How much is too much??

Putting music theory into practice

Re: How much is too much??

Postby (jps) » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:49 pm

Is Audacity Mac friendly?
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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (cjj) » Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:07 pm

jps wrote:Is Audacity Mac friendly?

Yup, Linux too...
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/mac

I actually have it loaded on both Windows and Mac machines. Works great on both.
I have NO idea what to do with those skinny stringed things... I'm just a bass player...
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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (cassius987) » Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:13 pm

I just heard another cover band last night, doing several of the songs you have mentioned and some older hits... the kind of stuff you hear cover bands do in most beer-serving establishments. I will say, the bassist was pretty tasty but his tone did not shift much from song to song except for a couple of downright obnoxious effects for specific "lead bass"-ish parts. There were a few I thought of where he was more in the middle of the mix and while the original song runs distortion, he did not. No one batted an eye at this. The main thing was, he and the guit and the drummer were all really locked in and people were dancing. If it at any point that had stopped it would have been an empty room fast. Just to reiterate my point about groove. If you all need to really lock in on specific, technical parts it helps not just to practice those parts together but to all be on the same page about the basic feel of the song. You should be just as tight over the "easy" parts even though you don't have to play any syncopations... when the tougher stuff comes around you will all be speaking the same language rhythmically and it will come so much more naturally.

Kopfjaeger wrote:I normally don't like a lot of distortion, a bit of grit is fine, but for this song I'm going to have to do something with my sound. I think my Dunlop Swollen Pickle will fit the bill, Thoughts Joshua?


I'm not familiar with Metallica at all really. I will say, the Swollen Pickle is the most versatile fuzz I have played with and can do a lot of different sounds. Some guys will swear by the Muff family of pedals but the problem is you have to find the one you like the voice of the best and then it may only be good for a certain set of songs... the Pickle is absolutely more versatile and can do a lot of things no Muff can as well. The only thing it isn't going to do is give you a 100% faithful reproduction of a Sovtek Big Muff sound, even if it can get you very close if you disengage the compression, and for that reason some people choose to stay away from it. If I could only have one fuzz, it'd probably be the Pickle... or maybe a couple of Pickles tweaked radically differently from each other. Fortunately this kind of arrangement is now legal in Washington.
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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (T28) » Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:44 pm

All the band members just got an email from our guitarist with 5 new songs for next Weds rehearsal.....so 5 new songs with roughly 5 days to learn them.
I am familiar with 3 of the 5 and they are all in what I consider a medium difficulty range.

The way I will approach this is that I listen to the songs a few times while finding the root notes on my bass and trying to nail down the basic changes.
After I have a feel for the song I will use one of the tempo changing programs such as "Amazing Slow Downer", "Riffster", Song Surgeon", or the others already mentioned.
I primarily use that to help me work out any iconic bass lines or tricky parts that are integral to the song.

I usually get 45-60 minutes in after work before dinner and then I try to get in another hour or so after the wife decides to go to bed.
Out of the upcoming 5 available nights, I will probably practice the songs 4 of them with one day off in the middle to give my muscle memory a chance to absorb and retain.

5 songs in a week is pushing it a bit but we have done this before and when everyone comes in knowing their parts, it usually sounds dance hall ready 75% of the time on the first try.
By the 2nd or sometimes 3rd rehearsal (we only rehearse once a week with our weekend gigging) we have the songs down pat and we will most likely be able to comfortably play 3 of the 5 songs this coming weekend.
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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (jdogric12) » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:34 pm

To help you learn the material, write your own charts. Even though you probably don't want to use them at the gig* writing it out will help you memorize much better.

*I would use charts though! I don't like the look of music stands on stage, so I write each song to fit on one page, in big thick black permanent marker. Just chords and bar lines. Sometimes I write in Roman numerals and jot down the key at the top, in case anyone wants to change the key. Occasional marks to remind me of stops or special licks and rhythms or soli. Then you can place them on the floor in front of you and still see them (hopefully) in the dim stage lighting of a typical gig.

For the detuning issue, here is my 2 cents. The only really useful note down there is D. On rare occasions C. So I would try to get the set list grouped so that your "low" songs are all together. have a tuner running inline, and change that E to D for that portion of the show. As far as the EbAbDbGb is concerned, as long as your E is detuned to D, you have all those notes available. You just may not be able to play as many open strings as you'd like. But open strings are a crutch anyway! :)

Good luck with it all!
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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (sloop_john_b) » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:50 pm

jdogric12 wrote:To help you learn the material, write your own charts. Even though you probably don't want to use them at the gig* writing it out will help you memorize much better.

*I would use charts though! I don't like the look of music stands on stage, so I write each song to fit on one page, in big thick black permanent marker. Just chords and bar lines. Sometimes I write in Roman numerals and jot down the key at the top, in case anyone wants to change the key. Occasional marks to remind me of stops or special licks and rhythms or soli. Then you can place them on the floor in front of you and still see them (hopefully) in the dim stage lighting of a typical gig.

For the detuning issue, here is my 2 cents. The only really useful note down there is D. On rare occasions C. So I would try to get the set list grouped so that your "low" songs are all together. have a tuner running inline, and change that E to D for that portion of the show. As far as the EbAbDbGb is concerned, as long as your E is detuned to D, you have all those notes available. You just may not be able to play as many open strings as you'd like. But open strings are a crutch anyway! :)

Good luck with it all!


Great advice here! Tha' Dog knows!
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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (cassius987) » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:46 pm

sloop_john_b wrote:
jdogric12 wrote:To help you learn the material, write your own charts. Even though you probably don't want to use them at the gig* writing it out will help you memorize much better.

*I would use charts though! I don't like the look of music stands on stage, so I write each song to fit on one page, in big thick black permanent marker. Just chords and bar lines. Sometimes I write in Roman numerals and jot down the key at the top, in case anyone wants to change the key. Occasional marks to remind me of stops or special licks and rhythms or soli. Then you can place them on the floor in front of you and still see them (hopefully) in the dim stage lighting of a typical gig.

For the detuning issue, here is my 2 cents. The only really useful note down there is D. On rare occasions C. So I would try to get the set list grouped so that your "low" songs are all together. have a tuner running inline, and change that E to D for that portion of the show. As far as the EbAbDbGb is concerned, as long as your E is detuned to D, you have all those notes available. You just may not be able to play as many open strings as you'd like. But open strings are a crutch anyway! :)

Good luck with it all!


Great advice here! Tha' Dog knows!


+1!
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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (Kopfjaeger) » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:18 am

My first practice in 20+ years was a huge success! I had 7 of the 18 songs down pat. We ran through those with out a hitch. Our first song together was Slither by Velvet Revolver and we really rocked it! Actually most of the songs we did we went from start to finish with no issues. We played every song on the set list. The songs I did know, and there were 11 of them, The guitarist gave me the root notes and I filled in the blanks around those notes.

We had a three hour time slot that we expanded to 4 hours. What a blast!! Nervous at first but that all went away after a few seconds of playing.

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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (cjj) » Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:31 am

Glad to hear it!
8) 8) 8)
I have NO idea what to do with those skinny stringed things... I'm just a bass player...
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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (aceonbass) » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:48 am

Joseph, I'm just curious.....Did you play Slither in it's original key of D minor, and if so, did you drop tune the E string like Duff does (not my favorite way since it means playing the main riff on just the E string using a lot of open notes) or play it on a five string bass (which I think builds way better dexterity since you have to actually fret all of the notes between two strings)?
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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (Kopfjaeger) » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:18 am

Dane,

I suppose I took the easy way out. I drop tuned. That was an ordeal in and of itself!! I selected a larger diameter drop tunable string from Circle K since I hated the floppy muddy sound of the loosened E. The larger diameter improved the sound quite a bit as did a set up and re adjustment of the pup pole pieces.

Here is my demo that I made a month ago to send to the band for their consideration.



I did contemplate using my Modulus Q5 for the song but there is a bit of speed to the verse and not using the open D would have meant "fly" up and down the fretboard. Doable but not when having 17 songs dropped on you to learn. I felt lucky to have gotten 7 down in the 98% range.

I need a tad bit of distortion during that song. We tossed around doing at least one Guns & Roses song last night so my drop tuned 4003 won't be a one trick pony for too long. I can use it for most Sabbath stuff as well, although Paranoid, I play on my EADG tuned bass.

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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (aceonbass) » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:22 pm

Good job Sepp! I actually have a drop-D tuner on all of my four string basses now to make them a bit more versatile. My solution to the floppy E problem is to use RotoSound Billy Sheehan strings. They're basically a set of Swing Bass strings with a .043 G string and a .110 E string since Billy has a drop-D tuner on his Yamaha basses. For songs that venture below E as much as Slither does, I find that playing a 5ver is necessary. The "hook riff" can be played entirely on the B & E strings with your hand at the 3rd fret for the most part. It hurts to play at first, but once muscle memory takes over, you can play it in your sleep.
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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (Kopfjaeger) » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:15 pm

Thanks Dane! I've tightened it up considerably since that You Tube vid. I'm reluctant to change string makers since I'm "in love" with the maker I have on 90% of my basses. They are a balanced tension and once I attempted to drop it a step, the E string was useless. A de-tuner would have been pointless for me with these strings. i was hoping it would be an option. I really tossed and turned with "condemning" this bass to drop D for a song but I know we'll be adding several more in drop D so it will get used a bit.

Duff actually posts a ton of how to videos on You Tube. I never appreciated him much while in GnR but hsi life as well as his work in Velvet Revolver has made me a huge fan. His choice of Tee shirts is also right up my alley!! :D

On another note, I had a bit of trouble cutting through the mix. The drummer was not all too loud but the guitars seemed deafening. It seemed it was a constant battle to remain balanced. I was using an Genz Benz Head and 1-15 cab from the studio and I was very unfamiliar with the head. Not at all please with my sound with the 4004. The 4003 sounded better, much more punchy. While I hate to say it, I was really regretting bringing the 4004cii. it was game time decision between the Blackstar and the 4004. I wanted to give the 4004 the chance to wow me. It did not. :( Bummed, is a good description.

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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (cassius987) » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:55 pm

Play with your 4004's pickup configurations before you decide it can't cut through a mix--I'm surprised to hear you say this as, in my opinion, the 4004s have way too much midrange going on in the stock configuration (series wiring) but this should also mean they are nearly impossible to lose in a mix unless you are turned way down. The bridge pickup is pretty close to a 4003 bridge pickup in terms of positioning so if you try parallel wiring or single coil with the HB-1 it may sound a lot more like your other Rics.

After listening to your video (I like your tone by the way; big and thunderous!) I would focus on locking in with the center of the groove a bit more as you practice. I don't mind when I hear most instruments play a little ahead of or behind the beat (especially when it's a good drummer doing it) but I really don't like hearing it in the bass. I want the bass right in the center of the pocket most of the time; often the bass is even more in charge of the groove than the drummer is. This is something I still have to work on all the time and I can always tell if I've been neglecting it when I hear playback of myself after a session or jamming at home.
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Re: How much is too much??

Postby (Kopfjaeger) » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:08 pm

Joshua,

Thanks for the tip. That video was a demo to show the band what I could do. I had just gotten it down and they wanted to see and hear something that they could compare to the bassist they had. They fired their other bass player a few days afterward. Oh well, onward and upward. The 4003's tone has gotten better with a set up and some pole adjusting with the drop D string.

As for the 4004, I'm at my wits end. I'm not thrilled with its tone and at practice last night, the guys much preferred the tone out of my 4003 as did I. Same amp settings for both. If I could have sat down with the amp and it's 12 knobs perhaps I could have dialed in a better tone. No time for that. Not sure if the ebony board comes into play here or not although I do not have similar tone issues with my 4002.

I've practically given up on the 4004Cii. :( I may try the harness mod or cut my losses entirely. I've tried to like it, I really have.

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