Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by unclebass, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Sorry if wrong forum, but I figured double bass players might know better than bass guitar players about this. I play bass guitar, and am currently trying to learn the viola as a stepping stone to the cello and ultimately double bass. I have a borrowed viola, but know nothing about cello brands and what might be decent for a very low price. I want something that will have the best possible sound for the least $$, preferably under $400. I want something that I could get my money out of if I find that it's not my cup of tea. Are there any low end student models out there, or on ebay that are worth purchasing?
  2. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    As someone who moved from electric bass to upright bass I can tell you that there are no stepping stones. If you want to play UB, get an UB. Cello technique is very different from UB. Viola is even more different.

    Giving your price range, renting may be your best option.
  3. I wouldn't call upright bass technique extremely different from cello, especially if you use a French bow. There are differences I have noticed, such as preferring the 4th finger + lots of shifts. However, the mechanics of playing are still pretty similar, both use thumb position, etc. Viola is definitely a departure from cello, though, due to the inverted instrument and due to the violin bow grip.

    That said, there's no point in stepping up if you want to play double bass. You're just distracting from your final goal. That would be like starting on guitar before you move to electric bass - sure, it might have its merits, but it's not necessary at all. Physically, the way you'll step up is by limiting how much you play at first until you build up strength and endurance.
  4. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Cello is tuned in 5ths?
    Double bas CAN be tuned in 5ths but I think its safe to say the majority of upright players use orchestra tuning (EADG) most of the time.
  5. I want to eventually be able to play all of these instruments. Learning viola now because it is borrowed, so it is costing me nothing. Cello takes more space to store than bass guitar, but would likely be able to find a place to keep it. Upright bass would likely be many years down the road. Right now, I find that I am easier able to play viola with it standing upright like a cello than under my chin. I find it difficult to get my left hand to fret strings, feels unnaturally twisted.
  6. byrdzeye


    Mar 28, 2013
    Toronto, ON
    I played cello in 5th and 6th grades, and it had a very positive effect on learning the electric bass, as I already had learned to use all 4 fingers on the left hand. However, other than the form of the grip, that where it ends with the upright, as you need to shift positions more ofter since you can't use the 3rd finger on UB. I vote to just go for it on the upright and not waste time and resorses on the cello unless that is the instrument you want to learn.
  7. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    $400 is going to be tough. Entry level plywoods cost twice that-ish. If you want to hold to that number, you could head on down to your local violin shop, someone with a big rental pool. Tell them you want to take one of their battle-worn but still healthy rental cellos off their hands. You might get down to that four bills that way.
  8. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I'm not a fan of Kay cellos. For $600ish you could try a cello without bow or case from SouthWest Strings or Shar. A phone to the nearest public school orchestra teacher may also be worth it. You never know if they have a (former) student looking to sell or even a beater school instrument that they want to upgrade and get a few dollars for.
  9. SuperMo


    Dec 30, 2013
    well, im a Cellist and a bass guitarist, if you are trying to play viola to prepare for cello, then i dont think that will help you that much, especially if done quickly, the techniques will be different enough to annoy you after being used to do them on the viola, let aside intonation, if you are learning viola just to start a way to cello later, i would suggest moving to cello already, i remember my friend who played some violin, he was use to the bow hold of the violin, it was harder to teach him the cello bow hold since he was used to the violin one. but if you like the viola too, i would suggest giving it more time, and maybe try to get more money while doing that for a better cello, because honestly, i did the same mistake and bought a very cheep cello for 300 hundred dollars, and it was always troublesome, setting it up, added a better bridge and expensive strings, and still sounded bad, and when your instrument sounds bad and hard as **** to play, it really brings your progress down and frustrates you, and cello is a long journey im sure you dont want that, so if you want a cello, i suggest finding someone who knows about them to help choose and TEST the cello, and go for used ones if you are on low a budget, but of course test it. and one more thing i played other instruments, and found out that bass guitar and cello fit my hands the most, im comfortable with playing them both, hope that helped.