My main hobby is music, something I've been in and around since I was a child and I play several instruments, the piano, mandolin, guitar, but basially I consider myself a bassist.

I own four basses, a Fender GB41 acoustic-electric, an Ergo electric upright, an Ashboury traveling bass, and a special edition Fender Precision electric bass. These are all good instruments but, of course, they're only as good as their strings and most instruments, except for high end and boutique products, come with strings like the tires on your new car, enough to get you out of the store and home and not too much more.

Some time ago, though, I discovered Rotosound a company in Britain that makes strings for electric basses and has been doing so for decades. Their list of endorsees is very long and includes some of the biggest names in electric bass and their strings, wow! I recently replaced the stock strings on my Precision with Rotosound Jazz 77's and its like I've purchased a new instrument; a nice mellow bottom with just the right balance of bass "thud" and sustain (musicians talk about their strings like people talk about wine). What that all means is that the strings produce very solid discernable low notes (not muddy or blurred together) yet it has enough sustain in the tone that the notes carry from one to another without large gaps between them. Anyway, I spent a few moments this morning playing the instrument and as the strings settle in (it can take a while for a string to stretch out on an instrument) the sound gets even better.

In that vein I've often said that most people are musical but they simply haven't found the right instrument. When we're kids we're largely forced to play what our parents, or the music teacher, tell us to play and if we fail at that we spend the rest of our lives thinking we have no talent and so we leave playing music behind. But not everybody is supposed to be a piano player and just because you're the tallest kid in the school doesn't mean the orchestra leader should shove as an upright bass into your arms. When people find their instrument, the one that resonates with them, who they are and what sounds they like to hear, then its amazing how "talent" seems to follow. Sadly many people who haven't yet found their instrument just give up and the music stays inside them.

There's a life lesson in there somewhere for sure...

1 comment:

Peter Fleming said...

So, Father John, who is your favorite bass player...influences?

Peter Fleming