This is as old school as I can get on bass

Brian Scherzer

Staff member
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5,148
Never having played a double bass before, I finally gave in to the itch today. Needless to say, no frets and a MUCH longer fretboard will take me time to adjust to. At the very least, when I switch back over to my electric basses, my fingers will feel like they are on a mandolin!

 

Chris Rice

Member
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2,265
Good luck! Double bass is the best, I've played since '92. What kind of stuff are you playing on it? Rock, blues, jazz, classical, folk? I recommend finding a decent teacher to get your hand positions started, it's real easy to hurt yourself (I trashed myself in college and spent a year rebuilding with two excellent teachers).

 
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8,095
Yes, proper technique is important to good tone and projection, and also to avoid hurting yourself! Much more efficient to learn good form initially instead of unlearning bad form later!

Dunno whether gigging is your thing, but owner/operator-ship of an upright bass is the key to my high level of employability (well, that plus my devilishly good looks and winning personality!).
 

Brian Scherzer

Staff member
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5,148
Chris..........I have always been a blues guy, but began expanding out a bit towards jazz and, although I don't play classical, I listen to that more than anything else now. I hired a teacher before I bought a bass and he went with me to look at the local available basses. We both agreed that the one I bought was the best sounding one in its price range and he got the dealer to put a nicer set of strings on it. It's a Shen with carved spruce top and maple laminate sides and back.

The transition will not be easy! I'm probably going to cheat for a while and put position markers on the fingerboard to help me out until my hand learns where the notes are. It's QUITE a lot of space between notes when compared to my electrics, but the sound is what I love!
 

Chris Rice

Member
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2,265
I thought it looked like a Shen. I have a Shen SB-200 Willow (in the pic above), an Engelhardt C-1 and an 1890's German bass.

Nothing wrong with position markers. T=I've found the quickest way to get comfortable with positions is to play the beginning Suzuki stuff. I studied with Virginia Dixon in college and she helped me quite a bit with the physical aspects of holding the bass and playing in tune by feeling the instrument.
 

Brian Scherzer

Staff member
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5,148
I'm not sure that it's appropriate to be feeling the bass after just meeting for the first time! However, I did get to first bass so far! ;)
 

Thor

Member
Messages
3,362
Congrats Brian!

I see one of these in my future as well, but problably once the kids are out of the house and I have the time needed to realy dedicate to the instrument.

Please don't post photos of anything beyond first bass please (you're an admin and should know better)
 

Jerryr

Member
Messages
187
I've thought about trying one. I have a friend who's a pretty good singer and acoustic guitar player. We've played in a classic rock band but I've often thought I'd like to try some mellow stuff with him on acoustic guitar using a double bass.

Just one question; how do you transport those things? Must take a van at the very least?
 
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8,095
Yeah, you have to arrange for a freight hauler for every gig!!!

You kidding me? I have employed vehicles as small as a Renault LeCar (certainly not by choice! Whatta p.o.s.!!!) and an old style VW bug. The only requirement is a passenger seat that reclines; it lies right in there, neck pointing back, amp in the back seat.

Great, too, for when the good-for-nothing gtr player schmuck in your band calls and says, "Like, dude, wow, I huffed too much cleaning products to drive to the gig, man; can you, like, pick me up, man?", and you can say, "Sorry, man, no room!".
 

otaypanky

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,965
Cool Brian ! Congrats ! I know you've been knockin' that idea around for a while, I'm glad you jumped in the deep end. Have a ball :aok
 

Brian Scherzer

Staff member
Messages
5,148
I've thought about trying one. I have a friend who's a pretty good singer and acoustic guitar player. We've played in a classic rock band but I've often thought I'd like to try some mellow stuff with him on acoustic guitar using a double bass.

Just one question; how do you transport those things? Must take a van at the very least?
My teacher brought it to my house using a small ca that has a hatchback. I have yet to try to see if it would fit in my car, but it would be quite a while before I'm taking it anywhere. Realistically, I see it taking a year before I feel that I can play a double bass the way I'd want to be heard.
 

TAVD

Guitar Player
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,666
I used to transport mine in a Mazda rx7. At least I didn't have to strap it to my back and pedal.

I never really fretted w/ my pinky finger until getting the double bass, now I don't know how I ever managed without.
 

Chris Rice

Member
Messages
2,265
I dragged mine around in a Geo Metro hatchback for a few years. Went from the hatch to the dash with about an inch to spare, and the stick was below the scroll making shifting fun.
 

Jerryr

Member
Messages
187
Congratulations Brian.

Thanks for the examples of transportation methods. Maybe there is hope for me yet. I tried a fretless Musicman Sterling a while back and was actually surprised at how well things were going...... until I started to concentrate on my pitch too much. :)
 

trisonic

Member
Messages
13,156
I always wanted to learn to play the Cello. You've given me heart, Brian. Thanks.

Best, Pete.
 

Brian Scherzer

Staff member
Messages
5,148
I always wanted to learn to play the Cello. You've given me heart, Brian. Thanks.

Best, Pete.
Actually, cello is next on the list. Sax and cello are, to my ears, the prettiest instruments to listen to. One problem is that I have long forgotten how to read music, and I think that cello really requires one to learn to read in order to play anything but the most basic classical music. While double bass is simply (poor choice of word there) taking what I already know and learning how to find my way around on a huge fretless neck, cello requires learning excellent bow technique, learning where notes are on a totally different sized neck, reading music and adapting to an instruments whose strings are not the usual E-A-D-G. Yet, if one can become proficient, there's beauty in a cello's rich tone.
 

RustyAxe

Member
Messages
3,013
I've been playing upright for the past year and a half (40+ years on slabs, tho). It's a different instrument, and takes a different mentality. I love it and play upright every chance I get. Have fun!
 

HeyMrTeleMan

Colonel of Truth
Messages
3,045
Never having played a double bass before, I finally gave in to the itch today. Needless to say, no frets and a MUCH longer fretboard will take me time to adjust to. At the very least, when I switch back over to my electric basses, my fingers will feel like they are on a mandolin!

What goes around comes around. Congratulations!

I love the sound of an upright...
 




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