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Konabob
`Olu`olu

USA
928 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2005 :  08:12:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message

Tips and Tricks for Kona Walkingstick Owners
I will add to this post as I think of things.


An eight page intro to playing the Walkingbass is available.
Click Here for the pdf version.


--------------
Changing Strings:
Since nylon doesn't rust, I am finding that I get a lot of life out of my strings.
However, when you do decide to change your strings, you may want to
print out a copy of these instructions that I have made for the procedure.
--------------
Keeping it clean:
If you play a lot at events where they feed the musicians, you may notice that grime builds up on the back of the neck. Lightly rub down the back of the neck with some '0000' size steel wool, and then apply a light coating of good quality carnauba wax, and you will be good to go.
--------------
Protecting the pickup while traveling:
When I travel, or ship a bass, I slip the saddle off the front of the pickup, and eliminate the chance of damaging the pickup. If I really want to protect the instrument, I make a shipping tube from 52 inches of thin wall 3" irrigation pipe and 2 endcaps. I glue one end on, and stuff a small ball of newspaper into the tube. This protects the end pin jack. The bass and gig bag will easily fit into this tube, and protect the instrument from airline damage.
--------------
Does your guitar cord's jack rattle?
I had one with a metal cover that would work itself loose, and cause a lot of noise when I played. Rather than live with it, or buy a new one, I purchased some heat shrink tubing at my local hardware store. I slipped a 2" piece over the metal cover and let it hang over the rubber cord. Heating it with a candle, it shrunk down over the metal and tightened around the cord. No more rattle! You can find new cords at any guitar store which have this rubber coating around the jack. Fender makes them, for example.
--------------
Feedback when playing on a wooden stage:
Occasionally, I find myself on a thin wooden stage with a loud monitor in front of me. The monitor vibrates the stage, the stage vibrates the bass, and low frequency feedback occurs. I keep a mouse pad or folded towel handy, and simply rest the bass on this soft surface. The feedback is busted!
--------------
Balancing the volume of the high and low string:
The saddle which rests in the center of the pickup is not glued in place. There is a reason for this. You can move the saddle slightly to the right or left, giving more emphasis to either the high or low string, or you can center it to balance your strings. If you choose to glue it in place, a small dot of white glue will suffice. Be aware that if you glue it, this joint will be under a lot of stress when you change your strings.
--------------
Nylon strings stretch!
Like the strings on a ukulele, new strings may take a few days to settle down and stay in tune. Once in tune, they generally stay that way for several years. If you own a three string bass, it is best not to try to re-tune your bass to standard tuning A-D-G. You might get away with it, but the high string will be very tight. They will be stretched, and will no longer work well in the slack key tuning G-B-D. Contact me about changing your string set if you wish to play in standard tuning.
--------------
Cheap Tuner!
I was plugging my bass into the amplifier this morning, and the volume was turned up enough that I heard the AC buzzing noise just before the jack snapped into place. I accidentally hit the middle string (B) and it was the same tone as the AC buzz... 60 Hz it seems is very very close to the B. Now I have a way to tune my bass even when I forget to bring my tuner!
--------------

Konabob's Walkingbass - http://www.konawalkingbass.com
Taropatch Steel - http://www.konaweb.com/konabob/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Konabob2+Walkingbass

Edited by - Konabob on 11/15/2007 12:31:26 PM

Tommy
Akahai

USA
72 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2006 :  4:52:26 PM  Show Profile
KB-It feels like under the proper conditions your strings will last for years. Thanks for the tutorial, I've wondered about the setup. What have you found to be the string's estimated "shelf life"? Once again I am really enjoying my Walkingstick and reccommend it to anyone looking for some fun.
Tommy
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Konabob
`Olu`olu

USA
928 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2006 :  10:05:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message
Hi Tommy,
If you leave the bass tuned to G-B-D, and don't expose it to a lot of bright sunlight, they can last for years. I don't know how many, yet, but I have played the same set of strings for over 3 years without any noticeable change in the sound quality.
I am really grateful to have such an ambassador of slack key bass there on the east coast. Thanks for posting!
Aloha,
-Konabob

Konabob's Walkingbass - http://www.konawalkingbass.com
Taropatch Steel - http://www.konaweb.com/konabob/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Konabob2+Walkingbass
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Konabob
`Olu`olu

USA
928 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2007 :  10:21:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message
I just added plans to the Walkingbass website on how to make a cheap stand for your bass using a mic stand. Evidently, I am not the only one who has tried to get by with just leaning it up against the wall...

Konabob's Walkingbass - http://www.konawalkingbass.com
Taropatch Steel - http://www.konaweb.com/konabob/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Konabob2+Walkingbass
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MahinaM
Lokahi

USA
389 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2007 :  6:23:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit MahinaM's Homepage
I was JUST thinking about this very thing these past couple of days. It's been a challenge finding a place to put the bass down when picking up another instrument to play during our kanikapilas! I'll check the website out! Mahalo!

M
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thumbstruck
Ahonui

USA
2085 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2007 :  06:05:06 AM  Show Profile
Eh, KB. Slipry1 was wondering out loud about tuning the Walking Stick ADG so as to be less confusing to a bass player. Would it require different guage strings?
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Konabob
`Olu`olu

USA
928 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2007 :  08:39:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message
Yes, I have a string set that will tune up to ADG. If you tune up using the GBD string set, it will mess up the D string due to extreme tension... and would not be real good for the wood either!

Led Ka'apana asked me to make a 4 string bass for a friend of his. As of Sept. 18th, I have 2 of my 4 string basses left. I am selling them at the 3 string price. They are tuned EADG.

Konabob's Walkingbass - http://www.konawalkingbass.com
Taropatch Steel - http://www.konaweb.com/konabob/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Konabob2+Walkingbass

Edited by - Konabob on 09/18/2007 08:56:16 AM
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MahinaM
Lokahi

USA
389 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  8:41:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit MahinaM's Homepage
KB:

Will the 4-string bass give you more versatility to your playing? If so, please explain to me how. - M
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Konabob
`Olu`olu

USA
928 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  10:03:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message
The 4 string bass give you 3 extra notes: E, F, and F#, so yes, I guess that might make you a little more versatile, but you have to ask yourself: is a guitar more versatile than an ukulele because it has 2 extra strings? Is a standard tuned guitar more versatile than a slack key guitar because of the way it is tuned? I have heard some mighty fine slack key musicians and some incredible ukulele players here in Hawaii. I see versitility more as something that you develop by knowing your instrument and your tuning. This of course comes down to just 3 things:
Practice, practice, and practice!

Konabob's Walkingbass - http://www.konawalkingbass.com
Taropatch Steel - http://www.konaweb.com/konabob/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Konabob2+Walkingbass
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MahinaM
Lokahi

USA
389 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2007 :  06:34:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit MahinaM's Homepage
Then...can one achieve the more complex basslines and riffs w/a 3-string bass as well as a 4-string one? - M
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Konabob
`Olu`olu

USA
928 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2007 :  4:16:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message
Depends on the individual riff, yeah? For example if the riff has 3rds in it, the 3 string is less of a stretch than the 4 string. If the riff is played over several octaves, the 4 string will be easier to handle - especially in the keys of E and F.

I just got a call today from Virginia. Someone who was doing a workshop with Eddie Kamai called and said that one of the 3 string basses had shown up at the workshop, and he had so much fun that he decided to buy two - one 4 string and one 3 string!

How are things going for you, M? Have you mastered your 3 string? Looking forward to seeing you at Keoki's!

Konabob's Walkingbass - http://www.konawalkingbass.com
Taropatch Steel - http://www.konaweb.com/konabob/
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Konabob2+Walkingbass
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MahinaM
Lokahi

USA
389 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2007 :  12:28:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit MahinaM's Homepage
Aloha KB!

I'm having a ball with my bass! I've been playing it ALOT (ever since seeing you in June and lately at our kanikapilas, parties, and now with our new uke performing group (Iron Mango Orchestra). I've shown it to lots of folks who seem very intrigued by it and just love the sound. It sure adds so much dimension to a sea of ukes!

I'm ready to tackle new riffs, so when we see each other at Keoki's, I'll look forward to take this to the next level. Maybe learn the 4-string, yah? Hmmm.....
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Pua Kai
Ha`aha`a

USA
1007 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2007 :  05:52:00 AM  Show Profile
So Maggs!! How many instruments you taking? Good thing you don't dive.
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MahinaM
Lokahi

USA
389 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2007 :  6:20:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit MahinaM's Homepage
...and good thing I don't play steel either. I'm going to have to play with my feet. Hmmmmm....
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thumbstruck
Ahonui

USA
2085 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2007 :  9:36:36 PM  Show Profile
Eh, Maggie! Dass why I get one XtraCab Pickup, so I can put 2 guitars an' one ukulele behine da seats!
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MahinaM
Lokahi

USA
389 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2007 :  06:45:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit MahinaM's Homepage
Eh Kory, I got ya beat...I have a van. You cannot believe what I've stuffed in to that baby (and I'm not a soccer mom either). -M
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