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After 30+ Years, I'm A Newbie Again!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Craig Garfinkel, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Well, I went and gone and done it. Disregarding all common sense and good judgement ( do you have to actually possess something in order to disregard it? :meh: ), after 32 years or so of attempting to become somewhat proficient on the "slab", I have decided that now is the time to embark on a journey that will find me at it's conclusion either a "real" bassist...or a broken and embittered, financially destitute, half-crazed blithering idiot with giant callouses. Some may argue there's not much of a difference...but I digress.

    Thanks to DZ, I am now the proud owner of a Shen SB80, my very first double bass. :D Don gave me an awesome price, mostly due to it being somewhat "cosmetically challenged". Some yahoo made quite possibly the worst attempt at refinishing I've ever seen, but it actually isn't as bad as Don described it. From a distance it looks fine, and it isn't until you get real close that you notice all the brush marks and realize it smells kinda funny. But hey, I've known some very fine people I could say the same thing about.

    I drove down to Don's place this past Saturday to pick up the bass. Don and I are both Ken Smith EB fanatics, and as it turns out Don and Ken are good friends and Don's place is five minutes from Ken's shop. To make an exciting day even more so, Ken was kind enough to suggest we meet at his shop for a private tour. Needless to say, it was a great hang...and within ten minutes of owning my first student-level bass, I'm hearing Ken play (and even get to "play" myself) his circa 1800 English bass, and the Gilkes. :eek: I now understand why Paul Warburton spends all that time in the bathroom!

    Thanks again to Don for a great deal and to Ken for a great hang.

    But seriously folks, I am excited to begin this journey, and I do intend to study. This won't be a half-assed effort on my part. I promise to put at least 3/4 of my ass into this. I realize that until I have a teacher, I'm just a DB owner. Anyone have any suggestions in the Hartford CT area for teachers?
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Welcome to the fold. Life only gets better from here. Or is that wierder?
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Is Nat Reeves still at Hartt College? He may be too busy to teach himself (or take on any new students) but he should have some suggestions...
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Speaking of Hartt... Robert Black is at Hartt...
  5. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    I shoulda thunk of Nat right away...I've known him for years and years. We used to hang quite a bit back in the day. Many a time we'd end up in the same places for the post-gig hang, if you can dig. Come to think of it, I've got so much dirt on Nat that he'll clear a spot in his schedule and give me a discount, if he knows what's good for him. :D
  6. I'm glad you're here, Craig - enjoyed reading your post (you've got the right sense of humor for this group). And good luck with the DB study. For the days when it'll get a little frustrating - and it will - we'll be here to coach you along. It sounds like you're starting with your eyes wide open and your feet firmly planted. You'll do fine....
  7. ctcruiser


    Jan 16, 2005
    West Haven, CT
    Congrats! I was in the same position. I had played EB several years ago and always wanted to play the DB.

    I just bought my first DB this spring.

    I bought my instrument and am also taking lessons with David Mix in Branford.

    If that is too far away for you, he might be able to give you leads on teachers in the Hartford area. He is a honest guy who is willing to give out sound advice for DB players. His website is davidmix.com
  8. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    Thanks Rob, for your kind words of encouragement.

    Thanks ctcruiser, I'll check David out, and good luck with your studies.

    Sam Sherry was kind enough to email me a whole list of cats, as he's originally from West Hartford. I'm a little embarrassed that I had forgotten how many great DB player/teachers we have in this area. Aside from Nat, there's Dave Santoro, Mike Asetta, Joe Fonda, and the monster of them all...Paul Brown.

    Sam certainly jogged my fading memory on a lot of things, especially that we had actually met each other a mere 30 years ago! :eek: Sam played bass for the nationally reknowned Hall High School Jazz Band, while I was "over the mountain" in Avon. We had an excellent program as well, but we were always a bit jealous of the Hall kids. Some incredible players came through that program, besides Sam. I particulary remember this young piano player, Brad something...oh yeah Mehldau. :D
  9. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Craig, pardon my transgression.. It certainly was cool to meet you and hang with yous two... as they say in these parts...
  10. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Nice to catch up with you, man.

    Hall High School is the former physical locus of many fine players, including Brad Mehldau ca. 1985, Joel Frahm ca. 1985, Patrick Zimmerli '82, Scott Hiltzik '80, Larry Cohn '78, Chet Zaslow (EB for Jimmy McGriff) ca. '74, Steve Shapiro '81, our very own TBeers '05 and even me ('79). Click on "Pops & Jazz" and note that I am not on the list of distinguished jazz alumni. There are several reasons for that, best left to your collective imagination ...

    Legend has it that the building was designed by a firm specializing in federal penetentiary facilities. Notice the block-like character of the front ... the way the building is divided into four segments, any of which is easy to cut off from the rest ...

    But not a bad place to go to school.
  11. Craig Garfinkel

    Craig Garfinkel

    Aug 25, 2000
    Hartford, CT
    Endorsing Artist: Sadowsky Guitars
    I once subbed on a gig with the Hall High CJB in '85 or '86. It was at a bowling alley on Jennings Road in Hartford on a Saturday afternoon, and both Brad Mehldau and Joel Frahm were in the band, Bill Stanley directing. It was very cool, as I hadn't read big band charts for a couple of years at that point. Bill treated me like a celebrity guest, which I thought was kinda cool, and made a big deal of thanking me in front of the band. I had a gas, as the charts were challenging and the band was outstanding.

    Hey, that means I can add Brad and Joel to my "has performed with" credits...right? :meh: