Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Electronic Music other: Working With Trees
Written September 29 2006 , Tags: roscoe, bass, wood, benjamin dauer
This is a blog in 2 parts so sit back, relax, and enjoy (I hope).
So my version of 'hardware' are my basses.
I exclusively play Roscoe electric basses. I have played nearly every high end bass out there over these past many years and have settled into these like my second skin. I own a burgandy 6 string w/maple fingerboard - SKB3006 1 | SKB3006 2 - which has been my main bass for the last 4 years. Gigged nearly 4-5 nights a week on that bass while I lived in Chicago.
I recently picked up a black stained, quilted maple top 7 string w/ebony fingerboard - SKB3007 1 | SKB3007 2 - which was funded by the massive gear sale I had about a month ago. This bass will help push my chordal/comping skills as I branch out more with this improvisational modern dance group I work with - Immediate Theatre.
These basses are each hand made here in Greensboro, NC. Since I live in Raleigh, and since my 6 string hadn't had a proper tuneup since I've owned it, I thought this would be the perfect time to take them both back to their 'home' for some loving. Which leads me to the second part of this blog.
I arrived yesterday at the woodshop and was immediately taken down memory lane...I used to do a lot of high end woodworking when I lived in Boulder, CO., at a company called Avalon Acoustics. Over the years while there I learned everything there was to know about how to hand craft some of the finest loudspeakers on the planet. From milling, glueing, sanding, and shaping the mdf (medium density fiberboard) cabinets to form; to laying out veneers of all types (myrtle, burled walnut, maple, redwood, purpleheart, cherry...); sanding them to spec; building the electronic crossovers (the guts); installing the drivers and connecting them to the electronics; testing them; packing them; shipping them.
Walking through the door at the Roscoe shop felt so comforting to me. Seeing so much amazing wood - in various stages of creation into these fine basses - bodies, necks and fingerboards. Seeing the World War II era machinery used to mill the bodies - pin routers and presses. Smelling the sawdust, finish and glue. Seeing the 3 other employees lovingly sanding various necks into shape. Meeting Keith Roscoe himself and talking with him about the work that needed to be done on my 2 basses.
All of this was very calming and zen-like. Made me wish I was doing that again. Working with trees.
Roscoe is from Greensboro?
ive tended to play with luthite lately.
im sorry but a bass has four strings.
u just play some really low tuned guitars.
the fender bass 6 is the only true 6 string bass
you also get 5 string basses
i dont know why
Crazy kids. LOL @ jdg and tmns
Next one will have to be a 6 string fretless. But that is some time off. When I'm rich. HA
I didnt know you were a fellow afficianado chimp, love your basses. I bet that SKB3006 is as crisp as a autumn day, and as clean as a baby's butt.
Send me one will you? If you get a chance. :D
i love basses.
but man.. there are so many bad ones..
there are many, many, many bad ones.
some tasty good ones though too: fodera, mtd, elrick, roscoe, sadowsky...just to name a few
i think there are for more bad basses then bad guitars.
but probably but a slim margin.
i mean.. there are some shitty guitars out there.
there are much fewer 'boutique' guitars than there are basses.
each of those listed above is a single luthier (plus some help) making each bass by hand, custom.
to that end, i think the selection of custom basses is far superior to that of custom geetars. unless you consider 'custom' some @ss ugly fingerboard inlay of a dragon.... bleh
u shoulda saw my custom hamer guitar.
GOLD LEAF INLAY.
GOLD VEIN PAINT JOB.
omf.. it was horrendus.
but man, i could play Eruption like a champ
didnt know you were that kind of a guitarist, jdg? cool. i used to read guitarplayer all the time, many years back. i remember one issue had eruption in it. probably at the same time as when they had the soundpages... 7" with the magazine. anyway.
oh, and jdg, your 6 string bass comment reminded me of a good story about the bass player in this band:http://www.stagedolls.com/
he was playing with some other people, and at one point the guitar player says "and at this point we play an e minor"
and the bassplayer goes "there is no such thing as minor on a bass"
sorry for straying off topic, wish i could hear you play those basses sometime
you can hear a simple, melodic, repetitive tune with my 6 string at my site: Chimp Logic . net
visit the 'music' section and fire up the streaming audio player at the top of the page. the track you want to listen to is called 'Makriva'. it features my girl doing poetry and myself on solo 6 string. recorded live in 1 take.
working on the 7 string these last few days. the neck is fooking huuge. my wrist is definitely getting the work out.
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