Fretless struggle…

As usual, most of the new album will probably end up being improv stuff – things that just happen, are lovely, and I’ll then go back and learn them for playing live. However, I have got a couple of things written, as well as the cover tunes, and they bring with them certain er ‘problems’. The big one at the moment is recording the song for Eric – it’s a chord melody piece on a fretless bass, in AbMajor (so I can’t fall back on my usual collection of open strings and natural harmonics to bail me out when it gets tough) – and I’m really struggling with the intonation and phrasing on it. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually, and it’ll certainly be worth the struggle, as it is, in my ever so biased and rose-tinted opinion, one of the best things I’ve ever written. It was certainly the favourite with the audience at Edinburgh last year, and will be the centre-piece to the record (I’m thinking of possibly recording a sister piece to go with it, a big ambient tune dedicated to Eric too – with the recording of Deep Deep Down as well, if that makes it to the record, it’ll be a nice big tribute to a very wonderful and much missed friend).

I’m having the same problem with Deep Deep Down – I’m going to try a version of that now on the fretted bass and see how it comes out. It sounds great on fretless, but it’s just SO hard! I’m not cut out for this actually-having-to-work-at-it way of making an album. They’re usually a breeze, aren’t they? (time to go back and read blog posts from June 2004 to check)

4 Replies to “Fretless struggle…”

  1. Steve – I love you. But if were near you and heard you say ” I’m not cut out for this actually-having-to-work-at-it way of making an album.”” I’d probably have to smack ya! ,-)

    I wish O wish – dream O dream to experience the “breeze” way of making an album you speak of. How do you do that?

  2. as a general rule, I have a whole load of ideas cueing up to be used on the next album. Yesterday it seemed like that wasn’t going to be the case this time… Today, I’m back in ‘breeze’ mode – have got five or six cool tracks that are at least good enough for Lessons Learned Pt 3, and one absolute definite album track. :o) We’ll see how I feel about the others when I’ve mixed them etc. If they sit with the flow of the album.

    Suffice to say, I’m a lot more excited about the new album today than I was yesterday. ;o)

  3. I know this may sound a little stupid…but why don’t you tune your bass down half a step? My Jazz is set up for half a step down and it’s great.

    Only problem would be that you’d need two fretless basses when playing live, unless you fancy tuning up and down all the time…still, just a suggestion!

  4. Hi jamie, I could tune down, or even just play it in A if I really wanted to. There’s something about playing in a more remote key that physically makes you play in a different way that I’m trying to explore… it’s just going to take a little more time that my usual ambient goo in A minor…


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