Monday, September 30, 2013

Alternate Tunings and String Selection

I touched on this subject a while ago.  After trying E-standard to B-standard and everything in between, my band settled on drop C# as our tuning.  It fit our singer's vocal range, and sounded heavy without having to do much screwing around with EQ and effects.  The big concern for me was what strings to use. 

I got into the mindset of using balanced tension sets of strings vs. traditional tension.  My jumping off point for this was Circle K strings, and you can read about it here.  One snag: they recommend against using their strings in basses with through-body stringing.  Crap.  My ESP B4-E was a through body design.  I plowed through pages of string sets looking for something near the gauges I was looking for:

C# = .110
G# = .080
C# = .060
F# = .045

(I arrived at these values using CircleK's tension chart, and doing some best guess rounding for what was available.  I still wanted to be able to tune up to standard tuning, which is why my heaviest string cheats to the light side.)

If only someone offered bass strings for sale piecemeal, I could do what I wanted!  Well guess what?  Somebody does.  I ended up ordering strings from Bass Strings Online.  (Go figure).  They have strings from lots of manufacturers that you can put together into your own sets.  They were pretty inexpensive and shipped fast.  I settled on Dunlop stainless steels for my first set for a little extra clank.  I also picked up a heavier set for my ESP B-304 that I use in D-standard and Drop-C:

C = .120
G = .090
C = .065
F = .050

Which reminds me, I really need to do a post about the B-304.  It has become my favorite bass of the ones I own, and I intend to make some alterations to my B-4E to try and get it to sound more like the 304.  Until then, go buy some strings!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DIY Pedal Board

Just read a cool little blurb from Premier Guitar about a DIY pedalboard project.  Check it out here.  I like how the power supply is hidden underneath and the AC in lets you remove the power cord instead of having it hardwired to the board.  I'm actually considering doing something like this since I have streamlined the content of my own pedalboard.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lazy Bastard Returns to Blogging

Bass =/= Bass

Actually not lazy.  Over the past year all of my blogging time and energy was converted into beer.  Homebrew to be exact.  I'm still playing bass, had a couple gigs, been writing new songs, and making gallons and gallons of delicious, delicious beer.  And let me tell you, having a kegerator full of homebrew in your practice space is both a blessing and a curse!

But enough about my alcoholism.  I decided when I got full bore into brewing that I would maintain what I had already put down in bassbottomfeeder.  It was a lot of work and I didn't see the point of flushing it all down the toilet to save $15.  You're welcome, GoDaddy.  I'm glad to see it is still getting some use.  Over a hundred hits a day for the past year and I haven't done squat!

Unfortunately, money is still tight, so I still don't get to blow wads of cash on bass related toys.  I'm going to try and go back through what I've already done and update what needs updating.  After having a year to screw around with my basses and pedal board, I've kind of boiled it down some and changed some of my opinions on my tone.  So more on that to follow.

So if you give a crap about any of this, I'll be posting sporadically in the near future.  And if you don't, you can get back to surfing for porn or whatever it was you were doing when you ended up here.  Later.