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To me, what follows is one of the most important questions and answers that took place with Jaco, thanks to Cork Green.
Q. Concerning your instrument itself - Did you take the frets out yourself, and what did you use to fill the grooves?
JACO: YES 'DURATITE' FILLER. I ALSO HAVE 'PETITE'S POLYPOXY' TO PROTECT IT.
Q. From pictures I have seen of your bass, the action seems very high. How did you accomplish this with a stock Fender bridge?
JACO: THE ACTION IS NOT ALL THAT HIGH. I HAVE PLENTY OF ROOM FOR HEIGHT LEFT ON MY BRIDGE.
Q. Would you mind telling me your brand of strings and their gauges?
JACO: ROTOSOUND SWING BASS
Q. Do you preset the volume and tone to a preferred level constantly or do they change from hall to hall?
Q. I understand you use an Acoustic 361 bass system.
JACO: 2 360'S
Q. Does this go through the P.A. or do you play straight through the amp?
Q. Can you suggest any exercises for developing my left hand vibrato?
Q. Do you play stand-up bass as well?
Q. Would you say that drumming has influenced your style of attack on some of your funkier things like 'Opus Pocus' and 'Barbary Coast'? I admire that muted staccato sound very much.
Q. Is your picking hand always anchored on the treble pickup?
Q. You seem to be concentrating pressure on the body of the instrument with your thumb and forearm - does it help to wear the bass high to accomplish this?
JACO: YES (after crossing out the words 'NO PRESS")
Q. How many and which fingers do you use on those fast funky things?
JACO: 4 ON LEFT 2 ON RIGHT
Q. Do you use the tips or the flat part of your left hand fingers? Some notes are hit and decay as rapidly that it seems you're hardly touching the strings.
JACO: TIPS (OCCASIONALLY THE FLAT.)
Q. Are you plucking away from, or down toward the body of the bass? You have likened technique to mathematics.
JACO: I'M NOT SURE. PROBABLY A COMBINATION OF BOTH.
Q. When you decided to really get your chops together did you go out and buy theory books to teach yourself?
Q. What do you feel are the most fundamental aspects of theory or technique to work on in mastering the bass-or any instrument? Do you practice scales and arpeggios, what sort of exercises would you recommend, especially for meter and stamina?
JACO: ALL SCALES & ARPEGGIOS IN ALL KEYS MODES MINORS ETC. PIANO THEORY (INVERSIONS, JAZZ CHORDS, EAR TRAINING),
BACH, CHARLIE PARKER MUSIK.
B A C K
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