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First Stand-Up

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by FOE_Bass, Nov 21, 2000.

  1. FOE_Bass

    FOE_Bass Guest

    Jun 29, 2000
    Grass Valley, CA
    Hey guys, I currently play electric bass but I was in a music store today dicking around with a stand-up, and I think I'm in love. I was considering asking for one from my parents for Christmas, but I wouldn't even know where to begin when it comes to brands, styles, and prices. I don't want anything too expensive, sooomething that if my parents couldn't completely buy for me, I could split the difference. Maybe just a cheap practice one I could start on. And if any of you guys have used ones, please let me know.

  2. A couple questions here.What price range are you considering? Double Basses run anywhere from $800 to $40K
    What are you planning to use it for? Classical, Jazz, or Rockabilly stuff? And a word of caution, Double bass is NOT
    "just like a big Bass Guitar". It takes quite a commitment to become even remotely proficient and it is NOT something
    you "just dick around with". The reason I say this is not to be harsh or discouraging, just to make you aware of the road you're about to go down. While it is true there is nothing like the sound of a Double Bass, most younger players are unaware of what it takes to get there. As a teacher and proffessional Bassist, I have seen this scenario
    no less than 62 times. It goes something like this...
    BG player sees upright player in action, decides that it is the coolest thing they ever heard.Talks parents into buying an instrument.Gets instrument home, and..."well, I've been playing electric for a couple years now, so this should'nt be too hard...Man, these strings are hard to push down! Why can't I get a good sound? Ow, my fingers hurt! I quit!!
    Next day on E-bay- Brand new Double Bass for sale!
    But if you are truly in love with it as you say, you will make the commitment and overcome all obstacles, and your life will be the better for it. Good Luck! :)
  3. nicneg


    May 30, 2000
    I agree with reedo35, but... sometimes fallin' in love is a strange trip. If you feel "something" at least when you see/hear a DB, you've to try it. My first DB has been standing in a corner of my little room for months, full of dust, before I took heart. You've to watch and touch it, you've to hear its personality and realize that it's a totally different instrument as to BG before you damn yourself trying to apply your BG skill to it. Different fingering, different voice, different hardness, different landscapes. Be patient and cool. You could find the right instrument to express yourself. I know that it's a challenge (and that it costs a lot of money) but... it could change your life just like mine. Peace.

    i'm really sorry for my english...
  4. Then what are the "F" holes for?
  5. You better smile when you say that, Special K! :D [/B][/QUOTE]
  6. SCHA-WEEET! Nice Lookin' Bass, Ed! I am familiar with the Bass you are talking about, it says in Markneukirchen gebaudet on the label. The finish on your Bass is a little too reddish-brown to be a Rubner, But I did see a Mittenwald bass that looked just like yours on the Kolstein website. maybe if your'e interested, you could E-mail Barrie for some info?
  7. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN

    I checked out your pictures(of the bass, that is....). At first glance, our basses look very similar. The only thing that I know about my bass is that it was made in Germany in the early 1900's. The label has been removed, and there is no identifying marks on the button. The only real distinct feature on my bass is a relatively short or shallow bridge. I mean the distance between the strings and the top of the bass is much closer than my instructor's Italians.

    Beautiful bass, though. Do you use anything to keep the wood looking so good? The flame on the back was very prominent.
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey guys,

    I noticed some good comments, but really, nobody has answered FOE's question. I really only bring that up because I'm looking for an upright myself. Something in the $1500 - $3000 price range for me. Of course, I will always spend money for a quality instrument.
  9. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    A small point, FOE, but double bass players will be more inclined to help you if you don't call it a "stand-up". Is there a bass at your school which you could play a bit to be sure you want to buy one? And there's no point in buying one unless you have access to a teacher.
  10. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    To Whom It May Concern: My family pictures will be on the net soon except for the Venetian, my only picture now being used as a dart board by a jealous Ed Fuqua somewhere in Brooklyn
  11. See, you're already ahead of FOE in that you stated how much you were willing to spend. That at least gives a starting point.And my question of "What do you want to use it for?" would tell me what type of style you play, or want to play, again giving a better idea of what you are looking for.As someone here already posted, buying a Double Bass
    ain't like buying a car. At some point, brand names, makes and models become a moot point and the bottom line is the SOUND you seek.
  12. FOE_Bass

    FOE_Bass Guest

    Jun 29, 2000
    Grass Valley, CA
    I would like to thank all of the people who helped me and damn those who have stated utterly irrelevant jibbirish about pictures. I fully understand that a double bass is different that a bass guitar, and that it is alot of work. I am commited to learning it, this is not a phase. I am willing to spend up to $1000, and I really haven't thought of a genre to study, but big band would be fun I think, jazz also. If you guys know of a teacher, or a current db player in the Nevada City/Grass Valley area, please let me know.
  13. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
  14. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Mostly jazz. I would also like the possibility to be left open for orchestra work. I don't know how plausible that is, but it's something I have definite interest in. Also, I've been playing in a band that has jazz-like rhythms, but might be better categorized as rock. I guess I want something diverse, with the main objective being jazz. All styles of jazz.

    Also, where are the best places to look for them?

  15. Well there in the Freakcisco area there should be quite a few opportunities to find something, but you will have to do some footwork. Check out the local Pawn shops, E-bay,and if you want, Frisco U has a great music Dept. You could ask around there, or just check out some local clubs where there
    are other double Bass players, and ask around. You could also check out Bob Gollihur's website. He has listings for
    tons of makers, maybe you could find something there.
  16. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Excellent! Thanx for the advice. I just have to remember to scope a couple out, and then come back here and get some opinions!
  17. kayswingmaster


    Nov 6, 2000
    I agree with all the things these guys have been saying. I just started playing upright a couple of months ago and let me tell you it is a completely different animal than electric. My best advice....froma beginner....who just recently went through what youre going through now is to ask as many players as you can about buying basses. They are very expensive but you can get one for less than $1000 if you look hard enough. For example. many of the guys in here wont believe me but i bought a custom 1938 Kay Swingmaster with bag, new strings, and EQ pedal for $400. Just do asome networking and make sure everyone you know in the business, knows youre looking for an upright.

    good luck

    P.S.--if youre not planning to bow....BUY SOME GOOD TAPE....youll need it!!!
  18. Ed, I know I'm pretty new too, but just because you said intelligent things before (I know you have, I've seen them), doesn't mean you answered his question. Which does make the gibberish point valid. However, I do defer to your experience.

    Here's something to tag onto the idea of having a good luthier for your bass - when I bought my bass, it was almost unplayable. The strings seemed like they were inches off the board (tho part of that may have been the beginner thing). The cool thing is that I learned to play it that way before taking it in so a) I knew I didn't want the strings super close to the board because the tone was almost where I wanted it and b) once I got it back, it was like I had been playing it for months longer than I had been because my hands were so strong.

    Here's a question: how do you really even know how to distinguish the sound you want when you don't play DB yet? I know I couldn't really appreciate the nuances of different bass players and sounds until I had played mine for a while. Or am I an exception? I mean, yeah its fairly easy to go "hey I like Paul Chambers circa '57" or something, but to really know the range of possibilities is a completetly different story, ya know?
  19. You don't know, it evolves. In my case, I played the strings that came on the bass for a long time. In that time I began evolving a certain way as a result of what I was listening to, what I liked, what I didn't like, what I was hearing in my head, etc.

    A player's sound is his identity. A baby is not born knowing what kind of clothes he's gonna wear, what car he'll like driving, what his personality will be like, etc.; knowing what kind of image he'll want to have so other's will perceive him that way. That's contained in the maturation process.

    And, FWIW, I'd hate to see this place policed for people going off topic. A lot of great information passes through here, but the bottom line is this is entertainment. I do this to keep myself entertained when I'm at my day gig and it in part replaces watching TV and crap when I'm home. To lose the conversational nature of it would be to diminish the entertainment value, and I, for one, would enjoy myself less and probably not log on as often.

  20. Here's a question: how do you really even know how to distinguish the sound you want when you don't play DB yet? I know I couldn't really appreciate the nuances of different bass players and sounds until I had played mine for a while. Or am I an exception? I mean, yeah its fairly easy to go "hey I like Paul Chambers circa '57" or something, but to really know the range of possibilities is a completetly different story, ya know? [/B][/QUOTE]
    Nobody ever starts out sounding exactly like they want to sound.Playing Bass is a journey of discovery, and part of the enjoyment that I still get after 20+ years of playing is
    the discovery of tonal nuances and exploring new styles and
    being influenced by different players. If I listened to the
    "Kind of Blue" sessions, and decided that was the "right"
    sound and that I never had to listen to another Bass Player,That would kind of limit me as a musician,eh?
    As a fledgling Bassist, I listened to every player that I could, and went to as many live shows as I was able to,
    and devoured it all with an insatiable appetite.Like I said before, it's an ongoing quest, and you have to grow and change, or become stagnant and boring.
    On another note,to FOE- it is not exactly a good Idea to Damn a potential ally for mentioning an unrelated subject in your post, just because it was directed at others who have been around a while and not at you, doesn't mean you couldn't benefit from their advice somewhere down the road.
    So, go easy on the snap judgements, have a little patience, and you won't end up POE (Pissing off everybody) ;)

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