I love playing the bass guitar. It begun while I played in a worship team in my church, probably around 1993 or so. At that time I was playing drums, and the bass player in our worship team (Ådne Hovda) inspired me very much. So one day I picked up his bass when he wasn't looking and then I knew that it was what I wanted to play. A short time afterwards I scraped together enough money to buy my first bass, a Yamaha RBX 250 in Crimson Red color. After a short time I was playing bass in the worship team. Later (around '96 or '97) I took bass lessons, my teacher was David Fjelde and he taught me a lot about harmony and music theory, it was really great. It was also around that time that I first tried fretless bass, by pulling out the frets from an old Ibanez bass. That old bass soon became my main bass, because I liked very much the fretless sound and feel. A short time afterwards, in 1998, I bought what was my main bass for about six years - the Acacia four string fretless.
After listening to Tony Levin playing his Chapman Stick, I bought a Warr guitar in March 2000.
I missed the Warr guitar and the chords and melodys I was able to play on it, so I had a new bass made for me by Norwegian luthier Listerud, a seven string fretted bass.
Of course, when I had played the 7-string for a while I realized that it'd be great to have a fretless with more strings as well. So I traded the Acacia for a six-string Benavente fretless.
Being facinated by the art and technology of bass guitar building, I decided to put together one on my own, using some parts I had lying about, and a body and neck from Warmoth.
When I had the Listerud bass built, I wanted piezo pickups. Listerud couldn't fit piezos in his brass bridge at that time, so I went without. Two years later, in 2006, I was able to pick up this used Surine 6 with piezo pickups.
After many years of waiting and longing, I finally, in October of 2007, got hold of a nine-string bass. Crazy though it may seem, I find it interesting and fun. I am still learning how to play it. In fact I am still learning how to play the other basses too.
And something about the electronic gadgets I use for bass playing.
Just recorded a bit of something using the newly acuired GarageBand software. It is merely two tracks of bass, recorded with the internal microphone in my PowerBook G4. So the sound quality isn't much, but it was fun and it took about ten minutes to do. Here it is! I must admit, I like the chords quite a bit. Hopefully I will get myself a line-in USB thing and be able to re-record this little ditty with perhaps a bit more arrangement to it and stuff. We'll see.
I played my debut solo bass gig the 29th of December, 2002, in a newly-opened coffee-shop in Ålesund, Norway. It was an interesting experience, and it made me interested in doing more solo stuff. It got that part of my brain going, and now I have ideas popping up both here and there.
The equiplemt I used, was:
my Acacia custom four-string fretless bass guitar,
a KME active floor monitor,
a borrowed Line6 Delay Modeler - for looping (thanks Eero!),
a Boss VL-300H volume pedal,
an Alesis Nanoverb (old model),
and a borrowed Electro-Harmonix Big Muff pi.
For ... documentation purposes ... I recorded my gig to minidisc. :-) And furthermore I have made some clips available here, so that you may check it out. It was recorded with one microphone, obviously slightly mis-placed (it picked up a bit too much room noise) all in glorious mono. The mp3s here are 96 kbps, so the quality is modest.
Solar Groove (2.4 MB),
written by John Myung (for six-string bass, mind you).
Amazing Grace clip (2.3 MB),
a blatant Victor Wooten rip-off.
What A Friend We Have In Jesus (3.1 MB),
arranged by me and my friend Shawn Shonk originally as a bass and trumpet duet.
Weber Variations (5.6 MB),
an improvised piece inspired by Eberhard Weber.