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It's all a load of bollocks, quite frankly

Covering all basses

When I were a young lad back in t’day, long before days o’ tungsten carbide drills and gala luncheons, I were at school playing an instrument known as t’double bass. Aye, luxury it were, lad. ‘Twere a bloody great thing as big as ‘ouse. It made a noise that to me were right grand, but to other folk must have been a right terrible din to a man’s eardrums, aye.

It were at same time I started banging t’drums like summat possessed. I mean, it beat a days hard graft int ‘pit, now, didn’t it. I loved pounding t’drums in most northern of ways, but t’bass were my musical instrument o’ choice young lad. And I tell thee one thing for sure, I bloody regret hanging up t’bow and giving up t’bass. Aye, it were only until recently about a year or so that I picked up t’bass guitar once again to see what music I could play. Ooh it were bloody fowl I tell thee. Utter shite. I’d sooner cut t’feet off end a’ leg it were that bloody dire. But as me great Uncle Bert would say, If at first you don’t succeed lad, join Yorkshire Cricket Team. Which he prompted to do right bloody quickly an’ all. I saw his error o’ ways I did and cricket weren’t for me so on wi’persistance. And as I tell you this fable, persistance is a right bastard. As is writing something in a Yorkshire accent, especially as I’m Cornish and live in Cornwall. So with that lucky piece of realisation, erm, realised, I shall refrain from writing in a dodgy manner in which some of those Northern types from overseas speak. The people responsible for the Yorkshire accents have been sacked. Aye. And that one has just been shot. Aye. Twice.

So I got a bass guitar which is on some kind of “I’ll store it here for you but only if I can use it and I will give it back to you one day, promise!” loan by a good friend who shall remain Alec and we shall call Nameless. It felt good to pick it up for the first time. It felt good to play something on it for the first time, though others I’m sure will tell you it sure as hell didn’t sound any good.

My influences on the bass, predictably include Paul McCartney, who in the Sixties pretty much threw the rule book for bass playing away, where beforehand it had served simply as a rhythm instrument. He did interesting stuff with the bass, main melodies, counter melodies and used it as a lead instrument. He basically set the mould for bass players to come.

Peter Hook of Joy Division then New Order, when he isn’t being a knob, is also a superb bassist, and plays it as a lead instrument. Again, someone who does interesting things with it. Other bass players whose work I admire include Steve Harris, John Deacon, John Entwhistle, Bruce Foxton, Jack Bruce and the blokey from Jamiroquai whose name escapes me. There are many more to name, but quite frankly I cannot be arsed to do so.

These bass players explain a great deal as to why I prefer to play something that isn’t just a straight rhythm. I enjoy trying something new, something tricky that takes me forever to learn yet ultimately rewarding when I find I can play it and it vaguely resembles the tune. Even more so because I can’t read music and am too lazy to bother to learn to be honest. I rely on picking it up by ear and cheating by using tabs.

What it has done also is made we want to record stuff as I have all these ideas floating around in me head, but record it by myself. I have a big enough living room, but a lack of instruments, recording equipment and a six month old son who is more vocal that most lead singers are a bit of a hurdle. I’ve always liked the DIY approach to making music where you lock yourself in a room, play all the instruments yourself, produce it yourself and whatever comes out results in an album. Artists like McCartney, Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Karl Wallinger of World Party and Ian Broudie all enjoy locking themselves in a studio and seeing what they can achieve, even if the results make you think “what the fuck were you thinking, mate, seriously”.

Therein lies my musical schizophrenia, however I’m in two minds about that one. On one hand I’d love to be in the studio, crafting and experimenting and letting whatever the fuck happened to naturally happen. On the other hand, I’ve got four fingers and a thumb. (Too predictable?) I’d like to just be playing live in a band doing heavy stuff. If I could ever play it…

So, to summarise minus the bullshit, I’m borrowing a mates bass guitar, and I’m lovin’ it lovin’ it lovin’ it, I’m lovin’ it like this. And now I’ve included that in my blog I’m off to go fly a kite. Yes indeed!

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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November 27, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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