Jammin’ with my Rob Allen Guitars Solid 4 Playing a bass+vocal arrangement of Blackbird

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Hi,

Time for a new video. This time I decided to explore the classic Beatles song “Blackbird”. I really like how very in-tune chords and double stops sond on my Solid 4 bass. In this arrangment it’s mainly double stops but also some other chord tones added here and there. (a few dominant 7 and minor 6 chords).

It’s kind of hard to sing to these very simple sounding double stops but I’m quite happy with the result.

More about the Solid 4 and other lovely models by Rob Allen on his site www.roballenguitars.com Please check his instruments out!

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Rob Allen Guitars Solid 4 – funk jam


Hi there,

Had a great jam with my friend and great guitarist Henrique Alvim [BRA] the other day. We started to compose a new song and ended the session with some jammin’ alongside a drumloop. 

I bought a pack of loops from thelooploft.com featuring the fantastic drumming of Terence Higgins (I have heard him live with John Scofield a couple of times!)

I looped a 4-base section that had a nice (if I may say so) bass fill. Then I added a couple of keyboard parts and a little synth solo.

The Solid 4 is recorded direct through my RMI Basswitch IQ/DI into Universal Apollo Twin and used Apple Logic X for mixing. I used only the P pickup with the tone control full on (in the down position). It sure records very nicely! 

Thanks Rob for making such a super nice instrument for me!

Jammin’ with my Rob Allen MB-2 and a La Bella string test!

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Hi!

Time for a little string test! The test is done with my Rob Allen Guitars MB-2 fretless bass that I have played since July 2011. You can read more about that bass here and here.

I have loved the sound of Rob Allen instruments since I tried my first one at Ruby’s Music (Times Square) back in 2003. I wanted to get that sound and started playing tape nylon strings on another fretless bass since I wasn’t able to buy a Rob Allen instrument at the time.

The La Bella Black Nylon Wound strings are a big part of that lovely sound and Rob Allen ships all his fretless basses with the LaBella Black Nylon Tape Wound strings. More than a year ago I found out about new strings by La Bella called White Nylon Tape Wound. I was lucky and got great help from Greg Gohde in San Diego. I bought a set of these new strings through his shop classicbows.com Thanks Greg!

I sent an email to Rob Allen and asked him what he thought about these new strings and what gauges he would suggest. He answered that he had not tried the strings (maybe he has now since this was a while back) and he suggested I’d go for the regular set not the light one. He also told me I had to make sure I got the extra long scale. The MB-2 has a string through body design so the string has to be long enough to reach all the way from the bridge to the tuning pegs.

So here, about a year later, comes my little test. The video below features two short musical examples with drums, guitar and piano added. I wanted to let you hear the different string sets in context. I also performed some more examples with open strings, position playing and harmonics. I recorded these tests on two tracks. Both direct (lined through my RMI Basswitch IQ/DI) and miked (through the Aguilar Tonehammer 500 into a Aguilar SL-112 cab) miked with a AKG C414. Sometimes I mixed the two tracks and sometimes they can be heard separately.

So what do I think?  I was very curious of how I would like the new set…

First of all. The black nylon strings in this test are the same set that came with the bass when I bought it in 2011 at Corner Music in Nashville, TN, USA. These strings were in other words not fresh and new for this test. However since they aren’t regular round wound strings they do sound fresh for a considerable longer time! This is because sweat and dirt can’t get inside the string like on a regular round wound string. The fact that they sat on the bass for about 2,5 years prior to he test can still of course make a little difference in sound compared to if I was to record with a brand new set of the black nylon strings.

The white nylon set is not really white. They are better described as being transparent as you can see the steel string inside the nylon wrapping. They feel very smooth and soft and are super easy on the fingers. This combined with the superb and easy to play neck and fretboard on the MB-2 is a perfect combination. I can really focus on playing my best since the instrument is so well built.

The La Bella set of black nylon tape strings that I have played since 2011 have been very good with a great deep smooth bottom end but still with enough mids and highs to sound good played in every register of the bass, low to high. I have been super happy with these!

The white ones feel and sound a bit different. I guess you can say that they are a bit brighter but still with a nice low end. This together with the silky smooth feel makes them a great alternative to the black ones.

I hope this will give you a little taste of how these strings are. As I have written above I do like both sets. Depending on the situation and what type of sound I’m looking for I now have two great options to choose from and they both match my Rob Allen MB-2 so well!

All the best,
Magnus

 

Jammin’ with my Rob Allen Bass | 04 “Björkhalling” Bass added to a great song by Stockholm-Lisboa-Project

Recording with my Rob Allen MB-2, Basswitch IQ/DI and Logic Pro X

Recording with my Rob Allen MB-2, Basswitch IQ/DI and Logic Pro X

Finally a new jammin’ video! My Rob Allen Guitars MB-2 bass is one of my favorite basses! The last couple of years I have played a lot of Ubass. (see playubass.com for more about these instruments). Although I really love the Ubass I also absolutely love playing my Rob Allen too. (You can read more about my Rob Allen Bass blog posts here)

Fretless bass has always had a big part in my bass playing and I almost always bring at least one fretless bass to every gig! Sometimes fretless basses is all I bring! See this post at playubass.com

This time I’m featuring the Rob Allen MB-2 with some swedish contemporary folk music. Björkhalling is composed by my friend Simon Stålspets. We used to go to Music University together back in the early 90’s! Recently we have started to hang again and play some music. Super great!

Simon is truly a multi instrumentalist and plays a lot of different instruments in the group Stockholm-Lisboa Project. As the name implies there is a nice mixture between Swedish and Portuguese folk music made in this group. You can read more about them on here!

Their latest CD, Aurora, was released in 2012 and when I listened through it the first time I was hooked! Great Music with even greater musicians is of course the best match! One of the songs I immediately liked was Simons Björkhalling! I started to jam to the song, figuring out the melody. After awhile I came up with the melody/bass part version you can hear in the video. (BTW I have permission from Simon and the band to post my version on YT!)

Hope you like what I’ve done and that you also get hooked on Swedish (and of course Portuguese) folk Music and Stockholm-Lisboa Project, I sure am!

Audio Tech stuff
Signal path: Rob Allen MB-2 walnut fretless > Basswitch IQ/DI > Universal Audio Apollo > iMac with Logic X (Controlled with the Logic Remote app on an iPad)
> Signal is also recorded through my amp setup (Aguilar Tonehammer 500 > Aguilar SL-112 > AKG C414 (mic) > Universal Audio Apollo > iMac with Logic X (Controlled with the Logic Remote app on an iPad)

Another example why MUSIC is not an option! Everybody needs it. PERIOD!

ENJOY!!!

Guests: Music Lab at Jefferson Center Students:

Jayna Brown (Age 12 ) – guest vocalist
Gabriel Morales (Age 15) – Guitar

Please support good and live Music whenever you can!

From the YouTube video info:

On March 8th, 2013, Snarky Puppy and a host of special guests convened at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke VA. The project was to record a series of live performances in audio and video that would bring attention and benefit to the ongoing work of the center. The Jefferson Center is a non-profit arts organization that is revitalizing a key neighborhood in Roanoke with the restoration of Jefferson High School and the renovation of the Shaftman Performance Hall. The hall brings world class music to the local community through the Music Lab, providing education and recording space for local children.

The Music Lab at Jefferson Center is working daily to pull from every social and economic class of the Roanoke community and create the next wave of real, human musicians. They host low cost or free after-school programs for any interested young people filled with visits by guest artists, private instrumental instruction, and recording training. Wafting out of the little studios and rehearsal rooms on the third floor of Jefferson Center, you can hear Afro-beat in Swahili, hip-hop in Liberian Kreyol, the blues coming from the guitar of a 13 year-old prodigy, and the undeniable sound of young musicians growing. It’s a thing that needs to be supported at all costs across this country, and by purchasing this record, you’ve done it.

A portion of every sale will go to the Music Lab at Jefferson Center. For more info visit http://www.jeffcenter.org

WOW! John Scofield comes back to ‘Überjam-Band-Land’!

I’m super thrilled!

My all time favourite musician, John Scofield, is back with with a new CD with the Überjam Band I saw in Uppsala more than 10 years ago! I was about to hit the sack and just stumbled on this fantastic news! The video above was a suggested video on my YouTube channel – a really nice suggestion! It was a ‘making-of-video’ for the new album Deux. After seeing the video I also found a full concert from a show they did at Berklee, Boston on New Years Eve 2012. 88 minutes of smokin’ Music!

Here’s the setlist:

  • “Thikhathali” (Scofield, Bortnick, Deitch, Murphy)
  • “Snap Crackle Pop” (Scofield)
  • “Ideofunk” (Scofield)
  • “Jungle Fiction” (Scofield)
  • “Boogie Stupid” (Scofield, Bortnick)
  • “Cracked Ice” (Scofield, Bortnick)
  • “Dubdub” (Scofield)
  • “Endless Summer” (Scofield, Bortnick)
  • “I Brake 4 Monster Booty” (Scofield, Bortnick, Deitch, Murphy)
  • “Tomorrow Land” (Bortnick) [encore]

The Band that evening:

  • John Scofield, guitar
  • Avi Bortnick, rhythm guitar/sampling
  • Andy Hess, bass
  • Louis Cato, drums

Link to the concert [Audio]

Live with Organic Trio
I saw John Scofield earlier this year at jazz club Fasching in Stockholm with his organ trio, Organic Trio with Larry Goldings on Hammond B3 and Greg Hutchinson on drums. This was a really unforgettable concert!

Bilder från den konserten: http://www.rockfoto.nu/artists/john-scofield-organic-trio/20130305/18302/photos/143832

Überjam Band to Sweden?
Now I hope the band will come to Sweden in the Autumn to perform the new Music live for me 🙂 In the meantime I’m glad being able to enjoy the live concert above and the new studio CD!

If you use Spotify you can ‘preview’ the whole new CD before you buy it!

CD cover of John Scofield Überjam Deux

Live looping – performing an old Swedish childrens song!

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My setup for the live looping part of the concert – Islossning 2011.

Hi!

Two years ago I did a live looping version of an old Swedish childrens song. The song is called “Sov du lilla videung” and is based on a poem by Zacharias Topelius (First published in 1869). My version is based on the melody written by Alice Tegnér.

I’m building the song from basically nothing. If I remember right there was maybe one pre recorded loop thrown in!

As you can see in the pictures my setup wasn’t really streamlined 🙂 More pics below the video! The concert was in a church in my hometown so I didn’t mind lugging all the stuff around! I have to slim my setup for gigs out of town I guess!

Hope you enjoy my version!

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Walking…sorry DANCING…on the moon!

Frank Vignola, Magnus Sjöquist and Vinny Raniolo at Just Jazz Club, Örebro 1-31-13

Frank Vignola, Magnus Sjöquist and Vinny Raniolo at Just Jazz Club, Örebro 1-31-13

Hi!

A new addition to my Jammin’ with my Rob Allen Bass video series!

Januari 31 I got to play with amazing guitarists Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo at Just Jazz Club in Orebro, Sweden.

This was the second time we played together and it was great fun! Check out this posts for our first jam! Post 1 | Post 2

Have a great Easter Holiday!

(Almost) New Series! Jammin’ with my Rob Allen fretless bass | 02 “Cabelos Brancos”

In this video ‘series’ I will showcase my beautiful Rob Allen walnut fretless MB-2 bass! It’s a truly wonderful instrument that I bought in Nashville (Summer 2011). I waited some 8 (EIGHT!) years since I finally got to buy one!
Read more about it here and on master luthier Mr. Rob Allen’s website!

Time for video no. 2 in the series!

In August 2012 i participated in a great outdoor show located in an old closed down mining park! The setting was beautiful with a great light show and the amazing backdrop of nature! Read more about this concert at my other blog, playubass.com | Post 1 | Post 2

You can also read (and see) more about the guys from Sao Tomé here.

Enjoy the great song Cabelos Brancos by Guilherme de Carvalho! Here’s another song of his. This song features me playing my fretless Ibanez GWB35!

New Series! Jammin’ with my Rob Allen fretless | 01

In this video ‘series’ I will showcase my beautiful Rob Allen walnut fretless MB-2 bass! It’s a truly wonderful instrument that I bought in Nashville (Summer 2011). I waited some 8 (EIGHT!) years since I finally got to buy one!
Read more about it here and on luthier Mr. Rob Allen’s website!

First up is a video from 2011. Not long after I got home from my trip to the US.

Andreas Gustafsson, vocals
Bror Engström, keyboard
Magnus Sjöquist, fretless Rob Allen MB-2

I’m quite new to the bass and have to ‘fight it’ a bit at various parts in the song. But it is the FIRST video featuring the bass!