April 28, 2020

#SlapSaturday

I’ve wanted to get some bass videos going on YouTube for a while now. But I never made the time. I thought I’d do some tutorials for beginners. But I finally did start creating some, and they’re not tutorials at all. They’re just very brief videos of me doing some slap riffs. I’ve been calling them #SlapSaturday. And, as the name implies, I’ve been posting them once a week, on Saturdays. Here’s the first of them:

#SlapSaturday, Number 1

I’ve been carrying that riff around with me for 20 years. But I never wrote it down, nor captured it, nor used it in a song. I used to play it quite a bit, including live, when I needed to fill space. But it never leant itself to a full song. Or it hasn’t yet. I can really squash the life out of a good idea once I sit down and try to flesh it out as a proper recording. My perfectionistic tendencies take over, and the track never gets finished.

That first week, I did a #SlapSunday as well:

#SlapSunday

But it turns out that Sunday is actually the worst day to post on social media. People have weekend projects to finish. They spend time with their families. They’ve got better things to do. So I decided to discontinue #SlapSunday.

I started off posting these just to my Facebook page. That’s great for my friends on that platform, but it’s also a walled garden, and most of my posts there aren’t public. I’m not much for Instagram, but everyone else is, and I’ve gotten quite a bit of plays on my Instagram account. You still have to log in, but the posts are public. I’m still learning which hashtags work best, but I have managed to pull in plays and comments from people I don’t know. And that’s encouraging.

More recently, I decided to brush off my YouTube account and create a playlist for these slap bass videos:

#SlapSaturday Playlist

All of these came from the same bit of inspiration. I was trying to set up an iPhone tripod so it would capture my pedal board, thinking I’d do some pedal demos, when I discovered an angle that I liked and decided to shoot a bass video instead. That’s what sparked the whole thing: finding the proper camera angle. And what has continued it is simplicity. I shoot the vids on my phone. And I don’t edit them at all. I turn the amp up loud enough to fill the room. The iPhone mic pics up the sound off the amp and all the natural clanky sounds off the bass itself. So there’s a good amount of realism. It’s like you’re in my studio with me, except less loud.

During my first semester in college, the only one in which I lived in the a dorm, I used to practice my bass more-or-less on schedule. Nobody cared. And, as broke-ass college students take their entertainment where they find it, I often drew a small crowd, which I ignored as I ran through whatever I was working on that day. In a way, the #SlapSaturday vids are a throwback to that. They’ve given me a nice, low-commitment way to generate some creative output. I hope you enjoy them. If you do, hit the like subscribe buttons, okay?

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