I guess this is the part where I tell you about me right?
I grew up doing the youth choir thing, then grabbed my brother's accoustic 6 string guitar in junior high. I played with a small time punk band in high school called the Anarchy Death Soldiers on a borrowed Stratocaster. We stank. But we had fun. I've always loved playing and singing, but you know the funny thing about growing up and having to pay rent or a mortgage is your financial priorities change. I was finally in a position where I could afford to get back into an instrument, and I always loved the bass the best of any of the other instruments. So in Spring '03 I coughed up some bucks for a beat to heck Ibanez Roadstar II.
I am a graphic artist by training, and a computer system administrator by paycheck. The music comes into my love of the arts, and when painting or drawing fails me, I can always pick up the bass and get something productive done.
Through all of my struggles and life experiences I have grown a strong faith in Jesus Christ, and have it as my goal to work with a praise and worship band, to use my talents and skills the best I know for God. One of those struggles, has been a rough divorce. Playing the bass is a great way of dealing with the stress (I want MY amps to go to 11!). However now that I am back in the dating scene after all these years, well I am now having to figure out how to balance pursuing dates, playing bass, and making a living.
My influences are varied and eclectic, just like my visual arts influences. But my appreciation of Geddy Lee's work with Rush has been for three decades the fire in the belly that kept pointing me at the Bass... Having grown up heavily into Punk Rock, Heavy Metal, and, hmmm. I guess you could call it hard rock, stuff like Zepplin, Rush, Pink FLoyd, etc... in Oregon, then being exposed to the influences of Southern Arizona's Mariachis, and then Texas country and Louisiana Zydeco, and my many years in the church and the great expression of many countless gospel artists has filled my head with tons of ideas... Now to find a way to get those ideas out of my head... I pretty much love every sort of music short of "Gangsta" rap, and "Death" Metal. Yeah I know it's heavy on the Bass, it just isn't my thing, mostly because I hate the message that it preaches.
My goal for this at the present time is to be able to form / get into a hard / progressive rock styled Praise and Worship band. I love hard rock, but don't care for much of the message, and most Praise and Worship music sounds just too pop for my tastes...
My gear is pretty straight forward stuff, an Ibanez SR480 Mahogany bodied active 4 string, an Ibanez SR500 from 1993 (not the same as the new SR500) the electronics were shot when I got it, and so the preamp / pickups were replaced with EMG P/J actives, and it ROCKS! (This is the rig Ibanez should have used from the factory!) a Crate BX100 100 watt amp, a Crate MBX10 10 watt practice amp, Ultimate Genesis 200 stand (used for jamming with my friends), a Hercules GS432B triple guitar / bass stand, Digitech BP50 modelling processor (don't waste your money on one of these), Korg pocket tuner (the black one), an old DOD distorition pedal, M-Audio Duo USB digital recorder running into Audacity for recording / sound editing, Nady SP-5 Microphones, and cloth insulated instrument, and XLR cables. I have silicone insulated cables, but I like the sound from the cloth insulated models better. I also have a Musician's Friend Professional Electric Bass Gig Bag, and a Gator GL Bass case. (either of these are great, the gig bag is SUPER easy to carry, and has tons of room and is quickly becoming a favorite.
I have a serious case of GAS for a Carvin RC210-18 stack. That thing is hoss man! I know a lot of folks don't like Carvin, but I have to disagree with them. I have heard lots of players on Carvins, and in particular the RC210, and they sound great, all the reviews I have seen of these makes them seem like they are wel made and hold up to serious abuse. My only fuss with them is the plastic handles. That, and I am not sure if they have an XLR line out to go to a board... I need to see one up close again to find out, or call Carvin. But that can be easily remedied with steel pocket handles. No biggie. Another goodie that is giving me GAS is the Ibanez SR500, the new one with the Bartolini soapbar pickups and strat style jack. If you shop around, they can be had for under $500.00. And they play great!
I'm a Linux / Unix system administrator during the daylight hours, and use Hydrogen
as my drum machine to practice with. My recording is done with Audacity
under either Windows or Linux. Both of these applications Work great! There is also a Linux audio processing program that will allow you to slow down or speed up a song without altering pitch much the same way that the Tascam CD-BT1 does. Not to say I don't want one of those Tascam trainers, but since money is an issue, free software is getting the job done for me.
I used to have a Squier P Bass Special 4 string P/J type bass. Not bad for a cheapie. But at the price that Ibanez SR300DXs are going for these days, well I wish I had looked at Ibanez first. The tone is definately different between the P Bass and the Soundgear, and if you are looking for that P bass sound, I think that Fender / Squier is probably the only way you are going to get it. But I was looking for something different. So if you are just starting out, or looking for an inexpensive, good quality instrument, you would be well served by checking out the Squier P Bass Special (don't bother with the Affinity series, you will want the P/J pickup configuration...). Play several of them before you buy one though. Squier has quality control problems, some Squiers are pretty good, and a lot of them are funky. Be picky.
My Bass page on my home website shows that I have an Ibanez SR505, well that used to be true. I sold it to help pay off some debt. I didn't like playing a five string anyway so it's no loss.
Long term, I would love to build my skill / develop talent on the bass and get into / build a hard rock / progressive praise and worship band. I would love to be able to quit my day job and just do music and art, but that isn't feasable right now. But I am developing fast, and the more I work with other musicians, the more I play and practice, the more I grow musically, so, well God willing that can be in my future...
I have also found that after a rough divorce, that diving my time and attention into music, and playing has helped deal with the stress, and has certainly improved my dating marketability (I am noticing women seem to dig musicians, even bad ones LOL)... I can't tell you how many emails I get from the dating sites from women asking me about me playing "guitar" (guess they don't know the diff). Its all good.
The reason for a second bass is pretty simple, I work in an office environment, and I tend to do practice during my lunch hour, and keep the old, beat up bass under my desk. (in a locked case). It works well for me, gives me the practice time I desperately need... I am very fortunate to be in this situation. I know. I do love my job, I just want to be a pro artist / musician.