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Some More Zen Stuff by Jimi Durso

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jimi-durso-bioVery often when searching for our voice, we do so by looking outside ourselves and trying things. This isn’t a bad idea, and much of what I’ve presented in this column has been from this direction. But another way to find your own voice is to search within yourself. Most people probably don’t suggest this method simply because they don’t know how to do it. Here are some approaches:

Sit (or stand) with your instrument. Empty your mind as best you can, and wait until you hear something (this could take a while). Wait until you hear it clearly in your head, and then find it on the bass. If it helps, sing or hum the idea you’re hearing first. Then figure it out.

Sometimes what works better is to sit without your instrument. Then do the same thing: clear your mind and wait to hear something internally. When you’ve got something, repeat it in your mind (like a groove, maybe). Next time you pick up your bass, figure it out. When doing this I find that singing or humming it first works best.

If this doesn’t work for you, like perhaps nothing is coming to mind, you can kick-start it. Play one note. Then stop and sit (or stand) in silence until you hear what should come after that note. If you don’t hear anything for a while, play the first note again.

These types of techniques can help you create basslines as well. If your guitarist has written yet another heavy riff, or chord sequence that needs a bassline, just listen to it. Wait until you’ve heard something internally before you play anything. If you can get a recording of it, listen to it over and over until you hear what the bass part should be (at least in your mind).

I’ll also do this with play-a-longs. Maybe I’ll solo on a blues, but I won’t just run scales or play licks. I’ll actually play nothing until I hear something. And I don’t mean thinking of licks and what they would sound like, or envisioning Dorian sounds or anything like that. I’ll wait until a sound comes into my mind.

This is an important point about this exercise. You don’t want to try and think of something, or if your ear and knowledge of music is advanced enough to come up with a theoretical idea and then imagine the sound of it. You want to wait until a sound appears seemingly on its own. If you haven’t yet experienced this, then don’t get concerned if it takes a while. With any of these approaches, if you have to wait a long time and nothing comes up, don’t let that bother you. Just try again the next day. The discovering of what you sound like at a deep level will be worth it.

Also, if the first times you do any of these things, you come up with something that’s not “hip” (like a major scale run, or a triad, or just a root-fifth pattern) don’t let that get you down, either. Or if you create something that you don’t understand, treat that the same way. As much as possible, withhold judgment on whatever it is. Just let whatever comes up be there.

Twang!

JimiDurso.com

CoincidenceMachine.net

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Gear News

New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar…

Black Ice Enterprises introduces Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort, small, battery-free devices that can be easily installed in a bass or guitar.

Black Ice Boost offers two selectable stages of up to 7 dB of boost, broadly concentrated in the midrange frequencies to add humbucker-like qualities to Strat®, Tele® and other types of single-coil pickups. Black Ice Distort is an overdrive module that can be configured to offer anything from slight overdrive to distortion. Both models are compatible with all passive guitar pickups and electronics (they’re not compatible with battery-powered active pickups).

Black Ice Boost (SRP: $119.95; MAP, $79.95) can be installed using several wiring options, including a simple “stealth” install that utilizes a single push-pull pot, and a dual-switch option that allows users to select between two different levels of boost. For those using the boost along with Black Ice Distort, a second push-pull pot or switch can be used to select a clean or distorted boost.

The Black Ice Boost module is approximately 2/3 the size of a 9-volt battery, and can be easily installed in most instruments with no routing or permanent modifications required. The tone of the instrument remains completely unaffected when the boost is bypassed.

In addition to use with popular single-coil pickups, Black Ice Boost can also be used with other pickup types. Use it to fatten up a P-90 style pickup, or add girth to a low-wind humbucker. Jazz Bass® players can use the additional midrange content provided by Black Ice Boost to produce a sound that’s reminiscent of a P-Bass® or soapbar-type pickup. Black Ice Boost is not recommended for use with high-output humbuckers and other dark-sounding pickups.

Black Ice Distort (SRP: $27.95; MAP, $21.95) is an overdrive module that can be configured for just a touch of grit, or a more aggressive grind, all the way to a 1960’s-flavored fuzz. While its battery-free circuit will never replace the more refined sound of a well-designed pedal, it provides handy, there-when-you-need-it access to a variety of fun old-school flavors, and is a great way to add additional textures to an already overdriven amp or pedal. Bass players will especially dig its raw dirty grind.

Like Black Ice Boost, the sugar-cube-sized Black Ice Distort provides a lifetime of tone with no maintenance or power source required. A variety of wiring options are included that let you activate the Distort via a switch or push-pull pot, or by easily converting your guitar’s tone control into a control for the Black Ice Distort circuit. It can be used in conjunction with the Black Ice Boost for a wide variety of useful tones.

Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort are now shipping.

Visit online at www.blackiceoverdrive.com

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @loritabassworks @meridian_guitars @alpherinstruments @phdbassguitars @mgbassguitars @mauriziouberbasses @utreraguitars @sugi_guitars @branco_luthier @blasiusguitars

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Gear News

New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

D’Addario’s New Humidipak Absorb Protects Instruments Against Excess Moisture…

Utilizing two-way humidity control technology, D’Addario’s new Humidipak Absorb protects against damage to wooden instruments in environments with too much humidity. 

Humidipak Absorb allows players to safely return an instrument and case to the ideal relative humidity level. Using Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control technology, Absorb automatically soaks up excess moisture at a safe rate, re-establishing the right humidity level and eliminating the guesswork of revitalizing your instrument. 

Like all the Humidipaks before, using Humidipak Absorb is easy—there’s no dripping sponges or manual adjustments. All players need to do is put the humidification packets in the included pouches and place them in the instrument case, close the lid, and relax. The instrument and case will remain at the optimal 45-50% relative humidity level for 2-6 months. 

D’Addario’s other Humidipaks, Restore and Maintain, are still available for those who need to increase and sustain the humidity around their instrument. 

To learn more about Humidipak Absorb, visit ddar.io/absorb-pr 

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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