All About The Bass

I keep getting reminded that it’s been seven months since our last blog post.  I could think of all kinds of genuine excuses and fabricate more, but the simple reason is we’ve had a bit of a blockage. Time after time I’ve sat down with my laptop, waiting for something to happen, but nothing comes. The strain has been enormous, but all I’ve produced is hot air. So how better to get things moving again than to get our teeth into the questions we are regularly asked at gigs.

One such question I am asked is…

“What’s that funny little bass thing you are playing?”  (see video below)

Well, Candi’s Dog are an acoustic band and I’ve never like the twangy modern sounding acoustic bass guitars. The clear answer would be to play double (upright bass), but as a little chap I struggled with its enormousness, and as a lead vocalist I found it too immobile and distracting*. True to form when faced with such obstacles I eschewed the obvious solution (stop being lazy and just practice) and decided “I’ll just make something myself”.

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Thumb rest from a Walls Magmum ice cream, attached with Blu Tack.

I have great admiration for the hands on, self-sufficient man, but unfortunately, as my stunted slug eaten vegetable garden, stodgy brick like bread, and gaffer taped cardboard instrument cases will testify, I share none of his skills. After a few false starts (a bass banjo, which sounded terrible) I ended up with a converted ¾ size acoustic with ukulele bass strings on it. It’s flimsy, never entirely in tune and has a quality of finish a Neanderthal working with stone tools would be ashamed of, but I think has a certain kind of charm to it.

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Access hole for the strings crudely hacked open with a craft knife.

And why not, the DIY element has been in music since the beginnings of time through to more recent skiffle and jug bands, and as Candi’s Dog lay down tracks for our upcoming EP lack of money means we are doing it ourselves too. As we labour away with a frustrating lack of skills, access to professional musicians and orchestras and producers we try to remember that a lack of these things can force us to be more creative and inventive and that such adversity has not stopped others producing great sounding music. And while modern technology has made it easier than ever to get a professional sounding product our new EP will inevitably be a bit rustic; but we’d like to think it’s performed with passion and feeling.

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Nut carved from a bit of UPVC left over from when we had a new window fitted.

Still we’ll let you decide that for yourselves as it will be released in just a few days!!!!!!!!!.  In the meantime, with this blog, I’m just glad to have got something out; expect more regular movements on this page in the future!

*I am fully aware that countless proper musicians/vocalists have mastered this.

 

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