electric bass guitar vs double bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bassist_Ben, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. hey everyone,
    i am just wondering out of curiosity which instrument is easier, they're basically sort of the same but which one is harder? The bass guitar or the double bass? i think the double bass because its bigger and there are no frets! but yeah thatsjust my opinion i not sure if i am right! so yeah please some help here! lol thanks
  2. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    Anything is difficult if you don't practice.

    Both are very different instruments with different strengths. While there are some musical situations that could use either one, in most cases one is better suited than the other, either for reasons of sound, or tradition.

    If you play only one of them, your concept of what a bass can and should do will be affected by the instrument... and that's why there are some interesting discussions on these forums.

    The 'well dressed' bass player will play and understand both and use the one that is needed in the music that they are performing.
  3. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    I think DB might be more difficult to start with, but in the end they're different instruments with their own difficulties.
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    As someone who plays both, I can tell you right now that playing electric is infinitely easier. I have to leave now, but I'll see what I can do about putting a more detailed reply in around 10:30 or so.
  5. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Of course you can't make a direct comparison but DB is physically more work and takes more regular practice to maintain tone, projection and stamina.
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Any instrument can be as difficult to play as you are willing to push it. But, I do think, as someone who plays both regularly, that DB is, as mentioned, far more physically demanding if for no other reason than the size and stiffness of the instrument.

    Other issues are of course the fretless fingerboard, which the EBG also may have.

    If you add arco technique to the equation, you have a whole different story. It is no doubt the most challenging thing I have ever attempted musically.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree entirely with this - I have been playing bass guitar for 20 - 30 years and have been putting off DB as I knew it would make me a beginner again - you have to be really motivated and really want to do it - but the difficulty is way and above anything I found on Bass guitar ...

    If anybody tells you otherwise, I'd check their intonation...with a bow!! ;)
  8. bassjus


    Mar 30, 2004
    I have recently started learning DB, the physical aspect of it makes it pretty tough, but the thing I have the most trouble with is bowing.
  9. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I've been playing DB for a few months now, started in Sept. I'm somewhat decent now, as I switched over from viola and my theory's decent (hooray for Piano!)

    I've also been playing the Electrib Bass for about a year now.

    The two are different beasts - I wouldn't recommend which is easier, but I'd almost say Electric...
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    As a doubler, I can assure you that DB is much more difficult. No question at all.
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I agree wholeheartedly with this.

    However, there's many more things you can do on an electric, but I still find a double bass much more expressive and a much sweeter sound.
  12. I identify most with this. There are many differences in the mechanics of the instruments, so there is never going to be a 100% answer. However, there is a 99.9% answer that double bass is more difficult to pick up. *edit* A way that someone could find DB to be easier could soley rely on the fact that the vertical way a DB is played is more natural to human motion than the horizontal motion of BG, but that's just my opinion. (I mean, if you are shaking up a can of pop/soda, it would be silly to shake it side to side. One would naturally shake it up and down...but that's a different tangent).

    Right now I identify myself as having a mastery of the basics of both instruments, but I am more heavily skilled in the double bass. Now, with that in mind, I find the bass guitar more difficult to play than the double bass, even though I am experienced in both just because of instumental preference.
  13. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Double bass is wicked easy. Usually the violin guy is like, "hey, you drunk, come play this thing" and thats how 99% of all the double bass people are formed. Sometime they find those guys near the cash for using you as medical dart board clinics, you know the ones where they grow ears on your ass? I once saw a chicken play a double bass, it was ridiculous.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Someone's been in the eggnog again.
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

  16. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Double bass > Electric Bass

    In terms of pure sound and pure playing. But I could never envision myself as a strictly DB dude.... but then again, due to financial reasons, I'm not a DB dude at all. :( ;)
  17. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan