The Trials, Victories & Adventures of Los PaulOS

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ~ 1 John 4:18

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

My Itchy-fied Story with the BASS

This was a comment I posted in MWM Forum about how I came about playing the bass 2 years ago.

I had interest in music since a young age.. so dad sent me for piano classes in standard 2 (in which i faired poorly in my practical) never even going for 1 practical exam
Only did Grade 1 Theory and stopped, dad said we can't afford lessons or a piano. I only managed to start again in form 5 when waiting for my SPM
results and finished Grade 4 Theory (1991).. then stopped again because I left home to come to KL to study.

1992 - 1995
My elder brother (Patrick.. not Leong ) had guitar lessons when he was young, and when he left home after form 5, picked up the guitar during his uni days, playing for Charismatic Prayer meets. Being impressionable, I also picked up the guitar, hammering on it 2 hours a day, irritating everyone in my aunt's house.

I chanced upon Hard Rock Cafe in 1992, watchin Asia Beat, and was caught up with this cool chinese guy (with long hair), and watched him play a 5-6 string bass. Playing "Let's Groove Tonight" by EWF, i loved the beat and style, and from then I fell in love with the bass. Looking back I now know that it was Yamaha TRB 5.

I used to lug my guitar to college and back ondays that I played at Charismatic Prayer meets, striking up conversations with classmates, who were interested in music. A malay guy, named Azmi, decided to teach me the roots for bass.. And the first song we picked up to play in da band was "Sweet Child Of Mine" and that was practically the only song I knew how to play. Everytime we went to the studio was that song over and over again. plus 1-3 other songs, Nirvana, Bon Jovi etc.

I was still no good at bass, then, I left for australia, with my trusty guitar, immediately playing for OCF (Overseas Christian Fellowship). And soon after, played bass at only OCF Camps. I bought my first and only bass from OCF Melbourne, when they wanted to sell their 4 String Squire Jazz Bass (Japan). Cost me AUD150, with no strap or case.

I practiced without an amp, and had my first ever gig at a Taiwanese Student's night, ( I wonder where are the pictures?)..

I used to cycle and move around with my bass to practices without a case.
I only bought a hard case when I needed to return to Malaysia. So I bought a hard case for AUD60 from a 2nd hand shop.

Back in Malaysia, I met up with my olde Catholic friends and my guitar Sifu, and he invited me to join his band to play bass.. From then on it was secular songs.. and I bought my Marshall 60 Bass amp for my sifus wedding gig and have kept it ever since.

2001- 2002
I upgraded the pickups and pots on my bass when I went to Japan in 2001 and bought Seymour Duncan Passive J Pickups.

I met up with Andy Peterson at his shop in Wilayah Complex early 2002 and I was impressed with his humbleness to repair my simple bass and he asked me to play a few grooves for him, and I was like.. want to *pengsan* man.. so i showed him whatever little i knew about playing bass and he gave me a few tips. And even invited me to his shop to jam with him. I was in awe, but never did take him up on his offer. And a few years later he closed his shop.

*btw.. ppl tell me i look like him.. aiyor.. so pai-seh*

*wah very cheong hei already*

I then came to DUMC and looked for opportunities to play bass, but received no response from Worship team then. So I joined Dew Crew, and learnt a new skill. Sound Mixing.

In the meantime, I still played with my secular band at weddings receptions, played for Children's church. Started meeting up with various MWM bassists (Anson who joined my cell, Gabriel Thomas; Ian Chong) from whom I've had tremendous privilege to learn from. I also took some classes from Guitar Collection and Mahogany, but they were short lived. One of the sifu's that I remember till this day is Stefan Ong. :D He straight away asked me to learn slap I think. :O

I am also now in possession(by God's providence) of a Nathan East Preamp (purchased from Ian Chong), and a broken neck Washburn Bass (4 string) -given to me by Gabriel Thomas. I look forward to the day I will be able to graduate to a 5 or 6 string.

Now here I am today, a Sound Techie, Bassist and Cell Leader.
Of which I am very happy to serve in thanks to everyone for your patience and opportunities to learn with you all.

Fast Forward 23 April 2014

In the past 4 years, a few things have changed.
I've hard Carpal Tunnel surgery done to my right hand, which has made bass and guitar playing more enjoyable. I look forward to doing the CTS on my left hand.

Repaired the Broken Neck Washburn, (which still needs some work on the knobs), lent it to a student to practice until he bought a new bass.

Was blessed with the providence and opportunity to purchase a 2nd hand Sadowsky MV5 (in 2012) from a prominent bass player. It has been a blessing to get it at a very good price.

(I initially wanted to paste my chat with him, but may be too long.)
I saw the bass on Bass For Sale, and the price was already interesting but still over my budget,
He offered me at my price to trade with something, but I had nothing worthwhile to trade with.
So he said pay him My Price +RM500. Which was quite acceptable.
His condition was to deal it as soon as possible as he had to fly off in a few days. And I had to test it ASAP before he was due to fly off. My baby was about a month old at that time, and taking time out of the house to go test out the bass was very hard.
What was most surprising was that he was coming by near my house for a gig, so he came by my house (my first time meeting him) and dropped off the bass without so much as a suspicion I would abscond with his bass. He asked me to decide by the time the gig was over, and then he left for his gig.
I tested the bass and my wife and I decided on purchasing it. I SMS-ed him and the deal was done. Banked in the money to him immediately and the deal was done.

Looking back it was very risky for him to leave his bass in the hands of somebody he didn't know. It was a big risk for me, because we had just spent a bomb on the delivery of my baby girl. We took the step of courage/faith to buy it. Never expected to purchase one at such a price, but I told my wife, no birthday and Christmas presents for me for the next 5 years. :D Therefore, have fulfilled a dream to upgrade to a 5 string.

<Why Sadowsky u may ask?>
I first heard about Sadowsky from Gabriel Thomas, who's a fan of Will Lee, then I saw my first Sadowsky and tested it at The Guitar Store, as Philip Teh, his dad and I went shopping for a bass back in 2011/12
I then did more research and was the "poisoned" even further by Simon Lau and his recordings.

I've also purchased a Pandora PX4D for more practice options.
Started a little FB group (Bass Chat) so that Christian Bassists (in Malaysia).. can discuss gear and encourage each other in their Bass Journey.

Since my Marshall Bass 60 is in my band's makeshift studio, I needed a small practice amp to "practice" and teach at home. So about a year ago, I purchased an Ampeg BA108, which I get to take on small gigs. :D

That's the journey to date. God be praised for his providence and blessings.

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