gigged with an Ashbory bass for the first time last night
So three weeks ago I broke six ribs and a scapula in a cycling accident, and while I still haven't completely healed, last night was the first time I was in any condition to even consider performing. I'm still pretty weak and sore throughout my torso and shoulder though, so I was concerned that strapping on a regular-sized bass would be asking for trouble. So I borrowed an Ashbory bass from a friend.
Talk about "asking for trouble"... :crying:
It was a fascinating experience...for about the first two tunes. But I found the feel of the silicone strings, plus their disproportionate thickness compared to the ultra-short scale length, to be such a distraction to normal musical expression that I could never completely give myself in to the music. It felt like a fight for most of the night.
But it did sound pretty cool. Do any of you use these as your main instrument?
A bit of baby powder on you hands helps a ton with the feel on the strings.
I gagged on with a jazz trio I played with, and it takes getting use to playing. One gig isn't enough to let the thing sink in.
Done and played right, they can be a blast to play.
If you have the money, look into a Kala U-Bass.
Sometimes you can get them on the cheap here on TB.
For some perverse reason, these seemed very natural to me.
My only beef is the strings, though I understand that there are now less failure-prone sets for them somewhere. I found the Taverner replacement G string stock to be durable, but too light and buzzy-sounding.
I should find a set of whatever they are and get my Ashbory out again. Given my mangled fretting hand, there's a chance this would be quite useful.
Only other negative was low output from the preamp, a known problem.
I believe the Kala U Bass strings work on the Ashbory Basses. If so, that's a huge improvement in playability/durability over the original silicone Ashbory strings.
I was digging around and found the ones people were talking about were the Thundergut and Pahoehoe strings.
I've tried neither, but am open to hearing about players' relative experiences with them.
I've used Silver Rumblers, which other say are similar to the Thunderguts. They can be sticky also, so baby powder or billiards chalk helps but needs to be applied often. When they start to feel sticky the strings can make an obnoxious squeeking sound that I found intolerable. I went back to the stock Paehoehoes on my U-bass, which for me work the best and sound the best. Some have posted that they had good luck with the Thunderguts and Silver Rumblers and they had suggested that body chemistry may have something to do with the way the strings react. Best way is to try them but most folks have the best luck with the Paehoehoes. Good luck!
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