bass clip - Chris' Photon tutorial / Be The One lesson

The genius of Chris Squire

bass clip - Chris' Photon tutorial / Be The One lesson

Postby (miguelbass) » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:46 pm

Dear friends,

I have made a tutorial clip about the Photon bass, including some songs performed by Chris with that "piccolo" bass.
Warning - It's a big long ... :)

Hope you like it!



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Re: bass clip - Chris' Photon tutorial / Be The One lesson

Postby (ram) » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:31 pm

Miguel, that was really good! It seems a little loose the first minuet or so but once you get into your grove it really moves along quickly. I didn't even realize the entire twenty some minutes had passed! Very good and complete job and a nice explanation of how you dissected the tune. I really enjoyed it and hope you post others! Thanks!
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Re: bass clip - Chris' Photon tutorial / Be The One lesson

Postby (Billsbro) » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:41 pm

This looks great, Miguel. I was so intrigued by the Be the One video so i look forward to looking at this tonight when I can carve out the time. Thank you in advance...comments to follow... :D
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Re: bass clip - Chris' Photon tutorial / Be The One lesson

Postby (Lefty4003S8) » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:46 pm

Just finished watching......VERY cool video!!!!!!!

I have been intrigued by the piccolo bass, and wonder if I could turn one of mine into one.

Miguel......is that possible?? Could I do it with one of my Rickenbackers???
Or, is there a particular bass that's better for such a project???

What is "Standard" tuning on a piccolo bass???

You've inspired a new project within me!!!!! Thanks!!!!!
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Re: bass clip - Chris' Photon tutorial / Be The One lesson

Postby (miguelbass) » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:37 pm

Tom, Stephen, Greg - Greetings from Portugal!

Greg - the standard tuning is simply EADG, which will be a bass tuned an octave higher. D'addario makes piccolo sets (EXL 280) which are the ones I put.
You can use any bass but bare in mind a truss rod adjustment may be needed to compensate the less tension of the set.
My bass had a smaller scale and I saw other players using a Fender Musicmaster for piccolo, maybe to play chords easily. Although we know no bass scale is too big for Chris' hands and the real Photon looks like a full scale bass :)

From the moment I put the strings on that bass (Eko Cobra) I really liked the sound. I didn't have to adjust the truss rod so it was ready to play. You might like to try the strings on a few to see which one you like the most. I hope I will be able to get a bass that I can have permanently set up like that!

Thank you all for the feedback!

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Re: bass clip - Chris' Photon tutorial / Be The One lesson

Postby (Lefty4003S8) » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:03 pm

Thank You Miguel. Your info. is VERY helpful.
I have a bass in mind already for this project------Non Rickenbacker, long scale.

Thanks!!!!
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Re: bass clip - Chris' Photon tutorial / Be The One lesson

Postby (Billsbro) » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:35 pm

I watched the entire tutorial last night and I was stunned. For a number of reasons I think this is one of your most important videos.

I very much appreciate you taking the leap in faith to produce this. You do an excellent job describing how you worked out Chris' tuning. It was perfect that you started with standard tuning and then slowly revealed how he most likely tweaked first one string and then the other. It all makes perfect sense.

Perhaps I am being a bit too cosmic here but it seems that your approach to figuring out the tuning and the fingering was "subtractive" in nature...you slowly reduced the possible tunings by first focusing on the harmonics and then further reduced the possibilities by looking at the strings that were ringing out (open strings).

As you described the approach you took in figuring out the mysteries I simultaneously realized some of ways that Chris might have constructed the piece. His approach was "additive" in nature. Presumably he had a sense of the harmonic structure of the piece and arrived at some fairly apparent chord shapes by exploring that tuning. (Or, he just chose the tuning fora more random reason and then came up with the structures by improvising.) In either case, as your video unfolded I had a marvelous sense of the genius of both you and Chris.

Clearly you have an excellent ear for melody and harmony and even more apparent is how much you appreciate and love Chris' artistry. To be a witness to this in your video was very special.

And I too and suddenly motivated to turn a bass into a piccolo instrument so that I can explore the possibilities.

I have often wondered what your voice sounded like and what your personality might be. Now I have a good sense of both. Thank you for sharing yourself with us!
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Re: bass clip - Chris' Photon tutorial / Be The One lesson

Postby (miguelbass) » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:10 am

Hello Stephen,

Thank you very much for your detailed and kind thoughts. Very interesting about the additive-subtractive approach.

My view somewhat agrees with yours. My guess is that Chris probably started with the harmonics indeed, and from there tried to place (add) the rest of the puzzle pieces to transform the harmonics theme and the Photon setup in something that he could use to build a whole song. More chords, obviously, how to play them... adding the fourth string... and from there, even finding more new elements, discovering chord fingerings, chord inversions, chord extensions that were newly presented by the new tuning, which eventually inspired Chris to use them to compose. Then a last element - to use the Photon as an instrument to play along other segments input by others (Skates is by Steve) and finding ways to come up with something to go along - the power chord sequence with open strings, the little second voice over Steve's solo.

On the other hand I did the reverse engineering (subtractive) ... (I am an engineer, by the way). To be presented with the whole song completed and doing the "detective" work of finding the tuning and to figure out the rest of the playing - upon that assumption.

I'm very grateful for your comments. Thank you for sharing them. I am sure that many of us will feel inspired by Chris, to try different ways of approaching our instruments. The processes are not at all complex or too theoretical... I think Chris exemplified that in many ways in all his musical works - it's much more through simplicity and taste - and passion about music.

Thank you!

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Re: bass clip - Chris' Photon tutorial / Be The One lesson

Postby (Billsbro) » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:18 pm

Thank you for your reply, Miguel! Your tutorial and your reply have helped me understand your detective work. Thanks again for sharing this!

My piccolo strings arrived today so it is my turn to be inspired by you and Mr. Squire!
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