After its success in 2013, the highly anticipated Herts Bass Bash returned to Hatfield on a warm Sunday in early July 2014, again thanks to organisers The Greek (Mick), Lozz196 (Laurence) and Bassface2K10 (Chris). Despite clashing with the Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Wimbledon Men’s final, the bash was well attended. We would be treated to a talk about Modes by Doctor of the Bass and a Precision bass blind test carried out by Lozz, and we would have access to Sibob’s vast array – and infinite knowledge – of effect pedals, there for us to try or ask about.
The Main Hall
The Middle Hall
The Small Hall
Sibob had his Pedals Corner there, and later Doctor of the Bass held his talk about Modes in the same room.
With his Modes talk, Doctor of the Bass inspired us to get back to our music theory books, and then to practice with additional insight.
Back to the Main Hall – The highly anticipated event held here was the “blind” P-Bass test.
Lozz gathered 12 basses fitted with a P pickup – mostly Fenders, with a couple of notable exceptions – and played them one after the other while hiding behind the curtain. The audience had paper sheets and were asked to take notes, give scores to each sound, mark their favourite and guess if the fingerboard was rosewood or maple. Lozz used the same rig for all the basses, and played the same few bars of four songs on each.
Hear Lozz’s introductory words here: http://youtu.be/Giu3-wVhAwU
Here is one of the tests: http://youtu.be/51F3S4NVLmQ
(There would have been no point in recording all the 12 tests, as my camera’s sound facility isn’t good enough to reproduce the subtle differences between basses.)
This is what Lozz said to conclude the test: http://youtu.be/h9gyopUJxHM
The results were collated from the audience’s sheets of paper and announced later in the day, just before the raffle.
Before the audience left the room at the end of the test, we were told that Breaks Manor has a running rock night once a month, and we were asked to please spread the word to our bands or any bands we know that may be interested.
The venue does rock, heavy rock and metal, but they were equally happy that Stingray5 promised to mention the rock night to his prog outfit. So grab those phones, and get clicking here:
At the end of the bash we all gathered by the kitchen – stocked with cake and pastries donated by Truckstop – for the raffle and, before that, to discover the winning P-bass and the name of its owner, and the name of the BCer(s) who got most of the rosewood/maple details right.
The owner of the winning P-bass got first dibs on the prizes on offer, followed by the author of the most correct answer sheet, then the rest of us shared the remaining prizes at the raffle.
Among the prizes were strings offered by D’Addario and books from Stuart Clayton, as well as an acoustic bass donated by Bassface2K10.
Ernie Ball UK offered a tub of string and instrument wipes as freebies, and the organisers created some customised Basschat plectrums
And here are the full results!
This was Lozz’s message to the community, posted on the forum after the event:
“Well today, at the second Herts Bass Bash, I had the honour/pleasure of presenting a Precision Challenge! Many of us Basschatters have opinions on Precisions, so the theory was, let the ears make the decision, not the eyes or hands. So I got to play a bunch of Precisions – some rather tasty ones as well I might add, plus a couple of curve-balls to see if people were paying attention.
“So, playing each bass in turn – Down In The Tube Station by The Jam for pick-style, Hello Happiness by The Drifters for finger-style, This Is Not A Love Song by PIL for slap-style, and London Calling by The Clash played together with a drum-machine for an “in the mix” sound.
“From there, everyone chose their 1st, 2nd & 3rd faves, based on what they`d just heard. The below shows the results, and we had a runaway leader, a Ferrari in a skateboard race is my reckoning. Many congratulations to The Yellow Car for winning so easily. I should add that I couldn`t even get my own beloved `78 into the top three!
“And, seeing as there has always been the maple/rosewood debate, as a bit of fun we simply had to choose which you reckon each bass was. And the results were good, with two winners, Gary Mac and Herts Bass guessing 8 out of 12 correctly. Extra smart*rse points go to Gary for correctly identifying my `78 just by my playing. Good ears there Gary.
“Thanks to Mrs Grangur for assisting on this challenge, her help was much appreciated and enabled the whole process to flow easily.
“Thanks also to Mick (The Greek) for being the main organiser of the event, Sylvia (Bluejay) for the blog and inevitable pics, Sibob for his (many) pedals, Dr of The Bass for the session on modes, and lastly thanks to all who came along, yet again another good Bass Bash was had by all.
And so another bass bash ended, and you guessed, I’m counting down to the next one!