|Ask Willis - December - 2007|
I got this E-mail adress from a close friend colleague of mine you worked with (Nigel Hitchcock/alto saxophonist). We are working on a big musical project related to global warming and would like to get in touch with Polly Samson (David gilmour's wife) for submitting her song she'd write lyrics on. As you worked with David by Pink Floyd, I'd like to ask you to help me getting in touch with her. Could you give me her E-mail adress ? In advance, thanks a lot for your help.
Looking forward to meet you!
Uhhh . . . Ivan,
There's a very slim outside chance that I might have met Nigel Hitchcock but I'm sure I've never played with him. Hmmm. . . Also, I'm sure I've never met David Gilmour so I'm definitely at a loss with the whole Polly Samson thing. I do remember listening to Pink Floyd in art class in high school. Wait a sec . . . . . . . Nigel Hitchcock's website turns up a live date listing from 2004 with Laurence Cottle on bass. That's got me thinking . . . . hold on . . . . if you Google Laurence Cottle and David Gilmour together there are numerous hits with them both listed. So there you have it, the power of Google. While I'm at it, here's the contact page for Laurence Cottle. http://www.laurencecottle.com
He's a nice chap and I'm sure he'll cooperate with the contact you're looking for.
Are you going to be here? thanks DG.
This, my friends, is why the internet exists. Eight plus minutes of a guy hooking up subwoofers and driving them at super low frequencies. The drama - waiting for the speaker to move - it's breathtaking. Oh, and that Air Bass thing - who cares? Gimme more subwoofer solos!
I was following the right hand exercises in your video, and I seemed to notice something. If we define the basic position as being that of each finger on a consecutive string - this is the position after a 'reset', then when you perform the exercises slowly all your resets go back to the basic position. However, as you speed up the second finger doesn't always seem to go back to rest on an intermediate string before going up or down to damp a note. Unfortunately the video itself doesn't always have closeups of your right hand when you do this - so I wondered if you could comment on this?
Is there any chance that the video will be re-released on DVD ? And any plans to do more DVDs/Videos?
Good point. The open-string exercise, and others that include left hand notes do exactly what you mention. At a slower tempo they work to get your fingers comfortable with always being in contact with strings instead of up in the air and also it helps to eliminate whatever involuntary motion that you might have developed before. Once things speed up, like you mention, it's impossible to reset before moving on. A slow tempo is mandatory to start and works to break habits that might interfere with getting started with the 3-finger technique and aslo helps create new habits that'll help later on.
As for the Video/DVD, please feel free to pirate it wherever you can find it. I've never seen a penny of royalties and it's been well documented my issues with how it was put together. So I guess that means I won't be involved in the DVD commentary track?
So I know all my modes and I'm learning my notation better. Everything is undertood by shapes for me. Right now I'm digging into the circles of 5ths, then i will move to the 4ths. My question is how do I end up using this knowledge when it comes to writing and playing smooth catchy bass line's? Although I'm learning it, I'm having a hard time seeing how it all comes together. Any advice would be welcome.
I now have the oportunity to make my own custom bass .. and I never believed that it will be hard, but it is :-)). What you could suggest me to choose for a fretless bass? I have a dilema, I always used humbuckers, now everybody is pushing me to put on the fretless single coils .. why? And another thing, the body wood .. i allways used swamp ash .. now everybody is pushing me to put harder woods on the fretless because "it will be boomy" .. why? I don't have experience with fretless basses, especially with building them :-)), and the only opinion i trust is yours.
Ahh, this one's easy:
At the risk of giving the appearance of shameless self-promotion, I have to answer honestly and tell you that every element that you could ask me about the construction of a fretless is included in my Ibanez signature model. For the specifics you mentioned, body and pickup, I use swamp ash and a custom designed hum-cancelling (not humbucking) Bartolini pickup. The hum-cancelling is quiet like a humbucker but has the single aperture sound of single coil pickups. FYI, I've never know swamp ash to be "boomy". In fact, I choose a light peice of swamp ash because it has a better ability to resonate low frequencies than hardwoods. The problem if you're not sure about design elements is that you are curently dependent on "everybody's" opinion. It's quite possible that you'll have to make some mistakes before you find out exactly what will fit your playing style. Early on, since I couldn't afford to experiment with buying different basses, I was building and assembling almost everything myself, including winding pickups by hand and carving bodies from blanks. You're heading in the right direction, asking as many people as possible, but don't be in a hurry to get a bass done. You're aware now that there are a LOT of decisions involved: fingerboard material, fingerboard thickness, fingerboard finish, neck construction (1,2 3, or more pieces), neck thickness, lines - no lines, tuners, tuner placement, nut material, fingerboard radius, headstock shape, headstock angle, body shape, body material, bolt-on, neck -thru, bridge material, string spacing at the bridge, string spacing at the nut, neck attachment (4 screws, 5 or I've seen 6), pickup(s), pickup configuration, pickup placement, strap pin placement, color, finish and more.
Relax, I've made all these decisions for you. It's an Ibanez GWB1005 in case your forgot ;-) Anyway, if you find people pushing you, push back and see if you can wait until you're more sure what you want to do.
A strategy i have implemented for quite some time (and to the joy of my students, have left out of my lesson content), is a "musical device" I have lazily titled, RH subdivision. The brass tax of it is considering the subdivision of the beat when deciding which RH finger to use. A basic 16th note subdivision has 4 notes per beat. 1 e + a 2 e + a, yaddy + a.....By "assigning" my index to "1" and "+", the middle finger to "e" and "a", the "feel" of the music is brought out. Now in triple meter, or duple meter with triplets, the same thing applies, but with every beat, the fingering switches. Roadhouse Blues by the Doors was the song that started this. It is in triple meter (12/8 probably), with an odd number of notes per phrase. This results in a reversal of the RH fingering for each phrase, changing the "feel" from phrase to phrase. The fingering result when considering the subdivision is: i im mi imim. Doesnt seem like very economical fingering, but if you fill in the rests with the finger that "could" be there, it is very strict alternate picking. The second phrase would have the same fingering. This "musical device" creates continuity in the feel by creating consistent RH fingering. I too often ran into songs with repeated odd not phrases, where i felt the phrase was destroyed by a fingering reversal. This method, I believe, is a "musical" improvement, with the "technical" improvement being a byproduct, not the intention. Now to the sticky part..... Your RH fingering system, does not account for phrasing. Or does it?
I'm sure the threat of implementing this method definitely keeps your students in line. In fact, thanks to Alberto Gonzalez and some last minute rewriting of the U.S. criminal code before he quit, you're lucky that this strategy is even legal. Did the Doors even have a bass player? My right hand system was legal before Gonzo and I don't torture my students. Of course, if I did, you'd never know because, well . . . Anyway, my RH system is fully accountable for phrasing and it never has been gay.