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statico (5018)

statico
  ian.langworthNO@SPAMgmail.com
http://langworth.com/
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PAUSE-ID: IAN [cpan.org]

Co-author of Perl Testing: A Developer's Notebook [oreilly.com]

Journal of statico (5018)

Sunday January 22, 2006
07:50 PM

bass on the brain

[ #28435 ]

The neck of my Peavey Foundation bass guitar is only slightly warped, even after years of neglect. Despite the action being too high and needing a new set of strings, it stays in tune. I'm not bothered with its condition because it's only the beater instrument.

However, when I pick the bass up and begin to play, my frustration grows. My technique has become sloppy. My walking bass improvisation has vaporized. My fingers are much more used to writing code than practicing modes and scales. I can hear the melody to "Oleo" in my head, but it takes a while to play it again.

I haven't played bass guitar seriously in five years, and I feel like crap admitting to it. I can picture the high-school version of myself gawking if he were to hear such a fact -- let alone my music or bass teachers.

When I was a senior in high school, I was happily cranking away tunes with my friends, my copy of Reason, or both. Then college happened. I was immersed in the depths of computer science and learning many new things, so I decided to put the music on hold. A few tracks percolated with a sprinkling of jam sessions, but nothing serious. I began to spend a lot more time listening to music than playing it.

Now, in the present, I know that a happy day is approaching quickly. In the next few months I'll have secured a permanent job. After graduation I plan to have my good bass, a Peavey Cirrus with neck-thru-body and a wenge & walnut finish, tuned and oiled. As much as I deeply enjoy my involvement with my university, I'm going to welcome the time I'll have to play music instead. When I carry my guitar out of the shop I'll be thinking of the next couple of years, who I'll find to jam with, what it'll be like to live in $location. And I'll be smiling.

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  • It's been about 10 years since I've played any of my steel drums, and about 8 since I've had the drumset out. Every now and then I have the urge, but I'm afraid that after hearing what sounds like a hippo falling downhill in concrete that I'll get even more depressed about the lost skills.
  • For the past year, I've been playing bass with a heavy rock band. Prior to that, it had been about 15 years since I'd seriously picked up the instrument.

    Lots of blisters. Making new callouses hurts - and there's no shortcut for it.

    Probably the most frustrating part was the beginning... knowing that I was capable of much more than I was doing, but not having the strength / stamina / dexterity / muscle memory to pull off those old licks.

    My suggestion would be to break out the music that you used to love