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Double Bass --> Bass ???

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by madsky, Jun 4, 2001.

  1. madsky


    Apr 21, 2001
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Is it possible to play by learning double bass ? My school band has a double bass and wants me to play the big thing... I see it is fretless so if I study double bass will i be able to play normal bass or fretless bass? Will the fingering still be the same or different ? I'm currently intrested in playing double bass but also the normal bass but forced to play double bass...
  2. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    Double bass is a longer scale, 42" I believe (as always, I could be wrong). I would definately recommend taking it up if you could, I wish I would have back in the day instead of trombone (which has sat soberly in its case since the day I took up bass). The transition from upright to electric would be much easier than the other way around. You would learn lots of technique and gain hand strength playing upright, which would greatly improve your electric playing. I say go for it, larger scale and fretless will make a shorter scale and fretted (or fretless) easier to be successful in.

  3. Snowhunny007


    Jun 3, 2001
    hey- i started w/ double bass, and dropped it for 2 yrs before i decided to pick up the EB, which i just about a week ago. it helps alot in that the DB will require you to learn all of the note names and positions, scales, etc. but the technique is a lot different. i cant get over holding the EB horizontally, its very different in that respect. as far as the fretless vs having frets, the major difference is that the DB doesn't have a 3rd finger note, the progression is 1, 2, 4. But in EB, you use all 4 fingers w/ the frets. but the biggest advantage of eb is its size! the Db is huge! i wish u luck!
  4. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    i wouldn't use a german bow, if you start playing. IMO there is a lot more control while using a french bow. german bows are basically useless now because bow screws were invented. db takes a litle more hand strength, especially when playing above the first octave on a string. You may want to get a bass with low action (mine has huge action, really high) about 2.5-3 cm on the high g on the g string). while you are in low positions, you only use the 1,2, 4 fingers, so the space beween half-steps are a lot larger.
  5. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    Yeah, german bows are no good anymore. I played db for about 3 years in my school orchestra, but i quite to make room in my schedule, thats when i took up eb. Playin the db first makes learning the eb easier, and as mentioned before, you will have greater hand strength which comes in handy. although the fingerings and scale are much different on an eb than a db(i think dave is right, its around 42", im not sure though, i havent played db in a while now...).
  6. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
    The main difference between String Bass and Double bass is they have different tunings. The electring bass is tuned in 4ths, and I think the double bass is tuned in 5ths (I dunno, I don't play it).
  7. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    they are both tuned to fourths, and exactly the same.
  8. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    all you german bow haters can lick 'em. play whatever feels better to you - i found it was much easier for me to play with proper technique on german bow, even after playing french for 5 years.

    as for double bass - if you can learn how to play one and get time in on it without having to purchase one right now, DO IT. it is such a hard instrument to play that electric will seem easy after a while playing upright. also, being in orchestra forces you to learn how to read music, learn scales, have good fingering technique, etc.

    DO IT.

  9. dirk


    Apr 6, 2000
    Memphis, TN
    I only play electric bass and I play w/ the 1, 2 , 4 technique. I just don't use my ring finger very much. I also learned to play from a double bass player, so that is probably why. It really doesn't effect my technique too much.

  10. madsky


    Apr 21, 2001
    Bangkok, Thailand
    THanks for the reccomendations. :) My school band has one double bass... I'm finding a school to learn it rite now.. :D My band director says she'll let me play when I get into highschool [next year]... Since a senior is playing... [that senior went from electric bass to double bass] ... he said it was easy :)
  11. madsky


    Apr 21, 2001
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Sometimes when I play I get confused because of the change of treble clef to bass clef since I play Eb Saxophone... But I think I can read. :) And I understand the dynamics and stuff ... [sax 2 and a half years]
  12. John Ruiz

    John Ruiz

    Oct 9, 2000
    Plano, Tx
    I went from playing Double Bass all the way from elementary school to high school orchestra and the got an Electric and I was *instantly* better at electric than most people I knew. It is certainly a good idea and it gives you a ton of versatility to be able to play both. Also what I noticed is that by playing DB before EB I learned alot from the music I was playing (Bach, Vivaldi, Mauller Etc..) I t made me appreciate complex song structures more which makes my EB music much more interesting. plus you get training on key sigs, time sigs, scales, etc. that will place you at a great advantage to most people who just pick up a bass guitar. I couldn't recommend it more! HAVE FUN!!!

    BTW: When I first piced up a bass guitar I picked up a fretless, held it upright and played with my 1,2,4 fingers as well. The salesman looked at me funny, but oh well! :) It's easy after a short while to get used to the different technique!
  13. ]

    As a German bow user my question would be what the heck is a bow screw?
  14. FunkmastaJ


    Feb 1, 2001
    Seattle WA
    I played a db for a yr before taking up electric in addition. It helps a lot. You'll know how to read (which is more than most beginning electric bassists I know).
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Bows are a point of great contention and debate, and to play with german or french is a personal choice, much like playing electric bass with fingers, thumb or plectrum.

    Zip down to the DB Bows forum and make this statement. I dare you. ;)
  16. I was thinking the same thing, but the comment does have IMO in it so . . . let me quote a part of one of Don's that I pulled out of the Bow section of the DB side.
    Don't really think it could have been said better.
  17. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Whatever you do, don't let a DBer hear you say "normal bass" in that reference! :D I'd love to see the fireworks from that one!

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