1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

1/4 Size Upright as a Credible, Gigging Instrument -- Evidence

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by PauFerro, Nov 13, 2017 at 9:46 AM.


Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Everyone -- I posted a thread a while ago when I asked for advice as I transitioned from electric bass to upright bass. I took the advice to buy a quality instrument, and get some lessons. But against most advice, decided to buy a 1/4 size rather than a 3/4 size. This was because people said it would take 2-10 years to get gig-ready with a 3/4, if I make it at all. I am also older, have a big gut, small hands, and wanted to gig as fast as possible in the jazz genre. I knew I could gig on a 1/4 size almost immediately after playing all sizes in a store.

    So I bought the 1/4 size Ametto for $1600, and since then, after about 6 weeks of pain (hands feeling like anvils, sore shoulders, etcetera) started gradually lengthening the time I can play upright at gigs. Now, 11 months later, I gig all the time with it and have done 3 hours of jazz with it.

    And two days ago, I did a theatre gig as a side man. People paid $25 each to come and see us. It was all about a singer and I did slow Motown, show tunes, 3 jazz tunes (All of Me, My Funny Valentine and Summertime), and most of the 1.5 hour show on upright. About 70% I would say. I got paid five times what I normally get paid after receiving a $200 tip from the singer who hired me. We got two standing ovations (Matinee and main show). Theater Director wants us back again. None of the musicians I play with, not one, complained about the scale of the instrument. Not one. in fact, I get complements on my tone and surprise at how loud I've been able to make it. See the attached program, pictures and musician bios to see their background.

    In the past, there have been naysayers here on Talk Bass who said they didn't believe this was possible. Or that I wasn't telling the truth. Below is the program, with bios of the musicians and a picture of my bass on stage. Someone is supposed to be getting a video together, so I will see if I can post it should it materialize.

    I wanted to give proof that the 1/4 size instrument is in fact a feasible instrument for regional, semi to pro work. For me, the theater gig I landed, the amount I was paid, the $200 tip, and the reaction of all the highly experienced musicians I play with is evidence.

    (Note: I am not saying I am a virtuoso, but I am credible for jazz and other gigs. For this gig, I did not have to bow or use the upper register, which are the frontiers I will work on next, now that the upright is firmly in my repertoire.)

    FYI.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017 at 10:06 AM
    Mrmatt1972 likes this.
  2. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    This basically trolling at this point and this is not proof. It is also not different than your other thread. Video or audio.
     
  3. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I've seen bigger waves in the toilet bowl.
     
  4. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States

    SYD -- not a very becoming comment for you - stooping to potty humor and sarcasm over this. You guys wanted evidence, so I gave it. You can persist in being closed minded if you want, but the facts remain. It worked in my case. With your comment above, you've crossed the line from reasoned discussion to blatant, closed-minded disrespect in your use of feces to make your point.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017 at 10:43 AM
  5. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    No one appreciates a good North Shore reference anymore.
     
    Mike Martin likes this.
  6. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    @damonsmith, so, you're going to continue to practice denial and take the easy way out by falling back on the age old "troll" moniker . Just think how ridiciulous your accusation is here -- what lengths I would have had to go to -- if what you say it true, then I fabricated an entire program, invented bios or ripped them off, faked a picture, etcetera. All in the name of trolling.

    The fact is Damonsmith -- you've got a tradition you just can't let go of. And you can't open your mind to other possiblities. If you weren't caged by such closed mindedness, you'd be asking sincere questions rather than throwing down the gauntlet.

    It's posts like yours --with the all too easy accusation of "trolling" when someone disagrees with you -- that make me want to invest the time in continuing this upward spiral of success I've been having so far rather than chasing a video or audio clip to convince you when you clearly aren't open to being convinced.

    When I am able to get the video or audio from the guy that did it, and it proves to be true, then how are you going to feel? Or are you going to level the accusation that it wasn't me??? Or that the bass was actually 3/4?

    @damonsmith and @sevenyearsdown -- have you ever played a 1/4 with a band of accomplished musicians with appropriate amplification, and learned their reaction?? And found the musicians have rejected you as a musician over the size of your instrument? If so -- prove it. If not, considering opening your mind up a little and facing the facts I've presented here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017 at 2:08 PM
  7. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    It is music, dude. Until we hear it, there is no proof. There are all kinds of reasons people play shows and lots of those reasons don't even need the bass played well or in tune.
    Audio will confirm or deny claims you have made.
     
  8. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I disagree. I'd have to be lying up a storm, yet you refuse to even budge a bit. But my prognosis of a fair reaction to the facts isn't hopeful to the point I question if it's even worth it. This is what I expect....

    a) Straw man arguments -- claiming I said I was Ray Brown and and can play anything with perfect intonation anywhere on the neck in three months like SYD said in another thread -- So you can knock it down -- I never said that.

    b) Insults, sarcasm and continued accusations of trolling.

    c) Basic closedmindedness or arrogance about the situation as continued denial.

    d) Acknowledging I can play it well enough, and that it sounds OK, but that I never did it in a professional situation at professional rates of pay.

    e) pointing out technique or other issues, without acknowledging my point -- that you gig, earn money, and garner the support of other musicians with a 1/4 size.

    The fact is, I think bassists like you have shown a lot of discipline and work to get competent on probably the hardest stringed instrument there is out there. For that you deserve to be commended. But as a result, you don't like the fact that others have taken a faster path to getting started. And that's the root of your resistance to my story.

    The fact is, you've never tried it in a professional/semi-professional setting. So you can't speak authoritatively about the 1/4 size.

    And remember, at one time the majority of the people on this earth believed the earth was flat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017 at 2:07 PM
  9. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    The root of resitance is that no short cut has worked so far and yours is just a lot of internet bluster until we have audio.
     
  10. Seanto

    Seanto

    Dec 29, 2005
    RVA
    Lol, just shoot me now.
     
    sevenyearsdown likes this.
  11. Seanto

    Seanto

    Dec 29, 2005
    RVA
    And now PF is digging up zombie threads on the subject. This is ridiculous, but i do find it entertaining at the same time.

    I think i can sum this up in two words, "Napoleon Complex." All makes sense now.
     
    ColdEye, Lee Moses and sevenyearsdown like this.
  12. And down the rabbit hole we go again. If a thing works for me, no matter how unorthodox it might be, all that matters is that it works for me. I'm not trying to convert anybody. And to paraphrase my grade eight school guidance counselor: To my friends, I am what I am. As to the others, I don't give a damn.

    This is an issue only if by some impossible odds PF and DS find themselves in the same ensemble. In which case, they can settle it.
     
  13. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    My program is evidence. we aren't assessing audio -- it's whether the instrument, and how I played it, was good enough to convince pro players to hire me -- and again and again. And for that, you'll need affidavits from musicians and bank statements from me if you want that kind of "evidence".

    I don't consider it a short cut -- I consider it picking an instrument that fits me to the point I could learn efficiently.
     
  14. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    The good news is that ain't gonna happen.
     
  15. damonsmith

    damonsmith

    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    If it actually worked for him he would provide audio or more likely just not care what we think. Rather than hide behind a keyboard with no examples and try to present it as workable solution or as in this case some sort of "I told you so!".
    The reams of justifying posts in multiple threads of something that has never worked for anyone before are really just trolling at this point.
     
  16. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    The fact that you can't say with any authority you've played a 1/4 size with other musicians, and the fact that so few other people seem to have taken the risk I have in buying one is likely the reason no one thinks it works.

    And based on the consistent content of your posts, I have no confidence you'd even give an audio a fair shake. You've made up your mind Damonsmith. And your attitude doesn't exactly make me want to call the band and do a recording just to convince you when your mind is already made up. Particularly since you refuse to even acknowledge the evidence I put forward so far. And also seem to want to ascribe impure motives. Why bother Damonsmith? I think the advice not to bother with your opinion is best.

    I will say this -- i'd like to see wider acceptance of ideas here. Basically, the same unfounded reasons prevailed in the electric bass world for short scale instruments for years, but now, such instruments seem to have gained acceptance. My belief is the time will come when that same closed mindedness toward 1/4 and 1/2 sizes will depart from the upright bass community.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017 at 3:48 PM
  17. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Have you ever met one of those know-nothing, know-it-all types? You know....like a guy (or gal) who has never picked up a wrench, changed their own oil or even a tire. Yet they'll walk into an engine shop, and tell the mechanic who's been buried under hoods for 20 years what they should be doing. That's what this reminds of. Many a lol to be had at this point!

    Also some dudes just like arguing on the internet. See the above paragraph.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 9:57 AM
  18. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    A year ago -- yes. Now, no.

    Now, I actually did it. I CAN speak with authority. Your post above shows a kind of arrogance that is at the root of this disagreement. The fact that you refuse to acknowledge, without some kind of affidavit, that I landed a $500 theater gig for my work on upright, as well as landed a hefty gigging schedule due to the ease of playing a 1/4 size is testament of that. You refuse to believe anything that contradicts your position. And that, I take exception to. I gave you the program for our theater gig that gives the bios of the musicians I play with and for some reason, you won't accept that.

    And for me, it's not the recording that matters -- that is simply an opportunity for you to say "see, 3/4 has better volume and projection, and tone". Which for me, is not the issue here -- the issue is that the people who put their money down can't tell the difference, and they hire me again and again. The instrument is credible to the people who write the checks and who I perform with -- all of the. Every single one.

    It got me gigging and soloing on an upright with only two months of concerned practice. Granted, it's pizz, jazz, and lower register, but it worked. I have a long way to go, but the proof is in the reality of the performances, pay, and repeat bookings. Your only defense to that statement is accusation of hyberbole and bluster. Shame on you for stooping so low.

    No one can take that away. It's a fact.

    I could level the same argument for you -- you're the guy whose never played a 1/4 quarter with the right amplification with a group of pro and semi-prof musicians in wedding, corporate, festival and theatre gigs. You walk into the 1/4 shop and tell everyone they've got it wrong. When they show you the handiwork, and describe the history of paying, happy, repeat customers you say the involces are fake.

    Time to wake up and smell the coffee SYD.
     
  19. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I'm a fair guy, but this [expletive deleted] heat is making me absolutely crazy.
     
  20. PauFerro

    PauFerro

    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    You and me both. I think it's time to leave this alone. My goals are different than yours. I judge success differently. You seem to not want to acknowledge what I know are hard, cold facts about my pay, gigs, and affirmation from non-bass players locally, and good ones too. I find that frustrating, and I don't think I can add more to this conversation.

    I will see if I can get a recording or video together, although I do have concerns that you, Damonsmith, and others who seem not to want to recognize the virtues of the instrument will not give a fair hearing.

    You will use it to entrench your position, picking those aspects that shore up your opinion, rather than seeing the overall merits. The fact that you won't take my experiences at face value, classifying them as "internet bluster" or "hyperbole" is a case in point.

    And I also think you will make it all about differences betweeen 1/4 size and 3/4 size tone and volume, or my personal technique (when I've already acknowledged I'm not a virtuoso), than about what I consider to be success.

    And I consider success as paying gigs with musicians who consider me one of their peers musically. I can't prove that other than to bring them face to face to you, and of course, that isn't practical or even worth the triumph.

    The other thing that baffles me is the reactions of two other upright players I work with in town. They both sub for me when I'm not available. One offerred to have me over to share ideas and show me bowing technique on the 1/4. I asked if that 1/4 was an issue, and he said "No". And the other guy, who subs for me told me he hated carting his 3/4 around, so he bought a 1/2 size so it was easier on him. He had no issues with smaller sized instruments either. The music teacher, a guy with a degree in music didn't care. He saw it as a transition instrument and that if it fit my goals, do it!

    I come here and there is nothing but vitriol and denial of my experiences from some people.

    So I think it's time to leave it alone. I am sure that if we were in real life we might discuss this better. I hope you see that I think the 3/4 is louder, probably sounds better unamplified, has more respect among existing upright players (at least here, but not locally), and is better for the musicians who must fly around the world and use a rented bass. But that's not what I need right now. I needed something that would get me out gigging and practicing and playing and loving the instrument. I needed something that would let me take the first step into this new world. Something that would make me feel excited to practice. And I achieved that goal with the 1/4. With my needs and situation, the 1/4 was the right choice. And it worked.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 12:01 PM



Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.