Author Topic: Took a lession...  (Read 197 times)

amptech

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Took a lession...
« on: August 19, 2017, 01:11:32 AM »
..with Neil Murray yesterday! Just been on a business trip visiting my parent valve company, and since chance made me cross paths with Neil a couple of weeks ago, I asked if he gave lessons and he did. I'm more familiar with his early works (National Health, Colosseum 2 etc.) than what he did with Whitesnake and Brian May, but that man certainly have made a footprint in the bass world.
I have just started practicing more seriously again, so this was a tremendous boost.. just to sit down with  someone who has been a part of the canterbury scene was for me exciting, really a highpoint in my UK trip. I must add that he is a skilled 'tinkerer' too, most of his instruments seemed to have had many different pickup configurations. We discussed pickups to quite some extent, especially mudbuckers and eb3 bridge pickups (I got to play his '68 eb3). He even had a kahler vibrato loaded aria, lots of really fun instruments. A good bass day :)

Chris P.

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Re: Took a lession...
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2017, 10:56:19 AM »
Great! I spent a week with him last year and I love the guy!!!

Basvarken

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Re: Took a lession...
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2017, 01:28:39 PM »
Very nice! He bought my book a while ago. And we chatted about the Gibson basses of his past.
He seemed like a very likeable guy to me.

uwe

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Re: Took a lession...
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 05:00:36 AM »
Murray is one of the great unsung British bass heroes, his rhythmic nuances during the Whitesnake era stood head and shoulders above what other people in a hard rock scenario did and put him firmly in Gary Thain/Boz Burrell/Andy Fraser territory. Compared to him, all other Whitesnake bassists that followed him (Hodkinson, Sarzo, Mendoza etc) have sounded clumsy and uninventive plus lacked his natural intuition.
It ain't no country until Dave sez it is!

4stringer77

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Re: Took a lession...
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 07:46:42 AM »
Cool, glad you had fun and hopefully learned some things too. What kind of tinkering did he do to his 68' EB-3 if any?
Contrary to what James Bond says, a good Gibson should be stirred, not shaken.

amptech

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Re: Took a lession...
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 10:26:14 PM »
Murray is one of the great unsung British bass heroes, his rhythmic nuances during the Whitesnake era stood head and shoulders above what other people in a hard rock scenario did and put him firmly in Gary Thain/Boz Burrell/Andy Fraser territory.

He did mention Andy as an early influence, along with Jack Bruce and even the bass player in Renaissance (before Jon Camp, that is). He mentioned he had put the EB-3 mini humbucker on other basses to get the Andy Fraser sound when he was younger. He seemed to have a very good music ear and was able to produce a whole arsenal of different sounds only using his hands and whatever tonal possibilities the instrument offered (tone controls, pickup blend), keeping the amp flat. Guess that comes from working on big stages. As for rythmic nuances, I think his  70's canterbury connection (experimentation) and even playing with Allan Holdsworth/Bill Bruford gave him the fuel to put 'something extra' into the 80's heavy rock. It seemed important to him (speaking of the 80's) not only contributing to the song but never let the bass part be boring.

amptech

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Re: Took a lession...
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 10:39:11 PM »
Cool, glad you had fun and hopefully learned some things too. What kind of tinkering did he do to his 68' EB-3 if any?

Apart from structural (neck appeared to have repairs both on the headstock and body joint) he put hipshot ultralite tuners on (as we all do here, guys :)) and a model one for the neck. I think he said that the pickup mod was allready done when he got it. The EB-3 was the instrumend with the least amount of tinkering, it appeared.

We discussed gibson pickups for quite some time. He respected that people liked the mudbucker, but he liked the mini humbucker better. I mentioned a couple of my projects, like mudbucker tapped to half and one third, plus the mini-sidewinder with mudbucker output. He was surprisingly interested in this, and was very much into electronics himself.

uwe

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Re: Took a lession...
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 08:52:01 AM »
Not him, but this guy is close (Neil is more forceful and has a creamier sound) to what a Neil Murray isolated basstrack from his Whitesnake days would sound like. That uncanny mix of quarters, eighth and sixteenth notes - all grooving along with melodic flourish.



The bass carries the song here - no mean feat considering how you have Ian Paice, Jon Lord and two lead guitarists playing along.



It took Coverdale years to own up to the fact that it was a mistake to let Neil go.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 09:00:18 AM by uwe »
It ain't no country until Dave sez it is!