Step out of your comfort zone by strapping on an unfamiliar bass.
After years of getting frequent compliments on my tone, I had lost a little bit of my curiosity about new gear and different equipment—things that were purposefully designed to do something very different than the gear I’d long been leaning on to provide the bread and butter of my sound. (The go-to instruments for most of my work have been Fender-style basses with bolt-on necks and passive electronics.) So I started gradually, by first changing the size and wattage of the drivers in my speaker cabinets. I also began trying string brands that weren’t in my group of beloved, usual suspects. And most recently, I’ve been experimenting with basses that are not what I’m used to.
One such bass is the Warwick Dolphin Pro 1 I had on loan for the last month. This model features just about everything I normally don’t favor in an instrument. Still, I made sure I used it in every bass playing scenario possible: a rehearsal, a small bar gig with floor monitors, a large show on tour with in-ear monitors, a full-scale Nashville recording session, a TV taping, and in normal practice sessions at home.
The shape of the Warwick’s body is completely non-traditional, so the weight of the bass was distributed differently and its contact surface with my body/ribs felttotally different. I had to alter my stance onstage as well as my strap length. I also had to alter my left-hand fretting approach by looking at the neck more and relying less on normal muscle memory. The notes simply weren’t located where I was used to finding them. (This doesn’t happen when switching between Fender-style basses, since the shape and feel is so similar between them, no matter the brand.) The exercise certainly brought me out of my comfort zone; I didn’t go for quite as many fills above the 12th fret. But anything that makes you rethink techniques you’ve been using for a long time, prompts attention to detail, and provides the slight fear you had as a beginner? Well, that’s a very good thing.
In practice sessions at home, I discovered that playing a 26-fret instrument instead of one with 21 or 22 frets presented some other options for adventure. The chord shapes I often use around the 12th and 15th frets did not work above the 20th fret. I have what is commonly known as “bass player fingers” (i.e., not skinny), so some of the chords I normally hit easily took some serious Tetris-like skills to fit on the smaller frets. Sitting down and practicing on a bass without a traditional bottom horn was also a challenge until I figured out how to properly balance the instrument on my knee.
Positioning the body of this Warwick Dolphin Pro 1 a little further off my hip than I would with a more traditional bass helped put the notes right where my muscle memory wanted them to be.
The nature of playing a neck-through, more-modern-sounding instrument made with dense, heavier woods is that the attack is faster than every bass I’ve ever been used to. I feel like if I play with a soft attack on a more traditional bass, the notes come out softly and slowly, which is one of the reasons many people prefer those instruments. They are dynamic. It’s like driving a car with a lot of horsepower under the hood, but you have to really push on the gas to make the car scream—and it still takes a second to kick in. When playing this new-to-me modern bass, I felt like the punch and immediateness of the attack happened even when I didn’t play very hard. It’s kind of like trying not to push the accelerator too hard in a Ferrari while sitting in rush hour traffic.
We all make our instrument choices based on appearance, genre, feel, and tone. The style of instrument I used to widen my tonal horizons is most often used in modern metal or fusion. So, here’s my challenge for you: If you normally play, say, modern metal or fusion, do what you’re “not supposed to do” and grab an old short-scale Gibson or Hofner. New doors can open by getting over your tone and trying something different, even if it is for just a short time. Happy experimenting!
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.