Still attempting to catch up on all the events from last year, I offer this…
In a wildly indulgent moment I decided to buy a bass guitar. Do I play, no. Was it largely for noodling, yes. I looked at $99 bass guitars and up and immediately discerned that I could spend as much money as I was willing to throw at it.
I spent a few weeks watching all manner of bass YouTube channels. I liked BassBuzz which featured a video of play testing cheap bass guitars.
They all sounded great to me but certainly pointed out things to look for. Then there was this one one which featured a bit more expensive cheap Squire bass.
The Squire got good ratings on the above video, and at Guitar Center, so I opted for the Squire bass and went with a package that included the amp and “everything you need!” from Guitar Center. Per the package description:
“Ideal for first-time players, the Squier Affinity PJ Bass Pack includes an Affinity Series Precision Bass with a powerful split-coil P Bass middle pickup and a growling J Bass single-coil bridge pickup. It also features a smooth-playing “C”-shaped neck and a lightweight, comfortable body. Fender also included a free 3-month subscription to Fender Play—a great way to learn bass.
Delivering 15 watts of pure Fender bass tone, the Rumble 15 amplifier features an 8″ Fender Special Design speaker, three-band EQ, headphone jack for silent practice and an aux input for playing along with your favorite songs or backing tracks. With the included padded gig bag, strap and 10′ cable, the Squier Affinity PJ Bass Pack has everything you need to stop dreaming and start playing.”
I picked it up in October last year. Spent the evening setting it up and goofing with it.
I had not imagined it being so heavy, or long for that matter. I opted for the darker color and bought a stand. So, I guess not EVERYTHING was in the box. Also giant nerd not included.
Getting it actually tuned was an adventure using several apps on my phone and having a bit of a hard time until I learned the secret of laying the phone ON the bass when trying to tune. After that viola!
Over the next few weeks I watched endless videos on riffs for new bass players. “Another One Bites The Dust”, “Seven Nation Army” (not actually played on bass by Jack White for the record) and a host of others. Here is one I particularly liked since it had tabs and notes both. Shawn, check the first tab!
I learned a couple that I can play when I pick up the bass for a noodling session and have played around with trying an off tune solo now and then. It’s a great way to have some low end thumping fun.
I learned that (as with most things) that it’s not easy as it looks, but that it IS a blast. It’s funny how the riffs of some songs that you know lay over a really really simple (in theory) bass line composed of just a few notes. When you learn the notes and the pattern and make it rudimentarily SOUND like it’s supposed to sound, it brings a smile to your face.
I will say that I began to really notice the bass line in a lot of songs that I had never really paid any attention to in the past.
Had to move it out recently while I was painting my office and also when the floors were being redone. She’s back!
Nestled nicely between the cat tree and the FINALLY adorned office wall above the stereo rack.
You can see the bass on the lower right.
Have I become a bass master? Uh, no. WILL I become a bass master? Same answer, but… I will enjoy wherever I end up.
I’ll leave you with this last video which features a ton of famous bass players and a tiny bit of theory to boot from Rick Beato. How many to you recognize?