Monday, June 22, 2009

"...Booked out and bound to go..."

Big Bill Broonzy: "I got the keys to the highway, booked out and bound to go..."

Mike in Westminster, Maryland purchased a Barker Bass and it set out on the journey last week.

But before that, well, here's your behind the scenes peek. Though the inventoried basses hang in a pretty clean room, it's not perfect. Dust, like a desperate pilot, always finds a place to land. (You can get a feel for this room, including the photo corner, on this Oregon Art Beat segment from Oregon Public Broadcasting.) So first, cleaning. Compressed air first, microfiber cloth next.

Then to the bench for setup as if it were just assembled: Neck relief, string height, string spacing, string radius, pickup height, tuning, intonation and checking for the proper amount of Barker Mojo Fluid.

From there, back to the SemiClean Room for playing, double checking the feel of everything, noting the balance of string tone, and snugging down the Mojo Fluid Dipstick.

Wrapping is a little more involved than you might think, with protective foam between the strings and fingerboard, new, clean plastic sleeve over the whole instrument, custom cut foam blocking (the same foam insert in the custom box accommodates all three sizes of Barker body, provided this little added block is right) and then inserting the stand and bag set in the box, making sure the owner's manual is in there along with the wrench for string height adjustment.

Once all that is done and double checked, the final strapping goes on. It's ready to

"...leave here runnin', 'cause walkin' is most too slow."

It's a triumphant, top-o'-the-world feeling to have brought this instrument from nothing to something, attempting to instill in it my ideas about quality and beauty and joy, hoping that will be reflected through the hands of the new owner and into the ears of those who hear her or him play it.

Mike, welcome to the Barker family. She'll be at your door soon.

No comments: