electric to standup.......

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    i was offered a gig the other day and the person requested that i play a standup as opposed to electric bass. i told her that would be impossible since i've never played one (well, fiddled with one for about 15 minutes once).

    i can still do the gig on electric bass, but now i'm wonderin????? i know someone who would lend me a standup for a while. how much of a transition is there between the 2???? would it be likely that i would be able to pull off 50 minutes worth of music by mid september???? the basslines are fairly simple.... lots of changes, but no gymnastics.

    arite, i realize noone can really answer this but myself, and it depends on how much i want to put into it. i guess i'd like to know others thoughts to know what i might be in store for. anyone else make the transition? how long did it take to get accustomed to the double bass? any input would be cool.... would help me to decide whether i want to lug that thing over to my apt or not. he has no case for it.

    input, input, input... thanks.
  2. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    I played a 30 minute jazz band concert on upright after only a month of playing, of course it wasn't amazing
  3. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    well you can use tape or something and put cheatmarks on the side to help you out, and nobody would ever know, unless they checked it out up close
  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    now these are the reasons i love talkbass :D :D !
  5. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    The main difference to me is the difference in scale length [34 vs 41.5], and the amount of strength it requires for the DB. I play both now. You can put cheat marks on the fingerboard w/either tape as was said earlier or use graphite from a pencil, they will go away after awhile. Assuming you realize that you will need to practice it to get better i don't see why you couldn't get the music learned and be at least reasonably comfy on it. That's all
  6. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    depends on if it was jazz or classical or what. I doubt it though. I played jazz going into music school and picked up upright. I learned under david murray, the president of the international society of bassists. hes pretty much the stuff when it comes to solo upright bass. I learned under him for a year and i doubt i could play 50 minutes of classical. Learning to play with a bow is really really hard. If your going to be playing with a bow theres no way. If your gonna play with your fingers and its not classical u may be able to pull it off. Just get one and beat around on it alot, its not as similiar an instrument as most think, and i think its alot harder.
  7. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Upright and electric are TOTALLY different instruments. The techniques used to play an upright properly are completely different from those used on electric, to say nothing of the lack of frets (and marker dots) and much larger scale.

    That said, you could probably pull it off so long as it isn't the Bach cello suites (as Hyper mentioned), although you certainly won't be getting the best sound you could out of it. Will you be using an amp, or going fully acoustic?

    Run a search on Simandl method - this will help you with the fingerings and give you a general idea. "one finger per fret" simply isn't going to work unless your hands are the size of Shaquille O'Neal's.

    Also, be very careful. Upright bass is much more of a physical challenge than electric, and it is very easy to injure yourself. Make sure you do a proper warm-up, and balance the bass properly so that you aren't wasting your energy just holding it up.
  8. monkeyfinger

    monkeyfinger Moderator Staff Member

    I played both for a while. I found that I could easily learn to play very simple stuff on the upright and have it sound good. I also learned that this is trully a different instrument from bass guitar. I realized that in order to advance beyond basics, that I would have to quit may job and dedicate myself to the instrument full time for at least a year. I am too old for that, so I decided to stick with bass guitar.

    If you have the time to learn, I recommend that you do so. It is a very rewarding instrument.
  9. Tom Howland

    Tom Howland

    Feb 11, 2003
    I Played upright for three years.
    Have not touched one in over two years.
    Played a gig the other nite, three 45 min. sets.
    First two sets were fine.
    Last set, two Big blisters.
    Out of shape!
    Two different Basses.
    Both great.