Category: bass guitar

About The Author (Part Three)


About The Author (Part Three):
Fortunately, I have other interests besides reading and writing fiction and blogs. I have greatly enjoyed listening to rock and roll music since I was five years old. The first recording artist that I listened to was Elvis Presley. My worse memory of that time period was falling down the basement stairs and breaking one of my Elvis Presley LPs. Needless to say this incident brought tears to a young lad’s eyes. Several years passed before I started taking a serious interest in listening to music again. By this time I was twelve years old and watched the first appearance of The Beatles on the Ed Sulliivan Show. I think that the very next week I asked my mother for money to buy the first two Beatles singles that were released in Canada. These two 45s were She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand.
The Beatles were my favourite band up until the time I first saw The Rolling Stones for the first time on The Dean Martin Show.
Since that time I have become fans of more bands than I can remember. The two most recent bands that I have liked have been Nirvana and Motorhead.
Although I have little musical ability I enjoy practising both regular guitar and bass guitar. With the bass guitar I mostly practise scales and play some songs from my bass tab books. I have bass tab song books by The Beatles, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. I also have a ton of regular guitar tab songbooks by a variety of musical artists.009

A Really Rough Season (Part One)


 

A Really Rough Season (Part One)

Up until about the third week of July I was enjoying a really good summer. The weather was very warm and I was starting to get into some of my summer routines with activities like riding my mountain bike and taking our dogs to the dog park. In June I had bought myself a bass guitar and had determined that I was going to teach myself to play it. I was quite motivated to learn to play bass as I was always curious to see if it might be better suited to my somewhat limited musical abilities than a regular guitar. My musical prowess is quite limited. I have practised regular guitar (both acoustic and electric) off and on for several years now. At times I have found my lack of progress to be quite discouraging. I know quite a few guitar chords. I can play both cowboy chords and barre chords. I also know a decent amount of common guitar scale patterns. However, I have never been a proficient guitar player and just practise for my own enjoyment. This hasn’t stopped me from buying an impressive library of guitar tablature books. I have at least one tab book for most of my favourite musical artists. For some artists I have collected tab books for several of their albums. If I can get even a part of a song to sound right I’m fairly happy. I go through periods where I practise several times per week and other times where my guitar remains untouched and just collects dust.

Taking up the bass has also motivated me to practise my guitar on a more regular basis. Even though I bought a less expensive lower end model I like hearing the deep, low resonant sounds created by the bass guitar. I have even purchased a good selection of bass tablature books to work from. My practise sessions are now about an hour long in which I practise bass chords and scale patterns and work from my bass learning resources and from my bass tab books.

 

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What’s Up? Summer Edition (Part One)


What’s Up? End of Summer Edition (Part One)

This has been quite a challenging summer. I was really looking forward to the holidays and for about the first three weeks things went according to plan. I got more time to do the things I wanted to do. When I’m doing sub teaching during the year I often find that I don’t have the energy for my hobbies. I have a variety of interests including spending time with my wife, reading books and listening to audio books, practising my guitar and bass, blogging, going to the gym, riding my mountain bike, listening to music, computers and assorted electronic devices and writing fiction. I may have missed a few hobbies but I can always get to that later. For the first three weeks in July I got to do all these things.
Then a series of very negative events happened. I went to an appointment with my optometrist to find out if a new prescription for my glasses would help with my eyesight. Near the end of 2012 I had surgery to repair a detached retina in my left eye. The surgeon told me that I had waited too long to get the surgery and that I would never get my complete eyesight back.
After doing many tests on my eyes my optometrist confirmed the surgeon’s prognosis. She also found that I have cataracts in both of my eyes. We discovered that getting a new prescription for my eye glasses would have little if any effect upon my present state of vision. The best I could do was to buy large magnifying glasses to help with my reading. As I read voraciously the magnifiers did prove to be useful.

What’s Up? June 22, 2013


What’s Up? for June 22, 2013

I motivated myself to go to Shapes for a workout this morning. I concentrated on a light walk on the treadmill and then moved on to the weight loss program on the elliptical trainer. Now that I am back at home I don’t appear to be feeling any bad side effects. My Charlie horse seems to have healed. Yesterday, I went for a forty minute ride on my mountain bike. Now that subbing season is almost over I plan to get in a lot more physical activity this summer. During my working season I found it very difficult to work up the energy to go to the gym after work. My goal is to lose a substantial amount of weight during the summer months. Last summer I was quite self- disciplined in sticking to a physical training program. On most days I would either take our dogs to the dog park for a run, go to Shapes or go for a ride on my mountain bike. I made some muscle gains but did not lose any weight. I guess I’’ll have to work on my diet more seriously this summer.
When I got back from the gym this morning I started listening to both The Beatles red and blue compilation albums. Their music certainly stands the test of time. This summer I’m going to try learning to play the bass lines for some of their songs from these two albums.
Yesterday marked 22 years since Martha and I first met at a Grant Singles baseball game. I remember being in a bad mood that evening and was not too interested in talking to some body new. My bad mood had lifted by the time we got to the post game wind up at Pizza Hut. The rest, as they say, is history and we are still in love with each other after all this time. God is good.
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What’s Up? June 20, 2013


What’s Up? June 20, 2013

I got up early this morning and listened to one of my audio books, Pro Blogger by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett. These two guys have made a decent income from their blogging and blog related activities. Darren and Chris are definitely exceptions to the rule. Most bloggers don’t make any money from their blogging activities or at best, very little. However, there are always exceptions who make blogging work for them. Most of us just blog as a hobby.
After listening to a bit of Pro Blogger I wanted to listen to some music. I played selections from some old Beach Boys and Beatles albums. I was surprised at how good the newly re-mastered CDS by The Beatles sound.
After listening to some music I decided to write my first blog of the day. I have a WordPress blog called The Spiritual Journey. I haven’t written anything for it in a long time. I was doing some reading from a Bible promise book and got inspired to write a devotional for today’s blog. I may even put together a collection of my spiritual posts and make it into a devotional book.
I have had to put my exercise program on hold due to a recent Charlie horse injury. Today I decided to try going for a ride on my mountain bike. The ride went okay and I don’t feel any worse for wear. Tomorrow, I will busy working another sub teaching gig.
I got in a couple of practice sessions with my bass guitar this afternoon. As I haven’t practised guitar for a while my fingers will continue to hurt until some calluses are formed on my fingertips.
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What’s Up? June 18, 2013


What’s Up? June 18, 2013

Yesterday I was doing a bit of drawing with some students from John G. Stewart School. I haven’t done any sketching for a long time so I was rather pleased with my drawing from a Dr. Suess book. I used to draw cartoon characters and different animals a lot when I taught drawing classes at the Haven. I gave some of my art work to my granddaughter. I used to have quite a few hobbies a few years ago. Some of them have gotten neglected with time and age but I have recently tried to get back into some of my former interests. I believe in trying to keep both my mind and body active as I have gotten older. Some of my physical hobbies such as working out at the gym, going for bike rides and taking our dogs to the dog park have been put on hold due to issues with inclement weather and some of my health issues. Yesterday, I took up a new hobby, teaching myself how to play bass guitar. I have already had a couple of practice sessions and am really enjoying learning to play the bass.
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What’s Up for June 17, 2013


What’s Up? June 17

After finishing up my gig at John G. Stewart School today I did something I’d thought about doing for quite a while now. Ever since I became a fan of Motorhead I have watched Lemmy Kilmister play bass guitar. Lemmy has a very unique playing style. I learned the rudiments of playing an acoustic and electric guitar several years ago and have always found the guitar to be a challenging instrument to play. I wondered what it would be like to play bass guitar. So today after work I took the plunge and decided to look at some bass guitars at Marschells on Henderson Highway. As soon as I got in the door of the store I was greeted by one of my students at John Henderson School, a school that I sub at fairly regularly. At first I thought the student worked at Marschells but he told me that he was also a shopper at the music store. I have always enjoyed sub teaching at John Henderson as both the staff and students have always been friendly. Some of them even watch my videos and read my What’s Up? blogs. My picture was recently posted to facebook. It was a very good picture of me and a student and I got a big kick out of seeing it. It is occasions like this that make your year worthwhile.
Anyway, back to bass guitars. One of the sales staff at Marschells showed me a few bass guitars until I decided upon one. I chose a Fender Starcaster in a sunburst color. The sales person was very helpful. He has sold me guitars and amplifiers in the past and I’ve always been satisfied with my purchases at Marschells. I told him that as I have relatively small hands finding a bass where I wouldn’t need to stretch my hand too far was a consideration. Although I have a large powerful Crate amplifier for my guitar the sales staff told me that I would wreck my amp if I used it for my bass. So I ended up buying a small bass amp also as well as a beginner’s instructional guide to playing bass guitar. So now I face the challenge of teaching myself how to play a new instrument. I have found that developing new hobbies and interests over the years has helped keep me young at heart no matter what age the score board may read. When you stop learning you stop living.
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