Bass Musician Magazine Review NS Design WAV5c Omni Bass

One of the newest basses from NS Design is the NS WAV5c Omni Bass.

By Ty Campbell
The NS WAV5c Omni Bass is a 34” scale 5 String electric fretless bass. It is a great fit for bassists wanting to get into the world of electric upright bass but aren’t quite ready for the longer scale of the upright basses. This design is also great for bassists that play upright, but may want something a little more compact for gigs and something that is much easier to travel with.

The Omni Bass can be played in one of two ways, with the boomerang strap or with the optional tripod stand. The boomerang strap allows you to play in a traditional position, just like an electric bass. The tripod stand holds the bass in the upright position, the same way as an upright bass and is fully adjustable so that you can play either sitting or standing.

Bakithi Kumalo – “I play the NS Design Omni bass. I love the sound of the Omni bass, it feels so good to play, my favorite!!”

The WAV5c comes with D’Addario chromes installed, which really help to bring out the acoustic tone, however, with the Coform fretboard, round wounds can also used for a more electric sound. Coform has been created and designed by NS Design for fingerboards due to the demand of rosewood and ebony and the declining availability of these woods, not only for guitars and basses, but for other products as well. The fingerboard constructed of Coform is not only more durable and harder than both rosewood and ebony, it is uniformly even in thickness and more durable and harder, and it is also more resistant to changes in temperature and humidity. The Coform fingerboard is made of pairing maple and acrylic and allows for better articulation, feel, and lower maintenance.

The WAV5c is smooth, plays well and sounds great. I’ve used it both in pizzicato and with a bow. There is a 2-way toggle switch for arco and pizzicato playing, up for arco and down for pizzicato. I have to admit that I personally prefer the pizzicato position, even for the bow, but that is really up to personal taste and it sounds great in either position. The arco position allows for more attack and faster decay, while the pizzicato position is a shorter and smoother attack with longer decay. The rest of the electronics consist of volume, tone, and Polar piezo pickup. All of the electronics are passive and truly project the sound and tone of the solid maple body and neck with a flame maple top. The Coform fingerboard has the TransRadius profile, which makes the neck feel more familiar for a traditional bassist and allows for great string to string bowing, and the string spacing is the same as an electric bass.

The NS WAV5c Omni Bass can use regular bass strings and can be tuned as B-E-A-D-G, or E-A-D-G-C, and even used for cello tunings of C-G-D-A-E or F-C-G-D-A. With the WAV5c, an input impedance of at least 5 Meg Ohm with preferably 10 Meg Ohm recommended and a pre-amp is always a great tool to have.

This bass is available in three colors, which include amber burst, transparent red, and transparent black, and is also available as a 4-string, the NS WAV4c Omni Bass. It comes with a bag and has ample room not only for the bass, but the boomerang strap, optional tripod stand, and accessories.

Check out the NS WAV5c Omni Bass at a music retailer near you!

Visit online for more information.  ThinkNS.com


The Lyonn’s Roar by Julie Lyonn Lieberman – Edition Five – “Rhythmize Your Bow with Chop”

Welcome to the fifth edition of The Lyonn’s Roar, “Rhythmize Your Bow with Chop” by NS Violinist and Educator Julie Lyonn Lieberman.

For those of you returning to school this September, put fiery bounce in your bow by developing your “chop” percussion techniques on your violin, viola, cello or upright bass.

Starting as what was called the “chunk” technique and made popular by the father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, “chopping” has quickly become a fun and funky way for players to keep the groove moving. Bill Monroe’s fiddler Richard Greene (pictured below) further developed the “chop” technique into his own artful musical language.

Be sure to check out an excerpt from his guest appearance at the Strings Without Boundaries Summer 2016 Session in Seattle, Washington:

For lessons in how to develop this technique in your own playing, check out the Lyonn’s Roar – Fifth Edition “Rhythmize Your Bow with Chop”.

Go to Julie’s Strings Without Boundaries website page to learn more about contemporary and alternative string techniques or check out her book How to Play Contemporary Strings: A Step-by-Step Approach for Violin, Viola & Cello. Complete with video tutorials, backing tracks and a step-by-step approach including explicit notation, it will get you on your way to building new skills and techniques.

For more information about all of NS Design’s instruments including the NXTa Electric Violin that Julie plays and its eco-friendly, active yet battery-free features, and the affordable and road-worthy WAV Electric Series of instruments visit ThinkNS.com.


The Lyonn’s Roar by Julie Lyonn Lieberman – Edition Four – “Electric Technique: The Same . . .or?”

Photo Courtesy of NS Artist Avery Merritt

Welcome to the fourth edition of THE LYONN’S ROAR, “Electric Technique:  The Same . . .or?” by NS Violinist and Educator Julie Lyonn Lieberman.

Whether you’ve just unboxed your new NS Violin, plugged in your acoustic for the first time, or are just ready to unleash into new territory on the instrument you already love to play, these exciting iNSights will take your playing to another level and help you stand out in any performance setting.

Chord connection fills, textural ghost notes, chopping techniques, and incorporating guitar and horn like riffs to electrify your string sound, Lieberman highlights a range of suggestions for expanding your violin’s voice using several alternative techniques.

Electric Technique

This fourth edition includes a bonus interview with violinist Papa John Creach of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna.  Papa John is an exciting and unique violinist and performer that understands how to truly stand out on a stage. In the interview, he talks about how to “Get Down, Get Dirty and Give it some Guts” on your electric.

How else do you achieve these techniques? Attend a summer program that will help you build new skills, there are quite a few to choose from.  Check out Julie’s book, How to Play Contemporary Strings: A Step-by-Step Approach for Violin, Viola & Cello, with its video tutorials and backing tracks, it’s a sure way to gain skills and have some fun.  Visit her website for more information on all her books, DVDs and courses. http://julielyonn.com/

For more information about all of NS Design’s electric violins and electric violas and the new eco-friendly, active yet battery-free NXTa Electric Violin, or the affordable and road-worthy WAV Electric Violin visit ThinkNS.com.


The NS WAV Violin at Marshall Music Co. in Traverse City, MI

Hi all –

I am conducting again this summer in Michigan at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Interlochen, Michigan.  It has been a great start to the summer and we are looking forward to lots of good times and music this summer.  I had a chance to play my CR Violin for an art exhibit opening here at the Interlochen Campus last Thursday and am sure there will be plenty of other opportunities to break out the electrics.  This afternoon, my son and I stumbled into Marshall Music Company in Traverse City Michigan (www.marshallmusic.com) and had a cool encounter with Dave Weber and all of the folks at Marshall Music.  It turns out that they have an NS Design Wave violin out on the floor and are super excited about the NS Design line of products.  I took the opportunity to touch base with Dave about a bunch of ideas about amps that work great with the wave, as well as some tone quality and efx processing ideas. I also shared some ideas about the videos on D’Addario Bowed’s Youtube site.   Thanks to Dave and everyone at Marshall Music for making me, my son Matt, and my whole family feel so welcome!

Dave Weber at Marshall Music, Traverse city, MI

 

Scott Laird performing at Interlochen Arts Camp, 2012


Lamar Stringfield String Camp 2011

Lamar Stringfield Haydn Orchestra with Scott Laird on CR Violin

Hi all –

For the past two weeks, I have been teaching at the Lamar Stringfield String Camp at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.  It was another great year at Lamar Stringfield with many fantastic moments.

I am frequently asked how I incorporate electric strings into my teaching.  This week, at the camp, I programmed a little blues piece as part of the repertoire for the “Haydn” Orchestra which consists of students from 4th grade through 8th grade.  As part of the performance, I brought in professionals to play guitar and drums and I played my CR violin.  I had the kids play through the piece 2 times and on the second pass, the guitarist (my friend and colleague, Todd Miller from Apex, NC High School) and I took turns improvising over the chart.  As part of the rehearsals, I also took the opportunity to have a 20 minute Q and A session with the kids on electric violins, how they work, and how to play them. I was thrilled to tell them all about the WAV Violin and the NXT Instruments as well.   It was a wonderful learning opportunity for everyone.  The students really took to the style, especially when we added the drums and the performance was really successful.  The linked video will give you a good idea of how things went.

I encourage string educators to give something like this a try.  Regardless of whether you do classical, jazz, bluegrass, or some other style of music with your orchestra, the NS Family of Instruments are perfect for this type of performance.  And, I guarantee, your students want to not only see you  perform, but perform with you as well.

Best wishes!

Scott

 

 


Southeastern Strings Conference

String teachers in the NC area:
January 21 is a state-wide in-service day for teachers. Please consider attending the Southeastern Strings Conference at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I will be giving a session on electric bowed strings and there will be many fine sessions throughout the day.  During my session, we will have an ensemble of NS Design instruments set up for attendees to try.  We will provide charts for the ensemble and we will simply all experience playing in an electric string ensemble.  I will explain panning and the use of a PA system, monitors, and basic EFX processing.  We will have an NXT Bass and Cello, a CR violin and viola, the new 5 string Wav, and many other NS Instruments for you to try out as an ensemble.  It will be a blast!

It is not too late to register.

Pre-Register by phone: call 1-800-999-2869 and have your Visa or MasterCard ready.
Conference Fee & NC Renewal Credit Verification of Attendance

There is a $40.00 fee for all instructors attending the String Teachers Conference. This fee will cover all instruction, handouts, clinician expenses, and refreshments. You may be able to obtain one unit of North Carolina Certificate Renewal Credit by attending this event. Please Pre-Register by mail or by telephone. To Pre-Register by phone, simply call us toll-free at 1-800-999-2869 and have your Visa or MasterCard ready. (Please Pre-Register!!) The on-site registration fee on Thursday evening, January 20, will be $50.00.

Here is a list of events.
Southeast String Festival Teachers Conference

Master Class, Dimitry Sitkovetski
New Music Reading Session, Lynne Latham, Latham Music, a Lorenz Company
Electric Strings, Scott Laird
Jazz Clinic for String Educators, Steve Haines
Upper String Pedagogy, Marjorie Bagley, Fabian Lopez, Scott Rawls
Old Time Ensemble Music, Revell Carr and Gavin Douglas
Lower String Pedagogy, Craig Brown and Alex Ezerman
Achieving an Artistic Vibrato in the String Class, Rebecca B. MacLeod
Incorporating Students With Disabilities In Your Orchestra Classroom, Jennifer Stewart Walter
String Instrument Repair, Melody Choplin

Thursday
Time Session Location
7:45 Introductions School of Music Recital Hall
8:15-9:30 Reading Session sponsored by School of Music Recital Hall
Latham Music, a Lorenz Company
9:30 Refreshments, student rehearsal ends Recital Hall Atrium

Friday
9:00-9:50 Electric Strings, Scott Laird EUC Auditorium
10:00-10:50 Jazz Strings, Steve Haines EUC Auditorium
11:10-12:10 Violin Pedagogy EUC Auditorium
Marjory Bagley and Fabian Lopez
12:10-1:15 Lunch
1:15-2:15 Viola and Cello Pedagogy EUC Auditorium
Scott Rawls and Alex Ezerman
2:15 Walk to Aycock Auditorium
2:30-3:20 Old Time Music Aycock Auditorium
Gavin Douglas and Revell Carr
3:30-4:20 Artistic Vibrato, Rebecca MacLeod Aycock Lower Level
4:30-5:00 McIver Quartet Performance Aycock Auditorium
5:00-6:00 Dinner
6:00-7:00 Observe Rehearsal Aycock Auditorium
7:30 GSO Chamber Concert School of Music Recital Hall

Saturday
9:00-9:50 Students with Disabilities, Jennifer Walter Aycock Lower Level
10:00-10:50 String Repair Lab, Melody Choplin Aycock Lower Level
11:00-12:00 Dimitry Sitkovetski Aycock Auditorium
12:00 Lunch
1:30 Dress Rehearsal Aycock Auditorium
2:30 Concert Aycock Auditorium


NS Design Instruments and the Lamar Stringfield Summer String Camp


Hi all! Today, just a quick note about the Lamar Stringfield String Camp and NS Design Instruments.

For the past two weeks, Meredith College in Raleigh, NC has been hosting the Lamar Stringfield String Camp, a day camp for students to focus on string playing, technique, and ensemble playing. Students may attend for 1 or 2 weeks and the camp is open to students ranging in age from early elementary students through high school age students.  I have been pleased to be on the faculty of this fine camp for the past 3 years and had a great experience again this summer

As part of the final concert on Friday, Orchestra Conductor, Kirk Moss (President of the American String Teachers Association) programmed a really cool funk tune called Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (By Josef Zawinul, arranged by Bert Ligon, and published by Latham Music) that includes several open sections for improvisation. Kirk invited me to play on the tune and opened it up for student solos as well. As part of that performance, my son, Matt (in the photo on the right), and violinist Jacob Henderson (in the photo on the left) jumped in on the fun and performed improvised solos on their NS Design Wav violins. The performances was really well-received and the Wavs were perfect for the guys.  The instruments sounded great and the kids had a ball getting their solos together and dialing in the instruments.

Thanks to NS Design for making such great instruments and making performances like this possible for so many!

Peace.
Scott


Theresa Jenkins-Russ and Carolina Cool Jazz Orchestra

Theresa Jenkins-Russ and the Carolina Cool Jazz OrchestraHere at NS Design, we are really pleased to welcome Theresa Jenkins-Russ as a pioneer in our NS Design Artist/Educator program.    Theresa is a string and orchestra teacher in the Spartanburg, SC School District, Artistic Director of the Carolina Cool Jazz Orchestra, and President-Elect of the South Carolina Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.  Theresa is a fixture on the national string education scene, presenting sessions at numerous national conferences and is known for her work in the “Alternative Styles” world of string ed and for her work in promoting minority composers and musicians. At the recent ASTA national conference in Santa Clara, she presented a session on programming multicultural orchestral literature and conducted the alt styles new music reading session.  Her group, The Carolina Cool Jazz Orchestra, is a professional performing group in Spartanburg that brings together musicians of a variety of ages and experience levels to perform primarily great jazz literature.  They frequently feature guest soloists and are committed to promoting string instruments as an integral component of the jazz scene.  Recent soloists have included Matt Turner, Martin Norgaard, Joe Dread, and me.

Theresa is now performing on the NS Design Wav violin and absolutely loves it.  We had the pleasure of spending a good deal of time with her at the NS Design Booth at ASTA and look forward to a long and productive relationship.  Congratulations, Theresa, on all of your good work!!