Thursday, July 13, 2017

G Rock--The King Of The Bass Bottom Feed--Doles Out Another Great Slice Of Real Bass On His Back To Basixx Album

CD review:

Artist:Greg G Rock Sanders

Album: Back To Bassixx


Label: Long Range Distrubution---

The Godfather of the Bass Bottom Feeder Foundation in the Rap,Hip-Hop world Greg G Rock Sanders; has come out with an album with a total live feel. And since I'm more of a rock n' roll based music writer I thought that it would be more rap based.

But I was floored when it had a distinctively hip-hop flavor,with a jazz and rock feel in a few tracks.

It's been a while since I reviewed any album at all,and I did do a review of Greg's band The Gorilla Funk Mob a number of years back for an EP they came out with. I'll have a link to G Rock's Back to Basixx album,and a link to the Gorilla Funk Mob's live album as well,which is a limited edition album,and definitely worth it for those of you who are junkies of GFB's style of gritty down and dirty bass that just sings to your beat driven love of G Rock's bottom feeder style,which is truly original.

Back To Basixx Review:

I wasn't sure how I'd do this review. I usually go through and literally dissect every song which is what you should do if you're a wild fan of G Rocks work,and especially if you're a musician in the hip-hop and rap world and want to move up. Like I said this album album has more of a live feel done off the studio floor,and one tune that was done live some where,and I didn't ask Greg where it was done.

Okay,here we go bottom feeder lovers...

Do It For Love:

Me being an old school music lover I heard that Stevie Wonder type vocal from one of hip hops best voices,Tony Ozier. The arrangement seemed to take me back to Wonder's Songs in the key of life album which was built on that vocal foundation,and kept the bass and hip hop feel to a minimum.

G's Interlude:

Strong bass instrumental track with literally a knuckle dragging,bass guitar slingin' funk beat which went quite well with G Rock's comic strip he did the music for:Galactic Gorilla and the Cosmic Brotherhood. it's a slower tempoed track,but one you'll want to have on your cell phone or listen to  on your headphones.

That Girl: More of a rock induced song pure and simple.

Feeling Fine: A little piano and bass like interlude that reminds me of little ditties Frank Zappa used to do back in the 1970's,with a jazz like symth voicing.

Fuse Hall:Right dead on Reggae feel which I wasn't totally thrilled with,but took Back to Basixx in a different direction. I'll admit I've never delved into the reggae music scene,but it still an interesting side step.

Strung out: If you're a lover of The G Rock Force you'll love this song which is another jazz oriented song with more of G's strong bass presence. There'a also a bit of rap you can jive on,which for both armchair quarterbacks of rap,and rap artists,take some notes from G Rock and company on this album.

If You Want Me To Stay: For those of you who are old school music lovers of acoustic,folk type music you'll love this song. Takes me back to old Crosby,Still Nash and Young. This particular song has a strong lead guitar on it. Another keeper for listening when out and about or at home.

Harmonically Correct: Now this song little did I realize was actually done live somewhere. I wondered why it had such a live feel,other than thinking it was done off the floor without many effects at all. I never asked Greg where it was done. Actually doesn't matter.

Great tune done bare bones style!

It was more uptempo than a lot of the material on the album,and gave off a pop/rock like instrumental  feel with a free from jazz arrangement that had horns as well.


If you like simple grooves from G Rock this is the song you want.

Planet G Rock:

More hip hop flavored textural wise,with that Bottom Feeder style that is all G Rock.

Indian Lullaby:

Now this is a song I didn't think Greg would do. It was very percussion like with a new age twist that took the Back to Basixx album in a different direction.

To grab this album,and you know you want to after reading this review;you can go grab the Greg G Rock Sanders album: Back to Basixx over here at:

As well you can grab a limited edition copy of G Rock's main band The Gorrila Funk Mob,and their ultimate live CD which is available as well. There are a few minor issues with the link to the live Gorilla Funk Mob album,so I'm going to put it up later.

If you want a copy of the album,just let me know and I'll put you on the list.

I never thought I'd enter the hip hop and funk world in the music business,but if you're a hip hop musician,or just love this kind of music you'll love the simple beats of G Rock. I'll be putting this    up on social media so look for it on Long Range Distribution and at G Rock's and Gorilla Funk Mob gigs.

Thanks Greg

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Jimi Hendrix Was he Really The Best Player Ever?

Jimi Hendrix was he really the Best Player Ever?

This is an important repost, actually two articles with one being about whether he was the best player ever, and did he die before he did what he really wanted in music?  What I think is below and you know it won't be what most musicians and fans think. I'm a contrarian thinker and doer guys, just the way it is.

I think serious musicians like yourself need to think differently even if you're playing simple music. That will help you break free from the chains that hold players down from keeping playing note for note chords of the blues masters. I refer to blues mainly because that's where most music originated from and the music that matters most to little old me. That, and jazz based chords and textures.

So read my drivel and email me with your thoughts on was Hendrix the greatest? and did he croak before his prime?

You can email me at:

Most of us listen to music to hear wild and incredible texturing and dazzling chord structures of rock and blues that takes us on a ride if you will. Yes, I know you want to know what I think about Hendrix, so here it is in it's vile and putrid form that's all Mark Grove and Canadian Guitar Player.

Hendrix turned guitar playing on it's head and into a form that literally took Rock, blues, and different free-form jazz and formed a new realm of music.This turned the musicians who watched him wanting more and literally taking notes to learn from a master. Kind of like a Tiger Woods,Wayne Gretzky or Bobby Orr.

Sports plays a part in music believe me. Don't ask me why it just does.

Most musicians today including you who are reading this just copy his stuff. You don't really play it your way. Dee Curtis plays it his way. Robin Trower plays it his way and developed his own style of rock. Most guitar players don't show any artistic integrity or individuality when playing Jimi's music or their own.

Oh no, but I won't make any money if I play it my way.--well you basically have your head up the ass of corporate music money machines.That's where a lot musicians with no discernible talent become stars and super rich. Eminem, all rap artists, and a lot of guitarist's who are chained to major labels through their own stupidity.

Back to Hendrix. I was only 7 years old when he died in 1970 and couldn't really appreciate what he meant to real musicians and music fans.I'm including another piece I did on Hendrix with me chiming on about whether he died before his prime.

Did Hendrix Die before His Prime?

No he didn't. Hendrix played music with his soul and his heart and literally blew it off the map. He did what he wanted then bit the biscuit. So what if he died in a pool of his own vomit! He partied with the best musicians and music lovers, and his impact on music was so incredible in a short time on other musicians, which is who I care about.

Hendrix took his Band Of Gypsies and The Experience fans on a ride no one will ever forget. Today's hip-hop and rap is bullshit music that is useless and negative. Listen to music that moves you and has feeling, that will last you a lifetime. Blues and rock has has a feeling that will last a lifetime and can't get from today's shit music.

Even Jazz and country doesn't have that heart.

Maybe I don't know shit about this and you think I'm an idiot. I still have friends that say with a lifted eyebrow and a quizzical stupid look on their face saying--give it a rest Mark, Hendrix died a long time ago. Then they'll say my kids listen to Hip-hop and I like it too. Fuck that shit.

You still don't get it. Listen to real music. I probably won't be able to convince any of you dolts about being involved with real music that matters. That's your loss. When all the great musicians are gone, that will be it.

Here's Jimi's gear that he used to thrill us with:

Guitar: Fender Strat and a Gibson Flying-V

Amps: Sunn Amps
Marshall Full or Half Stacks

Effects: Octavia Vox Wah pedals, Fuzz Face, Univibe rotational speaker

Strings: There is some debate as to whether Hendrix used Light or heavier strings. Buddy Miles said he used a mixture of heavy and light strings. It was said he used Fender string sets. He may have used different brand names as well. I would say if he used different string gauges, he did it because of a want to experiment instead of using the same strings all the time.

I realize I'm being over the top with all of this, but my passion is music and most musicians want to make money, not play the music that really matters.

Read all you can about Hendrix and go to his website where his relatives have capitalized on his being the most famous musician. Greedy little fucks they are, including his own father. Yes, you can make a good living being a musician and playing it your way. Just don't be a session player and play music you would never listen to just to make big bucks.

Be a musician and be determined to play it until you can't do it anymore. Enjoy the ride. You can email me at

Friday, June 16, 2017

Jimmy Page His Les Paul and Grover Tuners

immy Page, if he used a certain type of Machine Head for his Les Paul--would you read what he has to say and see if those Tuners are right for you?
There is a reason why I'm saying all this,
I'm going to interview someone who understands the absolute need for high quality machine heads for your guitar,and why they are so vital.
Especially so your guitar works well while playing,getting the right tone,and so you're not always having to adjust your M--Heads constantly.
I even suggest a certain type of machine head to use,and even go back in time to when Jimmy Page bought a certain guitar,and even changed the machine heads because of the direction he was taking his band and their music.
I'll have something on this important subject soon.
But for now,head on over to the blog and learn yerself something about music and doing what you love!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

New York Session Cat--Tim Rockmore--Gives Out Golden Nuggets With Mike Placement Tips

New York City Session Guitar Player Tim Rockmore is one of the more well seasoned veterans of session work,and can give you effective tips from setting up your gear, to selling yourself to bands,studios and labels looking for a hire gun as a sideman who knows how to get the job done.

Doing session work can be a great way to become a better player who can learn on the fly with various clients doing demos for bands to commercial jingles or live work on stage.

Two musicians who are well respected and have a session resume that's as long as a convicts 10 page rap sheet longer than my arm,are led Zeppelin alumni; Bassman John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page.

They started as session players and you'd be smart to read up on how they became session players,and what they did to be those great session players.

Tim Rockmore is that player.

But The short little tip from Tim on mic placement had me going back to an article on 70's session great
Steve Hunter who had a great mic placement technique in an interview he did in Guitar Player a number of    years ago. 

But dam it, I was looking for that article in GP,but it might be Guitar World but couldn't find it in all my crap. But I do have that tip from Steve in a previous article I did on that particular tip. Simple little gear and mic placement tips will take you far as a session player.

So,read this little mic placement tip from Tim Rockmore. I'll have more on Tim's great tips as a musician and music businessman in later articles.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Tim Rockmore:I think you asked a question about amp mic placement? - 

I like to use SM 57s one positioned right to the side of the speaker cone 12 in speaker. And sometimes one a few feet away from the cabinet (miked at a lower volume and then lowering the bass eq response … and tweaking the midshipmen’s and hi freq) - This gets a tight but fuller response. Sometimes its great to get a third mic in the middle of the room for ambience and natural reverb from the room.The real trick is moving the close mic on the side axis of the cone to get a sweet spot where the mid range is bright but not too harsh. Then blending the mic in the mix.

Also, sometimes I like to use ribbon mics for the two outside pics.But always a SM57 on the cone.

Hey Mark... sure: Also with ribbon Mics - They are really great with acoustic guitars. Right up by the 12th Fret (just off of the sound hole) about a half a foot.Ribbons can get a big fat (fuller sound)   I like them a little further back and blended with a Shure SM 57 for electric guitars and speaker cabs,and or combos the ribbon mic ges more rich lows, and the 57's get the snap mid range tone, and hi end.

Remember guys,when doing miking techniques always to test,test,test! and use a Shure SM 57 which are staples for recording and some live work. 

Thanks to Tim Rockmore.         

I think you also asked to do another interview / article on me … That would be great. - Just lemma know when and what you need.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dan Torres Guitar Pickup Mod and Restoring: Interview

Dan Torres Guitar Pickup Mod and Restoring: Interview

By Mark Grove

Co-author: Dee Curtis

Article 02/29/04 Back Catalogue Intervie

When you hear the name Dan Torres and pick-up in the music industry, the ears tend to benefit or pick-up is a joke it.I know is bad. And officials like Seymour Duncan pick-and Di Marzio tend to take note. Introduction of this section and information about Dan Torres amp and pickup Master of California, is by Canadian Guitar Player Music Consultant Dee Curtis.
The first time I heard of Dan Torres was when I was in Los Angeles in the 80s with a group of musicians, who spoke of Dan Torres, who was and is a guitar guru moding, modding their amps and guitars for them.

These guys took the time to contact Dan by an ad in (Guitar Player) when the electronic control was rabies in the world of music. So I sent for some info on your guitar and hop How to make mods to your amp, through its free brochures and ended up with reprints of its articles that were (Vintage Guitar).

I had a bit of how electronic moment which been helpful, but anything with a tube amp. But through some articles that I started tinkering with the capacitors and resistors in amp head along with changing tubes, to reshape the sound coming from the cabin. I found myself with a switch midrange tone control on every guitar I had at the time. Currently, I am not using them and I miss them.Dan is a leading expert on amp and guitar and modified many great musicians use.

Very recently, I contacted my Dan (Sovtek Midget Combo Amp) and asked him what he recommended because the tubes Sovtek sounded a bit dark for me. I had some feedback about it and Sovtek made mods, but it was still sounding too dark.

I like the amp, but I wanted more brightness and cleaner tones. Dan suggested I try (6L6 GC tubes) that will give me more clear at the top end and less midrange and dark tones. I have on order now and I know it will sound beautiful.

Now, anyone who is a guitar player or bass, I implore you to get Dan Torres book (inside the tube amps), which is literally the Bible on tube amps, and it is in simple terms that everyone can understand how - mod their amp or guitar.

Mark Grove We started this with an intro on how Dee Curtis was first introduced to the amp and the master pickup is Dan Torres but we will end this section, where we first wanted to go, and talk about Dan Torres take on the restoration of pickups and the fact that was one of the first technicians to rewind pickups for musicians in California. Dan also has a line of single-coil pickups and custom made, and the new conscripts (Torres P90) and custom Humbuckers - as well as medium and light trucks SRV blues.

This man is the master of control tone pickup and other gurus like Bill Turner (founder of the EMG and current resident expert pickup for Fender. In this interview with Dan Torres We start in restoring and collecting vintage microphones how to keep just "hummin 'along. This is an uber cool website for players.

I know another bad line. Dan is also known for his guitar amp and construction kits are popular for the more skilled musician. This is an interview that you want to archive your e-mail or a website, so be prepared to be surprised by fellow musicians Dan Torres. Canadian Guitar Player Dan Torres talks about the complexities of collecting and restoring time to introduce this old heap.

MG: At what point is a pick-up Regular or vintage indeed outlived its usefulness and mechanically it's wise?

DT: Actually, since the beginning of sensors magnetic, almost none of them have actually spent. Even the best microphones, unless they are damaged, are still valid functional wise and mechanically.

MG: What is the most common form of wear collection which must be addressed when restoring a pick-up?

DT: The most common concern is the wear of the user. damage Pick up the truck was doing shots with screwdrivers, screws and results stripped of ill-treatment. Magnets and materials can rust a bit of an instrument that is allowed to be wet. Rust can push magnets out of contact with the pole pieces, causing the van to stop working correctly.

MG: Is re-magnetize a large collection of original and regain the support solid traction?

DT: It a very sensitive issue that the objective of tonal character of our most popular guitars (and trucks) is based on these instruments is the old when they were used / stored. That - among them - not to seek a Gibson Les Paul 1959 with patents applied Hum-bucking pickups playing "How High the Moon" (a Les Paul hit the 50s) they try to play "Sunshine of Your Love" (Clapton "or" One Way Out "(Allman Bros.)

The guitars are the most valuable were in their "second life" as instruments collected by the young musicians of the mid-60s, pawnshops, etc. very cheap, used, good guitar sound. Therefore, the force magnetic origin - which is the magnetic force when this particular guitar was built in 1959, is not the desired effect ". Level desired guitar sound "old" course in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and today.

A lot of effort have been degaussing magnets or find old ones. Currently, my collection of original Gibson patent applied magnets sell for $ 150 + per magnet I will not hold if one of them. (Only about six left.)

MG: Is the magnetic field weakens over time yet to produce soft sounds and fatter?

DT: This is easy, yes. But the magnetic field has a long life. Even the oldest pick-up we see often as the "Charlie Christian" pickup available on the 1939 Gibson cobalt magnets have more flow is sufficient to date. Barney Kessel Jazz Great used bring in much-too-famous Gibson with Charlie Christian pickup.

These huge magnets are very old yet very strong and the best pick-up (he had several) was very high impedance, 10,000 ohms. The pickups seemed absolutely wonderful, magical musical instrument. A lot of experimentation has been made in the 80s by the manufacturers of many pick-ups, with stronger magnets or exotic.

But the point of diminishing returns has been reached instantly. Stronger magnets can produce a stronger pickup with more output, but the traction caused excess depreciation, which pulls the strings field so that the pickup must be placed fairly average below the thin ropes, offsetting much of the improvement. The alien did not ring magnets not as good as alnico wider range of flows or ceramic magnets.

MG: Have hum-bucking or bring down a single coil over quickly and why?

DT: A difficult question. Single coils, such as pick-up more often die early, but most often because of damage. It is not difficult at all to wear the top of a pickup cover and early destruction of the coil. type P-90 single-use magnet coils hum-bucking (2) and have a spiral of plastic, so we have a cross on the structure of picking between the buzz-saw and P-90.

The cylindrical magnets Start and Telecaster pickups have a lot of flux and last time so many lives if they are not damaged. The first guitars still sound spectacular. Jerry Garcia replaced the DiMarzio Hum-bucking pickups often saying they had used, but these pickups have been moving here in the Bay San Francisco, and do not seem to have lost anything noticeable. But musical perception is much, much more sensitive, any instrument.

Do not hear any new, it is impossible to hear what Jerry has heard. By their nature, single coils can wear more quickly than the magnets are more submitted to the assassin a magnet, a shock of being hit by renewed, ropes, etc.

MG: With your handling of certain microphones best players today, they think twice before casting their singles or hums, or even go to another company for restoration?

DT: I usually encourage professionals and enthusiasts consider keeping vintage microphones in place if they are for your type they want. I find that the guitar feels good, but not ringing, hand injury or new pickups from ourselves and / or all other manufacturers can be selected with the appropriate knobs, tone controls, etc.

To refine the guitar to do exactly what you want without cutting a fine vintage guitar, many advantages are the choice of new guitars, or a fine quality imports (Ibanez, Aria, Cort, etc.) to they can make as many changes as they wish and have several guitars on the same hand without the high cost of super vintage instruments. Restorations are done if microphones were severely damaged, dead or partially dead or in some cases - when they just look shabby, ugly.

Rust can be removed and / or new pole piece screws and studs capable Hum buckers, the delicate work of steel wool can clean strategy - TV magnets. Most restorations are dead vintage (pick-up value) bring them back to life without losing their own music.
Broken coils are the main problem by far. With a very good eye, a steady hand, and knowing exactly what to look for the broken coil wire can be located and replaced without losing more than one or two ohms of a pick-up 5000 ohms.

The hardest part of this process can be found the broken wire. It is the treatment of it after finding it. Usually, you only have one chance. The wire is covered with insulation which must be removed before re-welding it. Since the wire is thinner than a hair, and in some cases, we work with just 1 / 16 to 1 / 8 wire. It is a tricky task.

MG: What is the most common type of truck that is replaced?

TD: It is currently running about 55% start - kind of TV and 45% hum-buckers, but she moves very well understood by guitars used in popular current television, concerts and other media.

MG: Are Pickups to restore the thing for the most part what you should give the makers of guitar or restoration specialists parts?

DT: If the sensor has a high value, yes, ask someone with experience. One eye, good practice, and knowing what to look for can save $ 200.00 a patent application that could be destroyed by an experiment (or unstable) hand to try to repair a broken coil wire. attention to detail will pick up to life as it should.

MG: When restoring a pick-up coils are single or hum-buckers easier to restore?

DT: Single coils are generally easier - they are simple, everything is open air and easy to see, there are no layers of tape secular to take off, (a real difficulty with old hum-bucking pickups.) But - "funky coils" single. Harmony, Silvertone, Danelectro, Kay etc. are very difficult to restore because they are often made on a budget.
Cardboard forms coil, glue and masking tape are used in the assembly difficult to dig through. Some of those old cheap guitars do not even have the forms of the coil. Just a wire coil and magnet. There is often difficult to say what it should be first!

MG: Are there any special means of potting, re-magnetization or rewind a pick-up is actually to improve and maintain the tone regarding traction?

DT: I would not say "special means" where application of the technique is very good in all these technologies. Potting soil or in wax (or paint) must be at the right temperature so the wax absorbs all the coil, but not so hot, it melts a coil Tricky re-pot. But once you have a right, it is easy to repeat.
This will prevent microphonics, allowing the collection to perform at a level much higher volume, no cry. Re-magnetizing may improve or restore the tone of a magnet damaged. The shock can demagnetize the magnets sufficiently so as not to produce a signal. In this case, the re-magnetization is back to life.
Often more powerful magnets, such as Alnico 5 are demagnetized or redone to bring down an "old" level, reduce power train and get the effect we intend to vintage guitars.
A fairly efficient process that may increase support given a van. But with our new stock Alnico 2 magnets, it is often easier to simply install a downward flow Alnico 2 magnet in place a Alnico 5 magnetic pull down more gently. Pickup liquidation is another story. Most "classical" guitars made in the years 50 had hand-wound pickups to some extent.
In a conversation with Doc Kauffman, Leo Fender original partner, he told me it was some time before he and Leo thought "maybe we should measure these microphones?
In a pickup to get a good sound liquidation Vintage scatter "wound" technique works best.The wire is not provided absolutely perfect, but somewhat random, filling the coil the eye as it spins. This gives the pickup more harmonic tone - not so perfect is often more musical. Hum-bucking pickups, to have two coils are essentially asymmetrical in the original Gibson design. Each reel has a load of different iron, so a different impedance. If the coils are also not exactly the same, there is an effect of, again, less perfection and more harmonic quality due to the slightly different tones of each coil.

In addition, the distance between the two coils receive the signal from a guitar string at different locations (called phase cancellation) gives the hum-bucking pickup its distinctiveness. These factors can be manipulated to vary the tone of the pickup extreme levels.
DiMarzio is well qualified to develop sound more and more news from such techniques, (and well others.) Observation dozens of actual patent application Gibson Humbuckers, show reels that are "close enough", but not exactly when read with Digital Vom meters, which were not available when they were made.
MG: When wiring a pickup are all techniques used to give your guitar a tone depending on the type of music you play?

DT: One of our specialties. In addition to all the variations of pick-up, we have discussed, we have introduced the concept of variation of potentiometers to increase or decrease the load on the pickup, change significantly the frequency response, gain and tone.
We also do a series of checks passive medium that can be applied to any guitar to give the musician even further range of shades of the same "old" pick-up. We can begin with new pickups or custom and to further optimize for their use, or work with existing microphones by varying the volume controls, tone and wiring harness.

MG: Do higher prices vintage microphones make it more attractive to restore the originals?
DT: Certainly, and my clients, friends are always on the lookout for the guitar that "does not work. "Restoration has often cheap and we have approximately 90% success on pickups dead. The balance shall be rewound. Very few are eliminated, perhaps 2 per year from hundreds. Find a pick-up dead and have restored or even rewound is certainly the cheapest way to get "" Good.

Dan Torres

To contact Dan Torres guitar amp or mic mods:
-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------
About the Author
Mark Grove,music industry writer from Canada.I write how to material
for musicians on guitar and gear tips,music business and artist

We also offer an article writing service for musicians called:
The Musicians Instant Press Kit

Our site is called:Canadian Guitar Player

Seymour Duncan - Differences in Alnico Magnets

Dee Curtis talks on how to pick a Bass Player for your band By Mark Grove

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dee Curtis talks on how to pick a Bass Player for your band By Mark Grove

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


By Mark Grove

This is a 9 year old article I brought of out hiding and dusted off a bit so players,actually frontmen can use to hire their next bass players. Whether it's for the studio,live or even just jamming.

Dee Curtis knows his shit,and he tells it like it is so all you players understand how to recruit sidemen. You talk about anything in music,or ask a question to Dee, he knows the answer.

This is a recent conversation with Detroit based bluesman Dee Curtis. I talked about a recent article I read in Guitar World's (Bass Player Mag) about Gov't Mule Bass Player Andy Hess. It said he spends a lot of time looking over charts, studying and practicing material.

He also stated, that sometimes doesn't matter on stage if you're trying to get a certain feel. The charts and playing note for note can sometimes get in the way. Those are my words folks.

Dee Curtis: Some of it does matter. Sitting down and runnin' scales and loosening your fingers up to warm up. It could be different for Bass Players. Once I'm on stage I try to be inspired or reach deep inside to pull out the vocals and the music. I know players who think about the next chord before they play it, and that takes away from the natural feeling of it.

It's more of a spiritual feeling when you let go and go to the next level and let it flow. If you've played a song enough times and know the next riff is a certain note you can just play. From there once you get to that point you should be able to improvise to some degree. This is because you can automatically know where the music is going. You should be able to stretch it out at a -certain point to go up a level.

Some of the Bass Players you've played with over the years, do you find
some are more suited to live, session work or other types of Music?

Why is that?

Dee Curtis : I use different bass players for different things. In the Dee Curtis Trio, I use two bass players. One guy's a singing bass player who's very adept at R&B. Over the last couple of years he's adapted to the styles and dynamics of my music.

My other Bass Player does a lot of church material, and is a cousin of mine. And we've played so much over the years that no matter what I'm doing he can come in and mold to the style I'm playing at that particular moment.

He plays a 6 string bass which I really like because he can cover a lot of territory, and can play a lot of chords and improvisational riffs.

He's a bass player that I prefer. The drummer I use is my Brother Paris. he also plays keyboards. Currently he's doing quite a bit of sequencing and drum programming along with producing.

I also use a guy named Rudy who's a Jazz Fusion drummer which I love which is closer to rock drumming--and that's something closer to what I'm used to. My drummer in Canada, Carlos LaTorre was and is a rock drummer.

He had a lot of jazz elements in his playing, and could play funk as well as fusion. This made him more of an all around percussionist. I look for players of that calibre.

I also look for guys who can change the tempo and feeling of a tune on the fly in subtle ways. One of my next cuts on an upcoming demo will be a Blues-Latin mix.

In ending, Dee is always looking for solid backing in his side men. The Dee Curtis Trio is currently playing in Detroit. So look for Dee up here in Canada next year at a blues club or bar near you.

Mark Grove -- CGP

Dee Curtis -- Recording Artist and Consultant to CGPM

This is a back catalog article that bass players and front men should read.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Why Your Band Needs Haters--And Why It Helps Your Band

Why Your Band Needs Haters--And Why It Helps Your Band 

"NickelBack, the group everyone loves to hate"  
I hope they have material in their vault that's better than their mainstream stuff that they'll never put out, or just for a friend's consumption. But they are solid music businessmen.

What your band needs is people who criticize your work, not just fans who love it.

You as a musician need haters. Don't ask why. If you don't have haters that means your music is only hitting people's positive emotions. That's all fine and good but it should hit people's negative tendencies as well. There is a music critic in everyone, including "little old me". Believe me if you work things right, you'll have a whole army of haters, and people who love your music. I've done a few reviews of bands who sounded like crap and didn't take the time to become consummate blues and rock players. I hope they decided to improve their playing and technical skills to become the kind of musicians they want. Not what some fans or music industry shit-heads want.

You can't just have positive reviews. Your band won't be focused mentally to do better if that happens.Don't analyze what I just said. Don't take it personally as a challenge to prove a music journalist wrong. Just be a better band because you want to play music that moves you and your band.

Find your band's own sound.

Compose and play music that just blows you fuckin' away! Not what the public wants. They don't count. The music media and the music industry don't count either. Make music your band likes--and if you develop a rabid crowd who are fans, great! I would rather have 500 people who love your music and bought your CD's, than 10,000 people who bought it listened to it once then threw it in the pile and never go to a band's gigs.

The people who do buy and go to a band's gigs are the people I want on my buyer's list. They buy for the right reasons. The people who just look around, aren't really lovers of a band and put them down for just about any reason including what other people say, regardless.

But the real rub here is real music lovers always show themselves, and real musicians and fans show that music is the real truth. Critics from media to fans will always show themselves and your band needs to wrap it's head around the fact that negative press is every where. By pass it, and bring the bad press on. The people who get hung up on pigeon holing your music and saying you don't know shit about being a band, don't ever worry about them. Nickelback are great musicians, but what they chose to do with some of their music marketing wise, leaves much to be desired. Like I said, I'll bet some of the music they never market, is a lot better than the music that sells a million copies.

Just keep putting out better and better Demos, Albums and gigs fellow musicians. I don't hate Nickel back or Kiss. I'm a rock n' roller and more attuned to Kiss material than Nickelback. But I know a few bands through the years that weren't that great technically, but knew how to entertain a crowd and could command double what other bands could. But a combination of ability and entertaining a crowd, along with a little bit of value creating for both musicians and fans will take your band a long way.