Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

It’s going to be a long night… #1

2016/11/24

You know that rehearsal is going to be a long slog when the operative phrase is, “I guess I’m going to have to listen to the original version.”

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The “Watchtower Bass”

2016/10/09

If you are a cellist or bassist, the concept of “purgatory” has a real-world example in the eight-note ostinato ground bass of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D.  If you play bass in a rock or blues band, your equivalent is the three-chord bass line for “All Along The Watchtower,” by the folk-rock singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.  In both cases, it is the same, mind-numbingly repeating pattern through the entire song.

If you are a bassist with an IQ of at least 95, you know that “All Along the Watchtower” is five minutes of your day that you will never get back—longer if your lead guitarist is particularly greedy “inspired.”  But if you’re stuck on stage during a performance of “Watchtower,” and you want to make better use of your time, I humbly recommend that you arrive at the gig armed with a “Watchtower Bass.”

Like most of my ideas (well, except the solar-powered night-vision goggles), the concept is both elegant and simple:

If you don’t happen to have a second bass guitar, simply buy any crappy old used 4-string bass guitar; nobody will notice the difference.  Equip your extra bass with three strings.  Since my band (Elephant In The Room) plays the song in A, the bottom string would be an E-string tuned to F (F1).  The second string would be another E-string tuned to G (G1), and then the third string would be an A-string tuned to A (A1).  The fourth string is utterly unnecessary and can be discarded.
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Before the set begins, arrange with your food server to deliver a cheeseburger and soda pop just before the band plays “All Along the Watchtower.”

Once the song begins, simply begin playing the three notes on your three open strings. Your left hand is now available for holding your cheeseburger and/or glass of soda pop.

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“Hmmm.. I wonder when Mitch is done with his guitar solo?”  Urrrrrrrp!

The longer the band plays the song, the longer you have to savor your food and beverage without having to worry about annoying little details like fingering notes on your neck.  And since the bass line contains only three notes, playing a wrong note is virtually impossible.

By the time the band has finished playing the song, the lead guitarist, lead vocalist, and drummer will have gotten their jollies. Meanwhile, you have had time to savor some food and a refreshing beverage without having expended an ounce of worry or effort for a bass line nobody cares about, anyway.

Bassists of the world, you are welcome.