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Double bass newbie?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by motherfunker, May 22, 2002.

  1. motherfunker


    Apr 29, 2002
    New York
    i was wondering how hard it is to learn to play Double Bass when you only know how to play Electric bass. :confused:
    Help would be appreciated.
  2. Let me be the first to respond. How hard is it? Not hard at all. It's really funking easy. As long as you work at it just as hard as you did on your funking electric. Same funking tuning, bigger funking scale, no funking frets, different set of funking muscles. Just go for it. Seriously, just do it.
  3. Get a good teacher
  4. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Well, it's a very different instrument, so it is going to be tough at first.

    I played some DB in high school, and the main challenges I had to overcome were:

    1) lack of frets and longer scale length, i.e., playing in tune;
    2) the physical challenge. DB requires a LOT more hand strength, especially for a short guy like me;
    3) bowing is also a whole new ball game.

    As for how hard it actually is, well, that's a difficult question to answer. It can definitely be more frustrating than BG, but don't give up!
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    All good advice, but I'd have to take exception to the "hand strength" part. When you're playing with good L.H. technique on DB, hand strength has very little to do what's going on...it's more about what your whole arm, shoulder, back, and torso are doing. I'm doing the opposite lately - playing some plank on gigs in my original jazz group, and it's killing my hands when I first pick it up. I guess it's all about what your body is used to.
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I agree, and I think it's one of the reasons that DB is so addictive. When you start out, you probably apply some of the rules of BG to the instrument, and end up frustrated, because those rules don't work anymore. Then, if you stick with it long enough, you start to unlock the physical aspects of playing DB, and your sound starts to improve. There's something really visceral and satisfying about getting your whole body into the instrument, with your hands in synch with each other. At that point, I actually feel less tension in my hands than on BG.
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