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First Double Bass Excitement/Worries

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Dano59, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Dano59

    Dano59 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Charleston Illinois
    Well I just got back from a 12 hour drive meeting a TBer to swap my amp anf cab for his Englehardt C-1.

    I have been wanting to get a double for a while and worked out a trade. The bass is nice, a few small issues but no big deal at all. All the way home I was just excited to get it home to tune her up and play a little before going to bed.

    Once I got everything in the house and the bass tuned I found that due to being a fat man it is dificult to get close enough to the bass to play it easily....

    Why I didn't think of this before I don't know. When we met to trade I plucked ita bit to make sure it didn't rattle or anything but didn't spend the time in the rain to adjust to a playing position.

    I didn't spend but a couple mins trying to play it tonight and maybe it will come to be less of a problem once I try to find a good position but honestly I am thinking I just made a big mistake....:crying:
  2. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Mistake? Just look at it as motivation to get in shape. This bass may save your life.:cool:

    By the way, I am waiting for an Engelhardt myself. Best of luck.
  3. Dano59

    Dano59 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Charleston Illinois
    Now there is a glass half full answer for ya...;)
  4. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Seriously. You should consider that.
  5. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    All shapes and sizes have managed to play. I would suggest a lesson or two to get the basics down. Congrats!
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I suggest getting some instruction on correct technique, and then give it a chance. It's too early to say whether the bass plays easily. :D

    Also, welcome to the crazy world of DB.
  7. Dano59

    Dano59 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Charleston Illinois
    My new bass is a good looking bass with a high gloss finish which I am not use to seeing. There is a small area of finish cracking where the bridge was moved at some time for a setup I would guess. You cansee the lines where the venier (sp?) sections meet but that is normal on these basses from what I have read.
    The adjustable bridge is lowered all the way giving a verry low action across the board which I like.
    I need to get a pickup on it some time so research into that will be coming.
    The strings seam ok but time will tell, I did just agree to buy a set of Coralli's so I will swap them out when they get here so I at least know what's on here.
  8. Dano59

    Dano59 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Charleston Illinois
    The sound post is directly under the G string bridge foot, is this normal?

    When changing strings will the sound post fall out of place if all strings are removed or is it pressure fit?

    Is there a set distance the bridge should be set at? I know when I set up my electric basses I get the 12th fret to set intonation but on the DB there is no point of reference for intonation?
  9. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    I use Corelli 370M's on mine. Nice sounding & feeling.
  10. It's not at all impossible, and expect it to take a long time and a lot of experimentation to get comfortable with a DB. Teacher can help, find someone. They can also make sure you don't hurt yourself, that's important.

    Beginners always find DB uncomfortable, even painful, this is normal. Fixing it takes a little fitness building and a big chunk of technique.
  11. 1) No, the sound post should be about half it's diameter south of the bridge foot. See #3.

    2) Maybe, it might be tight enough to stay. Normally we stick a weight on the top or a strap around the belly to get it to stay.

    3) Yes, see the nicks on the inside of the f-holes? It should be centered between those.

    Sounds like you need a proper setup, if those things are wrong then there WILL be other, more subtle, things that aren't right too.
  12. Dano59

    Dano59 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Charleston Illinois
    Thanks for the info...

    When I was asking about bridge distance I was talking about from the nut to the bridge?
  13. Well, the bridge should also be perpendicular to the top on the tailpiece side, so the f-hole nicks do also determine the string length.
  14. Dano59

    Dano59 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Charleston Illinois

    Got it thanks
  15. I'm no stringbean and I can still play the upright ok. It's all about correct positioning and technique. It is harder work to play an upright than an electric in my opinion, particularly at first. But SOOOOOOOOOOO worth it.

    You are going to have a ball.
  16. catty


    Mar 25, 2006
    Congrats on that bass -- don't start worrying and second guessing yet. (There'll be plenty of time for that later)

    I remember driving home with my first bass -- I was high the whole way (without benefit of dope)
  17. I should say... mine has a bridge that is cut so the perpendicular lands about 1/3 of the way up from the tailpiece side, so that position goes on the line between the f-hole nicks. Which gives a rather narrower clearance between the bridge foot and sound post on my bass. Not exactly the traditional setup, but works great on that instrument.

    So, there are some variations possible... but I'd say overlap between the bridge and sound post definitely indicates something wrong.
  18. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Change the strings one at a time and the soundpost won't fall. It's worth a quick setup, if you can find a DB luthier. At least ask him/her to change the strings and look at the soundpost position. They'll let you know if they see anything else. It is tough to learn to play, having your instrument working with you vs against you will make it much more rewarding and less frustrating.

    "Fat" huh? You mean like Charles Mingus or Ray Brown? It's tough for anyone to learn to play, lessons will make it a whole different experience, but you're neither the first nor the last big man to start down this road.

  19. Dano59

    Dano59 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Charleston Illinois

    Point taken;

    Yes like Ray Brown, I see that he plays sitting some times which I play electric bass sitting a lot and never thought about playing the DB sitting.

    I live in central Illinois and finding a luther may not be easy but I will research it. I like working on stuff myself becaise I enjoy it but will take it slow when it comes to my DB.
    I walked into my coffee shop this morning and my heart jumped a beat when I saw my new baby on the stage waiting for me so after I get these monthly taxes done that are waiting for me I will take some time looking her over and call a couple people about music.
  20. Dano59

    Dano59 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Charleston Illinois
    Update time;

    Well I found that the bridge was slid forward about 3/4 of an inch so I loosened the strings a bit and repositioned the bridge which put the sound post just above the bridge foot. I realise this may not be the perfect place but I am not going to mess with it and will let a luthier do it when I find one.
    This brought up the other problem. I was wondering why the adjusters were all the way down but I had it backwards. The bridge was slid forward because the E side adjuster is stripped and wont raise the strings so with the bridge in the proper position the strings are 1bout a 1/16th off the board and sliding the bridge forward raised the strings enought to be able to play the bass with real a real low action.

    So it looks like a new bridge is in my new basses future.

    I am so bummed. We have a bluegrass circle jam on Friday nights and I usualy play my Jazz bass but was hoping to break in the DB.

    Time to start looking for a bridge, any sujestions?

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