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From the dark side, i know another newb which bass thread

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by FREAKYSTLYEY, Aug 28, 2012.


  1. FREAKYSTLYEY

    FREAKYSTLYEY Banned

    Jan 14, 2007
    So I have been playing electric bass for the last 10 years and for the last 5 have really wanted to buy a 3/4 upright bass. I read the stickies and basically was told I'd have to spend a bare minimum of 1500$..

    Are there any other options for much cheaper? Look I can drop 1500-2000$ on a bass I'd I decide UB. Is for me. But starting off I can't. I'm located in baton rouge. Really wouldn't like to rent one but I suppose I could.

    But are there no inexpensive decent UBs for 4-700$? I understand you get what you pay for. I'm a newb and Until I develop a taste I honestly don't think I could tell the difference between at 15k bass and a 500$ bass..

    Help?
     
  2. FREAKYSTLYEY

    FREAKYSTLYEY Banned

    Jan 14, 2007
    Well I found a shop in new Orleans that rents basses and will probably go this route after hurricane passes.
     
  3. Etienned

    Etienned

    Jul 16, 2010
    Montréal
    Being a DB newb, I could totally tell the difference between a 1000$ and 2000 $ bass. I would suggest you to either save some more or make sure you can afford a luthier setup (I'm not talking about a technician from the store setup unless it happens to be a genuine luthier). The setup changed everything for the best on my DB. Of course it was expensive compared to an electric bass setup but really worth it.
     
  4. Can you tell the difference between a $100 and a $500 EB? You can.

    Well, a $500 DB is more like a $25 EB. Unfortunately. You can't build one that cheaply and get it close enough to right to be a) structurally sound and b) playable.

    Don't get a super-cheap instrument for a tryout, because it will put you off and probably break. Renting is a much better idea.

    Also, and this is standard advice on this side of the forum for a really good reason, but... find a teacher. Mostly because correct technique avoids injuries, but also because you'll learn faster and have much more fun. Especially, you are coming from EB, and many standard parts of EB technique WILL cause you problems and WILL hurt your hands. What you know about music and basslines will carry across, but the actual technique is more hinderance than help.

    The most important one to mention right away is this: don't try to finger a DBs strings by squeezing the neck using the strength of your thumb. Instead, hang the weight of your arm off your finger tips; your thumb should really only be lightly touching the back of the neck. The reason for this is simple, your thumb muscles are really small and those are some big forces. Your finger muscles can take it, they're many times the size (about half of the bulk of your forearm is finger muscles). You will find this MUCH easier to say than to do, but it's really important.
     
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Did you read the Beginner's Guide wiki? It provides a quite comprehensive answer to your question and was written by a committee of members here. So, yes, we meant what we said. No, a new BSO (bass-shaped object) for between $400 and $700 does not a decent DB make. They're basically firewood. You might enjoy this video.
     
  6. mlz77096

    mlz77096

    Oct 16, 2007
    Houston, TX
    "The most important one to mention right away is this: don't try to finger a DBs strings by squeezing the neck using the strength of your thumb. Instead, hang the weight of your arm off your finger tips; your thumb should really only be lightly touching the back of the neck. The reason for this is simple, your thumb muscles are really small and those are some big forces. Your finger muscles can take it, they're many times the size (about half of the bulk of your forearm is finger muscles). You will find this MUCH easier to say than to do, but it's really important."

    Can you explain this more? I'm trying to learn the correct thumb/ finger positions but so far, it seems I just get an aching thumb. It certainly isn't lightly touching the neck. Thanks.
     
  7. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
     
  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I do agree with what was said. In fact, an exercise for players is to play without the thumb even touching the back of the neck. "Proper technique," and certainly Ray Brown used it, is for the pressure not to be created by squeezing. Here's what Ray said and it's not inconsistent with that approach:

    With the left hand you apply an equal pressure to match the pull of the right hand. In each position, the fingers should be over their respective notes, ready to press when required. I keep my left hand as relaxed as possible, and don't hold the fingers rigidly in position as though a teacher were standing over me.
     
  9. FREAKYSTLYEY

    FREAKYSTLYEY Banned

    Jan 14, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestions. I completely agree, that these basses take time and material to construct even in china. I figured they would just make a sound and that would be enough for me. I'm overly confident I can set up the bass by myself. (if it's cheap)

    Btw I have a couple 100$ basses that sound as good as my 2000$ basses do that was a bad comparison. A solid body guitar is way easier to construct
     
  10. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    That's what you say now, not having played. They might "just make a sound." That sound wouldn't be very satisfying, the design could easily be such that your technique would be hampered, and the accessories (tuners, tailpiece, fingerboard, endpin, etc.) could be marginal and/or fail.

    Some folks here have been happy with these basses after a considerable amount of DIY tweaking. They do, however, seem to require constant attention and repair and all for what? At their best, they are typically poor instruments that are difficult to play. Then there's the probability of implosion.

    Most of us here know where the path leads. ;)
     
  11. FREAKYSTLYEY

    FREAKYSTLYEY Banned

    Jan 14, 2007
    I believe you.
     
  12. Herbie 80's

    Herbie 80's

    Dec 15, 2008
    Where do you live? Maybe we can point you in the right direction. I know Wayne Holmes (ugh) is selling his Shen's or whatever for half price for the rest of August.. could get a great $1,500 for $748. He's in America, though.
     
  13. NickyBass

    NickyBass Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Southern New Jersey
    I would suggest renting.

    You will want to upgrade pretty quickly from an ebay BSO and with everything that has to be done to make it playable, you will probably lose a lot more money than if you rented something for a few months. Not to mention that you will get a much better instrument from a rental place.

    For setups, you can discuss with a good luthier what you can do yourself and what should be done by a professional. A good setup can make all the difference.
     
  14. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    Okay. I guess I've just been doing it wrong all of these years. This is in the wrong forum anyway.
     
  15. mlz77096

    mlz77096

    Oct 16, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I think I understand. Im thinking some of this has to rely on how the bass is positioned against the body. I play Old Time music and there are alot of open strings - no fingers to pull against. I'm guilty of clutching the neck - but then the thumb gets tired and hurts when I do what I understand is proper. I sure would lke to get a hold that didn't cause such an ache in tthe thumb area.
     
  16. FREAKYSTLYEY

    FREAKYSTLYEY Banned

    Jan 14, 2007
    I'm in baton rouge/new Orleans. Found a shop In new Orleans. The bass place
     
  17. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    You're on the right track. Go down there and check it out (when the weather clears up). Play a few, ask some questions, consider renting, inquire about teachers in Baton Rouge (they may have a list). It's a tough purchase to get right on any budget, but especially if you're trying to get a deal. The more you know, the better your chances.

    Report back when you've had a chance to make the trip.
     
  18. It's not easy. One of the consequences of the gravity thing is that you need to find a way to control the bass so that your left hand isn't always having to work (a small amount of holding the bass up is OK, but not constant effort).

    But yes, all this is technique and doesn't really belong here.
     
  19. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    You might want to rent for a few weeks before you spend $1500-2000 on a good instrument

    IMO if your passionate and work hard, maybe a $1500 instrument is worth waiting for...
     
  20. Buying a cheap bass? Where does that lead? To a lot of wasted time and money.

    Invest in a good starter bass. When it's time to get rid of it (either because you've outgrown it or stopped playing all together) you'll be able to reclaim your expense on the resale. In the meantime, you'll be able to make progress knowing you've got the proper tools to do so.

    Don't have $1500? RENT.

    And get a good teacher. (He'll tell you the same thing.)
     

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