Its Love Your Bass Day!

Upright Bass

My song writing goes through cycles of concentrating on a subset of instruments that I can play semi – competently.

For a while, I abandoned the string bass and used a synth bass (or even the low strings on a lap steel). My wife suggested that I play an octave lower, which meant I really had to play my string bass. I absolutely love my 3/4 Gretsch Electromatic Junior Jet bass. Its a guitar players bass, but it’s sound is amazing for a shortened bass. I even have figured out how to make it sound like an upright fretless bass – with a little bit of processing.

Gretsch Junior Jet Bass

There are a handful of songs that I have started listening to again like Kate Bush “Wuthering Heights” and Belle and Sebastian “Seeing Other People”. They are centered around just a simple drum, bass and piano part. Well, maybe not that simple, but they are just gorgeous songs.

For the last two songs, I started with a bass line, and I love it – it makes writing the other parts much easier, in fact, to the point where I can improvise. Because I’m playing drum box and bass first, laying down a great rhythm part really is the backbone of the song.

At The Grande Olde Opry

Debutantes at the Grand Ol’ Opry

Its interesting how certain parts dictate parts in a song. The piano and Solina synth parts did not happen until I had the mandolin and bass part. They were dictated by the guitar part – which came first

Red Piano

Puppet Theatre 1:20 Model (right) with Red Piano

My first attempt at building a miniature scale model out of bass wood is the Puppet Theatre. I’ll make a proper post of it when finished.

That starter experience now has me thinking about the next project and it will either be a Red Piano or a Park Bench.

By sketching first, I can figure out how I will fabricate and join each part. I did finish the 8 vertical puppet controllers yesterday, so now I can start building props and even sets for my puppet skits. Just having one puppet who has a moving mouth play the piano would be a great first little skit, so I think I’ll do that.

Road Trip

Travel Light!

Its been a while since I wrote a song starting with guitar. I am going to try to keep the number of parts lower and with more interplay between them – each leaving some space. Some of my past arrangements were too cluttered.

Its been just over a year ago when I got back into music after being away for 30 years . . . I’m enjoying it much more this time around.

Puppet Theatre Set Design

Imagination is the Real Journey in Life

Once I have the 8 puppet controllers built, which will be by end of this week, I can start on building scenery and props.

After that I can score music and start filming. I’m not sure if I will try stop motion, live action or a combination of both. I think before I decide, ill do a bunch of stills that explore lighting and whatnot.

As you can see, puppet theatre is an excuse for me to bridge my photography and music hobbies.

The Randy Politicians Defense

Panic at The “Gates” of Hell . . .

Soup Is Good Food

Graveyard Soup

Soup – just like your mother used to make . . .

CAFFE OHM

Here’s one for all you 4:20 fans . . .

Something Lurks There

This started out a lot darker – but I’m not a dark goth person, so I had to work hard to make something of what started out as a gloomy fuzzed out bass line (actually quite a few parts – most of which I threw out).

Lat week I wrote a song that I also did not like at first – but a week later, and many listens, I like it now. Lets see if this weird song makes that grade.

Lonely Stage Hand

The Lonely Stage Hand – you know the type I’m talkin’ bout

You know the type
The one who keeps to himself
Smokes incessantly
Drinks bottom shelf

Got his first job
Aged fourteen
Never went to high school
Didn’t see the need

Votes party line
Pays Union Dues
Doesn’t give a shit
About the Evening News

Chorus
He pulls the curtain
An ace on the light board
He knows his stuff
But is always ignored