First bass lesson; going to audition some DBs

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Jack Clark, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. 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?
  2. Rocky

    Rocky Inactive

    Jul 21, 2000
    Los Angeles
    Reading the newbie links would be the first step. There is tons of information that helped me there.
  3. pauldebass


    May 8, 2006
    the folks at Lemurs ( I assume that's where you're going) are honest and will be very helpful to you. They have a great ply bass that is new that would be worth checking out. You could also go to World of Strings in Long Beach and talk w John Peterson who is also honest and helpful. They tend to have more used basses than Lemurs.
  4. Yeah, it's Lemur. Which new ply are you thinking of? Jupiter? (~9/2008)

    From the Lemur website . . .

    . . . it looks like the range of basses I'll be checking out will be:

    Sunrise Solana (gamba, ply, round, $1750)
    Englehardt Swingmaster Deluxe (violin, ply, round(?), $2050)
    Jupiter (gamba, ply, round, $2499)
    Chinese (gamba, carved, round, $2500)
    Liberty Belle (gamba, hybrid, flat, $2750)
    Sunrise Laguna (gamba, carved, round, $2850)
    Sunrise Encinitas (gamba, carved, round, $3750)
    Sunrise Redondo (violin, carved, round, $3750)
    Sunrise Catalina (violin, carved, round, $4599)
    Tosca (violin, carved(?), round, $4750)

    As a 65-year-old beginner who will never play professionally, it seems to me that at my age I ought to be most interested in playability. For me, nothing dampens my interest in an instrument as much as difficulty of play. I've only noodled around on a very few friends' basses so far, but the one that attracted me most was the one that just felt easy and fun to play--which was a Kay M1. Of the above-five new Lemur bases. the website particularly touts playability on only two: the Solana and the Catalina. But regarding all of their basses, they emphasize that playability is a function of their set up, which they say is the same 12-15 hour job on all their basses, so . . .

    I'm most interested in jazz and blues, but I'm a long way from there.

    I can admire beautiful-looking basses, but that's not a priority for me. Gamba, violin . . . either works for me, but I kinda like the simple lines of the gamba. Special loudness is great, but am I going to need it? Doubtful. Flat or round? Unless that affects something functional like durability it doesn't much matter to me.

    Long Beach would be another trip, but I'll keep it in mind. Thanks.

    Anybody want to point me in a different direction?
  5. +1. Yup, very useful.

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