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1/4 scale for me?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Barry Clark, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Barry Clark

    Barry Clark

    May 9, 2007

    Noob in need of help. What else is new right?

    I love the sound of upright and everyone I know is all about the 3/4 and some even 4/4 bass. Me? I followed that until I played an Englehardt 1/4 for a moment. I have always preferred the 'thump' to the 'boom' and it seems I get more of that from the 1/4 scale bass.

    What is the honest difference dimensionally between the 3/4 and the 1/4 as I know it isn't honestly 1/4 the size of a full.

    What might the difficulties be in a 6'-1" guy playing one regularly?
  2. mattfong


    Jan 14, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    The thump might just be because its a ply bass. My old ply was pretty thumpy, and it was a 3/4.

    Just a guess.
  3. moopants


    Oct 21, 2006
    Lake Charles, LA
    If you're 6' 1'', I'd say play a 3/4. I'm short (5' 8'') and I play a 3/4 with no problem. I have limited experience, but wouldn't a 1/4 bass be a lot quieter than a 3/4?
  4. ispider6


    Jan 30, 2005
    Maybe you should take up the cello? Interestingly, Percy Heath used to play the cello (tuned in 4ths) to change things up during a set. He could solo very well on it too!
  5. mattfong


    Jan 14, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    I've seen a picture of Oscar Pettiford playing a cello too. I'd like to hear how it sounds in the jazz context, I'll bet its pretty neat.
  6. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    BC: Remember the the sound you hear is not the sound the audience hears. The player of the bass never hears it. The bulk of the sound comes from the bass top, and the sound waves are best heard 15+ feet away. I would recommend that you have a friend play the 1/4 and a 3/4 with you listening out front. Then you play, with the friend out front. Then consider what you want to do.
  7. Mr.Phil


    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    Check out Ray Brown's Jazz Cello album.
  8. Jed Kriegel

    Jed Kriegel Commercial User

    Oct 9, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    Bass Luthier in Boston
    Recently I heard a "1/16th" size bass. I can't imagine what it was a sixteenth of as it had a 36" string length. That thing sounded UNBELIEVABLE. Like an extra wooly cello. Pizz was less astounding, but arco totally blew me away. I am now a believer, and I encourage experimentation.

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