Toxic’s Punk Jazz bass is back from the Guitar Lab and it buzzes out at the 12th fret on the G-string. Since I’m not a bass player, I had them put light gauge strings (.45-100, D’addario). A heavier set or flats might solve the problem, but with the debilitating humidity of coastal Japan I might have to set it up again myself. The intonation seems off already, too.

Playing it through the the old Ampeg or my new handmade headphone amp is the most fun I’ve had in weeks. I’ve always loved the sound of the bass, and actually traded in a beginner bass for my first electric guitar when I was 11 years old. Even after a 20-year lapse (hehe), I can get some good sounds out of it, and tips of my fingers have some painful blisters as a result.

After wearing out my index-finger on some Jaco/Jamerson/Jackson inspired grooves, I still wanted to play so I tried using just my middle-finger (like an upright) and thumb (like-Wes) . I even tried the James Jamerson “Hook,” but found it be too painful on the joint. Regardless of what finger I use, a strong arm movement is necessary for a nicely articulated strong attack.

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