Friday, September 12, 2003Once upon a time (okay, over 20 years ago), I bought a crappy, cheap electric guitar at a New Jersey flea market. It had no name brand to speak of, the worst warped fretboard and bridge you could imagine, and held a tuning like a sieve holds soup.
Over the following few years I spent many hours trying to fix up and play that monstrosity, barely getting past the basic G, C and F chords...but I did manage to buzz out a few classic lines, like the riff from "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" on the low E string. I even tried to repaint it a few times with Krylon™ spray paint in the back yard.
After a few years I gave up. It probably didn't help matters that I had no amp, and in an effort to hear my tinny pluckings, I gutted my old stereo and soldered a quarter-inch cable jack to the line input. I have no clue what happened to the guitar; probably got burned in the family trash barrel, out back with the lawn waste.
Anyway - where am I going with this pointless recollection?
Another guitar has fatefully resurfaced in my life, courtesy of a couple of friends who moved to Europe and didn't need jetsam like a bass guitar and accompanying practice amp. I've inherited a Squier™ P-Bass and a little 15-watt Danelectro™ Nifty Seventy amp. I did a little research and discovered that even though both the bass and the amp are very cheap, they are considered fairly good quality starter instruments for the money, so I'm messing around with some decent gear.
You know what? I think I've discovered the problem was I'm not a natural guitar player...but the bass just feels really good to play. I think more in basslines than guitar leads. I mean, the thing is big. Even though I struggled to play a electric guitar with a 24-and-a-half inch scale, I seem to have less trouble with a standard 34-inch long-scale bass. Go figure.
It's just relaxing to sit and thump away a bassline to nothing...