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  • Kit Bragg

Bottom Brackets & Basslines

Updated: Jan 8

Bottom Brackets & Basslines emerged as a place to blur the lines between my passions for music, cycling, skateboarding, writing, and general shenanigans that involve art and the outdoors. Ryan Stucky, who has made digital appearances in many of my posts, is my best friend of 30+ years. He and I grew up as skate rats and guitar freaks in Southern California. Our relationship has been central to my love of music, skateboarding, and art. He is an insanely talented graphic designer, having designed for Element Skateboards, Nixon Watches, Vissla Clothing, and most recently Just Live CBDs. He's about as down to earth as they come, and is genuine to the bone. He is also a surfer with style for days. He graciously donated the logo for Bottom Brackets & Basslines.

Ryan Stucky, in the flesh...


Now, regarding the name for Bottom Brackets and Basslines...


I alluded to the idea for the name in my post, "Skateboarding, My First Love Affair." The reference to bottom brackets is a little easier to explain than the reference to basslines. Yes, I grew up skateboarding and a worn thumb from griptape deck-grabbing fatigue will always hold a special place in my heart. However, a year and a half ago during COVID, I bought a used hardtail mountain bike. I did some mountain biking in SoCal in High School, and had been doing a bit of road biking in Santa Cruz more recently. Anyone who knows a little bit about Santa Cruz knows mountain biking is a huge part of the community. I thought a hardtail with front suspension would be a huge upgrade to my stiff forked mountain bike from High School. Man, I was all in. Tore through the Santa Cruz mountains for a year until I realized how out-of-date my hardtail was when it came to geometry, framing, and components. I proceeded to take that stimulus check from "the man" and drop 6K on a 2021 Specialized Enduro. Holy Toledo, that thing rips. Modern geometry makes it climb like a champ, and 200mm disc brakes coupled with 170mm of front & rear travel makes downhills scary fast...

Alright, then what's with the reference to basslines if I am a guitar player? Well, I am also a songwriter, and I subscribe to a particular philosophy that basslines can make or break a song. Here's the thing, used correctly, basslines can offer a whole melody under the main melody typically assigned to the vocals in a song. Think Beatles, "Come Together." Paul McCartney was a master at melodic basslines, primarily due to the fact he never set out to be a bass player, but is indeed crazy talented at writing melody. More recently, I have played bass on my recordings, and have been pleasantly surprised by some of the melodies I've stumbled upon when tracking bass lines.


So there we have it, Bottom Brackets & Bass Lines...



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