Back in the early days of the electric bass, nobody quite knew what the hell a bass should be. Should it be an electric version of an upright? No, not everyone has the lower back strength to really, truly rock out on stage with one of those things. Leo Fender’s Precision Bass set a precedent that was followed by pretty much everyone pretty much instantly, and almost all basses today are descendants of that design. But in the late 50s a few companies started messing around with something else. Some call it the bass guitar. Some just call it a six-string bass. But although Danelectro were the first to bring one to the mass market, Fender also took the idea and ran with it. Picture this: an oversized guitar with six strings, but tuned a full octave down, and with string spacing that’s much more guitar-like than bass-like.
I recently fulfilled a long, long-held dream of mine by finally acquiring a Bass VI – in this case, the Squier Vintage Modified version (which I bought from my friends at World of Music). Remember the instrument that Nigel Tufnel wouldn’t let Marty DeBergi even look at in This Is Spinal Tap? Bass VI. If you’ve never heard of the Bass VI, let me give you a brief run-down: it looks a bit like a Fender Jaguar but it has a 30” scale length and is tuned E-to-E like a guitar, except a full octave lower so that the lowest four strings are the same pitches as those of a regular four-string bass. The string spacing is closer than a regular bass, and I can’t think of too many basses with whammy bars, especially Jaguar-style units. So what is this? Is it a bass? Is it a guitar? The answer to both questions is ‘yes and no.’ Or more accurately, it’s simply a Bass VI. It’s lower than the lowest baritone guitars, and it goes higher than conventional four-string basses by a full two strings. Read More …
Sometimes it’s nice to treat yerself (even if it means living on ramen noodles for a few weeks), so to celebrate two years of my super-awesome job I’m treating myself to a Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI. I’ve had a crush on these things ever since they were announced, but my lust for the Bass VI goes back to when I first saw Spinal Tap and became curious about the surf-green guitar that Nigel Tufnel wouldn’t let Marty Di Bergi touch (or even look at). The Bass VI is a relatively obscure and definitely interesting instrument which looks almost like a Fender Jaguar but is tuned a full octave below a guitar. It can be played like a bass, like a guitar, or like its own instrument, which is really what it is. You can hear the Bass VI in music by The Cure (seriously, it’s all over so much Cure stuff that it’s hard to imagine their sound without it) and plenty of stuff by Placebo too. Read More …
Eventide shipping PitchFactor Harmonizer
The Eventide PitchFactor Harmobizer stomp box is now shipping. The PitchFactor includes ventide’s 10 best Harmonizer pitch and delay effects featuring 1.5 seconds of stereo delay and simultaneous pitch shifting effects resulting in the most flexible stompbox in its class. PitchFactor features 100 stunning presets, USB for upgradeability, instant program change, true bypass, tap tempo, three footswitches for immediate preset access, a built-in Tuner and MIDI. Useable in mono or stereo, with line or instrument level inputs and outputs.
Source: Harmony Central.
Buy: Tunnel Vision Music.
Chickenfoot studio photos
Producer/engineer and inventor of the ReAmp John Cuniberti has posted photos of some recording sessions of Chickenfoot, the supergroup featuring Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar and Chad Smith. Check the photos out at Cuniberti’s site.
Parker MIDI Fly available for order
The Parker MIDI Fly, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, is now shipping. It includes MIDI, Piezo and magnetic pickups, and looks freaking cool.
Buy: Parker Fly Mojo MIDI Electric Guitar Taxi Cab Yellow from Musician’s Friend for $3,999
Herman Li, Alex Skolnick added to National Guitar Workshop
Herman will appear to give a special clinic at the Rock Summit in Purchase, NY during July 19-24.
Alex will appear at the Rock Summit in McLean, VA during the week of June 27th through July 2nd
Source: Guitar Workshop.
New Placebo album
Placebo will self-release a new album on June 6. According to undercover.com.au, the album was recorded with Tool producer David Bottril, and was mixed by Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins). I went through a big Placebo phase back in the day, and they make great use of the awesome Fender Bass VI.