posted on September 7, 2008 at 8:50 pm

jamming with my friends
i want to simplify my bass
to the most subtle pulse
a seamless fluid flow of notes
my eyes relay the bass to my bulging brain
these notes should not be played at all
these notes maybe played sometimes
these notes can be played a lot
these notes are root notes
these notes should be passing notes
this note should be slid up to
this note should be slid down to
this note should be hammered on
this note can be part of a bass chord
this note could be bent
this note could be crisply plucked or slightly muffled
this note should be a harmonic
this note is outside this scale unless….
my ears hearing
my slightly distorted ears hearing as well they might
my ears hear and report back to my bulging brain
my ears decide
when its good
i get this feeling
when its bad i get this other feeling
when its mediocre i get no feeling at all
my fingers work quicker than my mind
and it struggles to keep up
its a chicken or the egg situation
whos leading who….who cares….
dont let your intellect interfere too much
but then of course…..
well a bit of nous comes in handy
you learn the rules
you spend the rest of your life trying to bend them
so write me a beautiful rhyme before you go all free verse
learn your scales before you go nuts on your axe, maaan
both bold technique and innovative originality
listen to that genius in all our hearts
he/she knows what to do
as a bass player i seek out the drums
i know nothing of the drums
i cant play em
i cant mike em
i cant record very well
nothing i know
but this is the thing that i must cleave to
this drumkit and i
we work in tandem
oh ho many tandems glasshopper
which one do you have in mind…
i like to relax
after all
im playing not working
im playing not worrying
the drums bring out all these feelings
the drums and the bass have a close dialogue
before deciding what to do
from there on out
they plot a course between themselves
their paths sometimes diverging
but always with the same common destination ahead
the kick drum and the bass guitar enter a procreative marriage
with the kick drum being the male element
with its solid brutal insistent thrust
the bass guitar takes on the feminine
it is free to wander the tonal ranges
it is warm sweet and giving
it responds to the kick drums thrust
with deep receptiveness
the creature these 2 aim to create
is lovely rhythm
a complex child much more than the sum of his parents
the bass is forever thus joined with the drum
and the 2 must learn to share co-operate
and sing together in wedded bliss:
the orgasmic fucking charge of rock….
my bass is the replica of a stradivarius bass
my bass is a sublime and beautiful instrument
capable of expressing the most subtle of emotions
my bass was handbuilt the olde way
thats right….
its a personal kind of instrument…
its easy to play
its rich and comforting
its even
deep and crisp and even steven
even better than the real thing
whatever that was
listen to the bass on “something” by the beatles
a counter melodic masterpiece
booming out
all over the place
emphasizing over and over
the hopeless adoration of the song
the bass seizes moments in the song
and curls through and around them
up seeking light and air
back down to the warm earthy darkness
of the lower reaches
then on come together
the impossibly loud bass
once again in a counter melodic feint
in a slurring sliding riff
that sneers and implies very rude things
it plays all over the song
paradoxically locking it down for good
it puts the song to bed
and then ravishes it whole
the bass can be almost everything at once
or it can be a blunt instrument expressing merely thrust or velocity
it can be a mantra
it can be a declaration of freedom
guaranteed by the gilt edged rocknroll bond of liberty
all these things blow thru the jazz man in my mind
like a summer breeze
or a rush of information
that my bulging bombastic brain processes
in some synaptic fury
fueled by huge gushes of pleasure chemicals
exploded in my cortex and pumping into
my head making me
come up with things
my heart
my head
my fingers
my ears
my eyes
my soul
my spirit
my membership in the huge club of humanity
and all that it is capable of
every musician or singer
who ever wanted to create a sublime piece of sonic graffiti
before he disappeared into blissful oblivion
every lutist or harpsichord player
every drummer or screamer
or rocker or roller
or anything else
you care to think of
i am heir to that
all of it is mine to use as i choose
and boy i do choose
and i do
and i paid me dues too
sometimes ya win
othertimes i lose
music is where we touch again on magic
no one really understands how this stuff works
they tell you how
not why
why is this bullshit noise so important…?
beats me…
actually it isnt even important
its like saying
oh breathings important
oh sleeps important
music is a bottom line
dont take my rocknroll away from me mister
here take my money
take my friends n kin
but dont take my rocknroll
the consolation of the common man
the panacea
the painkilling shot of hot bass throbbing in your pit
feel that music rushing thru your vains
feel that narcotic repetition signalling imminent take off
listen to that bass now
and take your hat off boy when youre talking to me
i am a veteran of the bass wars
i have the scarred ear drums to reprove it
i have the callused and callous fingers
i have poured my soul into my fenderbass
some times it never returns
locked in the wood and metal and grime and sweat
forever baby…
and thats a long long time…..

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