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Monday, December 01, 2003

How low can you go?

I've been playing my bass a bit lately. I hadn't picked up the five string for a good month but figured that if I spent the time, energy, and money on switching it to an active pickup I should really actually play the damn thing. It's a beautiful instrument and the action is just right for me, nice and low but still "bouncy". It's a black MusicMan with matching headstock and pickguard. I was going to switch out to a mirrored pickguard, but I have no plans to ever play in front of anybody to impress.
It's not an Ernie Ball, but I've made enough mods to it that I actually prefer it to the many I've noodled around with. Seymour Duncan pickups are the next best thing to winding your own - which I don't have the patience nor skill to pull off. Tim Commerford makes his own which just blows my mind. I do mix my own paints when I'm not using acrylics, so I'm not a complete lazy ass.

Anyways, back to playing my bass in the relative safety of my house. I'm not good at it. In fact, I suck. I'm bad enough that even my old bandmates up in Seattle noticed. I can play 1/32nd notes though. I can play one right now, see? *bing*

I think the reason I don't progress as a player has to do with knowing too many talented players. My ex is the bassist for a very good band here in LA. She plays a silver Ernie Ball MM 5 string that inspired me to pick up my 5 string. She loves that bass more than me, which is one of the may reasons we broke up. I don't blame her, it's really a pretty little thing. Mines better though. My friend Mavis plays in another great local band, but guitar. He plays bass at Universal Bar and Grill on Sunday nights in a jam band though. That guy makes me sick. He plays drums, guitar, bass, keyboards, trumpet, and a multitude of other instruments. He can also build most of the instruments he plays. He used to make trumpets and trombones for a living . From scratch. So I kind of get intimidated by these people and kind of give up on trying to play as well. It's a hobby, more than anything, for me.

I just converted one of my no-name 4 strings to a fretless though. That was fun. I had to plane down the fretboard a little to get the strings to rest properly. I actually did it in the dark and went by feel so my eyes wouldn't deceive me. I'm waiting to fill in the frets properly with some sandalwood before I put a finish on it, but already it sounds surprisingly decent. I just need to do that, eat a bunch of greasy chicken without napkins, then go to town embarrassing myself by trying to play along with Jaco P.

No point to this journal entry, is there? Now everybody on my list knows that I'm not very good at something they didn't know I have an interest in. That's a good idea for a comment to leave - what do you have a passion for yet do not excell in? You know my answer: snowboarding. What's yours?