pretty standard fender jazz or precision copy should do the trick , no batteries! Most people could not tell Jaco Pastorius from John Entwistle , most uke players will be o.k with a rhythmic throb under their caterwauling.
As a !local! i would be interested to see this band especially doing a gig with the Balham Big Kidz [the ones who play in Ramsden road]

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Andrew Fryer
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Re: bass guitars

Post by Andrew Fryer » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:29 pm

malc laney wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:44 pm
Not another instrument !! Stay away from keyboards , and everything will be fine.A pretty standard fender jazz or precision copy should do the trick , no batteries! Most people could not tell Jaco Pastorius from John Entwistle , most uke players will be o.k with a rhythmic throb under their caterwauling.
As a !local! i would be interested to see this band especially doing a gig with the Balham Big Kidz [the ones who play in Ramsden road]
I agree (although I really should buy one keyboard) - my friend will lend me a bass amp, so I think, since it's for nothing but practice so I can stand-in, I should buy the cheapest bass I can find, unless he wants to lend me a spare.
We play quite a lot of jazz ranging from If it Ain't Got That Swing to Left Bank II, so the bassist's contribution is not totally straightforward.
Our gigs are very rare - our leader lives in Kent, so the radius of activity is limited. If you've got a uke, join us at the Lewis Club, Lewisham General Hospital, Tuesdays 8PM-1030 followed by the Fox and Firkin.
My mate's band has a gig at foalfarm, Biggin Hill on Sunday I think. I don't know what his band's called, but one of the acts is Tone-Def Leppard, if you fancy that kind of thing, lol!

The Balham one you are talking about is the bowling club? I used to play bridge there on Tuesdays til I got sick of it. The uke group meets there every other Sunday night, which seems like a silly time to me. The easiest way for me to get there is to get a 45 bus until it kicks me out where it terminates on the south circular then walk the last mile, but I don't fancy that on sunday nights in the winter. One day I'll prolly go, but not just yet. There's also Wednesday nights in Charing X Rd, but I've never been there either.
1975 Calatayud y Gisbert, Yamaha CG131S.

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Gorn
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Re: bass guitars

Post by Gorn » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:08 am

I've played bass guitar for a very long time before starting classical guitar. The difference between long and medium/short scale is not as big as you probably might think. But: the E-string of most cheap shortys sounds dreadful. Long scales are more common, you get a wider range of strings...
I recommend to play a Jazz Bass copy or a bass with a second pickup close to the bridge, e.g. "PJ"-type. If you want to produce a sound going into the direction of an upright bass, you should mix both pickups. It doesn't work with a neck pickup, only. But: If you like country-style-sound better, go for a Precision-type, you don't need a bridge pickup for that (but your bass can have one, of course).
I'm sure you'll find a couple of affordable basses on e - b a y or in big internet stores (just have seen in the shop beginning with letter "T" a starter set incl. amp, strap and tuner for £ 175,-).
O.K. - playing fingerstyle bass will break long nails, that's out of question. It doesn't make a big difference if you use flatwound or roundwound strings. If you manage to use a pick without touching the strings by your fingertips simultaneously it will not have the sound that you might expect. I've used to play pick + touching by tips but that breaks nails anyway. So you have to decide:
• Play guitar without nails
• stop to play guitar when having a bass gig
• have a bass sound which you probably do not like but the audience doesn't hear any difference, because nobody cares the bass sound
• buy an UKE-bass and get used to that horrible sticky rubber bands they call strings - i have to admit that I've never seen anyone playing this instrument on stage, but the sound in demo-videos sounds very nice.

Peskyendeavour
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Re: bass guitars

Post by Peskyendeavour » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:27 am

This thread prompted slightly different line of thought... As classical player, wanting to start learning to play with a pick, what is the best way or book or method to do so? (As seen recommended for moving onto bass/steel string here)
I'd quite like to learn the pick...

PeteJ
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Re: bass guitars

Post by PeteJ » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:42 am

I don't think you need a book, just a pick. There are various ways of holding it. The trick is to bring your right hand down onto the bridge, (elbow further over than classical players usually have) so that you can use the back of your hand for damping, and so that your arm is well placed for the strumming movement. There's not a lot to say about it that you won't find out from practicing.

malc laney
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Re: bass guitars

Post by malc laney » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:01 am

Has Andrew in a sneaky way , opened the door away from righteousness , picks ...bass guitar ... violin .... next he'll get us all playing Uke !!! this might be the deal breaker , as we'd have to find a way of getting to Ladywell [lewisham] and what with Brexit , the passports don't come cheap.

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Kent
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Re: bass guitars

Post by Kent » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:13 pm

The new Taylor acoustic gs mini-e bass guitar features D'Addario nylon core strings. Combined with a shorter scale design, it may be the easiest and most playable bass available.
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