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Talk with James Lomenzo \m/

Discussion in 'Music Education - Share your knowledge here!' started by Florin, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. BassMonsterJLo

    BassMonsterJLo Warwick Endorser

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    Hi Ryan,

    "I'm baaaaacckkkk," .....Better late then never?

    Listen, the business is the business and like all "jobs" you've really got to decide to meet and accept it on it's own terms. Takes a strong constitution and a good deal of humility to manage to get through all the very real and present pitfalls that you mentioned. I still find myself struggling with tough scenarios whether it's someone trying to undervalue me or someone just trying to neuter my abilities. My advice to myself is to always, take a second breath and try to step out of what ever adversity you're locked in. I can't tell you how many times I've given myself permission to accept what initially seemed to me "unacceptable". I've taught myself that so long as I'm spiritually present, I can take the challenge of any silly request, find a way to make it mine and triumph. The big picture is always key in any career and conquering issues that seem derailing can actually teach you something about yourself that you never knew existed. I'm sorry to hear about your friend, I'm pretty sure I know what he's going through. I extracted myself from the business for a while back in '98 for similar reasons. Took me a while to get my head back in the game but once I did, I realized how much I love making music and that's always my first and foremost motivation and no one can ever take that away from me!

    Thanks for your query my friend and all my best!

    James

     
  2. BassPlyr Randy

    BassPlyr Randy Long Winded SOB

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    Welcome Back Brother, were always glad to have you here and appreciate it very much when you manage to make some time in your hectic schedule to share with us.
     
  3. da-vonk

    da-vonk Warwick Enthusiast forevah

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    Hey again Mr. Lomenzo,

    I was wondering, how do ya prepare before an audition ? Do they alwayz send ya 'tapez' of da songz they want ya to do at da audition ?
    How do ya usually 'know' or hear that there's a band on da search for a (top class) bass player ? Do ya have sumone working for ya/representing ya in these cases (manager)?
    Ow..and if they'd ask ya to name da song(z) that capturez da best of yo abilitiez, which would ya pick ?

    Many thanx ahead sir...!...8:
     
  4. BassMonsterJLo

    BassMonsterJLo Warwick Endorser

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    Da Vonk,

    Hi, that's a good question. Prepping for an audition and actually finding someone to prep for are too completely different disciplines.

    Most the gigs I've come up for were usually by word of mouth. Musicians I've know, met or played with will usually recommend me to some one or contact me and give me a heads up and who to contact. Sometimes I'll just run into someone at a show or club. It always pays to be up beat, attentive and most important reserved about saying negative things about other musicians. You can never really know who knows who in the Biz so it's always safest to assume everyone knows everyone. O.K. so to sum up, when looking for gigs, meet as many musicians as possible and be the coolest "you" that you can be. People aren't going to recommend you unless they themselves would want to hang out with you.

    Next, you get the call, ....prepping. It's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the bands most popular songs (hits). Take a good look at their style. I'm talking about musically as well as fashion. Try to soak it all in. Usually if your musically on point, then the band will direct your style choices. Being open to the experience can be a great way to show that you can be a true member of the band. Most bands are looking for you to fall in as easily and painlessly as possible so make sure you do your homework on the songs. That's always appreciated. If you have to learn a lot of songs in a short period then I suggest you try to break the number of songs down to the most manageable size that will fit into the day. I can usually learn three to five songs that I've never heard before in an 8 hour period depending on the length and difficulty. I know this doesn't sound like a lot but consider a band like Megadeth, 6 minute songs with 8 to 10 patterns or connective variations. Between memorization, muscle memorization and vocals it's a lot. Every time you play the song like this it takes six minutes. It usually requires playing each pattern 3 times to get it to sink in.

    consider this:

    Song = 6 minutes
    6 minutes divided by 8 patterns = 45 seconds per pattern
    45 seconds x 3 = 2 min 25 seconds per pattern
    2 min 25 sec x 8 = 18 minutes

    So, using this formula a six minute song played part by part, (8 in this case) 3 times will take a minimum of 18 minutes to get through initially. This doesn't include listening time which I suggest you do as often as time will allow before you even sit down with your bass. Then of course you'll want to play the song over and over till it falls into your subconscious and next (if your so blessed) you'll want to add background vocals. So you see, initially, you could easily be married to these songs two or three hours at a time each.

    If this makes your head spin, it should. that of course was a worse case scenario.

    Best case scenario is picking up a gig with a band that you have been a fan of and listened too often and who's music you've perhaps played along with on the radio, ipod, cd. This band would have a string of 3 minute hit songs with two or three repetitive "modal" bass lines per song ("Beat it" anyone?). That's the kind of gig that most of us could practically show up and fake through, BUT, I wouldn't recommend it. My last tip is always, always ALWAYS, try to be over prepared. Confidence is a great asset but backing it up with skill and knowledge, there's no words to describe that moment when the band says "you in!".

    Go get em!


     
  5. Gastrok

    Gastrok

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    This might just be the best Warwick Forum thread ever.

    A bazillion thanks to James!
     
  6. Callum

    Callum

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    I think you might be right Gerry! Again james, thank you so much for all this information!

    Your last answer actually sparked a question i have. My band has recorded their first album and we;re in the process of practicing it before gigging again I've started to undertake vocal lesson so that i can fill in the backing vocal live. Do you have any advice, tips of tricks specific to a bass player singing, as playing bass and singing aren't something that go together a natural way, at least for me!

    Many thanks in advance!
     
  7. BassMonsterJLo

    BassMonsterJLo Warwick Endorser

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    Hi Callum, I think I might have answered this once or twice on line. The best way for me to work my vocals in is simply to first, really nail the bass parts so it's second nature and you're not as focused on the parts. Next, with out playing the bass, learn the backups and get them nailed too. You should be able to easily sing them as your lead singer does. Then, it's just a question of slowly marrying the two parts, small chunks at a time till it starts to sit together. Patience and repetition will be your best asset. If you know the parts well independently, you'll find it much easier to put them together by concentrating slightly more on the vocals. I won't fool you, it's always tricky at first but once you make a breakthrough with one part I think you'll find it easier and easier as you keep doing it. Oh, and make sure to Breath.......
     
  8. Gastrok

    Gastrok

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    Hi James!

    Over the past few weeks I have been developing a pain at the base of my thumb, close to my wrist, on my fretting hand. I've played bass for more than 20 years and this is the first time I've ever face the prospect of not being able to play due to bass-induced injury, and I don't like this prospect! I've been trying to make ergonomic adjustments and relieve the source of the strain with no luck so far. Do you have any suggestions?

    Regards,

    Gerry
     
  9. BassMonsterJLo

    BassMonsterJLo Warwick Endorser

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    Hi Gerry,

    Having gone through bouts of this sort of thing several times I have to strongly suggest you see your doctor for a basic diagnosis. He'll likely then refer you to a specialist if this is indeed something that rest won't heal. I really can't give you a quick out on this, every case is different. I've usually been able to alleviate my problems by raising or lowering my strap height and "monitoring" the way I'm doing things. Right off the bat, if it's joint or tendon related, some ibuprofen should help to alleviate some of the pain but I'd really have it looked at immediately. These problems are usually correctable with the right treatment. You may have to lay off for a few weeks to a month to give time to heal which sounds like a drag but I'll tell you, many times I've realized more growth by stepping away from the instrument then playing it everyday. So, don't panic or be disheartened, just be smart. Get advice and take it! then let your body heal itself. Remember, many musicians including myself have gone through similar and come out just fine so take it seriously don't panic and take care of it.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes,

    James
     
  10. Gastrok

    Gastrok

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    Thanks for the thoughtful response James.

    I've started icing it frequently, taking ibuprofen and I'm really paying attention to my mechanics. As much as I want to resist it I think bring the bass up towards chest-level is going to help a lot, so I'll be doing that. :-(

    I do have some important rehearsals in the next few weeks and some gigs about a month out, but I'm going to go really easy and play much less in between than I usually do. If this is still bothering me a week from now I will see a doctor.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. lasteffect

    lasteffect Forum Nudist

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    You know, I just remembered a question or so to ask you, Mr. Lomenzo!

    Recently, I have noticed you now have your own signature overdrive/distortion pedal made by the lovely people at Ashdown. I have listened to some videos on youtube of the demonstration of this pedal, and find it interesting: a pedal that distorts the mids, yet keeps the lows and highs from getting eat up in the process. What made you decided to say, "Hey, I want my own pedal.", and how do you keep this thing in constant use or is it based off a homemade version?

    You've been plugging into Ashdowns for some time, do you ever tire from the sound? Found ways to keep yourself interested in staying with the same amp? Have you tried any of their new products like the new Mark King anniversary head?
     
  12. thefitz

    thefitz

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    Greetings Lord LoMenzo,

    My question relates very much to the one above, but mine might be a lot more "personal" ;)

    I saw in some recent demonstrational videos that you had a bass tone that was, from what I inferred, very much inspired by John Entwistle's tone on Won't Get Fooled Again off of The Kids Are Alright. If you can somehow get a Yamaha through an Ashdown to sound like an Alembic through a million part Alembic rig, there must be a secret. Must be! Is it a special peak through your EQ settings? Was your pedal designed to have that sort of feel? Or is it a combination of both? I must know! I've been dying for that tone forever :D

    Of course, I completely understand if you don't want to reply, considering I'm probably asking you to unearth some big trade secret! :p

    Thank you sir for being both the subject and prime participant of the best bass thread I've ever read!
     
  13. BassMonsterJLo

    BassMonsterJLo Warwick Endorser

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    Hey Fitz,

    Thanks for your question, I take that as a high complement. I too love that classic JE sound from the kids are alright. O.K., here's bit of what's going on. First and foremost, you've got to have Rotosound stainless steels. There's something about the tension and response of those stainless steel roundwounds that's real aggressive and very rich harmonically. I find boosting the mids around 1- 2KHz really enhance the harmonic midrange content on most basses. Another thing I do is set my action pretty low and close to the frets. a big part of Johns classic sound is created by bouncing those strings onto the frets. A good deal of the attack that you hear comes from your right hand pushing the string down on to the higher frets. Kind of like a rim shot on a snare drum. I' ve been using my distortion pedal to get some of that grind in the upper mids and yes, I use it through just about any amp to simulate that aggressive midrange. I can usually get that sound through all kinds of amps great and small. O.k., if you think the Yamaha sounds like JE, you really ought to hear my Buzzards!!! Let me just end with this, at the end of the day, most of your sound is going to be dependent on your touch. I went through a phase a long time ago when I conciously worked on that kind of attack and now it's kind of second nature for me. Like John, I employ it with other styles to suit the situation. I think if you start there and tweak those hi mids up you'll be right where you want to be.

    Have fun!
    James
     
  14. BassMonsterJLo

    BassMonsterJLo Warwick Endorser

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    Hey, thanks for noticing and taking the time to comment on my Hyperdrive. I actually came up with the concept of the pedal based on something I used to accomplish with my old '77 series 1 Alembic bass. The tone controls on that have a really Nice quasi para-metric, that you can sweep from lo mid to hi treble. I used to split the pickups from that bass and run the back pickup into an old Mesa boogie guitar amp for a " tuned distortion effect". Really missed that sound so I put my head to it and came up with the concept of a distortion pedal with a tunable sweep filter in front of the FET (Feild effect transitor). By incorporating a wet/dry mix I was able to replicate a similar effect as the one I'd accomplished with the spit pick up distorted amp scenario.

    I drew up a simple schematic of what I had in mind, gave it to the engineer at Ashdown and he refined it for me.

    Regarding the Amp question, again, I don't feel it's appropriate to talk about that here. Warwick also makes some very fine amps that I could easily recommend. Over the years I've grown accustomed to the sound and feel of the amps I've been using so out of respect for my cordial hosts here, let me just leave it at that. Oh, one thing I should say is that one of the main things that attracted me to Warwick basses in the first place was it's similar contruction to my old beloved Alembic basses.

    Cheers!
    James
     
  15. thefitz

    thefitz

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    Excellent advice, thanks for the response!
     
  16. lasteffect

    lasteffect Forum Nudist

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    Thanks for answering my question on the pedal, and I totally understand not wanting to speak about the amp question.

    Anyways, thanks for giving the time to think through my questions. I find them very informative.
     
  17. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Supporting Member

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    Hi James,

    I hope you are well, I would like to see some news from you, as you are one of my favorite W endorsers :)
     
  18. The ShadowKnight

    The ShadowKnight

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    Indeed, James is one of the reason I play Bass :) Would be cool to see him with a $$ NT or BO!

    I hope I get to see him live one of these days, tried to search teh web, but not much I could find :(

    If James is reading this:

    Thank you sir, for showing people that a 4 string full off low end is inspiring and can rule the stage :)
     
  19. Nachobassman

    Nachobassman Bass, Tapas, and Rn´R!

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2011
  20. Doc

    Doc

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    Yeah, I saw that.

    By the way, James, if you're reading this before the bass sells, what's the skinny on your Dean Hillsboro prototype listed on eBay? I love the looks of those things. While I'm more interested in the Eric Bass version because of the MM pup, this one has my attention. Would YOU buy it? :)
     
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