Posted by: Chelsea Novak | June 3, 2007

Bass solo!

One of the great things about my school years was my constant involvement in music. From my first days in school in a choir to the university orchestra it was always something I was involved in and a wholly positive force in my life. Moving overseas meant that my musical life would have to go on hiatus as it’s really expensive moving a double bass across an ocean. The school where I taught English had a piano in the teacher’s lounge, but I had’t been good at the piano for a decade at the time I was there.

I moved home almost four years ago, so one would think that I would have jumped right back into the music world upon my return. I didn’t. And that was a mistake. But I took steps to rectify that error today.

M wanted to go to Long and McQuade today to take advantage of their free guitar string set up thingy today. Apparently you take in your guitar, but new strings and they set them up for you for free. Very nice. My mother has been on my every time I start grousing about missing music to take my double bass in and find out how much it will cost to get it back into playing shape. So I did that today. I don’t yet know how much it will cost to replace the bridge (this was the second bridge that I’ve killed in my 19 year double bass career), fix the end pin, check that the sound post is still in a good way and replace the evil high tension strings that killed two bridges and my end pin, but the important thing is that I’m taking the right steps.

I had a nice little flashback to my younger days when a whole bunch of people offered to carry my double bass up the stairs to the classical insutrument store and I said “No thanks. I can do it. You have to be able to carry it to be able to play it.” Once I made it to the top (walking up backwards is the easiest way) a female staff member said to me “It’s so awesome to see a woman who can really carry her double bass.” To which I wanted to say “You should see me play it.” but it’s been seven years since I’ve played it for real, so I just smiled.

While I was in there I found out that there are some orchestras in and around the GTA looking for double bass players and was told by the staff that once my double bass is repaired that I should get my chops up to snuff and audition. Which I totally am going to do. I don’t really care how far I have to travel to play or how much I have to practice. I just want to get back into it.

Further to that end M and I also started looking at keyboards. Maybe if we both have favourable reviews this year it might be something to invest in. Or if anyone happens to find a spare grand lying around just let me know. 😉

We’re both musically inclined, but since music isn’t part of our current careers, we’re out of touch. There are some pretty good keyboards out there that have a decent kay action and you can plug your ibook right into them and get your garage band on. That’s something that’s totally insane to me, since my concept of performing or creating music is strictly acoustic and analog.

M isn’t tied to all of that since he plays electric bass. Since I’ve known him he’s been lusting after a particular electric bass: The Gibson Thunderbird. If you follow the link you’ll see that it’s the bass that Nikki Sixx plays. If I were a Motely Crue fan that might mean more to me. All I know is that it’s very pretty and it has a beautiful deep tone to it. As the salesman at the store said “It has a really dark sound” to which M said “yeah, that works for me.”

So after years and years of him pointing this bass out to me in music videos and talking about this bass that he wants, the stars aligned. M took in his current 5-string bass, sold it, did some wheeling and dealing and got the Epiphone version of the Gibson bass. If you’re so inclined you can learn about the types of Thunderbird bass guitar on Wikipedia. All I know if that he’s a very happy man now.

And I, hopefully, will get my double bass back and be a very happy woman too.

Today’s sing-a-long song: “Double Bass” by Gorillaz




  1. I am *not* helping you carry a piano up those stairs.

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