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Ever Get In A Playing Rut?

Get Out Of That Playing Rut

Playing Your Bass Guitar Scales

Greetings,

This is another one of those playing through a rut articles, Actually its just another method I use to get my self through a flat spot in my creativity. I Suppose we all come to as musicians what is referred to as flat spots in our creativity. Where you reach a certain point and for the life of you you cannot get off of it, Or cannot progress. Its like you may as well quit.Seems like you just cannot move on, Don`t feel any real improvement, Getting bored as hell playing your Bass,Wondering if you will ever be creative again.

Before you do anything drastic or like sell your bass’s ,Just know I think all musicians have been in this spot, Probably more times than some will admit, I for one, And when there you are very frustrated and not excited about your playing, Its like every time you pickup your bass the same notes and patterns come out no matter what you try to play, And you are sick of hearing them. Been there too, Now I want to share with you one of my tricks that gets me out of this rut just about 100% no fail.

But first I want to explain why some people do not get in these ruts. From my understanding and memory ,I Only got into these ruts when I was just home alone practicing for any length of time,

like no gigs not currently playing in a band  so no band practice, Musical Boredom so i find myself with my usual urges like craving music so naturally i grab a bass flip it on and bingo, The same shit comes from my fingers to my speakers.And I hate it. I just cannot move on, Every time i play same shit.

 the same licks , same patterns, over and over in my…. it must come from my mind although i dont recall thinking about it ,really dont recall even playing it on my fret board. Now I know some of you are thinking ,(“I Don’t Do That” ), But I have found out a few  players do this too sometimes.Because i have played with at least 100 guitar players in my life and i watch them they do it too.

We all have our favorite licks, What is the first few notes you play when you first pick up your bass? And I bet 85% of us play those same first few notes every time even if its to see if everything is working like amps are on checking pedals speakers etc.

The Second reason is Laziness now don’t get mad, I had to admit it too. I Found with nobody around watching me or waiting for me, I Was taking it easy on myself and playing in what I call my comfort zone,

The easy notes and licks I tend to always play.

My productive side was not challenging my lazy side to get off its ass enough. It might sound like I am over analyzing this but ,Its not as easy to put into words as it is to think about it, At least for me. And I am convinced this is most of the cause of the Rut or Flat creativity zone most of us find ourselves in from time to time.

So now I want to offer my fix for this problem. Or I should say one of my fixes cause I have tried many things, That’s how I knew this only happens at certain times as mentioned above. I am repeating my old saying that” No body is ever too good of a player  To not need to practice no body. And I must mention just because this little trick works like a champ for me does not mean it will work for you  or anyone else. I Could be a total freak like nobody else ever.

My fix or cure for this complicated syndrome is  Play my  Bass Scales, …..Yes its back to the basics.

Play Your Scales….. Play Your Scales

Hope nobody is disappointed. But this works great, Just playing simple bass scales does it every time ,Might take 5 minutes or couple hours but it works. at least for me.

And I think its the musical sound of the scales,That when i hear it, it makes me want to create music not sure as im no brain specialists But whatever makes it work im glad i found it.

The reason its so great is….. Pretty obvious but for the ones that are real dense,

First you are practicing, and Exercising  your hands this is always good. And you are helping yourself in my opinion thats always better that giving up and taking a time out.

Maybe time outs are good for some, But i have always had a hard time of leaving a problem i know i should be working on.I Have been that way for ever, If I have something to tackle or something is broke I need to fix it now or it drives me nuts, Same goes with my music, My relationships, My cars , Everything there is probably some kind of isim they call this but I don`t know the name of it. But do give it a try next time your having a playing rut or a flat spot in creativity. Just play some scales you need to anyway right? Do you know your Bass Guitar Scales ? Many people may have forgot how the Bass Guitar Scales are fingered, Its easy to forget there are lots of them. Or Maybe you never got the chance to learn your Bass Guitar Scales. Either way no problem i have you covered go to this link and you can even download a P.D.F. of bass guitar scales free of charge you do not even have to leave your email which is cool hey?  Bass Scales Here

                   Stay Low  ThePlayer


Do You Use Sunn Bass Amps?

Do You Use Sunn Bass Amps ?

If You Do Here is some interesting information I scraped from the internet I find it a bit more interesting Because these factories are in my neighborhood,  But still a very cool and interesting read if your a fan of the Sunn product line, Or even if you are familiar with the song Louie Louie or the band The Kingsman they were also from the Portland ,Oregon Area.  So Yeah Enjoy…

In early 1963, the Kingsmen, a band based in Portland, Oregon, became known for their hit version of the song “Louie, Louie”.

After its hit single, the band soon embarked on a 50-state national tour.

Because the band was used to playing small hops and school dances, many of the members found themselves ill-equipped with the amplifiers that they were currently using. Put it bluntly they were not ready for the Big Time ,or at least their gear was not ready.

SUNN BLACK FACE BASS AMPSUNN COMBO BASS AMP

Bassist Norm Sundholm discovered that his bass amp was not nearly powerful enough to play larger concert halls. Like they were now facing.

Sundholm enlisted the help of his brother Conrad to help solve his problem. ( This is the origin of the now famous name Sunn Amplifiers comes from the last name of these Brothers ).

By 1964, the Sundholm brothers had designed a high-powered concert bass amplifier.

The early Sunn amplifiers relied heavily on tube amplifiers designed by David Hafler and preamps sold by the Dynaco Hi-fi company,

With many of the first units actually containing power amplifier chassis sold by Dynaco (models MKII, MKIII, MKIV) as well as modified Dyna PAS1 preamplifiers.

By 1965, the demand for Sundholm’s amplifiers had increased to the point where the family garage could no longer be used as the manufacturing facility.The demand had gotten too big for the space in their garage to be able to keep up with production needs..

SUNN CONRAD AMP

At this point the Sunn amplifiers still relied on the Dyna power amp circuitry, reworked to fit Sunn’s own chassis but still employing Dyna produced and branded transformers and the same electronic design.

Thus, the Sunn Musical Equipment Company was founded.

Although the original Sunn Amplifier line they employed used Dynaco designed and built transformers (up to the 120 watt MK VI transformer set)

And Hafler based power amp designs until Sunn stopped producing the original line of tube amplifiers in favor of the solid-state Concert and Coliseum models.

Later Sunn produced the electronically unrelated Model T tube amps.

Then Fender acquired Sunn in 1985, relocating operations from Tualatin, Oregon to Lake Oswego, Oregon .

A move that was all of about 5 miles.

The stated intent  for Fender was to both revitalize the Sunn Amplifier lines and to produce some Fender-branded models as well,

Which included the Standard Series (Princeton Chorus and Ultra/Ultimate Chorus, both solid-state) and M-80 Series, and are identified as USA-made amplifiers with an “LO”-prefix serial number. for Lake Oswego,

 Unfortunately Fender shut down the Sunn operation in 2002. And the rest is history.SUNN MODEL T BASS AMP


Custom EBO Style Bass

Here We Have A Custom EBO Type Bass Guitar. Not made by gibson tho. Just looks kinda like a E B O Bass ,With more Beautiful Wood Tho.

 

PLAYS AND SOUNDS AMAZING

custom EBO style bass


Breaking Bad Bass Playing Habits

No matter where you are in your bass playing ,Weather you are a seasoned pro or a fresh new beginner ,Chances are you have picked up some bad bass playing habits, As these bad habits tend to formulate while we are learning to play. And whether its out of laziness or don`t know any better, These bad habits can really effect the way we progress as a bass player. In Fact some bad bass playing habits can actually injure you with out you even knowing it. Most of the bad bass playing habits can be acquired by players who are self taught.

Mostly because no body was there to instruct them and help avoid  picking up bad bass playing habits to begin with.

So just what are considered bad bass playing habits?

leaeningtoplaybassguitar

 

Not in any order Because all bad bass playing habits can be detrimental to a players bass playing career.

Lets Start with posture : Most bass players stand up while playing bass, Although sitting down  is considered acceptable in big bands or orchestra situations. When standing to play be sure you have equal weight on each of your feet, Stand straight as possible with your shoulders back. Your left arm or  your fretting arm should be slightly bent at the elbow, and the thumb on your fretting hand should be just about centered on the back of your bass neck.

Just imagine like if you were hitch hiking how you stick your arm out with your thumb up. Using your guitar strap adjustment to accomplish this position you want your bass hanging off your body so it would be the same height  if you were standing or sitting,

Remember elbow slightly bent. We never want our bass hanging below our waist even tho it looks cool its a bad habit and can lead to injury of your lower back.

Wear comfortable shoes , We do not want our feet killing us while standing sometimes 2 or 3 hours playing a gig or even practicing .

Get help lifting heavy gear : This is often over looked while setting up or taking down our gear, Be careful especially if your not in the best top physical condition,
As many of us musicians tend to let exercise take a back burner to more important things like jamming.

It is very easy to get injured trying to lift and stack these heavy cabinets. Luckily the new modern gear is coming out with much smaller COMPONENTS. Making it alot lighter in weight.

Make use of wheeled carts or hand trucks, or even installing castors or wheels on our heavier pieces.

It is much easier rolling a heavy P.A. Cabinet than trying to carry it even for two guys..
Now a couple more bad habits a bass player should avoid is not incorporating your pinky finger on your fretting hand, You should make it a point to use that pinky from the start and build up strength in that pinky finger. You will always be a better bass player for this. And do not use your thumb on your fretting hand, You will see some bass players hanging their thumb over the edge of the fret board you do not want this habit it actually greatly slows down your playing, And many bass runs were styled around moving from position to position and your thumb will only get in the way of this movement. And another bad habit in my opinion is using a pick to play your bass, Now i know this is going to get the rockers up in arms, But im sticking with it use no picks! Its a bad habit!

And here is another bad habit mostly done by unwitting guitar players trying to play bass, They rely on the snare drum to play their beats or notes and not the bass drum. The snare is more of a fill or back beat as far as timing goes you will really screw up the beat of the rest of the band when they attempt to follow you thru the snare drum beats you create. The whole band will likely follow you right off the cliff.

Lets touch on techniques again , Now its a very good idea for any bass player starting out to just get used to the 1 finger per note style this means with out too much trouble you should be able to stretch your fretting hand to cover four spaces with 4 fingers, thats four frets covered in one position or one set. Just make this a habit it will get easier as time goes on.

Another bad habit that could haunt less experienced bass players is Being too busy,

That`s right in many things including playing bass guitar, Some times less is better, I know from personal experience by just listening to my practice recordings that sometimes i get a little busy myself. This can sometimes plug up the mix and could rob other instruments of valuable lead openings, Or over run the singer, You never want to hog the show as some say it. So play your lines wisely you will have plenty of chances to play, And you will be a better bass player for doing it this way.

The more I Write i realize this could go on for ever as more and more things keep popping up and by no means is everyone reading this going to be a perfect bass player but if i help even one player get better then im good with that. Because I know as a bass player myself im not free from bad habits in my playing either I kinda feel like im preaching to the choir sometimes.But we all strive to be the best we can. Nobody wants Bad Bass Playing Habits, They just happen, Trick is to realize this and fix it.

sta low ThePlayer

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a very easy way for beginners to learn the right way to get a great start playing the bass guitar, Consider this advice from a old timer bass player,Take some simple lessons at home, You can study at your own pace you can pick and choose which lessons you want to learn and in what order you want them. The best part is at your own pace, On your time, Whatever time that is. Plus still get your important questions answered in very fast time like within minutes usually. And all at or below the cost of going out for a Pizza and a Beer. No better way to learn The Bass Guitar Period.


DEAN SPYDER BASS GUITAR

1354

 

2012 John Entwistle (The Who) signature  Dean Spyder Bass.Mint condition with fitted Dean hard case.Active bass,Three band eq with blend knob. Volume knob is separate on horn.Neck thru construction.High mass bridge,Emg Hz pickups,embony fret board, Grover tuners.Made in Indonesia.Inspired by a rock & roll bass legend


sterling-by-music-man-sub-stingray

Sterling By Musicman Sub Stingray

4 String Bass Guitar By Music Man

12

New condition. One owner. Used and stored in smoke free studio. Was used in studio only. No gigs.

Mint condition. Thing feels, sounds and looks awesome.

Don’t let the price fool you this is a nice instrument. I mean I’ll take more money for it if you want.

They sell for $300 new. It’s definitely aimed at the beginner/intermediate crowd. But it records like a champ.

 


Short Scale Bass Guitar Or Long Scale Bass Guitar

Short Or Long Scale

When it comes to bass guitar sizes as far as scale goes , We are usually talking about the length of the neck of the Bass Guitar.

With The typical scale usually being 34 inches measured from the saddle on the Bridge to the Nut on the head stock. This measurement is right for many top

brands on the public market. Like your Fenders ,Music Mans, Epiphones, Some Gibsons etc.

This is the common scale length most builders build to. And same goes with Bass Guitar String builders too. So it goes to say most of us Bass Players feel

comfortable playing a bass with a 34 inch scale length. We have learned to use this scale length without regard to the size of our bodies.

For Many players tho this scale length has actually slowed us down in our learning and in our flexibility moving about the neck.

Lets face it, not all people are made the same. And Im sure most of us Bass Players already know

there are alternatives to the 34 inch scale length of Bass Guitars.

For one is the 30 inch scale length . The 30 inch scale length has been around many years,

And a good number of Builders have consistently used the 30 inch scale with great success.

One such builder is none other than Gibson, For years they have built and put on the market the E B Series of bass guitars.

We have the Famous E B 1 Bass by Gibson That looks like a 4 string bass version of their very popular Gibson S.G. Guitar.

But there are  other scale lengths out there too. The Ashbury Bass, For a long time made by Fender, But also produced by gretch.  And tried buy a couple others as well.

This bass is not only unique in Scale Length, It sports silicone rubber strings and special piezo pickups to collect the sound of the rubber strings,

As steel or all metal strings would not make any sounds come from the ashbury bass because of metal strings require a electromagnetic pickup system to pick up and duplicate the sounds produced by the vibration of steel or metalic strings.

And The Ashbury just does not have this type of system. But the rubber strings makes it fun to play.

The Ashbury Bass is a scale of only 18 inches. But don’t be fooled by the small size of this bass guitar.

The Ashbury Bass  Produces a huge sound kinda like a full size Upright Bass Makes. People are usually shocked to hear such a big sound from the ashbury bass.

Now take the full size standup bass or Bass Viola as they are called, Although you would not play one of these in a way you would a guitar.

They do have a different scale length, And this can very from 41.3 inches to 43.3 depending if you have a 7/8 size or a 3/4 size or even a 4/4 size, Yes the Upright Bass Viola has a few different scales of its own.

And there is more many regular 5 string Bass Guitars can be found in a 35 inch scale length, And there are many brands of Bass`s that are made with 6 ,7, and even 8 strings,

And many of these long scale speciality Bass`s come in scale lengths of  35 inches ,36 inches ,and even 37 inch scale lengths, And alot of these are special custom built Bass Guitars,

One thing to be aware of when thinking about playing a long scale Bass Guitar, Is the fact about can you get strings for these Special Scale lengths ? Or would you have to have custom strings made for your bass all the time,

This could get real expensive. Bass strings already are on average about 4 to 5 times more costly than guitar strings. This could lead to a very expensive string habit…….. Something to consider

All in all alot of real tall people with very long arms, Might find the need to get a long scale bass guitar, And if you do , You can feel confident there probably is a size out there just for you.


Carvin LB75 5-String Bass Guitar

Carvin LB75 5-String Bass Guitar in mint condition with original Carvin case. no scratches, no dents, stays in case most of its life.CARVINLB75

 

 

Neckthrough, beautiful finish. A great player. Made in U.S.A.