2018 was a very stressful but amazing year. I finally graduated from music school and I just got a job as a music theory teacher. I seriously didn't think in the beginning of the last year that I would graduate at the end of the year.
I experienced a lot of great stuff, including playing the bass in Godspell and Hair musicals, having the opportunity to play with great musicians in a wind band and a brass band, writing my thesis, completing my instrument studies after having had so many technical problems with playing the trumpet (I'm still not as good as I would like to be, but at least I don't have to stress about the recital any more)... I also kind of rediscovered music through jamming in a jazz band as a bassist.
Important things that I learned during the year were probably about learning to appreciate myself as a musician. I have suffered from some kind of an inferiority complex during my studies, but hearing positive feedback from so many people has been really helpful and it has made me realize that maybe I'm being a bit too hard on myself.
Graduation feels weird. I have basically been in school for pretty much as long as I can remember, and now it's suddenly all over and I'm ready to start living my own life. It's liberating but also kind of scary at the same time.
In the beginning of the year my military service started (all men in Finland have to go to the army and it lasts from 6 months to a year depending on your training - or there are alternatives for that if your values are against the army or you are just so afraid of guns or something like that).
The year before I had auditioned to a military band but there were like 20 trumpeters auditioning and only less than 10 qualified - and I didn't. And this is why I thought I'm just going to be a basic rifleman. But during the basic training period I figured out that there's another military band that you could join. And of course I went to the auditions. The good thing was, there were not that many people in the auditions (because not many people had heard about the band) - most of them were guitarists. I was the only trumpeter and there was just one bassist besides me in the audition. The auditions didn't go that well but I still got in to the band.
I did enjoy the basic training period - or at least it didn't feel like torture. I do have good memories from it. But the band was something different - it was one of the best experiences of my life! We played a great variety of gigs ranging from jazz to party gigs and from kindergarten and nursing home gigs to military/patriotic music gigs. I mainly played the bass and the trumpet but I also played the guitar on a couple of gigs and percussion on one gig.
We had an amazing band. All the instrumentalists in the band were great. We had two great guitarists, a really good bassist (technically a lot better than me), two awesome drummers, one more jazzy kind of pianist and one classical trained pianist (who learned to play jazz pretty well during the time we were in the band - and he had never played jazz before). There were also two vocalists. My job in the band was really important, even though I may not have been the best technically. But my hearing and notating skills were crucial to the band. And of course the fact that I could play multiple instruments helped the band a lot. And I guess my trumpet playing brought some color to the band's sound.
It was an amazing 9 months that I'll never forget. I learned to play new styles and I also learned what a professional musician's life may look like. I also think my bass playing improved. I learned to play some walking bass and I think all in all more musically. Well, I'm still far from a master but I think my bass playing sounds pretty decent. Oh, and I also learned to play jazz on trumpet (I'm a classically trained trumpeter). My improvisation got a lot better.
After the army I started studying music. Now I'm studying to become a music theory teacher. I already have two groups of kids that I teach. It has been really interesting and I have enjoyed it. My main instrument right now is trumpet but of course I haven't forgotten how to play the bass and the guitar.
Our originals band is still kind of active, even though we have some trouble with finding time to practice - I moved to another city because of the studies. But I still keep on writing some new stuff and jamming with my friend whenever we have time.
Yeah, so yesterday was my first guitar lesson. We talked about improvising, jammed with the teacher and talked about playing technique (also started playing some 3 note per string shape scales). The teacher was a nice guy, very relaxed and yeah, I found the lesson very helpful.
I'm taking ten one-hour lessons, let's see how my guitar playing improves.
Oh, and I'm pretty busy due to matriculation exams (bleh). Fortunately it's all over soon and I never have to go to school again.
It took me a year but now it's here, my first own bass!
Tokai TB48 Thunderbird style, cost € 260, I bought it used but it was almost brand new (it costs € 460 new, I got a great deal). I couldn't find a reasonably priced Fender P Bass and when I tried this bass, it sounded and played great. The only problem is that it's pretty neck heavy. And it's made in China, though it seems solid and has no flaws. Looks bitchin'!
My goal for this summer is to learn how to play slap bass properly. I'm going to buy my first own bass guitar soon, now I need to manage with my friend's brother's Squier Precision. I think my new bass will be a used Fender Precision if I can find one for a reasonable price.
PS. Bassist joke of the day:
What's the difference between a bass guitar and a double bass? A double bass burns better. Badum tsih!
I changed the old V2 tube to a new one a couple of days ago because the old was microphonic and the amp feedbacked when I turned the volume up a bit. It feedbacked even if I turned everything but the amp volume down (including my guitar's volume knob and amp's gain knob). But no problems any more because I bought a new Electro Harmonix tube and it improved the sound a bit so my amp sounds even better than before.
My Laney is getting eargasmic. Feels like it sounds better and better every day. And when the tubes have warmed up after an hour of playing or something, it sounds even better. And it can do anything I want it to do. Some people say it can't play metal but yes it can if you can play. Of course it doesn't have that much gain and the sound is pretty midrange oriented but still I can play metal with it (if we talk about 80s Metallica and stuff). And it doesn't work when you scoop mids. Because this amp sounds awful with scooped mids. My settings are: drive: full, volume: as loud as I can keep it before my parents start complaining and my ears start hurting. Volume at one is great volume for my bedroom use (I don't have a big bedroom) and that's where the amp starts to sound good. Bass: 5, mids: 9, treble: 7, reverb: 7. It has a great reverb. If I want not as full sound, I turn the reverb off via footswitch. I'm just waiting for a gig where I could use this great amp. I may take it to my school band's gig but I'm not sure about it. The amps at school are pretty bad so maybe.
MaggaraMarine proudly presents: His new amp, Laney VC30!
It's an old model with HH speaker and without tone knob. Bought it for €
280. I had to sell my old Epi Les Paul and Microcube but I think it was
worth it. This amp has so much better clean sound and a nice drive
sound, two channels and an FX loop. 3 band EQ is an improvement too. Oh,
and this is my first tube amp. MaggaraMarine turns to (almost) all
Today I sold my old Les Paul and Micro Cube for € 280. I have kind of mixed feelings. It's sad that I had to sell them but now I'm buying a new amp: Laney VC30. I'm getting it on Sunday. Hope it does its job well. Ahh... and now I have to be four days without an amp .