Monday, November 26, 2007

My "New" Bass Guitar

I don't own a new bass guitar, but it sure feels like it. I had it restrung and set up last week, an exercise that involved re-trussing the neck, using a much lighter string gauge, pickup tuning, and general cleaning. It sounds as good as new, as a result, much punchier and much cleaner.
It feels like a new beginning: suddenly I'm practicing more and trying new things on the bass. For a long time, I had not been able to slap/pick on this bass, but it seems I should be able to do it now. For slap/funk, I used another (4-string Aria Pro II) bass guitar, my first one ever. After four years, it still has a great sound.
I need to stop a very bad habit with the bass: not changing strings often enough. My mentor Dan Cervone always advocated for a monthly change of strings, but both my bass guitar can go a full year without fresh strings, even when I play somewhere every week. With this tune up, I also lost "tune retention", my term for when my bass guitar used to stay in tune for a long time. It might be weather changes too, but now I have to tune every time I play the bass. I'm in love with my bass guitar once again.

My bass is a Peavey Grind Bass Guitar 5 BXP NTB series, 5 string neck-through of mahogany wood. It comes as a passive bass, but I installed electronics to make it an active bass. These basses have a great sound, better than many bass guitars I have tried at music shops. The downside is that they are quite heavy, so after a 4-hour gig, your shoulders may complain. Which reminds me - it tends to get ungrounded often, giving off an ugly hiss; I should have remembered to have that checked into.
I'm still looking for a rig: an amp head (350-watts or more) and speaker cabinets (preferably a 4x10 and 1x18 or something within that combination range).
What all this means? I'm almost back to play my regular gigs. Three months off have been wonderful. I'll be up for grabs around the Christmas season.
This fine work on my bass was done at Pro Sound, Colorado Springs. The bass guitar specialist there is very knowledgeable, and prices are reasonable.

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