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  #16  
Old 07-19-2019, 03:49 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Originally Posted by agfsteve View Post
Yes! This is the exact response I was hoping for--GAS refueled! LOL.

I was initially thinking of getting that exact same bass, the Ibanez Mikro. But one thing that I didn't like was that the output jack is on the under side / edge (the most common place), but I want to plug a wireless transmitter in there, and I'm worried that it would be easy to break it off or otherwise damage it in that location, so I then narrowed down my search criteria to basses with the output jack on the front, like a regular P or J bass.

But back to a more important question: So you actually pick your bass Travis-picking style? I am very interested in exploring that. How does it vary for you from Travis style on an acoustic guitar? I'm trying to imagine what Travis style on a bass would feel like under my picking hand.
You might consider a Squier Bronco, it has a front mounted output jack and a 30" scale length.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...nco-bass-black

The Ibenez Talman has a 30" scale length and a front pocket output jack, similar to a Strat.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...ard-mint-green

If you're handy with wood and tools I posted an entire build topic on Talkbass for what I personally play:

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/30%...build.1251494/

If you need an amp I can highly recommend Fender's newest Rumble series. I actually gig with a Rumble 100 and at 23 pounds it's refreshing to pack into a gig with stuff you can carry in two hands easily.

Last edited by Rudy4; 07-19-2019 at 04:00 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-19-2019, 05:20 PM
Birdbrain Birdbrain is offline
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Default Nice choice...

I use a Fender Rumble 25, just big enough to sit on and just loud enough to be too loud.
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  #18  
Old 07-19-2019, 07:26 PM
Sonics Sonics is offline
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Originally Posted by agfsteve View Post
OP again here.

It was so much fun, but I struggled big time with timing. Even just sitting on the root of the chords in a I IV V, playing quarter notes at a comfortable BPM was difficult to keep going for a whole song. I'd be bouncing along pretty good for a few bars, and then I'd have a little "spasm", or whatever, where my plucking finger didn't seem to get the memo to play on the beat, and it would hurriedly play the note, and disrupt the groove. Or the opposite, where my finger would just be too "enthusiastic", and get the note in early, again disrupting the groove.

.
At the basic level there are several techniques you can use to pluck the string:
  1. You can use a pick.
  2. You can use your thumb.
  3. You can use your thumb and fingers.
  4. You can use your index and middle fingers as one 'big finger'.
  5. You can alternate your index and your middle fingers.

If you're a finger picker, then technique #3 would be the easiest transition for you.

Observe...



...Oh yeah you keep time with your body, if you can FEEL the groove, then you will always be locked in with the beat AKA pocket central...

...and here's an example of 'deep pocket'.

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  #19  
Old 07-19-2019, 10:18 PM
agfsteve agfsteve is offline
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Originally Posted by Birdbrain View Post
I'm probably the least experienced bass player hereabouts. My "technique" is barely worth describing, but I mostly play with my thumb and forefinger. When I want a sharper attack, I'll switch to a felt pick, or a heavy acrylic V-Pick. The point is, the wide string spacing of the bass suddenly made my fingerpicking much cleaner and easier. That transferred back to the guitar, and I'm now getting decent at primitive two-finger work. Pathetic, yes, but a small breakthrough from the plateau I'd been stuck on. Switching to a 1/8" nut width on my current Seagulls helped with this, as well.

Knowing nothing about wireless stage setups, I'd suppose you could use a short male-to-female patch cord to bring the signal to the back of the body, where a transmitter could be mounted. Or the bass could be drilled to re-route the signal to a jack on the front or back. These are so cheap ($150+) that you don't have to worry much about modifications, even unsuccessful ones.
Yes, I was thinking that if I did get a bass with the output jack on the under side / edge, then I could use a little piece of Velcro to hold the wireless transmitter to the front or the back of the bass.

It's frustrating that a regular male-to-male patch cable (of which I already have several) is just a couple of bucks, but it looks like a male-to-female patch cable is around $15--seems to defeat the purpose of cheaping out, LOL. I do have a female-to-female "plug" that I could use to connect a regular male-to-male patch cable to the wireless transmitter, but I assume all of those extra connections degrades the signal.
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  #20  
Old 07-20-2019, 08:04 AM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agfsteve View Post
;How much does playing bass help with playing acoustic guitar?
…Is my enthusiasm for bass just a perverse GAS attack that I'll later be ashamed of? LOL.
Hi agfs…

I'd think vice versa should also be considered - "How much does playing acoustic guitar help with playing bass?"

The best musicians I know play many instruments, including both bass and guitar. And they cover a lot of styles of music, not just one.

My gigging partner owns several 4 string, two 5 string, and a pair of 6 string basses (one fretless) and an upright bass. He also owns several decent acoustics, and about a dozen electric guitars.

I think he'd say other players influence him far more than the different instruments he plays.

My feeble attempts at playing bass (I do own one) have made me sensitive to not encroaching on the bassist's parts when playing in ensemble situations.

Technically speaking an understanding of scales, rhythm, styles of music and a bunch of serious listening to outstanding bassists contribute to learning proper bass. I'd say the same applies to learning acoustic (as opposed to electric) guitar.

Some influences from guitar to bass…
  • Shared fretboard layout
  • Similar tunings (both are known to operate in standard and Dropped D quite a bit)
  • Chord structure and subtleties from the acoustic are a direct outline for supporting bass notes

Some influences from bass to guitar…
  • Allowing an acoustic player to do less work and play solid sustained chords while the bass plays supportive and intricate parts simultaneously - or conversely to play rhythmic passages while the bass player plays supportive sustained parts.
  • Creative interaction possibilites

My gigging partner is a bassist who is also a dynamite guitarist. The whole character of our songs can be instantly shifted when he moves to bass. We also sing, and we are able to weave all those things together.

He is a different musician on bass. It's like someone who is fluent in another language. He doesn't mimic the bass in his guitar playing nor the guitar in his bass playing. He has developed two separate languages if you will.

Hope this contributes to the discussion…


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  #21  
Old 07-20-2019, 08:24 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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I look at bass and guitar as completely separate instruments, yet complimentary. Bass is an accompanying instrument, not really for solo performance, while guitar is completely natural as a solo instrument. Bass is a combination of a rhythm instrument and a fundamental harmony instrument, responsible for driving pulse and for laying down the bottom of the harmony. I learnt bass as a way of improving my sense of time, and my understanding of the harmonic structure of the songs. I sucked at it.
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  #22  
Old 07-21-2019, 07:33 AM
agfsteve agfsteve is offline
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OP again here.

I went ahead and ordered the Ibanez Mikro bass in "Transparent Red" from Sweetwater.

Thanks to everyone for your input.
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  #23  
Old 07-21-2019, 11:01 AM
Birdbrain Birdbrain is offline
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Default Good- I think you'll enjoy it

But since I discovered the Mikro Club at talkbass, I'm aware that buying one is just the beginning. Many folks over there buy two or three and start hit-rodding them with active pickups. Some admit to spending a grand on mods for their $150 instrument. And why not, when the next step up, custom & boutique short-scale basses, can cost several thousands bucks?

I haven't started down that road, but I am interested in having the controls rewired. The stock setup of two volume controls and one tone knob isn't intuitive or easy on the fly. The popular mod of master volume/pickup selector and tone sounds much more practical.

It's fun to read how many avid bassists have tried a Mikro and set their expensive Fenders aside, gigging with the little Ibanez. There's nothing small about the sound of mine. I would like a bit more clarity and definition on the two low strings, so that's a long-term goal.
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  #24  
Old 07-21-2019, 02:22 PM
agfsteve agfsteve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdbrain View Post
But since I discovered the Mikro Club at talkbass, I'm aware that buying one is just the beginning. Many folks over there buy two or three and start hit-rodding them with active pickups. Some admit to spending a grand on mods for their $150 instrument. And why not, when the next step up, custom & boutique short-scale basses, can cost several thousands bucks?

I haven't started down that road, but I am interested in having the controls rewired. The stock setup of two volume controls and one tone knob isn't intuitive or easy on the fly. The popular mod of master volume/pickup selector and tone sounds much more practical.

It's fun to read how many avid bassists have tried a Mikro and set their expensive Fenders aside, gigging with the little Ibanez. There's nothing small about the sound of mine. I would like a bit more clarity and definition on the two low strings, so that's a long-term goal.
I doubt that I will be modifying mine, unless it's to fix something.

I don't know why no other manufacturer has brought out a competitive bass, either at a similar price point, or something really nice, say in the $500 range or higher.
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  #25  
Old 07-21-2019, 05:11 PM
Birdbrain Birdbrain is offline
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Beyond the buying advice, which you no longer need, and the mods advice, which you don't yet know if you'll need, there's still your original question, which I neglected to answer.

What does it feel like to switch from guitar to bass? I feel liberated from so many challenges of the guitar: that scalar stumble at the B string, the need to fill space with fast picking, complex chord variations, and the need to avoid repetition (instead, I strive for repetition, and probably don't do enough of it). When multiple guitars are battling for the upper part of the frequency range, there's a big, empty basement for me to play in.

So many things seem simple, even in my first few dozens hours of playing time. That's probably a sign that I'm missing something. I know I'm not yet a song leader on bass. I haven't memorized the standard parts, and my time isn't rock solid. Most advice on timekeeping seems to start with "lock in with the kick drum." Since I haven't played yet with a drummer, that's not helpful advice!

Most rock and R&B bass riffs aren't technically demanding, though. Once they a good groove gets started, it tends to make its own momentum. Overall, playing bass is easier than I expected. In the past, I think it's been regarded as a difficult instrument mainly because of the size (I can't span three frets at the top of a Fender bass). Short-scale basses built to guitar-like scales really change that.
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  #26  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:50 AM
KHH KHH is offline
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I learned bass (before playing a six string) in my high school rock band in the ‘60s. For over 20 years, I play guitar in a 3 piece folk/Celtic band. Without a bass, I’m very conscious of the need for the bass line in our music. As a result, I do lots of walk ups and downs, and rarely capo above the 3rd fret.
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