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D or Eb neck?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by 2manybass, Jan 1, 2012.


  1. 2manybass

    2manybass

    Oct 22, 2011
    Hello all!

    Im just beginning my Double Bass journey having played EB for several decades. I picked up a rental and began seeing a teacher last month. My first lesson was focused on using the bow. My second lesson was focused on 4th position. This is where the subject question arose.

    Is there an inherent advantage in having a D neck vs an Eb neck other than the intuitively simpler (to me) D neck? My rental is an Eb neck and it seems a little less convenient to have an Eb note right there at the joint rather than a D.

    I've been shopping around to purchase an instrument a bit nicer than my rental (vacillating between Thompson and Upton hybrids), and I'm leaning towards a D neck unless there's a compelling reason to go with the Eb. My teacher advocates the D neck, but I'm also interested in the informed opinions of the players on this forum.

    What do you think folks? Thanks in advance for your replies and opinions.

    Tom
     
  2. Will Yager

    Will Yager Supporting Member

    May 7, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    I've never thought of one being inherently better than the other. IMO, it's one of the many things about bass that come down to player preference.
     
  3. powerbass

    powerbass

    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    I have a Thompson Hybrid Eb neck. You get used to it with your fingering exercises.
     
  4. Whatever bass you have you'd get used to. My bass has Eb neck and I kind of like it as it makes more sense to me having an F at the end of the neck and a G only a whole tone away rather than having a E at the end and the G a semi tone + a whole tone away. But as I said its only matter of time to get use to whatever neck you get.
     
    Jiri Holec likes this.
  5. Matthijs

    Matthijs Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    Amsterdam
    I myself play a Eb neck. Don't know wich kind is more prevalent. There might be an advantage in going for the type that is more popular, maybe makes it easier to switch instruments.
     
  6. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2006
    UK
    Founder - Discover Double Bass
    I agree that it's personal preference. In my experience D necks are a lot more common. If you play different basses it makes it a better choice.
     
  7. pocketgroove

    pocketgroove

    Jun 28, 2010
    Detroit
    Okay, sorry to interject, but I've been dabbling in DB for a little while, and I've never heard anything about this. Can someone please explain the difference? Thanks a ton
     
  8. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Inactive

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    It has to do with physical reference on the bass. If you slide you hand up so that the knife edge (side with the pinky) hits the back of the neck and wrap your fingers arround it in normal playing position, if its a D neck, your pinky will be on a D. if its an Eb, and Eb.

    Some methods really want you to have a D neck for physical reference when learning their system. It makes sense, but if you practice every day on either style neck you should be fine.
     
  9. Goatrope

    Goatrope

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Thank you all for your replies!

    At this very early stage, my natural tendency is for my thumb to lay opposite my 1st finger, and to expect to find the D under that finger on the G string when my thumb finds the neck joint. I can definitely see the possibility in going either way with practice. At some point, whatever is practiced will result in muscle memory, and the issue becomes moot.

    With the little experience I have on the instrument, I was more concerned about some limitation in either direction. Now i feel a little more comfortable in selecting a bass within my budget, that plays well and has a pleasing sound, regardless of which neck.

    Thank you!

    Tom
     
  10. Goatrope

    Goatrope

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Holy smokes! I just realized I have two different IDs on this site. I must have registered twice and my phone doesn't know which is signed in. I guess I better fix that. :)
     
  11. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Either is fine. I played D neck for 30 years and got an Eb neck a few years ago. I now prefer the Eb for the accessibility to f on the g string. I find it difficult to switch between the basses, when playing in the higher register.
     
  12. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    To th OP. Do a search in this forum. The topic has been beaten to death many times. You'll find a ton of insights and info. The search function is your friend.

    D necks are more common especially among New basses.
     
  13. Goatrope

    Goatrope

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    I'm sure it has been beaten to death. I did try the search first and found nothing useful in the first several pages, so I asked here. Maybe if I spent more time wading through the results I would eventually find replies as helpful as those here. Then again, maybe not. I need to spend more time practicing and less in here. ;)



    Tom
     
  14. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Inactive

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Hey, im glad you asked the question! Dont let the Search Monster get you down.
     
  15. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    About to get my first DB.

    Does this refer to the note on the E string where the neck joint reaches the body?

    I've been doing a lot of research but this is a subject I haven't run across yet.

    Thanks
     
  16. Ross Kratter

    Ross Kratter Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    New York, NY
    Artist, RS Berkeley, La Bella Strings, Phil Jones Bass Amplification, Remic, 64 Audio
    My Kay has a D neck, my Eminence EUB has an Eb. If you have decent technique you can switch back and forth pretty easily. I have no preference of one versus the other.
     
    TomB likes this.
  17. Ross Kratter

    Ross Kratter Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    New York, NY
    Artist, RS Berkeley, La Bella Strings, Phil Jones Bass Amplification, Remic, 64 Audio
    G string
     
  18. Goatrope

    Goatrope

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    On the G string where the neck joins the body. On my rental bass it's an Eb.

    Tom
     
  19. Will Yager

    Will Yager Supporting Member

    May 7, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    No, it's on the G string.
     
  20. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Ah. Gotcha. (All three of ya:D) Thanks guys.
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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