Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Offending Instrument

I've gotten some very nice compliments on my playing on that "new" Floor Models song I posted on Monday -- for which many thanks -- and a couple of people have asked what kind of bass I was using on the session.

Well, here it is.

It's a Fender Modern Player Jaguar bass; the company markets them as a low-end first instrument for beginners, but for my money -- approximately 350 bucks -- it's as solid and terrific sounding as any bass I've ever used; the intonation, straight out of the box, was perfect. Plus it also just looks so cool (the design is based on a six-string model Fender made in the '60s that was much beloved of surf guitarists). It was recommended to me by a Facebook pal who works at Sam Ash Music on Long Island, and I'm eternally grateful to him (thanks Bob!)

I should add that although it does not have an abnormally long neck, I find it somewhat difficult to reach the tuning peg at the very top; this puzzled me, until last month, when I went for a checkup with my doctor for the first time in twenty years. Turns out that I have literally shrunk two and a half inches in the interim.


Gummo said...

So you're now officially a hobbit?

steve simels said...

Pretty much. If I live to be 100', it's conceivable the bass will be taller than me.

Mark said...

There are medications that you can take and exercises you can start to minimize the bones loss that accompanies aging. I've been on a number of regimens over the past thirty five years and in fact, my rate of bone loss due to aging has has slowed considerably.

At my most recent meeting with my rheumatologist -- following an every-other-year bone density x-ray and a continued decrease in the rate of bone loss -- my doctor told me that if I continue doing what I'm doing, there's a 95% chance I'll only be one standard deviation below the norm for height at age 135 or so.

pete said...

Long-necked pliers?

steve simels said...

Tall roadies.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for info on the guitar Steve. For a "Made in China" guitar that sucker has a nice tone. Have you modified it at all? Is that with original pick-ups?

Also, on the recording, what were you playing through?

I've fucked around with that guitar in music stores when I was shopping for a new guitar for my daughter. It seemed kind of heavy (weight) which made me choose another model.

With regard to your height problem, does Fender make a short-scale of that model? You may have to resort to that.

Also regarding height. Between the age of 40 and 50 I grew from 5'7" to 5'9". My doctor said that's very unusual, but bodes well for potential life span. I have a place in Idaho and spent a lot of time there during those years. Maybe it was the clean air. I dunno. Hopefully there's nothing radioactive about:-)

Vickie Rock - High Quality Humbucker

steve simels said...

Vicki -- no, I didn't modify the thing at all in terms of the electronics, although I did have it set up playing-wise by a brilliant musician friend of mine (a guy named Arthur Nielsen, who was the guitarist in Cyndi Lauper's Blue Angel). I also use extremely light-gauge strings because I play with a pick.

In the studio, we plugged the bass directly into the board, rather than miking an amp. That's pretty much the way I've done every recording session on bass since the early 70s.

And you're right -- the thing weighs a ton. I love it anyway, but I can understand why it might be a little unwieldy for a kid.

Peter Power Pop said...

Here's a video review of the bass:

Peter Power Pop said...

Squire make a short-scale version of the Jaguar:

Anonymous said...

Just noticed your response now. I've been stuffing a turkey. My truly gorgeous half-hispanic, yet blue-eyed, daughter invited me over to her Carlsbad home yesterday. Her motive: She bought a bird and she wanted me to cook it cuz no one makes it like mom. My stuffing is amazing. Even if you're not a fan of stuffing, mine will make you a convert. And no one makes a bird more moist and tasty than Mommarock. No brag - just fact.

I left my daughter in charge of concocting the electric sangria. Soon we'll be all telepathic smiles.

Anyway, I'm not sure I know what you mean about Nielson setting it up playing wise. Was this in the studio or before that. I think I've heard of that Neilson guy. He's a blues dude, no? Has he ever made it out to L.A.?

I thought it sounded like you plugged directly into the board. That's a nice tone for thin gauge strings and a pick. Do you ever use your fingers?

One more question: How thick is your pick?

Vickie Rock - no double entendre intended:-)

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, what software, if any, do you use to manipulate the sound?

One of my boyfriends used to work at Westlake Audio at the Santa Monica Boulevard location. I hung around there a bunch. A lot of that stuff's over my head. But I did pick up a few things along the way.

If it was me, I'd plug into the board AND record through an amp simultaneously, or reamp later. You get great results if everything is dialed perf and in the tube.

A girlfriend of me and Sandy's has a really bitchen place in Ojai Hills. Her husband is kind of a geek. We're not fond of him. He's way too uptight and we make him uncomfortable. He's he's a rich dork and she's a bit of a gold digger, so.... She's got a habit of, shall I say, pouring her treasure into lots of foreign laps. But he knew what her terms were from the get go. She's quite the piece of ass so he'll settle for any little bone she throws his way. Their future looks really promising:-)

Anyway, she has a really nice home studio set up. I love the Steinway Grand B in there for my classical exercises. Yes I got me some culcha. Once recorded Mozart K576 by candlelight and in the nude with my guy's hard cock brushing against my back the whole time. It was inspiring and unforgettable. I think I only played it better one other time. I treasure that recording and what happened after. Gets me wet just thinking about it.

We often use the studio for strictly vanity stuff. Nobody cares about the shit anyway. It's all over the place stylistically. Between the three of us, we've dragged some pretty interesting people there to make odd-ball one-off recording ensembles. It's true that most of the greatest musicians are not famous. We've learned many things about the recording process through these friends. But the technology is moving so fast that it's way too much to absorb - the head spins. Makes you wanna go retro.

Vickie Rock - Bastin' the Bird and getting ready for some Good Stuffing

buzzbabyjesus said...

I see it has both P-Bass and Jazz pickups. nice combo. Is there really any other electric bass besides Fender?

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steve simels said...

Vicki -- you're right about Arthur; big deal blues guy now. Here he is backing up Shemekia Copeland.

Terrific musician and a super nice guy.

I also agree with you in theory about taking the bass in direct AND miking it at the same time; ideally, that would be the way to go.

Also, the setting the bass up for playing is a very mysterious process that I don't understand. I think it involves adjust the angle of the neck and adjusting the height of each string in relation. But that's stuff that only real musicians understand, and I am of course not even remotely a real musician.

Anonymous said...

Shemekia! I saw her at the Long Beach Blues Festival with her dad in the mid-1990's. She was just a kid but she carried the show as if she was Koko Taylor. It was like seeing Derek Trucks blow everyone's minds with his guest shots on the Gregg Allman tour in 1994.

Saw her again at the Blue Cafe in Long Beach and the Coach House in Capistrano circa 1999. These shows must have featured your pal. Also saw them at the Catalina circa 2005.

I know some blues songwriting guys who wrote songs for her first couple of albums.

Thanks for clearing things up on the guitar set up. I wrongly thought he may have been in the studio tweeking the sound.

Next time you see him, ask Neilson if he ever played the Fremont Street Blues and Reggae Club in Las Vegas. I had some fun times there in the 1990's.

It was a weird concept. The building was split in half and had reggae on one side and blues on the other. The sound leaked through the walls, but if it was turned up you didn't really notice. Had some high times there with James Armstrong who was in top form back then. It was just before he got stabbed.

I was staying at the "old" Aladdin. Before I went to the gig, I played the slots six times and won three $3,000 jackpots, almost one after the other.

If you won a decent pot they made you fill out fuckin' tax forms. You also got to take your picture with the in house genie who was decked out like a 1990's [i.e. more skin] version of Barbara Eden.

I had three pix taken in five minutes. On the second one I lengthily french kissed the genie. She was very receptive to kissing another girl. By the third photo she was asking me if I was some kind of witch. I whispered in her ear, "Go to bed with me and you'll find out."

I laughed and playfully twitched my nose. A gave her a wonderful soft kiss and sensuously outlined her luscious "Marianne Faithfull" lips with my tongue. I asked her to come down to the Blues and Reggae club when she got off work to hook up with me and my husband. And, yes, she brought the genie costume.

Vickie Rock - Mistress of the Five-Fold Kiss