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Friday, March 16, 2007

The Thrilling Conclusion

Finally I located an allen wrench that reasonably fit the truss rod. However, the truss rod may have never been adjusted, ever. It didn't want to budge. Well, you know, close enough for rock-n-roll. I left it the way it was.

Next I adjusted the neck tilt along with the screws that bolt the neck to the body. After playing with this for a while, I improved the action somewhat, though I would like to put a shim between the neck and body, as there is a small gap now. I have not played the bass since I did this, but my son isn't complaining so it can't be too bad.

Lastly, intonation. For me this is the most important part, because I have relatively perfect (relative) pitch. There are few things as irritating as tuning your instrument, then playing a note high on the neck and having it be sharp. Fortunately, setting the intonation was easy by adjusting screws on the bridge. A note played on the 12th fret should be exactly the same as playing the open string. A tuner could be used to do this accurately, but your ear will work just as well if you have developed a sense of pitch. I take this for granted, but apparently a lot of musicians don't have this ability. Over the years I have noticed improvement in my tuning abilities, and I can even hum A-440 like a human tuning fork. My point is, you can train yourself to do this, just as you train yourself to remember melodies. You literally hear it inside your head. They say people are born with perfect pitch, and I have met people like this. I have perfect "relative" pitch, meaning I can tell when it sounds like crap. However, I maintain that you can train yourself to have perfect absolute pitch. All you have to do is remember a song with 1 note, in my case, A-440, which is the pitch my tuner/metronome plays, or used to play before it broke. Funny thing is, even though I have had different tuners that play the pitch differently (different electronics/speaker/whatever), I actually remember the sound of my old one.

If you can imagine the sound of 1 note, you can train yourself to imagine an interval or a chord. If you are Beethoven, you can imagine a complete orchestra even if you are deaf.

Now that I have bored you to tears, I would like to welcome new people surfing here for the first time. What you see here is really the beginning. I am in the process of recruiting new artists now, and beginning next week I will be introducing one. The artists that really interest me I affectionately refer to as the "circus freaks" of the music industry. They are the true innovators, the ones willing to eat ramen noodles for the rest of their lives in order to make music that means something.

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