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blind bassists info wanted

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by acousticman, Jun 1, 2003.


  1. Hello guys.
    I'm making a little research about bass players who are blind. The reason
    why i do that is because specificly i play fretless bass and i'm interested
    how many more people play it arround the world who are blind.
    If you know for someone blind who is playing bass just drop me mail and tell
    me for his name and if you know what equipment does he use.
    Maybe for some people it will sound funny and stupid in the same time but if
    you think ceriously there are not many of blind bassists and i think that
    very few of them play fretless.
    I'm 23 and i'm leaving in Croatia. My bass playing started in 1994. but
    before bass i finished music high school for piano. What is very funny today
    is that on bass i'm much better than on the piano because i didn't play it
    for a long time and bass is main instrument for me specially fretless.
    For sure i'm not first and last to say that Jaco was a guy who left the
    biggest influence on my playing skills and feel for groove, rithm and bass
    as the best instrument.
    Since i never saw any of bass players playing (heeehehehehe) i had to
    develop my own stile of playing which would sound good and which would be
    confortable in the same time. Don't have to mention that i use my own finger
    stile for left hand.
    Ofcourse in developing my technic helped me lot of reading and listening lot
    of different bass artists.
    My equipment currently consists of 4 string 24 frets Steinberger with
    Seymour Duncan PJ pickups which 2 years ago i converted into fretless. From
    effects i use korg ax1-b and my main amp is Acoustic 136 conbo with replaced
    electrovoice speaker instade of the original eminence.

    So if you got any info about blind bass players as i sed earlier or if you
    have any questions just drop it here on the group or drop me mail on (alf at
    net4u dot hr)
     
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Ellis Hall is blind, and Stevie Wonder plays bass as well, but I'm not sure if either of them play fretless or not. I'd imagine it would be easier for them to play fretless, as they could intonate by sound more clearly, and since they can't see the frets to count them anyway, they wouldn't be of too much use. I'm legally blind and play a fretless-does that count? :)
     
  3. Well i wouldn't say that the right way how to play bass is to count the frets in order to find apropriate tone. Much better way is to learn the positions where is which fret and what tone does it produce. After you get used to it you can me sited and play it without looking at the bass.
    Yes sure i can count you that you play fretless as a legally blind. How much you can see? If you can could you tell me what equipment do you currently use?
     
  4. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    What I meant was frets were created to get a more precise intonation while playing bass, but if you can't see them to begin with, it's probably better to go without them as they can be a hinderance at that point.

    I'm just legally blind; I can still see and everything, it's just blurrier for me. I've just got a crappy no-name fretless at the moment; I used to own a Warwick Corvette fretless, and I'm having a six-string fretless built by a local luthier as soon as some money comes in. The rest of my gear is in my profile.
     
  5. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    Sorry for my ignorance here, but how does one use a computer if one is blind?
     
  6. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Well I'm only legally blind-I can still see; I just have to sit really close to my monitor for everything to be clear. But I grew up under the care of the Connecticut Board of Education Services for the Blind program and met many blind teachers through there. They have voice boxes that will say all of the commands you select out loud, so if you have a fairly simple program set up, a blind person can navigate quite easily through it. I've also met some blind people who can type accurately much faster than a good typist who can see.
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I attend Jazz classes with a drummer who is blind - he has a guide dog. But he was telling me there are special programmes to help people convert their computers to be usable and he has had this done.
     
  8. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I'm not aware of any blind fretless players, but I don't see why it shouldn't be perfectly possible. Intonation is essentially done with the ear, not the eyes. Being able to see the fingerboard will help, obviously - but I don't see why a blind person shouldn't be able to learn the play fretless in tune.
     
  9. ARA punk

    ARA punk

    Jul 11, 2001
    USA, Shelby, NC
    My mom is the head of the disabilities program at Gardner-Webb University. They have all sorts of neat things they can do with computers. There is a program called DragonSpeak that allows the person to talk into the computer and it will type everything they need. You can also give it baisic commands and it will do them, such as file - saveas etc.
     
  10. ARA punk

    ARA punk

    Jul 11, 2001
    USA, Shelby, NC
    I'd say i would actually think that a fretted bass would be easier... simply because they can feel the frets to find their way to the first note.... it would seem like there'd be an awful lot of guess work to find your starting point on a frettless. Even something like a keyboard, you dont need to use intonation, you just need to find the starting note and go from there.
     
  11. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I'm pretty blind without my glasses on. :p

    :bag: :bag:
     
  12. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    ^
    |
    |
    my 300th post! who hoo! Wo0t
     
  13. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    ^
    |
    |
    Your 301st post! wIzOoTeRz! ;)
     
  14. Well let me tell you first that blind people can use computers very well today according to a special kind of software called screen reader. The screen readers can read everything what's on the screen and by pressing different shortcuts a user can get what ever kind of information he or she wants. Another think about fretless and fretted bass guittars is that blind people can play them without any difference if you compare them with sited people. If you say for example: (well its more easy to find an apropriate fret and then start playing from there, its ok but only for the beginners). Since i play bass for 9 years now and currently i'm getting a very close friend with fretless (hehehe) the best think how to play it perfectly is to learn the structure of the neck and fingerboard. When i say learn i mean that the player has to remember how he has to position the fingers on the exact point wher the frets should be to produce the correct tone. Once you get fine with it another think is glissando practissing, vibratto, playing with harmonics etc. This technic really can help any player who wants to play his instrument more correctly.