God of Thunder

A mystery bag - but what could it contain?

Right on schedule, as I hurtle towards my 40th birthday in the Autumn, comes the opening salvo in what promises to be a truly HILARIOUS mid-life crisis.

Whilst I have so far resisted the urge to buy an absurd sports car and a questionable pair of leather trews to accompany it, I have rather caved in on the ‘living out your teenage musician fantasies’ aspect of that regrettable, middle-aged bloke’s triumvirate of woe and bought…

Behold, my mighty axe! And weep in awe as you gaze upon its affordable curves and single pick-up!

A bass guitar.  Yep, I’ve resisted the urge to believe that I’m going to buy an entry-level guitar and be transformed, overnight, into Joe Satriani and instead plumped for an instrument which is, frankly, far more in keeping with my disposition.

Les Claypool of Primus - knows his way around four (or more) strings...

Just a pro-tip for anybody out there of a similar age who’s thinking about taking up music in your dotage – don’t go to YouTube and check out videos of Les Claypool from Primus in full-flight – it’ll only depress you.

Nope, with the best will in the world, I would love to keep going and learn as much as I can on the instrument, but my goal is to be able to play along to songs that I love and maybe jam with mates at some point – musical virtuosity is a boat which may have sailed, I fear, but musical competence is the middle-of-the-road goal that I’m setting out to reach.

If I could play like anybody?

I’ve been to see Melissa Auf Der Maur, and on top of being the most glamorous and unflinchingly eccentric Canadian arty space viking that I’ve had the pleasure to encounter, she’s also a kick-ass bass player and quietly distinguished and singular stylist to be reckoned with.  If I can get to approach being as rhythmically solid and cool as she is, I’ll be quite chuffed.

More progress reports will be with you as and when I, you know, make some actual progress…

 

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “God of Thunder

  1. Have fun dude! Bass is a fun instrument to play. If I could add a couple suggestions for a beginner: first and foremost, practice practice practice, at minimum an hour a day, and spend at least 10-15 min with some warm up exercises (easily found online). And don’t forget to end your practice session with some time just ‘f’n around’
    I’ve met a lot of beginner bass players (myself included) that looked at the bass like playing a guitar, it’s not, think: a guitar is more “flying” a bass is “rolling”
    Primus tunes aren’t as hard as you might think, but definitely not for beginners.
    Don’t be afraid to use a pick. Some frown on this, but it can help you get comfortable with the instrument at first giving your left hand a chance to get accustomed to the fret board before you move onto the more difficult right hand and finger picking/slaps/plucks/etc. A lot of metal/hard rock musicians use pick exclusively to keep up with blistering drumming speeds, so it’s good to know both techniques.
    Learn where all the note are on the fretboard
    And Geddy Lee, best bass player ever ;)
    Again, have a ton of fun, keep at it for a year and you should be at the level you mentioned in no time.

    • Awesome advice – my chromatic tuner arrived today, so I’ll be able to tune appropriately and not sound quite so dodgy. And Hagrid doesn’t mind it, which is a real plus.

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