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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 2234
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:14 am 
 

garthmargengi wrote:
Recently figured that I'm much comfortable if I play with the bass sitting on my left leg in the classical guitar position, anyone else tried this? After doodling for while I noticed a huge improvement on my left hand's dexterity.


Brief comments (written at a chilean forum by me):

General Posture:

The bass should balance itself just fine and only be used at a height that allows playing comfortably without bending too much left wrist (so avoid to look like a rockstar, avoid the Hetfield, Slash, Trujillo postures at all costs!). The idea is that you avoid to harm the left hand, lose strength and eventually end up stiff. Likewise, the bass posture both standing and sitting should be the same, so I do not recommend playing with the bass on the right leg but sitting it in the left leg using the position of classical guitar.

Left hand:

No matter how long you have been playing, the idea is to get used to using the 4 finger and to create strength in the pinky based just playing and making exercises. as to how to take position on the fretboard, the idea is that the thumb should be placed just behind what we're actually playing, either in the first or the last string, you have to move the whole hand when going up and down the fretboard.

Regarding use all 4 fingers, I at least prefer to move the hand horizontally the less as possible, using more string crossing (playing vertically) that playing all in one string, it helps to gain agility and create more finger independence. Always place 1 finger per fret and keep that position/shape all the time. At first they may suffer a bit but when you get used to play like that you build a lot of strenght.

Right hand:

First, you must pay attention to the position of full forearm and check the status of the wrist. I do not recommend playing with a broken wrist (as if touched with the low lying bass), as it can cause injury and you get tired faster. For this reason, keep your wrist straight to optimize the use of energy and also it's a more natural position.

Secondly, is the position of the hand. Here are several options, of which I recommend two:

1-Floating Thumb: consists of placing the hand over the strings and play without the thumb ankled on any string or the pickups, making the string change much more natural and fluid, while allowing to mute the strings we're not using, avoiding unwanted noises.

Image

In this position typically index finger, middle and ring are on the same string and hand is moving entirely from string to string.

2- 'Gary Willis' style: Here the thumb rests lightly on the string prior to the one being played and the rest are placed almost one per string, allowing the thumb to also play the strings, thus effectively be able to use up to 4 fingers to play (5 if you can use the pinky). This technique also minimizes the movement of the hand, since you use the fingers to mute instantly all strings you don't need to go up and down with the whole hand as the floating thumb.

Image

Both techniques offer the possibility of performing 'ghost' notes only with the right hand, leaving the left to move freely while the notes are muted.

Regarding fingering patterns:

Depends on how many fingers you want / can use. The more fingers are used, less force is needed to achieve speed, so I would recommend the practice of using at least 3: index, middle and ring. As for how to use them, I recommend alternating the fingers in the following way for speed, control and consistency:

r-m-i-m-r-m-i-m-r

Now if you need to triplets, you can do this:

r-m-i-r-m-i

As a final recommendation, I've noticed that many bassist suffer from tremendous inconsistency when plucking the strings. Sometimes they do it softly, sometimes hard and not necessarily because the song demands it, but that is purely because of lack of control, either because they go apeshit playing some of their fav sections of songs, play in an uncomfortable posture or those are tricks and ways learned from seeing and imitating known bassists with bad habits (a lot of the greatest suffer from this btw).

If you look at the pic 2, the position of my hand is just above the brigde pickup, which as a motive: to play near the bridge I'm being 'forced' to have a soft touch (since you can't pluck with much strenght the strings there), giving me a more consistent tone.

By having a soft 'touch', you don't need to play hard and gives me the advantage of being able to save a lot of effort and play relaxed. At first it's not a simple task, but once you achieve it you'll gain a lot: in my case I can make sound the harmonics even louder than the bass line, as well as the ghost notes, being both noticeable, especially in a live environment.
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Rob1
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Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:50 am
Posts: 438
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:23 pm 
 

Nice story you are giving us but this is only part of how one can/should play. (especially regarding the plucking hand)
If you are playing with a pick you rest your pinky on the bridge which makes it easier to quickly mute the strings when needed.
When playing with your fingers you should realize that your pinkie will never have the same strength as your index and middle finger. Neither will your Ring finger although it will come in closer.
Your thumb is ideal for slapping techniques or for acting as an anchor for the rest of your hand. (Fender P-basses do not have a thumb rest because it looks so cool, which I think it doesn't) You could also rest your thumb on top of the pick-up you are playing.
When setting a straight position (90 degree angle on the strings) you make sure that your index will be playing the strings with more amplitude than your middle and ring finger will. This will also make sure that strings played with your index will sound harder than strings played with the other fingers. Only a matter of physics.
Inconsistency does not solely come from enthusiasm but also from practicing too little on your plucking technique. Playing near the bridge to avoid this is a nice idea but it brings up another problem: less dynamics. And dynamics is what playing well is all about. By playing soft you do not get the stamina you need for longer playing with your heart.
Playing Bass is first of all: laying down the foundation of a song. Those foundations are achieved by delivering the base bass line. The harmonics are an added bonus!

Regarding the position of the fretting hand thumb: this should ideally be opposite the middle finger and your hand should look like you are holding a tennis ball. If you want to be able to play more positionally there is no harm in practicing stretching your fingers to be able to reach 5 frets instead of the "normal" 4 frets.

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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 2234
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:42 pm 
 

Nice insights!

The pick is another story; I was refering to plucking with the fingers.

The ring finger can have the same strenght as the index and middle finger for sure and you can get a pretty consistent plucking from the 3; bassist that use the 3 fingers effectively there are many, in and out of metal.

True; thumb is the foundation for slap techniques, where you can also use more than 2 fingers: Wooten uses this double plucking to create a 'flam', a very percussive sound. I'm not a fan of using the thumb as an anchor for the rest of the hand, excepting when doing tapping techniques with both hands, for example; I prefer to have my hand just over the strings so I don't use energy on unnecesary things like 'holding' the bass (being the fretboard or using the thumb to anchor the plucking hand). It also a need for me to save energy, since I use a lot my hands in my everyday and I've suffered tendonitis, so I needed to develop a technique that saves me the most of effort/strenght without losing control, consistency and passion of course! The funny thing is that while I play this softly, I headbang a lot live.

Again, with enough practice and without plucking the strings with excessive force, you can use the 3 fingers (ring, middle and index) with overall consistency and control to make them sound like just 1 finger (not hard to refer to guys like Steve Bailey or Gary Willis as examples). I at least play bass since 13 years ago and I've learned to play with enough consistency to play being with 2 or 3 fingers and make it sound exactly the same.

About dynamics, playing above the pickup give you precisely that! I as said, I can make sound ghost notes and harmonics as loud or louder than the normal plucked notes, and to do that you have to pluck harder those notes to make them audible enough, so the dynamics are there ;) Also, in most of situations, it's a must to have a consistent plucking, unless you wanna be a slave of the compressor, which I don't use at all.

I've been playing in bands where you do just 2, 3 notes all the time and some quite technical stuff too. I'm definitely more excited to play more expressive and complex stuff, but when you have a quite long time playing you realize what a song really needs and sometimes 2, 3 notes are enough.
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Megrimmtroll
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:12 am
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:18 pm 
 

Have tried some of the methods Kveldulfr has mentioned, I rested my bass on my left leg as suggested. Only playing for a short while, and I noticed a vast improvement with my playing and posture. My left arm does not ache as it does if I play the usual way I play, and I found that I can move more freely along the fretboard.

I think some of the problems I have encountered over the years, comes from the fact I am left handed and play a right handed bass. I have learnt how to adapt but having made these small changes, I feel more comfortable when I play. :D

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TheUglySoldier
Metalhead

Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 3:44 am
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:52 pm 
 

So turns out I can get a tone very similar to Joey DiMaio with my Randall Amp and my Gene Simmons signature Punisher bass. Who knew?
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Against Such Things
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:17 pm 
 

Anyone have any suggestions for good songs by Death to learn on bass?
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Kveldulfr
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Location: Chile
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:40 pm 
 

Try the ones from Individual! I like Overactive Imagination, Jealousy and The Philosopher. From Human, Lack of Comprehension, Together as One and Cosmic Sea.

I not, Scavenger of Human Sorrow, Spirit Crusher and The Flesh and the Power it Holds.
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Rob1
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Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:31 am 
 

Evil dead is very simple to start with Leprosy is somewhat more difficult. Great songs to just start playing and go with the flow.

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NeglectedField
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:04 am 
 

AtmaSoul wrote:
Anyone ever played on a B.C. Rich Mockingbird Heritage Classic?

Click here for pic

I'm thinking of getting one, they are beautiful basses, and just in my price range. Was wondering what kind of sound/tone they have and if anyone likes them. I read some great reviews online. but i'd like to hear from people here.


These things look tasty, but I hear they have quite bad balance (i.e. neck dive) issues? A lot of BC Rich guitars (as in regular guitars, not basses) have the 24 5/8in scale to try and rectify it, yet it can still be an issue. Obviously with bass it'd compromise too much to shorten the scale so I think they're mostly still 34in.
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beholdthesharktopus
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Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:49 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:35 pm 
 

Against Such Things wrote:
Anyone have any suggestions for good songs by Death to learn on bass?

Lack of Comprehension is an awesome song for practicing 3-finger triplets.

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DisciplineOfRevenge
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:33 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:36 pm 
 

Against Such Things wrote:
Anyone have any suggestions for good songs by Death to learn on bass?


Spirit Crusher!

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TheUglySoldier
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 3:44 am
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:46 pm 
 

DisciplineOfRevenge wrote:
Against Such Things wrote:
Anyone have any suggestions for good songs by Death to learn on bass?


Spirit Crusher!


I can vouch for this one. Such a fun song to play and really rewarding when you master sections. The intro has become a regular warm-up exercise for me.
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Awblaster
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:20 pm 
 

Crystal Mountain is stupidly fun as well. Probably my favourite song to play on bass.

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MalignantTyrant
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:22 am 
 

as is The Philosopher and Lack of Comprehension
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Koji_Sunioj
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:54 pm 
 

My favorite album being Leprosy - Born Dead, Pull the Plug and Open Casket are all great. Goes without saying, good thing about Death is that their albums get progressively more technical, which is good for building your skill as you go from the more basic old school dm sound to something like Sound of Perseverance.

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norcalslayings
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:11 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:20 pm 
 

Just got a fret-less 4 string(i have a fretted 4 and a fretted 5 string too) and so far I am absolutely in love.
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norcalslayings
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:21 pm 
 

Oh and Sacred Serenity is one of my favorite Death songs to play.
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Rob1
Metalhead

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Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:02 pm 
 

norcalslayings wrote:
Just got a fret-less 4 string(i have a fretted 4 and a fretted 5 string too) and so far I am absolutely in love.

Why didn't you get a fret-less 5 string? Now you are in love with the 4 string fl and in a year you begin to feel the limitations compared to the extended possibilities of the 5 string.

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norcalslayings
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:38 pm 
 

Rob1 wrote:
norcalslayings wrote:
Just got a fret-less 4 string(i have a fretted 4 and a fretted 5 string too) and so far I am absolutely in love.

Why didn't you get a fret-less 5 string? Now you are in love with the 4 string fl and in a year you begin to feel the limitations compared to the extended possibilities of the 5 string.


Because I wasn't thinking about it at the time of the purchase and it was a spur of the moment kind of thing.
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Rob1
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Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:53 pm 
 

norcalslayings wrote:
Rob1 wrote:
Why didn't you get a fret-less 5 string? Now you are in love with the 4 string fl and in a year you begin to feel the limitations compared to the extended possibilities of the 5 string.


Because I wasn't thinking about it at the time of the purchase and it was a spur of the moment kind of thing.

Those are often the ones you regret later on because you later realize that you could have bought something better (to your liking) for the same amount!
Have fun playing it, nevertheless!

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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:32 pm 
 

I wouldn't buy a five string. If I wanted more strings I would just learn guitar.
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garthmargengi
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:35 pm 
 

That's one of the stupidest things I've ever read.
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xThe__Wizard
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:54 pm 
 

Wow Orion do you think before you type?

I cannot wait to get my bass back. I haven't played in like a year. I think bass is more fun then guitar.
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Rob1
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:24 pm 
 

orionmetalhead wrote:
I wouldn't buy a five string. If I wanted more strings I would just learn guitar.

To get the equivalent of a 5 string bass you'd need a 7 string guitar! (I happen to own both!)
Most 5 string basses are equipped with a low B which can not be found on any standard guitar!
Because of this fact a 5 string can get the same range a Double bass has so it's still the low end.

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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:36 am 
 

A 5 string bass is just perfect, especially to play metal. I like more 6 string basses tho.
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Rob1
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Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:55 pm 
 

Kveldulfr wrote:
A 5 string bass is just perfect, especially to play metal. I like more 6 string basses tho.

Since my main Axe has 28 frets it has almost the same range a 6 string has so I don't need to go there but I understand the benefits of the extended range of a 6 string.
What I also really like with 5 and 6 string basses is that you can play really complicated stuff and make it look easy because you can play more in the same position.


Last edited by Rob1 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:49 am 
 

Rob1 wrote:
What I also really like with 5 and 6 string basses is that you can play really complicated stuff and make it look easy because you can play more in the same position.


That's an enormous benefit especially for fretless players. The fact that you don't need to move that much on the fretboard decreases the chance to play out of tune when playing stuff too distant note-wise (like jumping 2 octaves or to play wide open chords).

It's also useful to have extra strings when you're a tapping maniac. It's easier to use the 3 lower strings for the root notes/chords and the other 3 for lead melodies and higher chords.
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Koji_Sunioj
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:34 pm 
 

I really need to try out a decent 5-6 string. I have my 4 string adjusted in a way that most basses straight out of the factory just don't feel right, unless its a expensive one like Warwick or Musicman. Bass playing is as fully appreciated where so the demand is quite low. Someday though... my dream is the Warwick Infinity.

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Megrimmtroll
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:12 am
Posts: 50
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:01 pm 
 

Have got to do some repairs on my amp, as one of the wires on my plug cable has snapped. I am wondering would it be best to replace the whole cable or just cut where it has broken. And re solder it from it from there? :)

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Apteronotus
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:07 am
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:07 pm 
 

Megrimmtroll wrote:
Have got to do some repairs on my amp, as one of the wires on my plug cable has snapped. I am wondering would it be best to replace the whole cable or just cut where it has broken. And re solder it from it from there? :)


I think that if you were to resolder at the same point it or anywhere near the end that it would just snap again. It would be better solder at a point you know won't be bent very often, but if it happened to me I would just replace the whole cable.

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Megrimmtroll
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:12 am
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:22 am 
 

Apteronotus wrote:
Megrimmtroll wrote:
Have got to do some repairs on my amp, as one of the wires on my plug cable has snapped. I am wondering would it be best to replace the whole cable or just cut where it has broken. And re solder it from it from there? :)


I think that if you were to resolder at the same point it or anywhere near the end that it would just snap again. It would be better solder at a point you know won't be bent very often, but if it happened to me I would just replace the whole cable.


Thank You :-D I will follow your advice, it was just I was concerned with regards to safety and using a shorter cable. :)

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Apteronotus
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:33 pm 
 

Hmm I'm not sure whether by safety you mean keeping the cable intact or the safety of working on it. I assumed you knew how to safely work with electricity because the mention of soldering. I should have mentioned before, that working with amps even unplugged and turned off can be deadly, maybe you know this, but it is always worth warning people about. If you are worried about doing it, then take it to a professional, it should be cheap too. No one should try working on an amp without being knowledgeable about electricity and comfortable working with mains or other dangerous circuits even if not all parts of the amp have that potential.

The warning label on the back of the amp with the man break dancing next to the lightening bolt should be taken seriously.

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Megrimmtroll
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:16 am 
 

[quote="Apteronotus"]Hmm I'm not sure whether by safety you mean keeping the cable intact or the safety of working on it. I assumed you knew how to safely work with electricity because the mention of soldering. I should have mentioned before, that working with amps even unplugged and turned off can be deadly, maybe you know this, but it is always worth warning people about. If you are worried about doing it, then take it to a professional, it should be cheap too. No one should try working on an amp without being knowledgeable about electricity and comfortable working with mains or other dangerous circuits even if not all parts of the amp have that potential.

The warning label on the back of the amp with the man break dancing next to the lightening bolt should be taken seriously.[/quote

I am concerned about working with electronics, as it is something I do not have much experience with. at first I thought it maybe a straight forward job, just doing re soldering. However on reflection I think I will take it to a professional as you have suggested. :)

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Against Such Things
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:29 pm 
 

Has anyone tried using tunings that are neither standard nor dropped? I've been using a five-string a step down, but I am finding that my scale length (34") is not sufficient for the low A string. Instead, I've been debating tuning that up to a C. It would only be a major second below the D, but it could have interesting usages.
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Apteronotus
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:23 am 
 

Well there are all sorts of open tunings and cross tuning along with other more experimental stuff. As far as tuning up, I have read from one book that this should never be done on a stringed instrument. The idea is that it increases the tension beyond what the instrument was normally designed to handle, even if only on part of the instrument. While I haven't seen whether tuning up can actually damage an instrument, if I wanted one string higher than the rest I would just downtune the others rather than tune that one string up. Personally I have only tried the weirder stuff on guitar expect for maybe one song.
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mike40k
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:46 pm 
 

So, my bass rig really sucks (cheap Ibanez starter bass and a Fender 15 watt practice amp) and I am getting fed up with it. I'm far too used to my nice guitar rig, and now that I am recording music I would like to have a bass sound that doesn't suck so much. I'm wondering what would make the biggest change to the sound, a new bass or a new amp? Of course I plan to replace both eventually, but can't afford it right now. So, if you had to replace one or the other, which would it be?
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Awblaster
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:59 am 
 

You could get a Sansamp DI and record out of that. They've got fantastic tone, and they're all you need for playing live - loads of guys in bands around here don't even bother with an amp a lot of the time now. Unless you spend a serious amount of money, you probably won't be able to get a bass rig that sounds /that/ much better than your current one, but if you get a Sansamp you have better recording capabilities, and a piece of gear that will last you ages and will perform brilliantly.
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mike40k
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:24 am 
 

Awblaster wrote:
You could get a Sansamp DI and record out of that. They've got fantastic tone, and they're all you need for playing live - loads of guys in bands around here don't even bother with an amp a lot of the time now. Unless you spend a serious amount of money, you probably won't be able to get a bass rig that sounds /that/ much better than your current one, but if you get a Sansamp you have better recording capabilities, and a piece of gear that will last you ages and will perform brilliantly.


I just checked out some videos of that thing and it seems pretty awesome. So it basically negates the need for an amp? I have a USB mixing board that it can go into (presumably), and if I ever play live it would be with guitar rather than bass, so that doesn't matter. The one thing I am wondering is if you can put effects pedals in front of it?
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TheUglySoldier
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:56 am 
 

DeathFog wrote:
You cannot pull out fast tremolo with your fingers


Says who? I mean technically it isn't the tremolo/alternate picking technique, but I can keep up with most stuff on fingers.
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Awblaster
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:06 am 
 

mike40k wrote:
I just checked out some videos of that thing and it seems pretty awesome. So it basically negates the need for an amp? I have a USB mixing board that it can go into (presumably), and if I ever play live it would be with guitar rather than bass, so that doesn't matter. The one thing I am wondering is if you can put effects pedals in front of it?


You can just take an XLR out of it into your mixer, and it'll be fine. And pedals work great with it, the bassist in my doom band runs an overdrive, fuzz, wah, chorus, and sometimes a distortion as well into one and it all works fine. Sounds horrible because he doesn't know what a good tone is, but it works fine...
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