Those Eureka Bass Moments…



Eureka (Ancient Greek: εὕρηκα, romanized: héurēka) is an interjection used to celebrate a discovery or invention. It is a transliteration of an exclamation attributed to Ancient Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes.


13 December 2023: Last evening, deep in the lower intestines of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I was rehearsing/rehashing my post-punk, post-modern, post-partum, Post Toasties alternative collective, Tex Wagner. Our trio is reuniting while we still have breaths left in us.


My usual tool of the trade in said configuration is the Fender Jazz – it has the double pickup bite and afferent bravura required to slice through Stu Richard’s squall of sound coupled with “Big Daddy” Dan Reich’s drum orchestra.*


In fact, I’ve just ordered custom Lindy Fralin pups to enhance the J din. Wait ‘till the fellas really go deaf!


Given my recent Fender Mustang bass modernizations (Curtis Novak pups, toilet seat buffer thumb rest, black pickguard) I opted to take this short scale to work. With heavy flats, the instrument resonates akin to a washtub, so I lowered the bass guitar below my waist and employed a heavy plectrum for the desired timbre. Not at all my usual posture, but we bassists have a job to do here…


Changing deportment also changes note choices, and rhythmic options. Access to the upper register is limited and the E string and your wrist bones/muscles become your best friends.


Once we started decidedly disturbing the peace, I found myself simplifying once busy passages and working single note harmonies which actually improved on the original motifs I waxed in the late 20th Century with these comrades in sonic mastery.


My work ethic at this stage of the game is to throw myself curveballs. Go where the road don’t go and you’ll be pleasantly surprised where you arrive!


* “If you don’t like the way I play…try moving me!”