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Out of circ, itchin' to roll

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by rmonk, Aug 27, 2001.


  1. rmonk

    rmonk

    Aug 26, 2001
    Spokane, WA
    I'm an old bass player who wants to come out of retirement--at least to entertain myself if not to play live, etc. Last number of years (8-9), I've shamefully rarely touched by oold Rick. I'm renewing my interest & even looking for new gear.
    2 questions:
    1. Hints for a self-taught dude to help get his limited chops back & 2. suggestions for decent but moderately priced intro. gear. (My old Rick has seen many a battle--a big one it lost to a former drunken house mate--the neck got cracked, repaired, but now the intonation is off & seemingly unfixable.) Any assistance appreciated. Looking forward to Watt in Spokane.

    Rick
     
  2. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    hi,

    glad you're getting back to bass-ics! this is what I did after that sickness that almost killed me and the surgery that kept me from playing for awhile: play along to records. namely, all that old motown stuff w/james jamerson and all the stooges records. they're all full of groove and not many chord changes so you can get your feel back. no big stretches w/the fingers either. repetitions, repetitions - that's what can help big time. helps develop the ear too. I think it's better than just doing scales but that can help a little w/the dexterity.

    as for intonation on the rick, how's the bow in the neck? you should have a small one when you look down it from the bridge to the nut (where the strings pass over where the headstock begins and the fretboard ends). truss rod adjustment might be needed. you don't want a completely straight neck but one that slightly bends up (like going up a slight incline on the way to the headstock). this is to keep frets by the neck joint to the body from buzzing when played. good intonation is when the open strings are in tune, the fretted notes way at the top (closer to the bridge) are in tune to. if those fretted notes are sharp, move the saddles back and move them up if they're flat. use a good tuner and be careful not to bend the strings when you fret them - go straight down w/your finger to the fretboard - don't pull up or down. if the neck is twisted (the frets aren't parallel like railroad ties when you're looking down the neck) then this a big problem. rick's have two truss rods so these both have to be adjusted carefully in balance w/each other to keep the neck from being twisted.

    hope this helps - good luck and see you soon!





    on bass, watt






     
  3. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    hi,

    whoops, I forgot about an econo bass. there's good inexpensive fender precision and jazz basses (made in mexico) but make sure you play a bunch cuz there's good ones and bad ones - don't just pick one cuz of the color - play it first a bunch.





    on bass, watt










     
  4. rmonk

    rmonk

    Aug 26, 2001
    Spokane, WA
    Took the Rick to the Bass Doc today & should get her back in a few days--hopefully feeling a fit ans spry as a machine half her age. Any specific Jamerson titles you recommend? I picked up Raw Power today to complete that collection & finally got your wrasslin' record. Both on the same label--coincidence? I think not.

    Thanks again for the input & motivation,
    Rick
     
  5. eshears

    eshears Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2001
    Spokane, WA
    Rick,

    I'm another Spokane bass player that is seriously looking forward to Watt playing in Spokane. Mootsy's is a pretty intimate club....which is going to kick ass!

    Who did you take your bass to in Spokane? Is it someone you've used before and does good work?

    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  6. rmonk

    rmonk

    Aug 26, 2001
    Spokane, WA
    I took it to Rock City but someone else will do the work, but I'm not sure who. I've had good dealings w/ them in the past, though. I'll try to remember to post the results when I get it back.

    Rick
     
  7. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    hi,

    for jamerson, all that old 60s, 70s motown stuff that he's on - which is a lot of it, especially in the 60s. he was a session man for them. my favorite playing of his is on "what's goin' on?" by marvin gaye. beautiful.






    on bass, watt









     
  8. rmonk

    rmonk

    Aug 26, 2001
    Spokane, WA
    Thanks for the follow up. I ad already ordered What's Goin' On & a 2 CD collection of primarily 60's era Motown classics. Picked the bass up from the shop today & couldn't believe my eyes/ears/fingers. My baby's back & playing & sounding better than ever. Spent all afternoon frettin' around & I'm more stoked than ever to get back in the ring. Thanks for the continuing inspiration.

    Rick

    :eek:
     
  9. watt

    watt TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    hi,

    you're very much welcome!




    on bass, watt








     
  10. eshears

    eshears Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2001
    Spokane, WA
    Rick,

    If you really dig on James Jamerson, check out the book/cd set "Standing in the Shadows of Motown". It talks a lot about the life of Jamerson and contains music from a lot of his Motown recordings.

    The CD has other famous bass players talking about Jamerson and playing the bass lines that are featured in the book. It really is a great collection.

    You can check it out here:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...6/sr=8-1/ref=aps_sr_b_1_1/107-8749675-1890953

    Eric