9V battery size?

9V battery size?

Hey Willis, I have the GWB-1 and it has developed a problem of the battery not sitting snug in the compartment. This causes a lovely huge pop sound if I move the wrong way. I’ve had to wedge in a piece of sponge to keep this from happening. Is this a widespread problem with these basses? Thanks, David Hey David, Actually, it’s a problem with battery manufacturers. Here’s a couple of batteries I grabbed out of my recycling box: Here’s another example from some battery experts. Since the design of the battery holder in the GWB basses depends on the reasonably snug fit of the battery to hold it in place, the solution you’re using is necessary but it’s only a problem if you happen to buy a “short” 9-volt battery. Go ahead an use the foam but remember to compare battery sizes the next chance you get to shop for...
Old Tricks, New Dog

Old Tricks, New Dog

Hey Willis, I’m a UK,Wiltshire bases bassist and was explaining to someone the other night about boiling bass strings. I’ve used the recipe in your ‘101 Bass Tips’ book (great book by the way!! Always close at hand) for ages, and used to do a similar method prior to finding your recipe and have had good results. However, I recently found an article warning away from using boiled water in preference to a 24hour soak in methelated spirit (or de-natured alcohol) that looks pretty good. Check here: http://www.tunemybass.com/strings/how_to_clean_bass_strings.html Do you have thoughts on this as I’ll likely give it a go at some point soon. Cheers for the book. Brilliant. Cheers, Ken Hey Ken, It’s true what the link says about wanting to eliminate water – but that’s what the final step in the oven takes care of. In fact, I probably should have recommended 30 minutes instead of 15. One benefit is that the agitation of the bubbling hot water enables the elimination of deposits better than a long soak. However, if you were to use the alcohol and were able to agitate it as in a washing machine cycle, it would probably do just as good and wouldn’t require 24 hours. Now we need to invent a machine that does the job,...
Wrong Foot

Wrong Foot

Hey Mr. Willis I am from India. I am 21yrs old. I have been playing bass for around 7 years. I wanted to ask you how would you look at playing bass in an ensemble like John McLaughlin’s Shakti? And also I have been trying really hard to get out of the 4/4 or 6/8 frame but sadly I cannot solo over meters other than these. I can play grooves on random meters but when i have to solo i cant think of  the harmonic aspect and time aspect simultaeneously.Please help!!! Im looking for a solution to this for a really long period of time. Thanks a lot for this site. It has helped me a lot in the understanding of music. I started listening to Tribal Tech after Scott Kinsey, Kirk Covington and Matt Garrison played a gig here in my city, Kolkata. I really hope to see you and Scott Henderson play here someday. Thanks for your guidance!!! Shovon Hey Shovon, Dammit! You just blew my ages ole excuse for not being very good at odd-time music: I’m from East Texas. But then again, If you’re from India and having problems, what chance do I have? At least you can play grooves on random meters. I think my inner clock can go up to 7 but  it starts to get shaky after that. One thing that makes me not very good at odd time music is that I simply don’t like it very much. It doesn’t fascinate me and when I hear it,  I spend most of my time counting and trying to keep up with when...
Vice or Virtue?

Vice or Virtue?

Hey Willis, Firstly – you’re a genius and thanks for existing and especially for moving over to Europe so you’re just a little closer to the UK – it’s not that bad over here is it? Secondly I’ve just asked for an espresso machine for my birthday in July and I just watched your very excellent Clouds Of Glory video – so my question is what is your attitude towards coffee? You obviously love it – and like me I’m sure as life has gone on and you have given up ‘other things’ do you think caffeine is a safe drug and one that used in the right way is actually beneficial to playing, practicing and or performing? Have a great day and I hope to hear/see you live again soon – please come and play in London sometime soon – I saw your gig with Gerard Presencer at the Vortex and it was really special. Cheers buddy, Mike Hey Mike, First of all, caffeine makes me play horribly – so I don’t recommend it for performing. I usually play better when I’m tired – my conscious brain doesn’t interfere so much with my instincts – but if I have a coffee before I play, I’m way too aware of everything that’s happening. It screws with any access to instincts. I’ve discovered my limit is about 3 a day – but I really enjoy those three when I can make them myself. I got a Rancilio Epoca for my birthday a few years back and have since started using my own grinder and tamping press. Check out this Espresso...
I’m back . . .

I’m back . . .

Finally finished moving, emptying boxes and setting up a new home studio and I’m ready to get back to your questions. There’s been some great ones submitted the last 6 weeks and I look forward to trying to catch up. Thanks for everyone’s patience,...
Wood vs. Metal

Wood vs. Metal

Hey Willis, How can I keep the fingerboard in good shape using roundwound strings on my fretless bass .Just got it sanded up a month ago and it is already full of string marks. Thanks for your answer, Peter Hey Peter, What is the fingerboard material? If it’s ebony, it might last for years. If it’s rosewood, then odds are it will die a slow agonizing death without some kind of protection (polyurethane or epoxy). One thing that will help extend the life of an unfinished fingerboard is to play with less pressure in the left hand and also avoid any string bending. It’s fretless, so get your vibrato the way the pros do and don’t grind the strings into the unprotected wood. Unless it’s ebony and you can develop a light left-hand technique (which requires rethinking your string height and overall setup) I’d recommend putting a finish on...
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