Do you offer Skype lessons or video tutorials?
Yes, I now offer Skype lessons, video bass tutorials, 'behind the scenes' videos and more, all through Patreon.
What kind of a bass do you play?
A Zon VB4 bass from Zon Guitars.
Are you related to Joe Zon from Zon Guitars?
No, I am not related to Joe Zon and his 'ZON GUITARS' is a completely separate entity. 'Zander Zon' is a stage name I started using when I first began releasing videos onto YouTube. I didn't give the name much thought really, as I was just some guy uploading videos of himself playing bass and I had no idea how people would react to my music at first. My middle name is Alexander and I play a Zon bass, so I came up with 'Zander Zon'. A bit of alliteration, you know? I just thought it sounded cool to be honest! However, as my videos began to grow in popularity, and that's how I became known on the Internet, it turned out that that was actually the name I had to stick with.
What kind of strings do you use?
D'Addario piccolo strings, gauges 020 - 052. They are available at Amazon and many string sites.
What kind of effects do you use?
On recent YouTube videos, I usually go for ArtsAcoustic reverb and Logic Sound Designer. For past live shows, I’ve used a Boss GT10 effects unit. On Sonorous and Saturn Return, my mastering engineer used a TC-6000 for the reverb.
What kind of amp do you use?
A Fishman Solo Amp.
How do you record your YouTube videos?
The signal chain is: bass - SmartResearch DI box - Apogee Duet - Mac. To begin with, I recorded into iMovie, then added compression in Logic, before adding reverb in iMovie. Nowadays, I record directly into Logic before editing the video using Final Cut Pro.
Why do you use altered tunings?
Often times, I use altered tunings to open up the possibilities of what can be played on the bass. Altered tunings allow for unique chord voicings and unique harmonic chords, which otherwise wouldn't be possible in standard tuning. Different tunings also have different resonances, something Michael Manring has spoken a lot about.
Why does your bass sound so high?
I use piccolo strings and many of my compositions feature the use of harmonics.
Why do you use piccolo strings? Why not just play guitar?
For lots of reasons, actually! I'll list a few of them: Firstly, piccolo strings offer a massive pitch range, which makes them very receptive to altered tunings. I can tune my E string on my bass down to the E of a standard-tuned bass and all the way up an octave higher to the bottom E of a guitar - and that's just one string! Secondly, I love the sound of piccolo strings with my bass - even if I were to tune up to E, A, D, G (the first four strings of a guitar), despite the pitch being the same, the tone would be very different as the sound of a bass is warmer than a guitar. The key point here is sound. Being at the same pitch doesn't mean you have the same tone. Tone is made up through a combination of factors, such as the instrument, the pickups, scale-length, technique, etc... Thirdly, I am a bassist, and was brought up playing the cello, so I'm very used to using bass techniques as well as controlling four strings. Lastly, I like exploring the potential of the bass. The bass guitar is only about 60 years old and it's exciting to be a part of something new.
Do you have any tabs for your music?
I have tabs for my original compositions on 'Sonorous', which are available at Bassline Publishing. Also available at Bassline Publishing are tabs for my Led Zeppelin 'Stairway to Heaven' arrangement and Eric Clapton 'Tears in Heaven' arrangement - find these in 'Free Stuff'. My 'Tears in Heaven' arrangement is in standard fourths, so you can follow the tabs without altering the tuning on your bass.
Can I play your music with regular strings?
Yes, you can. All my video tutorials on Patreon explain how to play my music with regular strings.
Where can I find your tunings?
For my solo album, you can find tunings in the SOLO ALBUM sections of this website. Please keep in mind that sometimes the YouTube performance's tuning is different than the recording on Sonorous. This is because to perform a piece, all that is really necessary is the correct intervals between strings (so for example, it doesn't matter to me much whether a piece is tuned B, E, A, D or C, F, Bb, Eb as both these tunings have intervals between strings in fourths). For my arrangements on YouTube, sometimes the tuning is in the information section of the video; if not, and you want to know the tuning for a particular arrangement, then you can email me and I'll let you know which tuning I used.
What is your musical background? Where did you learn theory?
I took cello lessons from when I was 7, and continued for about 10 years. So having that classical upbringing really helped my musical ear. On the bass though, I've never had lessons and I first learnt how to play by jamming along with my favourite rock bands!
Who are your influences?
My main influences are Michael Manring and Victor Wooten. Recently, I've been heavily influenced by fingerstyle guitar players: my current favourites are Mike Dawes, Maneli Jamal and Erik Mongrain.
How can I get in touch?
Please feel free to! You can use the form below, contact me on Facebook, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org