PlugIn

August 23, 2006

Bravo for the Tom Petersson cover story! Tom is, in my estimation, one of the great rock bass players of all time, and his 12-string bass playing is an inspiration to many.
-Rob Martinez Albuquerque, NM

Basser’s Dozen?

I love your magazine and admire your work, especially the repair tips from Dan Erlewine and all the interviews that are so personal you feel as if you were talking to the artists yourself. But the 12-string bass wasn’t a performer’s choice of instrument when Tom Petersson first invented it, and it isn’t now. If it were a good idea, major manufacturers would have come out with their own models by now. I admire Cheap Trick and I realize you want to encourage your featured artists to open up, but let’s be realistic: If you ever get past the 12-string’s tuning and neck-tension nightmares, the string spacing requires you to play with your left-hand fingers in a flattened position, like when you play a barre chord, just to hit the strings evenly. You must strum rather than pluck, and you constantly have to mute overtones with both hands. Even if you can overcome all these obstacles, you can’t get the pickups to reproduce each string evenly. Even with an equalizer you get something that sounds more like an Autoharp than a bass. If you had encouraged more experienced players to try something new with the 12, but also mentioned that it’s too much for beginners, you would have been closer to the mark.
-Jim MacDonald by e-mail

What a shame: After months of great bass players you put Tom Petersson on the cover. George Porter Jr.? Yes. Geddy Lee? Yes. Tom Hamilton? Yes. Brian Ritchie? It should have been Steve Swallow on the cover, but I was okay with that. Flea and Charlie Haden? Yes. [February, March, April, May, and June ’06, respectively.] The guy from Cheap Trick? Come on!
-Darcy Patrick by e-mail

Hurts Not So Good

Amy LaVere’s advice for aspiring bass players, “Play through the pain” [July ’06], is just plain stupid. It’s good advice for getting tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome, though. I prefer John Clayton’s advice: “If it hurts, stop.”
-Tim Powell by e-mail

The write-up that Shelton Clark did on Memphis’s own Amy LaVere was right on the money: she rocks! She can truly “slap that doghouse” with the best of ’em.

-Richard C. Cushing Memphis, TN

Give The Drummer Some

Each month I hand over my issue of Modern Drummer to my bass brother “Maestro” Whitey Rodriquez, and he gives me his issue of Bass Player. It’s a mutual benefit we both dig. I wanted to let you know I much I enjoyed the June ’06 issue with the interview with Flea and the great Charlie Haden. It gave me a whole new respect for Flea. Yes sir, all the interviews, Bass Notes, Profiles, and transcriptions—like Rufus’s ultra-funky “Tell Me Something Good” [June ’06]—bless this drummer’s soul! Thank you for your fine contribution to my funkulation each month.
-Timothy Lee Cromer Orlando, FL

Correction

July ’06, page 61

We listed incorrect contact information in our Soundroom product review of Moody Leather Bass Straps. Moody Leather can be reaced at 888-613-9272 or www.moodyleather.com.

Clarification

July ’06, page 34

Because of an editing error, the Tom Petersson cover story stated that Cheap Trick was “commissioned to write the theme song to the massive TV hit That ’70s Show.” The song is “In the Street” by Big Star, originally written by Chris Bell and Alex Chilton. Cheap Trick recorded and reworked the tune with Ben Vaughn, the show’s musical director.

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