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Going to Pigalle for a thrill...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JayAmel, May 3, 2002.

  1. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France

    I'll soon make a 1.000 miles trip (500 for going and as many for coming back home) to go to Pigalle in Paris, and spend a few days there to find something new.

    No, no, no, I won't go and see those nice girls (in case you don't know, Pigalle is the place for musical instruments, but also for sex : shops, live-shows, etc.).

    Well, I must acknowledge I am currently in a critical phase of my musical evolution. My Rickenbacker 4003 does not thrill me any more, and I'm even not sure that playing 4-string is still the way for me to go. I am looking for new sounds, new horizons, and, more essentially, for new sensations. It took me some time to find out what was wrong, and why I was turning around (musically speaking), now I know it's a lack of "magic" when I take my instrument in my hands. So, I guess I should change the instrument, and go with a new bass. Something significantly different.

    I guess I'll make the trip by the end of this month, or maybe even earlier. I'll keep you informed. In the meanwhile, all suggestions are welcome... My mind is quite open.

    I'd also like to read if some players here experienced the same kind of "critical phase", and what they did to get out of it...

    I hope I'm not off-topic : though it's a personal feeling, it is also (and maybe essentially) a matter of bass guitar...

    All the best,
  2. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    Dude -- you need more strings!

    A 6-string will extend your horizons both up and down. There are so many cool things you can play on it -- high solos, chords -- and if you get a FRETLESS, it's even MORE fun! Listen to Alain Caron. Start with the "Rhythm and Jazz" CD. If that doesn't inspire you, you may be half dead already...

    I had a fretless 4 before going straight to fretless 6. It was amazing how may ideas just jumped out of the 6-string. The different sounds at both ends were SO inspiring. Now I have a fretless 7 and I'm having even more fun than I did with the 6!
  3. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    well Jean, I wish you well in your quest for inspiration;

    I've run dry a few times, and what I've found restores my enthusiasm may include reading a great book, jamming with some new acquaintances, possibly a new instrument (not always)...you never know what might provoke the muse...

    I'll also share my recent multistring experience:
    I tried a 7 string fretless for a while, and though it was a great bass that really settled me on a few critical matters of personal preference once and for all, it also convinced me that I won't be playing more than 5 strings at a time from now on. I think I'll be selling my 6 soon. Might even thin out the 5 herd some...

    So it's different for each of us, I'd assume. I hope something piques your interest though.

    By the way, just curious; have you ever tried this Ric model, Jean?
    4004 Cheyenne:
    http://mywebpages.comcast.net/christianson10/Xush Basses_files/larg/Ric4004C.jpg
    I'm playing around with one recently, kind of a neat 4 stringer.
  4. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    That's what happened a couple of times in my life, and I wish happened again : coming into a musical store, having a look at the basses, wondering how "this one" sounds, and while playing and listening, falling in love...

    But I must admit I don't fall in love that easily. ;)

    No, I didn't. I ever never saw one in France (though I suppose there are a few). Things are not that simple here for Rickenbacker.

    Many thanks,
  5. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    More strings is something I'm thinking of, among other things. I know Alain Caron's work, and though jazz and fretless are not my cups of tea, I do appreciate his work, which should mean I'm not half dead yet :D

    Then, 5, 6 or 7-stringer, well I don't know. I guess this will rather be determined by what bass will make me fall in love, and how I'll feel while playing with it...

    Many thanks,
  6. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    Jean, mon ami...le magique est dans le mains!(The magic is in the hands?) Well, for the most part it is. I used to own a 4001 and I know how very one dimensional Rics can be. Other than adding a touch of overdrive and copping your favorite Squire/Rutherford/Lee riffs, theres not many situations where the bass really sits nicely in a mix. I think if you can make a Ric sound good...you can make any bass sound good! So whatever bass you choose, its bound to help you sound as good or better than what you are used to. You just need to hear the tone you have in your head.
  7. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Thanks Jontom,

    The problem is, I have more and more tones in my head... This simply because I more and more wish to explore new musical horizons, lightyears away from "labels" or "genre" notions...

    I must acknowledge that, after 25 years playing Ricks, I'm fed up with their tone and lack of versatility. I can't even consider to use my Rick if I'm hired in a "variety-show" orchestra (and I currently have plans for that).

    It seems to me that an instrument must be a tool at one's service. Currently, I have the feeling to be a tool at my bass's service, since all I can really play HAS to be "Rick-tone compliant". That is very limitating, and though for years I played that way, now I don't want to anymore.

    I have full consciousness that playing that way, I hardly explored 5% of what I could have explored during these 26 years of bass playing. All I have is technique, musical knowledge and rather accurate ears.

    The lesson I learn out of this long experience is that even a rather cheap instrument can be more helpful if it helps you enlarge your musical horizons, than a mid or high-priced one that is, as you said, one-dimensional.

    I don't know whether my new instrument will cost 500 or 8.000 EUR, and I don't care about that. All I want now is to have an instrument that will fairly play its part, and not "make me" its instrument.

    That's the reason why I may appear somewhat "erratic" at these times, since I have completely open my mind, and feel able to consider a Conklin GT-7, as well as a Sadowsky 24F or, why not?, any Warwick, F-Bass, G&L, Lakland, or... even Fender.

    I do need to have a trip to try as many basses as possible. That is THE way for me. And Pigalle is THE place for that, in France.

    Thanks again,

    All the best,
  8. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    While you have that Conklin GT7 in your hands, be sure to try out the NECK pickup with the treble cut just a little, and pluck with your right hand up by the 24th fret. Very woody, complex, and inspiring sound. Play it with a pick, too, with some bridge pickup blended in -- there are some nice aggressive rock tones in there.

    Ask me more questions about these basses -- I have fretted and fretless Conklin Groove Tools 7's, and I really like them!
  9. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
    Thanks Eli, I just PM'd you :D

    I once tried a GT-7 but for a very short while (3 or 4 minutes only). I couldn't really "explore" it, and even don't remember whether it's heavy or not :eek:

    I was at my retailer's when a guy just took delivery of one. I showed myself so curious that he offered me to try it, but he was on a hurry so I wouldn't get him late.

    But as far as I could try this bass, I must acknowledge it felt good in my hands, though its tuning did not allow me to "browse" the strings as I would have liked to... (was tuned BEADGCF, and I am not familiar to this)

    All I remember is that the tone seemed to be very neat, and the strings spacing was OK for my fingers. And the finish (wine red cellophane) looked great (though I generally don't like red basses).

    All the best,