A huge new update. New Blog & Website

I will no longer be using this service for blogs as I have added a blog to my new website as part of a rebranding  http://www.phillcourtmusic.com/ please come & visit if you have a chance.

I will keep this blog up as a reference & archive, although I have moved all posts over to http://www.phillcourtmusic.com/blog

 

 

Huge thanks for your support. Hope to hear from you all soon!

Phill

 

Cort Action DLX V AS Review in Conjunction with thepracticepad.co.uk

This is a bass I’ve been dying to try out for a while. Available in 4 & 5 string versions it’s a very versatile pace of kit!

 

Overview

Cort have been around a while providing beginner, intermediate & pro players for year. I wouldn’t think of a Cort bass as a number 1 bass, maybe a backup or one to throw about. This bass has changed my mind, now I know why the great Jeff Berlin uses Cort!

Features

A beautiful open pore body which it very comfortable & light.

A slim 34″ (864mm) bolt on maple modern D shape neck with no finish on the back, making it lovely & fast. Not unlike an Ibanez. Plus a lovely 15 3/4″ Radius (400mm) rosewood fingerboard with offset position markers.

3 over 2 headstock which is a nice size & doesn’t weigh the bass down at all. Provides plenty of access to the string pegs & truss rod adjustment.

2 PDX-5/F / PDX-5/R (H-H) which pack one hell of a punch! & very comfortable to rest your thumb on too.

Electronics wise, we have volume, pickup blend, bass, mid & treble boost & cut plus active/passive switching courtesy of Mark Bass. No control though.

Hardware seems decent and sturdy, quite a chunky bridge.

My Findings

I was quite intrigued about this bass after hearing a few people mention it has a Mark Bass preamp in it (I exclusively use Mark Bass amplifiers & cabs) So I thought i’d grab one and take it for a spin.

I was a bit unsure about not having a tone control to sculpt my sound, but I was happily converted! The amount of tonal variation available is astonishing. From deep P Bass grooves to tight & popping “Jaco esque” solo lines.

Swapping over to active mode the first thing that hits you is the immense volume boost, which can be a bit unruly (especially when your not expecting it)

After playing around with the pre amp I managed to get some tight but deep finger style tones with the bass boosted and mids scooped a tiny bit. Followed by some tight pick playing by taking out 30% of the bass & mids.

The “Smiley Face” EQ the industry standard for a nice bit of happy slapping! Sounded full & rounded with great clarity especially on the low B string.

Moving between the pickups, the sound scaring can be explored for days especially with small changes between pickups & blending in passive & active.

Overall a very decent bass that can be used for every genre (comfortably I may ad) It balances well & is comfortable playing standing up or sitting down. Although the 24 fret neck provides a 34″ inch scale the low B string can seem a bit floppy at times, maybe a string change or adjustment/setup would help.

At this price it’s a steal & it punches way above it’s weight in the “Super Jazz” category, outshining similar Ibanez basses in this price range. Please listen for yourselves and check out the tonal characteristics & nuances available.

HQ Video (With Settings Breakdown)

HQ Audio 

The audio was recorded through a Mark Bass Little Mark III 2×10 & 1×12 traveller cabs with flat EQ using the DI out & a Rode NT1A mic straight into Logic Pro X

This review is brought to you in conjunction with The Practice Pad – http://www.thepracticepad.co.uk a local music store/rehearsal room provider where this bass can be purchased from. please visit them over at facebook.com/thepracticepad.

 

http://www.phillcourtmusic.co.uk

facebook.com/phillcourtmusic

Twitter @PhillCourtMusic

Instagram @phillcourtmusic

email: info@phillcourtmusic.co.uk

 

 

Bassicly Speaking – July Update

What a huge few months for me & my musician buddies! It’s been a huge rollercoaster ride! Is it time to get off? No chance!!!!

Dead Method

So we played twice at Glastonbury & it was amazing! What a great experience & one I can only hope to achieve again. A huge thanks to The Buzz Stop music venue at Glastonbury for having us & so damn helpful with storing our equipment and being such a great bunch of guys. Along with our two amazing gigs there we also had an interview with Worthy FM where we went through our ideas, writing styles & upcoming projects.

Our first single Hollywood Harmony is doing great over on Facebook too which is awesome! We recently released our track Theogony & a music video aloneg with it. We filmed the video at the start of 2016 and it has received great feedback already! A huge thanks to Neal Dakota, Chlarissa Mydia, Jordan Thomas & many, many more!

We have been booked to play Kaya Festival on 5th August. Visit the Facebook page for more info on that.

The Special Brew

Wow! Ive been stupidly busy with The Brew, including playing the iconic Winter Gardens in Blackpool! We have some amazing gigs lined up including dates at Bristol, Porthcawl, Salisbury, Dumfries & even back to Cardiff! Ive been working very hard to nail some new tracks recently including my all time favourite Bad Manners track – Only Funkin’! What a great bass-line. Heres to bigger 7 better gigs including our continuation with The Two-Tone Tour with Special Kinda Madness.

Red Bug

Working hard & staying in the loop as always! Our last show in Maesycwmmer was a great one! Especially as it was a 80th birthday party! We are currently expanding our never ending set even more with some great should classics, this time a few from the early 80’s

Private Tuition

Teaching is going great and has been so rewarding as of late. All of my students have passed their exams, from grad1 guitar to grade 8 & Level 4 vocalists & bass players of course! I’ve had a few new students start too, but space is quickly filling up unfortunately.A few people have been starting up shop locally to me, I usually don’t mind but please don’t undercut or offer unqualified advice or teach without enhanced DBS checks or even public liability insurance!

My tuition business sponsored The Barry & District Scooter Club’s Best Vespa Award at the Fun day in Barry along with playing with The Specia Brew. That was an amazing day and for such a great cause!

Session Work

I’m currently working on a few tracks with a great French singer who has some amazing writing skills. Fortunately I can work from my own studio and not go gallivanting off to Paris to see her!

Composing & Arranging

i’m currently tidying up a few projects for people to be released & a few for myself too! Ranging from acoustic folk to some heavier rock tracks & back to solo bass & nice orchestral pieces.

Musical Direction

I had an amazing offer to direct & play double bass in a small Jazz ensemble but very sadly I had to decline due to a heavy work schedule. I have asked them to keep in touch so I could maybe work with them in the future.

Other Work

I have been reviewing some products recently, including a beautiful Cort bass for The Practice Pad located in Aberbargoed. The review video, audio & transcript will be posted on here in the next few days.

I unfortunately couldn’t attend the A Strings open evening after the shop expansion. I will be visiting very soon & hopefully will be able to work with them in the future.

Upcoming Shows

The Special Brew – The Picton, Porthcawl – 23rd July

The Special Brew – Syston, Leicester – 30th July

Dead Method – Kaya Festival – 5th August

I don’t want to post too many shows, otherwise I may run out of room haha!

 

Thanks for reading & feel free to get in touch at any of the links below!

Phill.

http://www.phillcourtmusic.co.uk

facebook.com/phillcourtmusic

Twitter @PhillCourtMusic

Instagram @phillcourtmusic

email: info@phillcourtmusic.co.uk

visit my website for even more links!

“Bassicly” Speaking June 2016 Update

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted here! I’m not going to lie, I have been putting it off, but for one good reason! So I could include some awesome updates for you.

 

Live Work

Red Bug

I’ve been gigging constantly with bands all over the shop the last few months. I’ve been working hard with Red Bug covering the best soul classics from the 50’s to now all over the South Wales area. I love playing old soul tracks to be honest, the basslines are so rich. Although adding 5 part harmonies & cues to them makes it a bit tougher!

The Special Brew

Work with The Special Brew has been amazing! In my last update I mentioned I was depping with them for a few weeks. I decided to stay due to great people, music & atmosphere! I’ve gigged with them all over South Wales Plus took part in the Two tone Tribute tour with them & A Special Kind Of Madness! It was a sell out show completely filling the Alban Arena!

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Dead Method

We have been working amazingly hard to get a perfect set together for Glastonbury 2016! It’s going really well, although there’s only a few weeks left there’s a lot of work still to do!

 

Teaching

Teaching is stable & I am only taking places that have been reserved at the moment but feel free to email me regarding – Bass, Guitar, Vocal, Theory, GCSE, As & A Level music at info@phillcourtmusic.co.uk The exam period has just flown by and every single student that was entered for an exam has passed with at least a merit! So well done to all students! I’ve recently been updating my resources & online lesson delivery systems. Two gift certificates where raffled off at the Maestro Music Tuition summer concert in aid of charity! Well done to every student who took part!

 

Session/Dep/Studio Work

It’s been quiet on this front as I have been out touring & gigging but I managed to get onto some remote & studio sessions for pop &rock tracks last month plus a very lucrative contract to dep in for a household name touring Germany this summer! Work with the George Michael tribute band has quietened down as the original bass player is back for a few months. I’ve also been recording some tracks with an old band mate Andrew Evans for sync placements.

 

Composing & Arranging

I’ve let go of some composing work lately to concentrate on some of my own original compositions that I plan to release next year. I’ve been tasked to arrange a charity track for The Special Brew in the style of Bad Manners. It’s going well & should have a full arrangement very shortly! I’ve been busy writing some new bass parts for three new Sankara tracks in the works too. all sounding epic and heavy(ish)

 

Personal Development

I’ve been working hard to get all the tracks & bits ready for my Grade 6 guitar exam! I’m really looking forward to being on the other side of an exam instead of being an examiner! It’s been a while, the last “Graded” exam I took was my Grade 8 bass certification which was in 2010! I’ve continued with personal lessons with a tutor/mentor covering advanced theory & Jazz, it’s hardcore but definitely worth it. Bass practice wise I’ve been working on different double thumping slap techniques & bassline creation. I suppose I’ve been improving tenfold recently on the bass playing & theory side it’s great to have control & sense of effortless when approached with any musical situation while playing bass!

 

Bass Gear/Misc

Chris May the owner of Overwater Basses contacted me regarding the artist program they have and would like to build me a custom bass! I would be featured as an overwater artist too! I’ve been thinking about what my dream bass would be & it’s a very difficult task. We are contacting each other via email at the moment & planning out a few basic details to get started. My double bass is still being built. I have seen a few pics so far and it’s looking amazing. I haven’t had any new pedals or other bass related goodies to review but hopefully I should have some in very soon (including pedals, amps & some snazzy new strings to try) I have been trialing some new pedal settings using my MXR Bass DI + to help my bass cut through the mix in The Special Brew! Stay tuned for some HQ recordings of the gig to hear for yourself. I am also working on a brand new website which will have a self contained blog within plus loads more features including media & such. It is still being built but should be up & running in September (including a new domain name & email addresses)

 

Upcoming shows

The Special Brew – Taffs Well Ex Service & Social Club – Saturday 11th June

The Special Brew – Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall & Institute – Saturday 18th June

Dead Method – Glastonbury Festival – TBA

The Special Brew – Blackpool (TBA) – Friday 8th July

The Special Brew – Barry Scooter Club – Saturday 9th July

Plus many more! visit facebook.com/phillcourtmusic for regular updated lists of upcoming shows.

 

Releases

Dead Method’s Debut single was released! “Hollywood Harmony” It’s available on ITunes & deadmethod.com More releases coming this summer.

 

Thanks for reading! Want me to review a product or want bass playing/music/private tuition or advice feel free to contact me at the links below! Always welcoming feedback of any kind 🙂

Phill.

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http://www.phillcourtmusic.co.uk

email: info@phillcourtmusic.co.uk For business enquiries

email: phill@phillcourtmusic.co.uk For anything else

Twitter – @PhillCourtMusic

Instagram – @phillcourtmusic

Facebook – facebook.com/phillcourtmusic

LinkedIn – uk.linkedin.com/in/phillcourtmusic

 

 

Mono M80 Dual Electric Bass Case & Guitar Tick Review

We all know how awkward it is carrying two basses about between rehearsals, sessions & gigs and how useless 99% of dual bass cases are. Have we found the 1% ? Although it is very expensive.The case retails for around £210 and the guitar tick £65. Ive heard a lot about Mono cases from bass players such as Dave Swift, Scott Devine & Dave Marks and they seem impressed, so I thought I’d take a look.

Esentily it’s a dual bass case built to take on the world plus a lovely modular storage system (Guitar Tick sold separately)

It has, at a glance –

  • Hi-density foam bumpers divert vertical impact out and around the case, away from the strap pin.
  • Integral ABS panels deliver hard case protection at a fraction of the weight. The reinforced outer shell of the M80 hybrid case absorbs and deflects hard impact away from the vulnerable areas of the guitar.
  • Patented “zig zag” design creates a completely separate case for each guitar. That means both headstocks are protected with our Headlock™ suspension system and strap pin bumpers. It also means the M80 Dual can be used with 1 or 2 guitars – something you’ll appreciate on the road. Additionally, the Z-form design allows for immediate access to either bass.
  • Padded shoulder straps feature steel rivet reinforcement. Quickly stash one or both shoulder straps on-the-fly.
  • Everything in it’s place. Specialized storage compartments put your gear right where you need it. Deep gussets make sure your small items stay put.
  • Rock solid, industrial webbing handles come standard on MONO cases. Bar-tack stitching and steel rivets reinforce for strength, while high grade webbing provides a super comfortable grip.
  • Hard-wearing sole and piping made of Hypalon – the same industrial rubber used to create inflatable military rafts. This sole simply does not wear out.

It arrived at 9pm about 2 months ago and have used it since then in practical aplications to form a fair review. I pulled it out of the box and was shoked at how light it was! Plus it looks like a quality bit of kit. I opened it right up and checked all the straps, zips, pockets. There’s no snapping these off in a hurry!

So It is a softcase but with all pros of a hardcase. the reinforced ABS panels, strap pin protection and the absolutely brilliant Headlock system, in my opinion make for the best allround case there is. It makes you feel good about caring for your basses and giving them the best cosiest case they could dream of 😉

The pockets hold a few cables, music, business cards, pens, pencils and whatever else you need them for. if you do fill these up there is the Guitar Tick! This little chappy clips onto the case and adds a lot of extra room for all the bits and bobs you need.

In my case I have used it to transport – Two basses, two hefty 1/4 inch jack cables, my folder, business cards, pens and paper.

In the Guitar Tick I have – a spare  1/4 inch jack cable, a hefty DI cable, a 4 plug power extension, a torch, cloth, IPhone holder,  two packs of strings, a few tools, my IEM’s, ear plugs, plectrums etc. The list goes on, basicly all the little spares that I need!

Iv’e been using them both solidly for a few months now, and am very happy with it. The only downside is that it can be heavy it’s absolutely cram packed. I am a bit dubious about lifting the whole thing up from the straps, but it seems to be solid. The straps are very comfortable and look like they will last years.

Iv’e been quite abusive with it at times and the only things I’ve managed to do, is to scuff the bottom protector feet and pull the zip off on the top hidden pocket off. The zip went straight back on, so it could be a fluke?

All in all it’s an excellent case & it has replaced my hardcases for day to day transportation. I’m willing to take it in the cabin of the plane, but i’m skeptical about putting it in the hold! although I think it would survive 😉

For a full spec list visit monocreators.com

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Email: info@phillcourtmusic.co.uk

 

 

Off to a great start! Bassicly Speaking

Its been a few months since a big update so here’s what I’ve been doing since January 1st 2016.

Teaching

My private practice has flourished since December with many new students starting their musical journey. I have had an influx of bass players including two grade 8 players and three complete beginners. Another big hit is vocal tuition. I have 2 new students who started in February. I have recently overhauled a few old teaching methods and streamlined the techniques and syllabi that I use, which has been received greatly! Everyone seems to be enjoying lessons greatly and a lot are already studying ready for the upcoming exam period.

Live Work

I have been playing a lot with the function band (Red Bug) I love playing with this group! Because its mostly 1950’s-1980’s soul music the bass-lines are amazing! We’ve really enhanced our set lists and expanded our arrangements as of late. We’ve been implementing new vocal harmonies too! (sometimes ending up with 5 parts)
I’ve been depping quite a bit here and there too. Mainly theatre work, including Thriller, Mama Mia & Annie plus the occasional Wham! tribute act.

Session Work

Its been deadly quiet as of late but I have managed to get a few bits here there. Mainly remote sessions. I played bass on a very interesting track at the beginning of the year which consisted of a very elaborate bass part for a Sheryl Crow type track. I visited a television studio to record four notes for an upcoming series/film which was uneventful to say the least, but I played the living hell out of those four notes 😉 The other sessions have all consisted of playing over pop/acoustic tracks in the singer songwriter genre, which were fun.

Composing, Arranging, Musical Direction

I unfortunately was undercut by an American composer for a HBO show coming out soon. I had 19 tracks recorded, many cues etc ready but was cut out right at the last moment. thankfully I was paid half upfront, but still its very disheartening. I am currently working with an old band-mate, Andrew Evans. from my first pro band Tomorrow Can Wait – A Pop Punk band we started years ago. We are writing and recording right now for some placement and sync options in film, TV & adverts. Maybe even commercial release!

Reviews

Ive got a lot of stuff to review from Mono Creators. Including – Dual Bass M80 Case & Guitar Tick. Which will be up shortly, its impressive stuff! If you are a music store, designer , luthier etc or even a bass player please feel free to message me and I’ll sort out a review if I can.

Band Work

We are working on a very cool new track in Sankara. We had a writing/rehearsal session last month and it was great. The song is completely different to all the others we have, but it sounds powerful!
We have quite a few shows coming up (Most local to me too!) We’ve got some new tracks in the works to perform soon and some of them are funky as hell!
Dead Method – We recorded a music video earlier this year and it is epic! We are currently editing it and working through it. Along with that our first release is being mastered right now and we are waiting to hear it and release it. The track is very different to the music I would listen to normally. Saying that the music we make is very different but I love it! We are also working on our live set too. It’s taking a lot of time and energy to try and be able to arrange and orchestrate the tracks but it is a lot of fun. Plus I’m playing bass, synth bass, keyboard bass, vocoder and triggering samples!

Own Practice

Ive gone back to basics by going through a bass method book from front to back. It’s called The Complete Learn to Play Manual Bass Edition by Koala Publishing? It was the book my first bass teacher went through with me. I’m going through it section by section (covering the tab of course!) and perfecting every element of my playing.
I’m trying to transcribe more by ear too. I’m working on some Geno Young, snarky Puppy & some jazz standard tracks to start with. there’s a lot going on in his tracks, so its going to be an aural workout.
I’m getting ready to take my grade 6 guitar exam this summer too! I’m taking the exam to further my career as an examiner. I need two grade 8 certificates and I already have the bass one so here goes nothing! It’s really weird going into the exam and undertaking an exam as an examiner haha! it really opens your eyes to what you actually need to do.

Upcoming work

Plenty of gigs with Red bug soon and in the local South Wales Area. A recording sessions booked for the remainder of this month and next month. Lots of teaching thrown in too! Its nearly exam deadline time so good luck to all my students, not that you need it!!!
Feel free to contact me about any music related stuff, general advice or if you would like to hire me!
Btw! I was featured in the last two publications of the Musicians Union magazine – The Musician. It’s in the members tweets area, talking about training and getting paid for work #WorknotPlay
Phill 🙂
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Twitter @PhillCourtMusic
Instagram @phillcourtmusic
Youtube – Phill Court Music
soundcloud.com/phillcourtmusic
Work Email: info@phillcourtmusic.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Rig Rundown – January 2016

So, a lot of people have asked for it so here it is. My complete bass rig. The actual stuff I use daily for my job from top to bottom end, get it 😉

Basses

Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass V 2015. Natural finish & maple fingerboard

Fender Custom Built Fretless Precision Bass 1960’s/70’s Relic finish & rosewood fingerboard

Tokai Thunderbird Bass 1983 Tobacco finish & rosewood fingerboard

Johnson Jazz Bass 1990’s Pink re spray finish & rosewood fingerboard

Micro Korg Bass Synth

German Double Bass 3/4 Slim line

Amplifiers & Cabs

Markbass Little Mark III

Markbass Traveller 2×10 & 1×12 cabinets

Effects & Pedals

Pedaltrain Classic Junior pedalboard with hardcase.

Dundlop DC Brick Power Supply

Boss TU3 Tuner

MXR Bass Octave Deluxe

MXR Bass Compressor

Digitech Bass Synth Wah

Turner Vintage Tremolo

Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Wah

MXR Bass DI +

Fender ABY

Strings Accessories & Misc

Elixir Stainless Steel With Nanoweb Coating

4 String Set – .045 .065 .085 .105

5 String Set – .045 .065 .085 .105 .0135

D’Addario Tapewound & Piccolo

Tapewound – .045 .065 .085 .105

Piccolo – .020P, .032, .042, .052

German Custom 3/4 Bow

Millant-Deroux Colophane Transparent Rosin (I Think!)

Planet Waves XLR8

Fender, Planet Wave & Custom made cables

Jim Dunlop Delrin Plectrums 1.5 & 2.0

Custom Leather, Fender & TGI Straps

Dunlop Strap Locks

Fender Strap Blocks

Custom Molded Ear Plugs (with variable filters)

Various Stagg Stands

Shure SE846 IEM’s

SKB, Warwick, Vic Firth & Rocksolid Cases & Bags

Various Flight cases

Shure & Rode Mics

JCB Power Supplies & Extensions

Gorilla Tape

Various tools

Vocalzone Lozenges

That’s about it! I have missed things out, some I’ve just overlooked and some unnecessary pieces (Brand of pencils etc.) but if you want any more information about pieces or want to add anything I’ve missed please let me know! For pictures & demos visit the links below.

 

http://www.phillcourtmusic.co.uk email: info@phillcourtmusic.co.uk

Twitter @PhillCourtMusic

Facebook facebook.com/phillcourtmusic