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1/4 double bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by stagger lee, Feb 26, 2005.


  1. stagger lee

    stagger lee

    Jul 11, 2004
    i've been looking into buying a double bass but i've not got a huge amount of money just now. there's 2 at a music shop near me. one's a full size but it's 1 and a half grand, the other's only 400 pound but it's 1/4. does this mean it's a quarter of the size? or is it something to do with the fretboard? what i'm trying to find out is if i should get this one and learn on that or just save for the full size one, will it make any difference?
     
  2. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    1/4 size basses are designed for children. So unless you are a midget, under no circumstances should you consider anything other than the standard "3/4" bass. Or rather, a bass with a string length between 40-42".

    A 1/4 Bass is like a Viola on Steroids.
     
  3. stagger lee

    stagger lee

    Jul 11, 2004
    thanks for telling me that, i was very close to making that mistake. i suppose it wouldn't hurt to wait a few extra months for a full size double.
     
  4. Most DB's are 3/4 or 7/8....a full size is uncomfortably large for most people.
    And DB's have no frets, so they don't have a fretboard....they have fingerboards.
    Gee, I haven't had to rag on anybody about that in a while. Sorry.
     
  5. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Ya know.. it could befun to try and hold it under your chin and play. Just tell people you are a bass violinist. ;)
     
  6. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    A 1/4 bass isn't as small as some people think. It is a bit bigger than a cello. It generally isn't worth bothering with these instruments as they are made for children. They won't have as deep a tone, and are generally quiet.
     
  7. greene

    greene

    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    my 1/4 size bass
     

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  8. Judith Horsley

    Judith Horsley

    Jan 17, 2008
    Interested in your 1/4 bass.
    How is the sound and tone? And how much are you asking?
    Thank you, Judith 603 654-6640
     
  9. I think it's ignorant to dismiss the smaller basses, especially when they are handmade instruments! I've played a handful that were quite well made and produced great tone! Solo playing is a breeze, the weight is less, easier to transport; I feel that the smaller double bass is a very viable option, if well made. Even in an orchestral setting, I feel the smaller instruments have something to offer, and that it's not neccesary to build the huge instruments we often find to be tone monsters.
     
  10. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, it's a matter of physics. Those small cavities are simply not going to allow for the generation and propagation with sufficient sound pressure levels of the low fundamental frequencies that define the double bass. So, yes, it is necessary to build the large (not huge) instruments most of us play. That's the way it's been for hundreds of years. It won't change. Now, if you are interested in specialized solo playing, there is, of course, a history of use of smaller instruments-- but in an orchestra setting? Not a chance-- unless one doesn't care to contribute much to the section. Sure, 1/4 size basses are lighter and easier to transport. That would also be true for an electric upright and a small amp. The best advice we can give the OP is to stay away from 1/4 size basses.