Fender have announced a few new guitars for 2012 to add to their Pawn Shop Series. The new models are the Jaguarillo, the Offset Special, and the Reverse Jaguar Bass. I think the Offset Special looks pretty cool. I’ve heard good things about the Pawn Shop Series, but I haven’t had a chance to play any yet. I look forward to trying these out. Check them out below:
Let’s face it. You are the type who would happily crank up a full Ampeg SVT stack in your living room. Heck, who needs neighbors anyway? And noise violations are really just a badge of honor, right? For the rest of us, there is the Ampeg Micro-CL Stack, delivering 100 watts of pure Ampeg tone. It’s perfect for those just getting into Ampeg or for the seasoned bassist looking to practice in far flung locations like the master bathroom.
Fender have introduced a new line of guitars and basses called the Modern Player Series. There are five guitars and three basses in the new lineup. These guitars are targeted towards entry-level players with an aggressive price point (starting at $399) and modern appointments.
The guitars in the Modern Player Series include the Modern Player Stratocaster HSS, the Modern Player Telecaster Plus HSS, the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe, the Modern Player Jaguar, and the Modern Player Marauder. I find the Thinline and the Marauder to be to most interesting of the new models. The Thinline Telecaster Deluxe departs from other Fender Thinline Telecaster guitars in that it features a mahogany body and Modern Player MP-90 pickups. The Marauder (pictured above) features a new body style, a Modern Player Jazzmaster neck pickup, and a three-coil Fender Triplebucker bridge pickup.
The bass guitars in the Modern Player Series include the Modern Player Telecaster Bass, the Modern Player Jazz Bass and the Modern Player Jaguar Bass. The Modern Player Telecaster Bass is the most interesting of the bass models to me with its two Wide-Range humbucking Precision Bass pickups.
The features of the Blacktop Jazz Bass include an Alder body, a rosewood fretboard with 9.5″ radius and 20 medium jumbo frets, three control knobs (one volume knob for each pickup and a master tone knob). The Blacktop Jazz Bass is available in Black or White Chrome Pearl. The Blacktop Jazz Bass model in black is pictured above.
Like the Jazz Bass, the features of the Blacktop Precision Bass include an Alder body, a rosewood fretboard with 9.5″ radius and 20 medium jumbo frets, three control knobs (one volume knob for each pickup and a master tone knob). Also similar to the Jazz model, the Precision model is available in Black or White Chrome Pearl. However, the Precision Bass includes two high-gain humbucking pickups, which could make the Blacktop P-bass an interesting model for modern rock and metal music.
I haven’t heard about this before, but a documentary about Lemmy, the legendary bass player for Motorhead, has been made and is currently being played in a number of theaters across the country. Check out a trailer for the documentary below:
Flea has recently announced a new line of basses called the FLEABASS that he is going to be putting out this year, with the goal being to create a solid line of guitars for both the entry-level student and the professional.
Describing his inspiration for FLEABASS, Flea said “FLEABASS is born of my love of music education as a studier and a teacher of music, and a lover and a romanticizer of the tradition of it. I wanted students to have an instrument they could fall in love with, and I wanted them to be able to do it with the limited means that most of them have for acquiring one.”
The inspiration for the new basses came from Flea’s involvement in a non-profit called the Silverlake Conservatory of Music that he created to help teach music to school-age children. He saw that the instruments being made for students were low quality, so he saw an opportunity to step in and create a high-quality product for a low price. He’s planning on putting his money where his mouth is, too. In a recent Bass Player magazine interview, he said he’s planning to take these out with him for the new Red Hot Chili Peppers tour.
Both 3/4 and full-size FLEABASS models will be available. Full-size models will have a retail price of $499, and 3/4 models will have a retail price of $399. The basses will be available in four different finishes: Sunny Bass” (orange with yellow), “Water Bass” (blue with orange), “Punk Bass” (green with pink), and the “Wild One” (black with white). See photos and get more information at the FLEABASS Web site or on the FLEABASS MySpace page.
Bassist Tal Wilkenfeld has been featured in Gibson’s Lifestyle section in a piece by Jerry McCulley titled “Meet Tal Wilkenfeld, Jeff Beck’s Young Aussie Bass Prodigy.” The piece covers a brief history of Tal’s career to date, including her stints with Chick Corea, the Allman Brothers, and of course Jeff Beck:
By 20 she’d become variously a band leader and in-demand session/live player who’d gigged with the Allman Brothers and recorded Transformation, a well-received debut solo album she cut in two days of hectic NYC sessions, recordings which she also composed and arranged. At 21 she was touring Australia with Chick Corea, who she says “had heard about me and was looking for a bass player and so I sent them some of my stuff. Then I got this call from his people and they said: ‘Hey, do you want to do these gigs in Australia?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, sir!’”
I think we’ll see some great things from Tal in the future!
Twenty years ago on September 21, 1987 the world of music lost bass legend Jaco Pastorius. His death was a tragic result of a violent confrontation that occurred outside a Florida club on September 11, 1987, during which Jaco sustained critical injuries. Although Jaco had suffered health problems later in his life, he made a tremendous impact on the world of bass guitar, both as a solo musician and as a member of Weather Report.
I must confess that I’d never heard any of Jaco’s music until last week. I finally picked up and listened to a bit from his solo album, Jaco Pastorius, and Heavy Weather by Weather Report. I’m amazed at how good he really was. I see why he was called The World’s Greatest Bass Player. In addition to his solo work and his work with Weather Report, Pastorius played on many other albums, including albums by Joni Mitchell, Al Di Meola and Mike Stern.
Jaco was well known for playing Fender Jazz Basses. On one Fender Jazz Bass, he removed the frets in order to make a fretless bass. According to Wikipedia, he felt that frets were “speed bumps” that got in the way.
I encourage you to add Jaco Pastorius to your musical playlist this week in remembrance of one of the greatest bass players to ever play the instrument. Below is a video of Jaco Pastorius playing “The Chicken.”
I realized recently that although I’ve been playing guitar for over 15 years now I’ve actually played the bass more in concert than the guitar. This is mainly because I’ve rarely played in concert and each time that I have played in public it’s been to fill in for someone else or for a band that didn’t have a bassist. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this realization is that, until recently, I’d never actually owned a bass guitar. I decided earlier this year to finally purchase a bass, and not needing anything more than a fun practice instrument, I purchased the Fender Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass. In researching basses, I found this positive review of each of the Vintage Modified Series basses in the November issue of Bass Player magazine. I’ve had the bass now for several weeks, and I’ve been pretty impressed with it so far. It’s an excellent value for the money. Additionally, I purchased a Fender Rumble 15 bass amplifier, and have been pretty impressed with it, as well, although I must admit I have my eye on the Fender B-DEC 30 bass amplifier.