I drove up to the bass shop and had a look at the almost completed work being done on my bass. The neck looks rock solid and it is great to have it at the proper width. The new fingerboard is nice and long, and I think I can screech out a high C. Alex (the luthier) fixed my bridge, bringing the spacing of the strings in a bit to the proper width for a good classical setup, and he sanded it and rounded the edges to make it look nice. He repaired the notch that was taken out of my scroll where the C extension used to be, and it just looks so much better than before. There is a new nut in place. The chunks of wood missing from the edges of the purfling have been repaired. Now all that needs doing are a few cosmetic touch-ups on the body, an application of oil and some finishing touches to the fingerboard, and I will pick it up on Thursday.
Well it looks as though this might not be as easy as we originally hoped. Upon removal of the fingerboard we found an amazingly bad hack repair job that was done many years ago on the neck. It may be firewood. I will get a better idea of what will need to happen when I return from Taiwan in a couple of weeks.
So it looks like we are going to try to save the neck on my double bass, rather than doing a full replacement and grafting the scroll back on. In the process my luthier will give it a new fingerboard, shim the neck to correct the action, patch up the scroll, carve me a new bridge, and fix some of the chipped purfling around the edges. This will be considerably cheaper, and the end result is that I will be able to practice once again and the bass will sound great and be highly playable. I can hardly stand the wait…
Yes, it is time to fix the behemoth and start practicing again. We just did our taxes and, lo and behold, I can finally afford these repairs. I take it in on Monday for the evaluation. I am indeed quite psyched about this. It has been at least a year and a half since I practiced, and several years since I practiced regularly. But I have been looking forward to this operation since I got the damn bass back in 1993 and I have been itching to practice for a long long time. Thankfully since I don’t need to make a living off that thing anymore, I can just focus on playing only what I want to. I think I’ll work up the Misek Sonata again, get going on the Hindemith Sonata, the Smandl Gradus Ad Nauseum book, and of course my Bach Suite #3.
Most of all, I am psyched because Yingwen has her grand piano and we can jam.
Mike, and old friend of mine gave, me a CD of his after one of his performances, billed under the name “That One Guy”. The title of the disc is “Songs in the Key of Beotch”. I recently rediscovered this item in an old suitcase of mine and decided to rip it and add it to my playlist.
Now, Mike and I go way back. We used to play in jazz bands and orchestras together, at Los Medanos College and did a substantial amount of mountain biking up Mt. Diablo. There was a day where we would both easily make it to the summit.
I can remember at least one instance where we were playing together in my last performance with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, and in a moment of pure mischief, I advised Mike that we were going to give the conductor John Maltester a razz and spin our basses during a few bars of rest before the end of the finale. My god I thought John was really going to kill me right then and there, backstage after the performance. He was so pissed – I do beleive he was purple.
Anyway, go check him out.