Saturday, October 31, 2009

YSAK 117: Nice instrument. GET TO KNOW ME.

Found online at:

Introduction: I got one initial e-mail from this replier of an ad I posted on Kijiji asking if the instrument ( a cello ) was still for sale and why it was for sale. My response to this was that it was still for sale and that it was being sold to finance a new instrument.

For some context, I've played electric bass/guitar and upright bass for a long time and am currently working on an album with my band.

It's ridiculously long so if your lazy, skip ahead to the part about Humpback Whales and Deep Bass.

"Good morning! I'm a 58 year old professional musician (last band three years ago) and former music columnist who has been stuck in the house with poison oak this last three weeks. I hope you don't think I'm just taking ad-vantage of Kijiji, but I think I can help, at least from Welland. If I can't play myself right now, even just to write songs, it felt good to see where you are at and maybe get involved, not thinking profit. If I had gotten married with children or kept the sign shop going I'd be busy with my own life.

Your reply has increased my interest. You have an upright, so you must be a serious bassist, but you're just saying you want a small scale electric. I'm coming at you from the electric side of modern technology, and Welland is famous for all the musicians and equipment floating around. Welland also has the highest rate of home internet use. Too bad the city is dominated by criminals and there are no local gigs for local bands, the bars and city run into the ground by criminals. That's why I bike-hike to put it all behind me.

I'm left-handed. That's why it's difficult for me to buy and trade just to own and try different guitars, making me happy to get involved. Of course, meeting a bassist, especially a serious one, is always a treat. There aren't enough bassists out there. Even though half the songs I write start with the bass riff, I gave up starting to use one because it stretches my fingers out and makes them too strong for guitar. I don't have callouses.

Here's a pic of my guitar. I built a new body, redefining semi-acoustic design, now semi-solid with no bent wood. I described my guitar through the appraisal page for George Gruhn, my favorite music columnist growing up and now my favorite domain for used and vintage. He got back to me personally, sometimes emailing me three times in one day. But he wanted me to come to Nashville or send him my guitar, and I can't. That's one border I made up my mind to avoid when I was younger.

Surprisingly, Godin guitars sent me an email, asking me to send them a resume to be hired as an employee so I could discuss my invention with them. That's where I'm at right now. So you can see how serious I am about my guitar, especially if I quit bands to build it. All of my five body attempts were about finding more acoustic, what I call symphonic, qualities that would work through electric pickups.

If you're not experienced with electric basses, and I mean solid bodies with bolt on necks, you might have disappointments after a while, and realize shortcomings that weren't obvious at first. I see electric basses that way. They can feel and play the same, only showing their limited character after you have put a lot of yourself into them. I'm sure, that as an acoustic bassist, you see electrics as flat boards, and it's the subtle things that make or break them as performing instruments. You need an amp too.

One of my favorite former girlfriends is a bassoonist, playing for The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra at the time, so I was hanging out with a lot of classical players. Their naive attitude about electric instruments surprised me, considering my Strat and Marshall with effects was what was hot and dominating music magazines and the sales charts. I could also wrap them in my sound, using dual cabinets, echo, phasing and flanging, plus purely tonal effects, changing, thundering, whispering. Using a wah-wah always bent their brains. But that was the 60's and 70's. I'm glad I was there playing lead guitar.

Even though I'd just like to purchase your cello for myself, never owning one, I can't afford it right now. I bought a Thomas Organ through Kijiji from Niagara Falls, with bench, manual and a box of music for $20. It sounds like the organ Santana had and The Doors. What's fun for me is getting the rhythm going, trying chords and the bass pedals. A keyboardist told me if I wanted to play pianos when I could, pick one key and keep using that, so I've been Cm minor for a long time. Some people think I'm a classical pianist, and I still have very fast fingers, using every advice from jazz and full time players.

Your comment about failing hands awoke the Aaronic Priest in me, something I hope doesn't offend you to hear me say. Believe me, I'm the poorer person here.

As you can see, I've got lots to say, if you are interested in a dialoque and having a Welland person on the lookout for you. I'd be interested just to meet you as a bassist. Here's some pics of my guitar and some music stuff, to demonstrate my sincerity. If you look at and see the Niagara Falls community, you'll see a lot of stuff posted by me about my times playing in bands there. The news article is about a Falls gig.

You cello looks beautiful. That started me off. I've always liked coloured violins and cellos, etc, liking the look just for decorative purposes. The violin I had as a teenager is still the standard for acoustic performance that I strive for with my guitar. If you would like to push your envelope about electric and acoustic instruments, look at to see his new creations. I haven't discussed his invention, a cello-bass, with anyone. I got excited about it, having my own ideas, and would like to make my own some day. I'm thinking playable standing and dancing onstage.

When I think of deep bass, I remember going with friends to sit on the bus bench outside of Marineland when it first started. The whales would cry at night, I think hearing the Falls when the tourists were gone. You heard it, you felt it in your chest, your heart, and you knew it was sad with great feeling. One of my trippy lines about my amp, part built and put together by me, is that the only natural sound that can mix with my deep tones is the song of the Humpback whale.

Please, don't be intimidated by my typing output. I've been typing since grade nine. I have advice about another thing. You're saying electric bass, I'm talking amp, but what would take you into the tone and harmonic realm you might be used to on cello and upright would be the effect or E.Q. you could plug into. Finding an electric guitar you can get into with your fingers is all that counts, because the effect and amp will make your sound. Too many modern instruments look good, and look like the original real ones, but the harmonics don't tune properly, or one string won't. That's harder to perceive on bass right away with those big strings.

You might think failing hands needing a more comfortable and easy bass, going electric, represents a lower value of musical potential. Don't. Plugging in an electric will plunge you into a world of sound and hopefully responsive strings that could inspire you anew, like Nanu did for me. Being willing to plug in an electric will open you up to a new world of gigs.

Thank you for this opportunity to try and create a dialogue, maybe make a new friend."

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