Here are a couple bass solos I managed to come up with over the years. They are both performed on Ol' Blue, my Fender Jazz Plus V.
The first, Bass Awakening, is almost as old as Ol' Blue. It has a rather pensive ambience to it and was one of the first songs on which I learned to pick forcefully close to the bridge. This produces that mid-rangy tone that cuts through other instruments. It also contains my first attempt at right-hand fret tapping and alternative harmonics.
This next song, Cool Bass Thing, began a couple years later and developed over time. The chorus combines harmonics with a moving bass line and some of my favorite chord progressions.
There is a story behind the Fender Jazz Plus V. In 1990 I was working at Lights For Music when I ordered Ol' Blue direct from Fender. My first two color choices were not available, so I "settled" for Midnight Blue. But when I opened the case, I realized I would have picked this color first if I had any idea what it looked like. I sold my first bass (a four-string 1979 Ibanez Roadster that I had beaten to shreds through the years), and the transition to five strings was a real growth experience.
A few years ago, perhaps four, I felt it was time to move on from Ol' Blue. So I proceeded to clean her up. One adjustment required removing the neck from the body for the first time ever (I felt a new user would need better action). When I separated the two parts, I found a quality-control sticker in the joint; it was signed by "Jesus C"! I quickly concluded I should not sell it so hastily. Indeed, she has a lot going for her; the string spacing and active Kubicki electronics make her the most flexible bass I have played. Here is Ol' Blue:
However, I have since acquired--somewhat accidentally--a Cort Artisan Six-String. But I haven't decided whether I like her yet--she is terribly large and heavy. But I am considering ripping the frets out to try my hand at fretless bass.
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