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So, I am learning to play bass...

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  • #16
    I was gone for a bit, but within that time, many things happened.

    First thing was that my dad suprized me and got a 2000's model of the Ibanez GSR200, so it doesn't have active pickups (a good thing for me). I really didn't like that jazz bass' sound, it sounded like the filter was modified or something and I could never get a clean sound out of it. Plus, this new bass is 100% mine, so I can use it until I can invest in a better bass (likely from Ibanez). Curiously, my dad really dislikes Ibanez, but I can understand that when they make cheap shit and really good instruments.

    Also, my dad taught me how to string up, tune, set the bridge, and intonation.

    I also learned that guitars are much less complicated than I thought, and I could easily service mine.

    @bfg666

    Surprisingly, I have managed to play a few advanced songs. Not very well obviously, but I can play Flea's version of Higher Ground. Its really messy and I miss notes often, but I have been practicing it every day. I was actually having trouble beforehand because my strings were too high off the fretboard, so it was really hard to slap twice quickly. So, hopes for improvement are pretty high.

    About starting a band, I can't exactly do that. I live in remote area with only old people (where I live is halfway between a neighborhood, and where you go to retire). I have a friend that plays guitar, but I can't visit him often because of how far away he is. My only option is playing with my dad, which could be awkward, but available. Maybe I will get lucky and find someone my age around here that can play something.

    On building strength, my grandfather gave me his old grip strengthening equipment, and I also use stress balls. I have improved greatly, but I still can't get American Life down.

    @Focalator

    The frets on my Ibanez (I got it used) is really bad in some places. I think I can deal with it, but luckily my dad knows how to dress frets. He could replace them too if he had the tools and patience. He said I can redress them any time, I just need to ask him how.

    The tone knob on my bass is very lightly scratchy in two places, barely noticeable. I think that may not even be dirt, it could be wear. I have no problem with replacing the pots though, and I may modify the filter too since it's such a simple schematic. I forget how it works, but I think I can stick in a bigger farad non-electrolytic capacitor with similar voltage rating in the tone knob and get a wider filter. Hey, why not?

    From what I could tell, someone used the HELL out of the tone knob, because it was loose when I got it. That may be the reason behind the wear, but who knows.

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    • #17
      Be careful with that grip strength thing (and the stress ball) you are just asking for carpel tunnel syndrome with at least the grip strength thing. You don't have to take my word for it...it doesn't take long at all to fuck yourself up with those things. Use them with common sense or regret it with a need for expensive surgery and kiss ever getting good at bass goodbye for a long time. Maybe forever. Honestly, just playing your bass should condition your hands and over-practicing can give you CTS too.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by MadGypsy View Post
        Be careful with that grip strength thing (and the stress ball) you are just asking for carpel tunnel syndrome with at least the grip strength thing. You don't have to take my word for it...it doesn't take long at all to fuck yourself up with those things. Use them with common sense or regret it with a need for expensive surgery and kiss ever getting good at bass goodbye for a long time. Maybe forever. Honestly, just playing your bass should condition your hands and over-practicing can give you CTS too.
        Hahaha, I'm not that dumb, I take breaks for a few days.

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        • #19
          I didn't think you are dumb, bro. Can't expect everyone to just know everything. I just don't want to see you hurt yourself.

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          • #20
            If it's an earlier 2000's Ibanez GSR200, it would feature the passive P/J pickup config with a single coil at the bridge (like a Jazz bass) and a split single coil in the middle (like a Precision bass). I forget exactly how the controls worked on all the 2000's models. Some had 3 knobs, some had 4. The 3 knobbers were probably Vol/Vol/Tone, while the 4 knobbers were most likely Vol/Vol/Tone/Passive EQ Boost.

            That's kinda the main difference between the Gio GSR's and the Standard SR's. The Gio's tend to be passive single coil pickups only, while the SR's have active pickups with that 3band EQ boost/cut onboard as well as coil tapping ability to go from running both coils or just one coil at a time. Depends on what sound you're going for in the song as to what pickup setting you might use on the SR's. And most bassists don't exactly go bonkers for "tons of options". The bass is simple beast. Bassists tend to go for one sound and stay there.

            If you're gonna stick with the bass, I'd encourage you at some point to hit up a Guitar Center and test out a GSR200 and an SR300 side by side, just so your ear will finally know what your bass sounds like compared to what's available out there. Brand new, the SR300's are 150 bucks more, but in my opinion, the difference in sound is worth every penny and then some.

            Eh, you could also try out a GSR200 or an SR300 side by side with something really really expensive like a $2000 Ernie Ball Stingray bass or a $5000 US-made Spector bass. They'll likely have them locked up on the rack like they do these days and may be hesitant to let you handle them, but if you did, you'd probably see that a $5000 bass doesn't necessarily sound "four thousand six hundred fifty dollars better" than an Ibanez.
            Last edited by Focalor; 07-01-2017, 11:35 AM.

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            • #21
              @guitar center

              Keep telling them you don't have enough money. TWICE, I have left guitar center with half price on an 800$ guitar that was not on sale.

              The first time I told the guy flat out that I only had 425$... He got on the computer and gave me a new price that was less than what I told him I had. I left the store with an $800 guitar and 13ish dollars.

              If they try to talk you into a cheaper guitar be real firm that you are leaving the store with the one you picked or nothing at all.

              It at least used to be the policy that they have to make sure you leave with something and happy. I don't see why that policy would change.
              Last edited by MadGypsy; 07-01-2017, 12:08 PM.

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              • #22
                Speaking of Primus....

                [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYDfwUJzYQg"]Primus - Wynona's Big Brown Beaver[/ame]
                'Replacement Player Models' Project

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                • #23
                  First of all, who is Berry Oakley? He was the bass player for the Allman Brothers Band who was killed as a result of a motorcycle crash in 72 about a year after Duane Allman's death.

                  So uh, apparently Berry Oakley's grandson keeps his grand pappy's old bass "Tractor" in his bedroom, and he plays it and touches it with his dirty teenage hands in his dirty teenage bedroom... where he could maybe bang it on a wall or a desk corner. WUT?



                  I dunno, I just find it a little surprising considering the insane amount of money it's probably worth and it's significance to the history of rock and roll. You'd think it'd be something on display in a museum somewhere. But nah, it's sitting in some kids bedroom. How cool is that? I get to learn bass... on some shit I bought second hand at a franchise music shop. He gets to learn bass... on the same bass played on the legendary Live at Fillmore East album. Holy shit much?
                  Last edited by Focalor; 07-26-2017, 06:38 AM.

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                  • #24
                    Focalor Right now, I will have to stick with the GSR200 simply because I lack funds. Maybe after I get out of college and get a job I will be able to buy a nice bass. I was actually thinking about attempting to make my own, but I will probably have to buy the neck separately. Anyway, my dream bass right now is probably a Warwick Thumb, but that's only if I actually get my stupid slap technique down.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by SpecialBomb View Post
                      ...a nice bass. I was actually thinking about attempting to make my own, but I will probably have to buy the neck separately.
                      Do that. Just "think" about it. Don't actually do it though. If you make an instrument completely from scratch, you might save a negligible amount of money, but if it's the first time you're doing it, you're gonna need to buy all sorts of special tools, and at that point, it'll probably cost you MORE. If you're gonna make one, might as well have it be something high-end and high-performance, right? Well the neck pocket and neck joint on a high-end instrument is gonna be of great concern. Not really something a novice can do unless you have multiple bodies to work with in case you shave too much out of the neck pocket.

                      You can buy just necks on the web from many places. But are these necks worth a shit? Many of them are NOT. And none of the websites selling them will tell you that they suck voluntarily.

                      I've been mostly a metal kinda guy since the 90's. And guitar makers like Fender are largely stuck on their classic 50's and 60's style designs and sounds. Well, that shit just doesn't jive with a metalhead. So for years, I've HATED Fender. But I'm getting older now, and I'm mostly into playing blues and classic rock kinda stuff now. So earlier this year when I was in a music shop, I picked up a Fender Strat and gave it a test drive. Instantly fell in love with that bell-like ringy tone that the single coil pickups help make. Ever since then, I've been hunting around trying to find a Fender Strat perfect for me. To get back to the point though... Necks.

                      I've seen the prices of these American-made Fender Stratocasters, and the price tags are fucking ridiculous for what you get. Yeah, they're decent guitars with decent components, but... they aren't $2,000 decent in my opinion. So I had the idea that I could probably build the perfect high-end Stratocaster for me from parts. I could get a decent plain swamp ash or alder body like most regular Fender Strats, maybe a really nice Mighty Mite birdseye maple neck to make it look like one of those high-dollar Fender Custom Shop strats, a bridge with a nice heavy 100% steel tremolo block (maybe even a genuine Fender American Deluxe bridge), some Fender Vintage Noiseless pickups or maybe a set of gold Lace Sensor pickups like the old 90's Eric Clapton strats had on them. Anyway, once I began figuring up how much it was going to cost to put all these things I wanted into one piece-by-piece guitar, it quickly became evident that the price was going to exceed what I would probably pay for a real Fender Custom Shop model that I could have them build for me. FUCK. THAT.

                      (Coincidentally... IF I was going to pay someone to build me a classic strat to my own specs, I wouldn't have Fender do it. I'd probably get a better quality instrument from a more exclusive builder like Suhr, Mario Martin, or K-Line.)

                      And it should also be mentioned... that just last week I was in a small guitar shop not far from my house. I usually never go there because all they tend to have is crap I'd never buy. Some kid picked up the only Fender Strat in the store and started noodling on it, so while I was waiting on him to get done with it, I picked up a cheap little Squire strat off the wall and began playing it. It was a Squire Vintage Modified Surf Strat. The kid finally got done with the Fender Standard Strat he was playing around on, and I actually liked the sound of the cheaper Chinese made Squire better than the Mexican-made Fender Standard. Those little lipstick pickups are fucking awesome.

                      Moral of the story... don't get hung up on the name on a headstock or it's country of origin or the fact that an instrument isn't what you had your heart set on when you first walked in. You don't have to spend a ton of money to sound good, and nobody hears what the name on the headstock says when you play it.
                      Last edited by Focalor; 08-06-2017, 03:30 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Focalor View Post
                        Well, that shit just doesn't jive with a metalhead.
                        Seriously? Then how come so many metal guitarists happen to play on Strats? Note that this isn't me trolling you, I'm genuinely wondering what you feel doesn't fit in the association of Fender and metal.
                        ♪ I'm skiiiiiiinnin' in the pain, just skiiiiiiinnin' in the pain ♪
                        ♪ What a glorious feelin' I'm haaaaaaappy again ♪

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by bfg666 View Post
                          Seriously? Then how come so many metal guitarists happen to play on Strats? Note that this isn't me trolling you, I'm genuinely wondering what you feel doesn't fit in the association of Fender and metal.
                          Nah, you're not trolling me, you just have no idea what you're talking about.

                          Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) - played a Gibson SG with humbuckers
                          Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne) - played a Gibson Les Paul Custom with humbuckers
                          Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) - played ESP guitars with humbuckers (Kerry currently uses BC Rich)
                          Chuck Shuldiner (Death) - played a BC Rich Stealth with only 1 humbucker at the bridge position
                          Dimebag Darrell (Pantera) - Played a Dean ML (later a Washburn signature model) famously custom loaded with a Bill Lawrence hotrails humbucker at the bridge position
                          Angus Young (ACDC) - played a Gibson SG with humbuckers
                          Malcolm Young (ACDC) - played a Gretsch Firebird with filtertron humbuckers
                          Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne/Black Label Society) - Played a Gibson Les Paul Custom with EMG81 active humbuckers
                          Bill Steer (Carcass) - played an Ibanez RG with humbuckers
                          Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield (Metallica) - played ESP M-II and EXP guitars with humbuckers
                          Slash (Guns N Roses) - played mostly Gibson Les Paul Standards with humbuckers
                          Brent Hinds (Mastodon) - plays a Gibson Flying V with humbuckers
                          Trey Azagtoth (Morbid Angel) - played a Ibanez Universe 7-string and a BC Rick Ironbird with humbuckers
                          James Murphy (Death/Obituary/Testament/Disincarnate/etc) - played an Ibanez S series and a BC Rich Warlock with humbuckers
                          Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) - played an Ibanez RG and Jackson Randy Rhoads with humbuckers
                          Kenny Hickey (Type O Negative) played a Gibson SG and Fernandes Raven w/ sustainer system, both loaded with humbuckers
                          ...and countless innumerable others who have used guitars besides Fender Stratocasters.

                          Now for a list of metal guitarists who use Fender Stratocasters with the traditional 50's and 60's configuration of 3 single coil pickups...

                          Yngwie Malmsteen (and I hate to list him as "metal" because... he's a douche)
                          Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) (This may not even count, because I think most of the time, Sambora played a modded Strat with a humbucker at the bridge)
                          Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine)
                          ...and that's really about all I can think of.

                          "So many" metal guitarists don't use single coil pickups because they sound weak and twangy. It's not that they hate that Fender is a company from the 50's, and it's not that they hate the looks of the guitars, it's all about sound. It's the same reason why you probably wouldn't use a 1962 hollowbody Gibson ES125 for speed metal. These days, probably more metal style guitarists DO use Fender's. These days, there are a lot more Fender models with humbuckers at the bridge position as well as 2-humbucker models. Back in the 90's and before, they didn't offer NEARLY as many pickup configuration options.
                          Last edited by Focalor; 08-14-2017, 06:43 AM.

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                          • #28
                            Speaking of strats... I don't currently own a 3 single coil strat style guitar. I have a Gibson Les Paul, a '96 Ibanez Joe Satriani signature model, and what I suspect is a rare version of an '84 BC Rich Mockingbird NJ Series because I've never seen another one from that year with the same headstock design and logo. But if it happens to be a rare and valuable variety... it sure ain't anymore. I've been in the process of sanding off the original finish on the body. After getting a good portion of the back and sides done, I've found that the solid hot pink finish was covering a 4-piece body. And the pieces are not all the same width, and just like what so many guitar makers from that era were doing, they just glued together whatever they could get ahold of with little regard for looks. But the scraps they did use were actually nice pieces of great sounding alder... just too bad it wasn't all in 2 symmetrical pieces.

                            Might be picking me up a 3 single coil project strat tomorrow though. I've been hunting around trying to find one of the old late 80's or early 90's "Made In USA" Peavey Falcon Classics or Peavey Raptors. I finally found one, but it's all the way up in Chatanooga TN and they want almost 300 for it. That's a long way to ride for something I might not like when I try it. But this weekend I was doing some more hunting online and found some used Squier Affinity Stratocasters at a shop priced at 69.99 and 79.99. Squier's DO kinda suck compared to real Fender's, but not entirely. The Affinity models sometimes have decent feeling necks. The body is made of alder, just like Fender strats, whereas most other Squier models/series are basswood or agathis. The body on Affinity strats are about 1/4inch slimmer than Fenders, and the bridges on these Squier Affinity strats are pure garbage, and with the body being thinner, it makes finding a good upgrade replacement bridge kinda hard... unless you know where to look. GuitarFetish has steel or brass trem block bridges made to fit these things perfectly for around 40 bucks. If you don't like the pickups, you can swap them out for a 3pack of real Fender TexMex pickups for about 69 bucks. Personally, I think I'm gonna get me a set of these GuitarFetish-made lipstick pickups and turn this thing into a surf strat like the one I played a week or so ago. Then... maybe replace the nut with bone, tusq, or graphtec for better ring on the open notes. And bada-bing, a killer strat for less than 200 bucks.
                            Last edited by Focalor; 08-14-2017, 07:49 PM.

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