Reader Spotlight: Edo Castro Woodhouse
Meet Edo Castro Woodhouse, a self-identified composer/arranger who happens to play bass. As such, Edo’s approach is quite remarkable.
Edo is this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight (you could be next). Here’s his story…
I started playing piano when I was 8-9 years old. I loved the piano but I hated practicing. I never learned all my exercises or assigned pieces. Oddly this, “poor student” vibe would follow me into the future. Needless to say, I was a pretty decent piano player when it came to making things up, but I was lousy at playing those ditties of Bach and whatnot. (No disrespect to the classics). The most interesting thing about that time is I played a lot of bass in my left hand and chords in my right. That was the real extent of my piano. Another influence at that time was my uncle, Reice Hamel, who was a recording engineer; gave me my first Jazz Records. That set me on a course to learn and study jazz. I began playing bass, in my late teens, because my friends needed a bass player for their band. I wasn’t good enough on Keys to play in a band. Everyone was like “I want to play guitar, drums, or KBs.” Bass appeared to be the regulated “low on the totem-pole” instrument back then. Anyway, I gravitated to it immediately: It felt like home and it was love at first touch. I began soaking in every style and every artist of that time. Especially Jazz. In music school, I began playing Upright bass but gave up after 8-10 years of that. I had injured my left arm and wrist playing on a poor instrument. Which led me to set up my electric bass, with very low action so I could play without pain. As the bass developed and more strings were added, I joined in on what is now know as ERB. I even played Chapman Stick for several years, in the ’80s and ’90s, giving that up for the 7 string bass.
40 plus years
Why I play the bass:
I wanted to be in my friends band, so I was relegated to playing bass.
I have a variety of rigs, for different gigs, and in my rehearsal spaces. All of my gear is smaller for portability and ease. If need a large rig, I go through the PA.
- 1 Accugroove Mini 1×8 1×6 8 ohm
- 1 Schroeder 2×8 4 ohm
- 2 Phil Jones 2×7 8 ohm
- 2 Trace Elliot Elf 1×10 8 ohm
- 1 Trace Elliot Elf 2×8 – 8 ohm
- Heads: *All class D*
- Warwick LAW 1000 watt
- Genz Benz Streamliner 800 Watt
- Genz Benz Megellan 900 watt
- Aguilar 350
I’ve been playing with GHS strings for over 35 of my 40 years. I got an endorsement through them about 10 years ago. I love them. To my knowledge, they were the first to have the Exposed Contact Core on their Low B and E strings. I have my own custom set from them. Contact Core 7 String set 129, 100, 80, 60, 45, 27 and 22. (Sometimes 18 mm) They work well with my skin chemistry too. I’m somewhat alkaline in my hand moisture, not acidic. They hold their sound and stay in tune for longer periods of time. 9-12 months.
I PLEK all my fretted basses to have the lowest action possible. Money well spent. As of late, I’m not playing much fretless, I’m favoring the fretted sound.
- Conklin 7 String Fretless – “Picasso” This one has that sound
- Jerzy Drozd Barcelona 7 String Fretted bass
- Jerzy Drozd Barcelona 7 String Fretless bass
- Bee Bass 7 String Groove Bee fretless
- Bee Bass 7 String Stinger Fretted ( I helped design this model)
- Bee Bass 7 String Stinger fretless ( I helped design this model)
- Ramsay Hummingbird 7 String Fretted bass (with custom Stop tail piece bridge)
- Anaconda Ultra Jazz 7 String (Donna) fretted bass (The only one made so far.)
- Watson 7 String Hollow body fretless bass (only one ever made)
Scott LaFaro, Jaco, Ron Carter, Francis Rocco Prestia, Bootsy, Marcus, Stanley, Mark Egan, Percy Jones… but as of late, I’m listening to guitar players.
My bass superpower/claim to fame:
I love re-harmonizing songs and play them as solo bass pieces on 7-string bass. The object is to not sound like a bass, playing chords. The timbre is completely different sounding on 7-string. You could say, I’m a composer/arranger who happens to play bass.
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