Jaco gear question

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by Ricky D., Dec 15, 2018.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Predictable, yeah true.

    There are ways out of that trajectory though, and while many of "us" won't get the help because we are uncooperative and unwanted, in his case he could have been helped.

    When a sick person says no to help, but is a danger to themselves, it is legal to haul them in and force some help on them.
    I've had to do this now and then and even got my own Mother pink slipped into a psych ward, when dementia had her in its grips.
    I also know too many who died needlessly because those close to them mistook mental illness for free will.

    In the grip of mental illness, the sick person no longer has free will.
    So respecting their wishes is effectively respecting the illness and disrespecting the patient.

    Sad stuff...
     
    E5RSY likes this.
  2. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    And Les Claypool.
     
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    And Stanley Clarke, plus all those Jazz cats...
     
  4. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    He pulled the frets himself. It was pretty well known back before all the hype and crazy interviews came out. I don't know exactly what he did the fingerboard with but always heard it was some kind of epoxy as well. Whatever it was, it was not glassy/shiny/dark/polished/smooth looking. It took a second look to realize anything had been done at all. He may have had more than one Jazz Bass, too.
     
  5. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

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    My understanding was always that Jaco used marine spar varnish - not epoxy.
     
  6. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    So I'm just going to lay this out again. I studied Jaco really intensely for years. I don't play anything like him now, though at one point I did.

    He removed the frets from his J-bass himself. He shortly after discovered Rotosound Roundwounds, which were kind of a new thing in the seventies for bass. To keep the fret board from being chewed up by the stainless roundwounds, he brushed on a coating of marine epoxy. In interviews he said it was the "Petit" brand and the product was called "PolyPoxy." Petit is still around, but they don't sell anything called PolyPoxy.

    Jaco brushed it on: I was told by someone who took lessons from him that the surface of the fingerboard was rough and uneven. Later he worked with a Luthier, Kevin Kaufman, who would use tape to make a "dam" on the sides of the fingerboard and then pour the epoxy on.

    He used the Acoustic 360 amp primarily. he claimed his sounds depended on Rotosound Roundwounds and the Acoustic Amps, solid state which gave a faster, tighter response than the typical tube amps of the day.

    he was incandescently brilliant for few years, but mental illness overtook him. Drug use made it worse, but I saw him when he was well and when he was ill and he was clearly a seriously mentally ill person
     
  7. Cadfael

    Cadfael Tele-Meister

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    Sting also played an Ibanez Fretless live in the early Police days!
    But he was no good fretless player... ;)
     
  8. skantzos

    skantzos TDPRI Member

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    Many people have their demons to fight, but it doesn't mean they have to be brutally murdered. Musically unique indeed he was.
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Another thing I read Jaco state is that he learned the harmonics on bass from his prior trumpet playing experience.
    I found this interesting, and at the time I read it was playing both fretless bass and trumpet. Made no musical sense to me since finding harmonics on bass is like finding lights on a trimmed Christmas tree.
    Maybe in his mind he organized a musical use or a pattern of use of the harmonics, but for me I found that as I moved up the neck, I could pick with my fingers while touching harmonic nodes with my thumb, and simply moved my RH closer to the bridge to keep the harmonics happening on the "fretted/ fingered" notes.
    Gets more of an organ sound though, maybe Jaco got his sound with a more brutal pluck attack.

    I find this interesting because we cannot really imagine living within a mind like that of Jaco, while at the same time I have ADHD and struggled in math to explain the work I did in my head to teachers who lowered my grade when I got 100 on a test because they couldn't understand what I was thinking and I couldn't adequately explain it to them.

    Seems we have numerous conflicting statements he made over the years, hard to say whether he was forgetting stuff, making stuff up, or making fun of interviewers who focused on the least important facets of his artistry, like technique and epoxy.
     
  10. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

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    One of the stories I'd heard about Jaco was that he spent several months in intense work on the bass, possibly drug fuelled. He was supposed to have a cheap record player with a tinny speaker and he could only hear the horn parts, so he transcribed the horn parts onto bass. Hence his unique phrasing on bass guitar. I don't recall where I read this, but it was a long time ago before the internet, so it may be true ;) Can someone confirm or deny this?
     
  11. Matt G

    Matt G Tele-Afflicted

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    And me. ;-)

    Make that two votes for Rotosound RS66 (stainless).
     
  12. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    BY all accounts he was not at all into drugs till after his first record came out. In 1972 or 73 he spent six months on the road with Wayne Cochran and the CC riders, a funky horn band and should revue, and by all the accounts I've read he woodshedded all the time, working with the horn players to drill himself in harmony. He loved that period of his life. He was sober--his wife and daughter were with him on the tour bus--he was playing funky complex music, and he was learning all the time. By 1973 he had demos of the stuff that would later be on his solo album.

    He said in an interview it took him six months to to work out the most effective fingerings to "Donna Lee." All the interviews with people who knew him describe a clean living guy obsessed with music--studying scales, the theory of harmony, perfecting his sight reading. By 1977 the drug use and drinking had started. I saw him many times, once in a club in Philly in 1981 where he showed up out of his mind, demanded the bass players bass, and played terrible stuff that had nothing to do with the band, which was just local guys. He was obviously in bad shape
     
  13. RoyalBaby

    RoyalBaby Tele-Afflicted

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    I didn't know he started on the trumpet. I think Flea started on trumpet? Wasn't John Entwistle on french horn prior to the bass?
    Walter Trout had been a child prodigy on trumpet before taking up the guitar.
    Very small sample this but maybe brass is the place to start!
     
  14. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    I've never seen claims he started on the trumpet. His dad was a drummer; his first gigs were on drums. But he hurt his wrist playing baseball, and switched to bass
     
  15. RoyalBaby

    RoyalBaby Tele-Afflicted

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    it's mentioned on one of the posts on here, although it was news to me. I recalled his father being some kind of musician and he would beat young Jaco if he hadn't kept up his practice. May be apocryphal.
     
  16. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    His father was a drummer who also sang in nightclubs. Small time sinatra-ish. None of the accounts of his childhood mention beatings, but his father was absent a lot and his parents divorced. His father was a show biz charmer kind of guy. I’ve never seen anything about beatings, but his dad would quiz him on musical stuff when he visited

     
  17. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I spent some time with Jack, mostly after Jaco's death. He was definitely charming but seemed genuine and personable. I cleaned up some old demo tapes he had of him drumming and singing in small groups and I also saw him play in a small combo and he wasn't bad, pretty typical of the genre but not bad. Super nice guy.
     
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