| | My inexpensive Ibanez GART B20BK?
In town to listen to Seattle jazz bassist Chuck Deardorf last February 18th with the Susan Pascal Quartet he is the regular bassist with; on a whim I purchased an Ibanez electric bass guitar, their GART B20BK model is what the receipt from Bass Northwest says; I paid $209 for plus tax. This is my first bass of any kind; while of guitars I have only modest if enjoyable experience, using always as a plectrum my right thumb that's a habit I'm continuing with the electric bass guitar.
Short of going around to music stores to try out other instruments, I have no real way of knowing if this bass plays reasonably well? I've tuned the instrument to fifths like a cello rather than the usual fourths; inspired by the late Red Mitchell I listened to a couple weeks at his friend bassist Red Kelly's Tumwater Conservatory when both Deardorf and myself were frequent listeners as college music students then, during '75 & '76.
I have a Behringer KA-1200 amplifier I also use with a Fender Rhodes stage 73 electric piano; makeshifting as a pre-amp with either, a Fostex-12 four-track cassette recorder which seems to work passably well.
What I'm finding with the bass, I'm not sure is normal or not; is that there is certainly a lot more difficulty getting any buzz free notes, particularly the lower the string being played. I have an inexpensive parlor size guitar with steel strings; the only other instrument vaguely comparable, to judge against. I have lots of fun playing simple melodies with the parlor guitar.
I have played a small amount using a friend's upright bass, decades ago; where the very first attempt I got a fine musical thought without any effort, easy to imagine is from having been part of a performing improvising duo on my flute, with a talented upright bassist. One of the most visually satisfying instruments to watch someone play, not least of all since an attractive woman friend willing to entertain my crush upon her lasting several months as we often played together.
Thus, I'm wondering about this Ibanez, if someone's adjustments and/or modifications could render the bass more playable and would be worthwhile; which Bass Northwest set up to their standards prior to sale. I played three different basses all in the same price range prior to picking out this one; which does have a short scale, no doubt worth mentioning.
Now I wish I'd of spent more time there experimenting with other electric bass guitars of all price ranges; to get a better idea of what an electric bass guitar should play like. Perhaps my getting a few lessons from an accomplished musician would be my best solution now? I certainly have fun, thumping away even without amplification; building up my right thumb's callus on both the bass and the other guitar.
That same woman friend mentioned above; still plays her humble Epiphone "Birtha" which has rested awhile in Ruth Underwood's LA mansion while my friend worked at mastering The Chapman Stick awhile, to discipline herself. Birtha she has told me, since we'd played together; has had extensive modifications.
So, since I really like the looks of my Ibanez, I'm wondering a lot about making that as playable as I can. Which is built like a Gibson SG in the shape of a Les Paul, and black.
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