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Can you learn upright on an EUB???

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by ceeprm, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. ceeprm


    Jul 15, 2002
    Edinburgh Scotland
    I'm just about to place an order for an EUB bass from a builder in the UK (www.shukerguitars.co.uk) and since I don't play upright was wondering that if I learnt to play this bass (which is standard 41" scale) how much re-adjustment with regards to playing would be required to play an acoustic if I needed to?? Is it not very realistic to think that if I can play an EUB I could play acoustic??
    No "just get an acoustic bass" comments please cos I've got definate reasons as to why want an electric....
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Some things you'll be able to learn, like getting used to the string length (41" is on the shorter side, on average) and the vertical nature of the beast. The day when you go to the big fiddle for real you're going to still have a lot to learn as far as sound production and the like.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Why worry about acoustic Double Bass at all, if you have definite reasons for getting an electric bass?
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Looking at the pictures on that page - the neck seems a lot slimmer and flatter than a real DB - which could be another problem, moving from that to the real thing.


    I would be inclined to treat this as a different instrument in its own right and not as a Double Bass.
  5. ceeprm


    Jul 15, 2002
    Edinburgh Scotland
    Cos Im sitting in work and I'm bored- and if I ever have about £5K to spend on a bass i would consider getting a nice acoustic (seems you have to spend that much).
    The one I want wont look like that- it will sit on a stand like the NS and I've got the option of that fingerboard or a more curved (bowable) one....
  6. I had a student a few years ago who used an EUB. Like DoeRay Mifasoul said, you'll be able to learn the vertical nature of the fingerboard.
    You'll also be able to learn basic pizz technique, how to position your hand and pull the string, but getting a sound out of an acoustic instrument will require more than that. Also, playing an eub feels nothing like trying to get around the real thing.
  7. ceeprm


    Jul 15, 2002
    Edinburgh Scotland
    Thats basically what I thought- I would definately like to get into proper upright in the future but its not practical or financially viable at the moment so if I get to grips with the EUB I'll be one step closer to becoming upright bass master.....
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    you can get a decent plywood bass for less than you can buy one of them canoe paddles.

    EUB is nothing like Casa De Fido.
  9. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I'm with Pacman; if your aim is to get a DB eventually, you might as well just get one. Decent EUBs like the Azolas, NS Design, etc., cost as much as a good entry level DB. And you'll need to drag along some kind of amp.
    One possibility; I have an Azola Bugbass that sits idle for months at a time, and only gets put to use when I tour. I've loaned it to people who wanted to get their feet wet. Maybe you could find someone nearby who's in the same position.
    I guess a few people have used the EUB as a bridge to DB, but it's really a different beast.
  10. ceeprm


    Jul 15, 2002
    Edinburgh Scotland
    My reasoning for wanting an EUB is for live use- ie something that will plug in an sound good with no problems. The stuff that I'l be playing is hip-hop/drum'n'bass stuff (not exactly trad jazz) so I'l be wanting a lot of bass from my sound. There is currently one guy in Edinburgh who plays an NS and when I see them play live I'm always impressed how good he sounds. On the contrary to that there is another guy who plays acoustic upright in a few jazz bands and I recently saw him play some funk stuff where a much greater volume was required and he just wasn't getting the sound required- one case I know but I constantly hear of how difficult it is to get a good DB sound in high volume situations. Also as I live in Edinburgh DB shops arn't that plentiful and the best I could do for an acoustic would be £1000's worth of Chiniese ****e.(no disrespect to the Chinese). If anyone knows where I could get the sound Im looking for from an acoustic for around £1000 then I might buy them a pint.....
  11. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I agree with everyone else who's posted - getting a decent-sounding acoustic will probably cost you less money than a decent EUB.

    It really depends on the sound YOU want. Volume questions aside for the moment, which sound do you prefer? Electric or acoustic?
  12. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i had been playing upright for a long time before i played an EUB.

    I think as do most everyone else here that you can learn some things on it. as Ray mentioned dynamics and bowing will probably need readjustment.

    I have a pretty nice upright, and i bought a NS 5 string. The thing that disoriented me about the NS is the lack of heel block; i had no point of reference for hand position. I got over that.

    I still prefer "Casa di Fido" (john that is great !)

    but the NS or any other EUB still has a usefull place in my family.
    Actually, i've had a few leaders that asked me to use the NS instead of acoustic; i think more out of wanting to look the part more than sound the part - i disagreed but they were paying me.
  13. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Sorry- misunderstood your intent. If you're looking to start playing something upright in a live situation ASAP, there's a ton of affordable EUBs out there. Many of them are basically fretless bass guitars tipped up on end. An example of this would be the KYDD bass, and what's the other one? Carruthers? The string length is shorter, and you could probably approximate some DB effects on them. Arco is another matter entirely. (All Hail!) Bob Gollihur's site has links to a whole bunch of 'em.
    That said, I've played my DB at live volumes equal to or surpassing that of my popsicle stick. The stage volume remains the same, and it's all basically in the PA at that point. I've done this with jazz, trip hop, acid -whatever, makes no difference if you're friendly with the sound guy.
  14. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    yeah, if the place has a good p.a. one can keep a reasonable volume on stage (so as not to cause the acoustic bass to feedback or start sounding ****ty as it's getting there) from their own rig, while sending a signal to the board to get an abundance of volume out front. that's what i do on my rock gigs. if i try to carry the room with my rig up on stage, i have to turn up too loud and end up either feeding back or having an undesirable tone.

    honestly, for loud sitchyations where you're playing modern stuff to begin with, i think an eub will frequently a)sound better and b)cause fewer problems. you can get louder and bassier with them without feedback, and still get a tone that (depending on your gear) can sound like a good amplified db.

    that being said, though, i'm still playing db in the rock band. i don't need one more axe, and the thing is more versatile than an eub, for my money.

    sean p
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    You'd think so wouldn't you? But as I documented around here - I searched for a decent DB for about 2 years and couldn't get anything at all!!

    There are very few shops in the UK that sell DBs and even less that have any in stock !!! ;)

    I believe from what people told me that the situation is different in the US and Canada?

    So - the basses fell into 2 distinct categories - those that were cheap at about £1200 - I tried some of these and couldn't get anything out of them, in terms of any usable sound - didn't think they looked very good or were well-constructed - i.e. likely to last any time!

    To get anything better, you went to the next category - but these started at about £5,000 - way beyond my budget!! And there is nothing in between - believe me I searched!!

    Contrast this with buying an NS EUB - the Bass Centre in London were able to get me numerous examples to play - piezo only/magnetic, 4 or 5 string.

    Plus - they were about £1700 - £2,000 and what's more I could pay by interest-free credit - bingo!! Whereas the DB sellers wanted all the money - cash on the nail!!

    Already I am sold - but the real clincher is that the NS basses sound great and I can play stuff within about 20 minutes of acquaintance!! I have used mine at many Jazz jams and alway get compliments on how great it sounds!!

    I still haven't seen a decent DB for sale at less than £5,000.......:(
  16. ceeprm


    Jul 15, 2002
    Edinburgh Scotland
    Thats what Ive found- was talking to Laurance from Overwater a while back and he wanted a good DB so much that he sold all his EB's and went and spent about £5000 on a decent one. The only option would probably be to get one made- and then I'd need a decent mic/pickup system which I'm guessing dosn't come cheap...
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's the sort of choice I was looking at - an EUB that sounds great and which I can afford - or a DB that is way beyond my means and which will be difficult to amplify in my big band - 13/14 people!!
  18. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I suppose it must be... the situation I experienced seems to be the complete opposite of yours.

    I am now renting an $1800 Knisch plywood (which I probably will want to buy at some point) which is pretty good for the price. It has some playability issues, but sound-wise it beats most in that price range that I've heard.

    By contrast, the cheapest EUB I have been able to uncover is the Azola BugBass at $2200 or so (and that is the bare-bones version). An NS here costs close to $3K. Plus, those instruments are not in stock at certain stores - meaning if you wanna try 'em, you have to buy 'em.

    I have seen what appear to be some great deals at (All Hail!) Bob Gollihur's site and elsewhere, but the US/Canadian exchange rate, Customs fees and taxes kill the possibility of saving any money.
  19. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Sitting here in Winnipeg, Canada, I can relate to how hard it can be to find a DB in Edinburgh. The public schools don't have string programs anymore, so there are zero rentals available. Still, it's one of those things where if you're bound and determined, you can make something happen. I came real close to driving 800 miles west to Calgary to look at an old Czech plywood bass I scoured out via the net (looking in the next biggest cities; Minneapolis appeared to suck when net-scoured for basses) . The very morning I was getting ready to leave, one of my local dealers (John at Sleddog Music; good guy, John) called me up with "something special". It weren't so special, but I didn't make the drive.

    I've learned a lot of bass luthiery since then, let me tell you!

    If you're sitting in a densely populated part of the world, you may not be able to relate to how exotic a DB is in a rock 'n roll world. In Winnipeg, it would have been easier to learn oom-pah on the tuba.

    I wanna know: how the h*ll can you play FUNK on a DB? I've never heard anybody do it. Earthy, dirty, lascivious, sure, but you can't be Bootsy on the DB. Maybe I'll be shot down in flames, but I say it can't be done. If that's what you're after, go for the EUB. It will sound mostly like a electric bass guitar, and the action will let you get into that funky hammering and pulling. That sh*t don't flush on the DB.
  20. ceeprm


    Jul 15, 2002
    Edinburgh Scotland
    Who says you have to be Bootsy to play the funk?? You probably couldn't be Bootsy even on an EB.... If someone can play the funk then they will do so whatever instrument they play tuba bagpipes etc (well maybe exception of the last one!) Ray Brown and Christian McBride definately have their funky moments........

    An EUB played correctly will sound a lot more like an DB than a bass guitar especially through a PA as I seen on many occasions...........