| Jeff Schmidt, Bassist
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March 05, 2008

Mail Bag #1

Can't believe I haven't done this before.

Here's a couple e-mail/myspace messages with questions and my answers.

No sense in keeping this stuff secret!

----------------- Original Message -----------------

From: Bill D.
Date: Mar 5, 2008 7:33 PM

Hi Jeff,

Awsome playing man! I am one of Michael wilcox's students.

I was just checking out your track "like father like son" and the fuzz sound is killer! Would you share what pedal did you use to get the sound. It's ballsy but clear at the same time..... I am intrigued!



JEFF SCHMIDT: hey man - thanks! please tell michael I said hello. he always makes me feel like quitting bass cuz he's so good :-)

for fuzz well well well - it's a long story - mostly cuz I used multiple fuzz & distortion fx to create all the sounds.

Here's the gear I was working with for the Ruiner Severhead project.

Boss GT-6B. There's actually some pretty nasty sounds in there. Even the distortion & fuzz is pretty good but it needs some help.

I also used an Electro-Harmonic Tube-Zipper. I have a weird little boutique fuzz pedal called the frog - or something like that. (forget th name right now - it's green tho)

Secret weapons on the Ruiner stuff is metasonix scrotum smasher and waveshaper. PLUS - in the ProTools system I used SansAmp plugin A LOT.

often times I'd record a track an then run the recorded track BACK out into various effects and re-record that - thats why I can't remember exactly how it was done.

does that help? prolly not heh?


----------------- Original Message -----------------

From: The Happy Chimichanga
Date: Feb 29, 2008 9:56 PM

I was also wondering how does one go about becoming a solo bass artist.

JEFF SCHMIDT: Ha! Great question!

I think it's simply a matter of picking up the bass and deciding to play a complete song with it - rather than playing only 1 part of a song.

Now the "artist" part comes when you can make reasonably good songs.

But - that's relative. Please yourself first. Write stuff YOU want to hear.
Don't worry about making BASS the point of what you do - make MUSIC the point.

I'd like to hear your thoughts!


----------------- Original Message -----------------

From: ♫ ♪ Justin ♪ ♫
Date: Feb 29, 2008 6:56 AM

Do you know of any good method books or DVD's for advanced players? I picked up almost everything I know from Wooten DVD's, but I want to branch out.

JEFF SCHMIDT: Hey man. I don't know of any DVDs off hand.

It depends on what youre looking for.

My suggestion - if I could be bold for a moment - take everything you already know and put it to creative use.

If you are an advanced player, you probably really don't need any more "instruction". But you may need to start "creating".

just my .02

I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Got a question?

drop me a note at

or email me jeff at

or in the comments here.


March 04, 2008

How many fans do you REALLY need?

Remember back here when I said you only need 10,000 fans to make your artistry work financially?

A really smart guy named Kevin Kelly doesn't agree.

In fact - he thinks we only need 1,000 fans.

But they have to be TRUE fans.


A True Fan is defined as someone who will purchase anything and everything you produce. They will drive 200 miles to see you sing. They will buy the super deluxe re-issued hi-res box set of your stuff even though they have the low-res version. They have a Google Alert set for your name. They bookmark the eBay page where your out-of-print editions show up. They come to your openings. They have you sign their copies. They buy the t-shirt, and the mug, and the hat. They can't wait till you issue your next work. They are true fans.

Read Kevin's excellent post here.

I've recently changed my mind about fans.

Fans - as defined when I was growing up - were distant admirers. We only dealt directly with the artist's WORK - but rarely if ever the artist themselves. We were not worthy of their time & attention.

Things are different now in my view.

While the Rolling Stones and other "celebrity" artists can stay hidden from their "fans" - the majority of artists can't and shouldn't. There is a limit to how accessible you can be - for sure.

But until you reach that point - why pretend you're the Rolling Stones and hide from "fans"?

I don't really want "fans". At least not in that old school artist/fan relationship that looks like "GOD / Sycophant". That's lame.

I'd rather have friends. The art should be there to brings us together. Not act as a barrier between artist and "fan".

Another way of looking at it: the TRUE fan Kevin Kelly is talking about really looks a whole lot more like a FRIEND.

What do you think?