Elvis has left the building...

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by jmain, May 26, 2005.

  1. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Got a msg on my cell while at work today (the title of this thread is a quote) that Nnick Lloyd has shipped out my new Shen SB 180 hybrid. It's on a truck and heading to Tallahassee Florida as I write. According to Nnick, John Sprague (Shen rep) was in the area a couple weeks ago and hand-delivered my 180 to Nnick's shop. (Nice personal touch.)Nnick did the make-over (his standard professional set up) based on what playing preferences we discussed. It should arrive by next Tuesday.

    After reading all the NB links, searching old threads and the internet, and PMing people (thanks Chasarms, bassroy, and robgrow), I began conversating with Nnick about a month ago regarding the 180. Although a bit hesitant at first, I felt that the "at-a-distance" purchase was my best choice. Tally isn't totally the sticks, but close. (Question: How do you get to the country from the City of Tallahassee?
    Answer: 5 miles in any direction.)

    As a broke student playing in a local (FL)-gigging band, me and a buddy decided to make our own double basses. I cut a nice Cherry tree sapling, hacked the bark off with a horseshoe, planed the "front" with a skill saw, strung it with weed-wacker line (didn't know 'grassers use these), and hooked it up to a #5 washtub. (Definitely no luthier skills here :) ) My technique was a combo of pull-release to control tension and using the flat side as a fingerboard.

    I dropped out of college soon after and the band (3 piece) went on the road for the next 3 years; playing "acid-cartoon-music" on the east coast from "Naples to Maine". On 2 or 3 tunes I'd accompany on washtub while the drummer played vibraphone and guitarist was on the cuica or dumbek, or slide gtr. (High-larious. Musta heard a Bernstein Bears reference in about every other city.) The band broke up in 97-98...can't understand why. Doesn't everyone like sleeping in rest areas, state parks, and the floors of very kind people; while cooking meals on a two-burner coleman stove? Those were the days! :D

    So, I got a Crapmona back in '98 from a violin luthier by trading a 1/2 size fully-carved bass that I picked up at a good price. Still wasn't an even trade. I think the maple (ack!) fb was green, plus it was shipped during the monsoon season, and proceeded to warp upwards on the G side. The guy tried to plane it and slap some more shoe polish on it, but to no avail. He then suggested shoving some socks under the strings; maybe that would "train" the green, water-logged wood straight. Yeah, right. I moved soon after and took the thing with me; should've smashed 'im in the 'ead w/it. :smug: (Live and learn.) I've been totin' this BSO around ever since. Waiting on the day...next Tuesday! :hyper:

    Nnick waylaid my fears about my distance-purchase and was patient with my questions; pedestrian as some of them were. I've had plankitis for more than 15 years, but I think the 180 will be the salve I need.

    I appreciate the PMs and the plethora of info gleened from all the posters on this forum. My first lesson is next Thursday with a guy studying at FSU and gigging locally. I'm getting a French bow and will be learning arco as well as pizz techniques for right and left hand. I love the sound of the bow and classical music, but I can't wait to hear that walking coming from under MY fingers. It's gonna take some long days and late nights, but it's finally coming true. More NB reading to do and questions to throw out there for the community. I'm new to the DB life, so I hope you guys will be into humoring the new guy...or just point out the old thread I overlooked. :help:

    Sorry so long, but I'm just about to pop. must...maintain...skin...integrity