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Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by chimp, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. chimp


    Dec 4, 2004
    South Africa
    i have been playing double bass for more or less 6 months so am still pretty new to this side of the low end, but i was wondering are there differences in a jazz double bass and a classical double bass? im pretty sure there isnt and this is a stupid question but its kinda been bugging me.

    perhaps the basses are just set up differently?
  2. Well, CHEETAH, I guess you just pretty well answered your own question.
    A bass is a bass is a bass ( excluding BSO´s ) no matter what kind of music you play with it. Different players use different setups for different styles of music. So it´s a setup thang.

    The guys who started making double basses did not know about jazz...they just made an instrument for music that was popular in their era. A string family instrument which was primarily meant for arco.
    I wonder if it would look different if it was invented last week for playing pizzicato in a jazz band.... :smug:

  3. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN

    Isn't that what the flat fingerboard EUB's are for :D
    (no arco needed)
  4. cabin dweller

    cabin dweller Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    Ridgeland, WI
    You haven't played nothin' ontill you've played the spitter bass fiddle! It's our house bass at are cabin called the "Rotten spitter" Some day I'll post some pictures of it. Everybody will get a good laugh from it.

    cabin dweller
  5. Well, I might just be so. Because there already were chairs around, eventually someone had to come up with an electric chair. And because there already were Basses around, somebody showed up with an electric bass. It´s the curse of our modern times...

  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I have found the difference between a jazz db and a classical db to start at about $10K and go up from there. :)
  7. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Those were my thoughts exactly! Also, I believe classical basses may smell a little better than jazz basses. Both of which smell WAY better than blues or rockabilly basses. :p
  8. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Although setup is definitely an issue, there are definitely some basses that sound better for pizz and others arco and that is something to think about. More often it seems that some basses that sound OK pizz don't sound all the great for arco.
  9. Ben Joella

    Ben Joella Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL
    I couldn't agree more. I just had that experience with a bass that passed throught my hands. It sounds terrible with a bow, but it thumps and growls when played pizz.

    However, setup still may be the key. I imagine you could tweak a bass in either direction with the right setup.
  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I Never had a Bass in my hands that could not be set-up for Pizz or Jazz... That's the easiest thing to do. A dark smooth sounding Italian Bass can get some good Jazz type strings on it and maybe not bow as well but will Pizz good. Just a little darker sounding than the average affordable Jazz players Bass.

    Now, not all Basses are good enough to Bow smoothly and evenly. Period! Doesn't matter about the set-up. Some Basses will never be even and smooth with a Bow no matter what you do. That's why there is an extra '0' on the price of a good Orchestra Bass in comparison to a Jazz Bass, which BTW untill recently there was no such thing. Some Basses made before Jazz existed were not great Orchestra Basses and it was easier to sell it to a Jazz or Pop Player than to keep fixing what can't be fixed.

    Very often, Jazz Basses are down grades from Orchestra Basses that just don't do the Job.
  11. chimp


    Dec 4, 2004
    South Africa
    So there is the set up factor but it also comes down to some basses work better for different things.

    I know this isnt the EUB forum but its just a follow on from my previous question. with EUB's does it come down to electronics more than setup, when trying pizz or bowing? I think what im trying to ask is this; can you get the best of both (sound wise) from a few seconds of control fiddling?
  12. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I've had my hands on basses that weren't worth a penny for jazz, but bowed well. I had one rented for me in Taiwan while over there on tour. I put on a reasonably fresh set of Spirocores and the thing sounded like a school bass with Superflexible Red Labels on it. Sounded wonderful with the bow, however. I think I posted something about this at the time, which was last spring.