I've never played anything but bass ...
I started to write this and suddenly realised how old I am !! .. It all started back
in 1963. I was 14 then, and my dad finally agreed to sell theaccordion I never played,
and buy me an electric guitar instead. I went home the proud owner of a Watkins Rapier
33, and a Watkins Westminster 10 watt (single valve) amplifier.
The guitar player phase lasted about 3 weeks, and then one day I realised I was playing
the bass lines and not the lead or rhythm. What to do ?? ... that day I ripped off
the strings and fitted bass strings instead. Man did that guitar sound cr*p !! .. But
to me it was a bass so it was OK. I kept at it for a couple of years, and in 1967 earned
enough money to buy a Watkins Rapier bass (It was just like Arni's prized blue one).
As I grew up, at different times during the past 40 years, I have played (very badly)
in different bands doing pop covers, blues, hard rock, jazz rock, rock'n'roll, trad
jazz, soul, and now even some original "Nederpop". All my guitars have been
"true" left-handed (i.e. upside-down and back-to-front) and over my time
I have managed to work my way through the Rapier Bass, a Hofner Steinberger clone (YEEUCK!),
a 60's Fender Jazz (YUMM!), An early 70's Rick 4001, and several cheapo copies of Jazzes
... but oddly enough, I've never played a Precision!
From 1981 to 2006 there were only two guitars in my life - An NRJ, 5-string, fretted
which was custom-built in 1990 by Niall McLaughlin (I hope that's his surname) of Bradford
U.K. and a 1980 fretless, Musicman Stingray. The MM is the only left-handed, pre-Ernie
Ball, fretless to be recorded in the serial number database. a few years ago I sold
it to a friend of mine in the Ukraine - Vladimir Scherbinin - who is keeping it alive
with love and music!! .. and for my working fretless I now hve a Blackwood/Shine 5-string
which was custom finished by Shine. Very recently, to replace my aging NRJ, I ordered
a Maruszczyk Frog Omega 5-string and its just beautiful !!
What am I doing now? Im working with anew rock and blues 4-piece called Play
it Loud, and we expect to start gigging around the Hague/Leiden/Delft area in early
to mid 2015
I'm self-taught, and I've always felt that I play bass really badly, so recently, at
56, and for the first time in my life, I started taking music lessons. I want to improve
my technique, and to learn to sight read. From what I have experienced of the lessons
so far, tthe noise I make is likely to get even worse before it starts to get better
I won't name any influences, because I doubt anyone would be very pleased to be associated
with, or in any way responsible for, my bass playing "style"!! but I do love
listening to all and any good bass players, and rate Jaco's accompaniment of Joni Mitchell
on her Hejira album as the ultimate in sublime bass playing.