When you want something done right, you have to step up for the good of the music.
My hands hurt though!
Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you with this photo. I am holding an Ibanez Soundgear 5-string bass (equipped with GHS 5L-DYB strings 40-120 gauge). Not only that, I am playing this monster on my new album. My friend Cathy Beck, from the Police tribute band Roxanne, was gracious enough to let me borrow this; her husband Martin, from the Black Sabbath tribute band Into The Void, set it up so I could play it with relative ease.
Relative being the operative term.
This is not the first time I’ve tried to channel my inner Billy Sheehan/Geddy Lee on an album. I played bass on the first cd TWISTED METAL when I couldn’t find a bassist in time, and played on the sixth cd LAYERS OF TIME when the bassist I had walked out before recording commenced. I took it as a sign from above to take matters into my own hands for a third time. (Oh, I played a little bit of bass on the cd JUPITER RETURN, but I never mentioned that til right now…)
I sat with the bass and the demos today and started grinding my fingers away. Most guitarists play bass with a pick but I use fingers. On LAYERS, I was told to use a pick and it made things sound tighter. But for this, I want to do my Steve Harris/Cliff Burton nimble-finger tricks. If a pick is needed for a tune, then fine. I may even slap/pop here and there. That’s the beauty of playing bass. I don’t think about music theory, it’s more about groove and attitude.
But oh the challenges!!
I am sure that during the recording process, the bass parts will take the longest. Whatever works, as long as the bass lines fit and there’s no sloppiness. My hands need to get strong for this. Bass is a physically-demanding instrument. I don’t want to sound like a guitarist on bass. I want to play real bass. I will do a good job but neither Sheehan nor Harris will lose sleep over me.
“I got blistahs on my fingahs!”