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Mike M

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About Mike M

  • Rank
    Rookie
  • Birthday 03/01/1958

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  • Biography
    Musician / Sound Technician

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  • Location
    Southeastern Massachusetts

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  • Occupation
    Musician / Sound Technician
  1. I understand that there are more than a few restaurant workers that do not want to return to work due to the reduced restaurant capacity along with the reluctance of patrons to go out and dine, they figure that they will make less $ than they are collecting on unemployment.... 'can't say that I blame them....
  2. "The people who are chomping at the bit to get back to 'normal' will be the beta testers." I'm with you. Restaurants in RI (I'm on the MA/RI border.) have been open for a week doing outdoor dining; only by reservation, social tracking, etc. This week RI restaurants are expanding to inside dining at 50% capacity by reservation with social tracking. btw: RI even has an app to put on your phone that will track your location and store the info just in case you get affected (social tracking). The above does not sound like a relaxing restaurant visit to me................ For our family, we say "Why take a chance?" We're all healthy (kinda sick of each other at this point) but we are healthy............... All of my gigging is off the table through September 1st....'been practicing daily and started playing another instrument for fun (beats watching TV). As the weather warms we will probably start going to the beach....and stay clear of everyone else. Mike M
  3. 'still plucking away as of this writing. Things are coming together...scales/arpeggios are cleaning up as the weeks go by. One thing that I have noticed: it's pretty easy to play bass "by ear"......as it's pretty much (at least to me) a memorization of patterns. Once I get a pattern "down" I can move the pattern up/down a fret to change key (unlike going from C major on my sax to C# major...ouch!) Recently I started thinking about which notes I am actually playing; Eb, G#, etc. I can figure it out but not quickly.... so yesterday I took out a cello beginner lesson book to read/play easy stuff. I am starting to feel like I could actually play in a band....nothing too complicated mind you....although my endurance (finger strength) needs to improve. ...'still having fun at this point.
  4. My schedule is wiped clean until September 19th.... I am doing the sound for a 5K in Boston that day... Right now, all large gatherings are cancelled in Boston until September 1st. Hmmmmmmm, let's see, the last three years that I did the above 5K there were 900+ attendees each time...... This one will probably be canned also🙁
  5. My bass venture continued: As of late I have been learning the instrument a bit more by "feel" ie; playing my scales/arpeggios while watching the news on TV as I feel at this point I 'd be best to make playing "second nature" so to speak. (I run through my routine while looking at my left hand and then do it again without looking, etc.) My technique is slowly coming together....trying to play clean consistently. I'm (especially) trying to clean up my left hand while in 1st position due to the wider left-hand posture - that is coming along - slowly. What should I be working on next? My long range goal/wish/desire is to have enough chops to answer a craigslist ad from a start up indie/original band and start playing a bit.... I do not wish to gig professionally on bass....I do that on my woodwinds.. This is a fun venture on my part. One thing is for sure - if this covid thing keeps me/us locked down for another month or two my chops should be pretty good and I can play bass with a mask on!
  6. Well, I'm still "plucking away" at my electric bass venture. I'm starting to play cleaner, albeit not too fast, just cleaner. I've been playing mostly major scales, major arpeggios, plus a few jam tracks and kid tune melodies; Frere Jacques, Mary Had a Little lamb, Yankee Doodle ( kid tunes are used so that I can get used to the fret-board without looking at it...). On a swing jam track that I'm doing I can now "walk through" the progression (D-/G7/Cmaj7/A7).... I started out just the roots, next day root & 5ths, next day practiced the appropriate scale for each chord, next day tried to connect them; DEFA/GABD/CDEG/ABC#E (repeat). I'm having fun "plucking around"....
  7. The tuner can be adjusted to 440, 442, etc. depending on where I want the pitch to center. I understand the Hz concept🙂. Maybe the tuner is having trouble picking up the E string's frequency (41Hz).......it's a cheap tuner...... FWIW: I have always felt that the lowest of pitches need to "come up a little" (at least to my ear) for a bit more edge.
  8. kinda having a bit of fun playing this thing......I do about 40 mins a day. I spoke to a guitar teacher in my area and he told me to: when sitting, put the bass on my LEFT knee (like a classical guitarist) and try to to keep the head even with my left shoulder or strap it "high" to keep the head at shoulder height - excellent suggestions as it's more comfortable. I am also not playing everything in "first position" as the frets are not as spread. I found some youtube play-a-longs; there are one-chord funk ones plus i found one with a turnaround progression that's fun... My issue is that I can think of a bunch of great bass lines to play - but I don't have the chops to play them - go figure - kinda funny in a way. I took out my bari sax and can play those lines, but on bass - just "vanilla" for now (foot, 5th, and a few leading tones). This is a good diversion for me as everyday I hear that more and more of my gigs have been cancelled. There are two still "on the books" for Memorial Day weekend.....those will probably be tossed:( A question: I tune the bass with an electric tuner just tuning the D string to A440. I proceed to tune the rest of the strings by ear which works well except for the E string..... I always tune it a bit sharp (this is the way I hear it). I recheck it with the tuner...when I bring it down it sounds flat to me......maybe I'm not used to hearing things in that register....
  9. My mom (now deceased) was an excellent vocalist (classical) and pianist (classical and commercial) in our area. The last four years of her life she went into dementia really bad with the last 3 yrs spent in a nursing home as non-verbal. I would visit her several times per week. There was a poorly-tuned piano in the dining room and I'd wheel her wheelchair in there and try to get her to play. She always refused....but she was willing to help: We'd be at the piano and I would start to play "Night and Day" in C. With my limited piano chops I'd comp the wrong changes with the melody....it sounded awful.. I would say to her: "I can't figure out how the beginning goes......do you think you can help me?". I'd put her at the keyboard and she'd start playing D-7(b5), G7, Cmaj7, Cmaj7 with a walking bass line'n all and I would hum the melody...she'd play the tune in its entirety (bridge and all) with the right changes..... I would ask her to play another tune but she would refuse....she'd only play "to help me figure something out".
  10. Lost just about your amount in April/May/June thus far....
  11. Thanks for the tip. My fretting fingers do get a little sore after 20 mins or so. I am probably pressing too hard...
  12. uh oh...it sounds like "drummer joke" time😄
  13. "What, like bass players aren't musicians? " Some are musicians and some definitely aren't. I know many of both - all nice people.
  14. Thanks Phil, The chart/instructions are a big help. I actually know the strings...
  15. Hello all, I am a professional musician (woodwind player; jazz saxophonist, currently playing clarinet in an orchestra) that teaches music at a local University. I know my theory (both traditional and jazz). As school/gigs in my area have shut down for the next two months due to the current pandemic I have taken this time to wood-shed on my primary instruments - which feels great. Since I am not a TV-watcher I have decided to start playing my daughter's electric bass (which she played in HS) to keep from going crazy. I figured out how to play some one octave major scales but as someone who gives lessons on my primary instruments, I am afraid that I may not be using proper fingering.... Are there any basic fingering patterns that I should be using? If I am going to take the time to play this instrument, I'd like to do it right. btw: I can play a bass part to "Girl From Ipanema" as the root/5th thing is easy... Reading (notation/chords) is not an issue. Technique is my concern. Any help would be appreciated as I do not want to develop any bad habits. Mike
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