A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

I just got 2 6-string basses!

Today was a big day for both wifey and me. Since last summer, we’ve been eyeing a sofa set at Bob’s Discount Furniture. We’ve been working on the house since moving back here 3 years ago. This summer, we focused on the living room. A few weeks ago, we decided to go for it and ordered the sofa set we wanted. We cleared out some of the basement and arranged the old set there and made room upstairs for the new set. Today it came in, and it looks fantastic. 😉 The rug that she grabbed from somewhere online came in the other day and really ties everything together too.

Anyway, with that domestic stuff out of the way… here’s the big part for me:

About a month ago, I started talking to someone on Craigslist who was selling two left-handed 6-string basses. One was fretted and the other fretless. The deal was unbelieveable to me. He wanted $395 for both basses. That’s unheard of. I got in contact with him via email and learned that they were Brice basses. I don’t know much about different brands yet, but I’ve wanted an extended-range bass forever. The idea of getting two, and one without frets no less, seemed too good to be true.

So we emailed back and forth a bit, and I hit the internet and learned about him and about Brice. Brice basses come from Korea. They’re made in the same factory as Ibanez. The company that sells them in the US is called Rondo Music. They’re located in New Jersey. They don’t sell to retailers. They wholesale to the public. They make Memphis guitars, some other brand, and Brice. Brice is apparently their high-end (which is also unbelievable to me, considering the price).

I read up about them and found that they’re actually nice basses and many people who grab them are astonished at the price for the quality that they bring. So, through email, I learned that the person who was selling them is a drummer, and he just didn’t have enough time to dedicate to other instruments and was cutting down on some. He said that the basses were great quality and that they compared favorably to a bunch of different brands that he’d played.

Well, I decided to arrange a time to meet him and see the basses for myself. We were scheduled for last Saturday, but that freak snowstorm came through the NY area, days before Halloween. It forced me to cancel and also took out his power. We rescheduled for today, which I forgot was the delivery day for the sofa set. After texting back and forth, he said that I could come by later in the day. So, the furniture arrived, we set it up, and I grabbed wifey & two gig bags (mine and a friend’s whose bass has been sitting here for a year – he’s right-handed though, so its lost on me) and rode off to Teaneck, NJ, to see for myself if this was too good to be true.

Well, it wasn’t. 😉 It was actually both good AND true. We met the seller at his home, met his two kids, I tried out both basses, and was in love. Having that low B string and that high C string is really fun. I’m actually playing around more with the low string at the moment. I’m afraid that I might break the high one. Its like a guitar string. I’ve been messing with the 4 scales that I know (Aeolian, Ionian, Dorian & Locrian) and their triads. Its really fun to be able to start on a low, low E (5th fret of that B string) and move around. I love the sound that it offers with minor triads.

The fretless sounds awesome, but its different. I love that there’s no fret buzz. The strings are also different. I think my old ones are roundwounds and these are flatwounds. They’re smooth. They might also be a little thinner than mine. I’m going to let myself get used to the fretted one for a bit, and then practice the same things on both, to learn the differences.

I found that practicing certain patterns on the 6 and then playing them again on the 4 made them easier on the 4 string. I think that not having to keep track of the extra 2 strings is the big difference. At the same time, being able to play in two octaves using the basic scale patterns that I know is really interesting. I play a scale, and when I get to the 8, I shift hand position so that the 8 is a new root and then continue from there. I love it. 😉

Anyway, below are some pics of the basses. The room looks a little different since we took them as well. After I shot the pics, we rearranged the furniture a bit. I’m making an area for the basses in the living room so that I can hang them on the wall. I’ll do a write-up about that because I think it might be helpful to people. My house is old (1940) and was built before drywall was invented. The walls are made of plaster. Its hard to find studs in the walls to safely mount things on them (like 6-string basses). I’ve been reading online and found what I think is a safe method to get them hanging and up off the ground. Once I begin that project, I’ll post up instructions, because I think it can be helpful to others.

Ok. I’m going to go mess around with the fretted bass. Right now, I really hate that I work 6 days a week. Tomorrow, I’m in the office in Long Island, and on Monday, I’m at a client in Brooklyn. Waaargh! 😦

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 (4)

 (5)

 Here’s what the pics are:

  1. My old bass. Its an Ibanez 4-string.
  2. The fretted Brice 6-string.
  3. The fretless Brice 6-string.
  4. All 3 of my basses. I can’t believe that I can say that. 😉
  5. My friend’s bass joins the pics. Its right-handed though.

Ok. So, I’m off. Here’s a link to Brice, for those of you who are interested. TalkBass also mentions them in a few threads. I’ll post up more information about them later, when I have time. My understanding is that their prices are lower than what’s on the website, but as I haven’t dealt with them directly, I can’t confirm that yet.

That Vox AmPlug Bass Guitar Headphone Amp can’t come fast enough!

[edit 11.29.11] In this entry, I said that I planned on hanging the basses from a wall. I finally got it done yesterday and wrote a (lengthy) post about it. For those of you who are interested in my bass-related home improvement fumbles, check out this post:

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: Holy crap! Its working on a fretless! | Ugly Bass Face

  2. Pingback: I got an acoustic bass | Ugly Bass Face

  3. Pingback: Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2016 | Ugly Bass Face

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