electric player looking into upright

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by top028, Aug 17, 2001.

  1. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    I am looking into taking lessons at the local academy. They teach classical doublebass from the beginer level. I want to know what to look for in buying a doublebass. My heart lies in jazz, however I have heard that plywood basses are better for jazz, and solid wood basses are better for classical. Also I live in the sticks of lancaster County PA, and have no clue where to go about getting a good deal on a bass. Hopefully I could get one for around $1k. is there some where I could look in the philly area, or online?
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I've never heard anything about plywood being better for jazz than carved basses, but if you can only afford $1K you'll probably be looking primarily at plywood instruments anyway. There's a great thread written by reedo35 about entiltled, "How to Buy a Double Bass" or something similar, you might try to do a search for it, because it contains answers to a lot of questions you'll be asking as you shop. Some of my earliest threads here were on the subject of shopping for DB's...I'm not sure whether you'd want to read them (they might give you nightmares), but I CAN tell you that I found the regulars here at TB to be not only extremely helpful but damn near invaluable - and as a result I ended up with a real gem of a bass for under $4K.

    Also, David Kaczorowski - who plays both legit and jazz - lives in Philly and could probably give you the lowdown on Bass Shops/Luthiers in the area.

    Good luck.

  3. Ply being better than carved for anything is a fallacy. You won't really get much for $1k; just plywood basses that are unplayable and actually delaminate. Plan on spending at least $1500.

    Don't bother coming to Philly. There's absolutely nothing here. There's a great bass shop right in your backyard in Elizabethtown, PA; Shank's Strings. www.shankstrings.com Mike Shank is very knowledgeable, friendly, and fair, and specializes in doublebasses. I suggest you call to make an appointment in advance of visiting.

    The next nearest bass shops that I can recommend are in New York.
  4. Dont forget to read the "how much did you spend for your upright" thread. If you are patient and willing to knock on doors, you can make your 1k go a little farther. Also play as many basses as you can...even the $40,000 ones. Though you might not purchase such a bass, it will put that "sound" in your head and start a life long journey of developing your tone.
  5. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    thanks guys...I appreciate the replys I will check this stuff out
  6. I will reiterate what David said...Shank's is supposed to be excellent. I just started with a really good teacher (Victor Dvoskin) at Towson University near Baltimore...first semester of Jazz/Commercial, where we must double on DB...He recommended Shank's very highly.