Well, now that I am not a starving musician anymore, I have been able to get the equipment I always wanted to have but could never afford. All I need to do now is learn how to play!
Over the years, I have played a number of different bass guitars. Here's a picture of my 1st Fender Fretless Jazz Bass, ala "Jaco Pastorius" style.
I used this to lay down a take of Jaco's most prized tune: "Portrait of Tracy" from his debut album
which I have never heard anyone but me ever record.
One of the problems that Bass had, was that the neck and the body came from two different Basses.
Another was that it had the original Fender tuning machines which really sucked.
I spent a lot of money on having the neck customized by having the frets pulled out and filled in to make it
a fretless. I also put a Badass-II Bridge on it which really enhanced the harmonics, but it still did not
satisfy all the sounds I wanted to get.
I eventually got rid of it many years ago. I had an opportunity to pick up another factory made fretless
Fender Jazz Bass no too long ago.
Here is a picture of it down below (My daughter Ashley drew a picture of it and made a Birthday Card for
me as you can see here as well):
When I was a starving musician, I could barely afford the instruments I used on the job. Once I became
rich and famous (wishful thinking on both counts!), I was able to buy the basses of my dreams and the
most awseome Bass Amp you ever saw. Here's a few pics:
But after picking up all of this different gear, a whole new set of problems developed.
The first one was a playability problem.
You see, since I don't play every day now, I don't have the finger strength to play a fretless anymore.
Trying to maintain proper intonation when you have limited hand strength is just impossible.
Another problem is the Amp. I just can't move that humongous piece of equipment around anymore,
so I needed something that sounded just as good, but was easy to place where I wanted it.
And on top of all of that, I wanted to get into playing a 5-string as I have been dying to learn some new
material by Tom Kennedy who plays in the Dave Weckl Band. That low B-string just knocks my socks off.
So what to do? Well after searching high and low, I finally found what I was looking for.
Below is the new lineup I use:
You are looking at an Ibanez SD-GR 5-string. It has Bartollini pickups on it that are absolutely AMAZING!
And it plays like no Bass I have EVER owned. For amplification I chose the TC Electronic BG250.
Another AMAZING piece of gear. You can actually download effects to it either using a PC or a cell phone with Bluetooth or via USB 2.0 connections. How cool can you get?
I scrapped my ART SGX-Nightbass Effects processor for a nice compact Zoom B2.1u Bass Pedal. It can do
just about anything you can think of, plus it has all the modern USB connections and software compatibility
options you would expect of modern day gear.
To round out the electronics, I use a Roland BR-80 Digital Recorder that gives me unlimited possibilities
for practicing and recording either while amplified or with nothing but headphones on.
I did keep two of my original rack mounted pieces of gear: the NADY UHF Wireless transmitter system
and my Sabine tuner.
There is also one new piece of gear that isn't in this picture. It's a TC-Electronic Ditto-Looper.
I have always wanted to try one of those bass solos that Jaco used to do with his Echo-Plex.
Thank god for modern technology. An Echo -Plex was 500 bucks back in it's day (the early 80's).
The Ditto-Looper is only about 100 bucks or so.