Well, I finally had my first bass lesson. My teacher is Bill Saitta (Palm Springs, Idyllwild). He has some reservations about the intonation on my odd bass instrument and has recommended having a new nut made, so my luthier has it again. After that it's a whole lot of full-instrument-range major scales for me--starting with C and cruising around the cycle, with the object of learning my instrument. (I think Pacman's "boxes" will be helpful.) That and learning a standard jazz ballad, beginning with the vanilla melody. Meanwhile, he's putting one of his double basses on consignment with a bass shop in San Juan Capistrano, so he and I are taking a trip down there for that and for me to try out some double basses, with his guidance. (He's clearly in favor of me getting a double bass.) Probably I'll rent at first. This is rather exciting. Anybody have suggestions as to what to keep an eye out for? Must-have positive characteristics? Deal-breaker negatives?