21 July 2010

bass guitar 1, yours truly 0

I've been keeping an eye on my fingers to make sure I don't start bleeding from all the bass guitar practise. last night I got an hour in before I had to force myself to go to sleep.

note to bassist newbies: 'Submission' by Delphic is hard work. now I know why it's such a shimmery masterpiece on record. it must have been a beast to write and record. 'Counterpoint' and 'Doubt' are a lot simpler, and there isn't a lot of moving around on the neck.

the next chance I get I'll have to ask my bassist friends what to do when your fingers can't reach the strings. I know you're not supposed to use your thumb from the top side of the neck to press on the frets and you're supposed to go from the bottom side up on the neck. but try as I might, my index finger on my left hand can't reach anything so I'm either stuck with the third and fourth fingers (my pinky can't hold down anything) and yeah, was a little frustrated last night.

I have to wonder what other short-fingered people do when they're playing guitar. it can't be a bass guitar-only problem.


this morning I noticed there was a line across one of my fingers of my right hand (the one I'm using for plucking the strings, since I'm right-handed) like someone took a razor to it. I know I didn't do it (I'm not one for self-mutilation). thankfully, I'm not bleeding (not good for someone like me) but it looked terrible. and yes, I'm scared, because it's my first bass playing-related injury.

now I've got a plaster on it. (yes, it's really attractive. not.) I suppose I could practise with a pick, even though Matt Whipple of Cymbals Eat Guitars advised against it, citing if I really wanted to learn the notes, I really need to work without a pick first.


the bottom line is I'm trying to see if I've even got a shot at playing the bass in the long-term, because it's pointless to get an amp if my fingers aren't going to take the abuse. so I'll keep working on this...I really appreciate Matt and Chris Cain of We Are Scientists's support as well. it makes me feel less alone in this new endeavour.

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