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Got my first bass.

Discussion in 'Bluegrass [DB]' started by souperman63, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. souperman63


    Jun 27, 2013
    Well got my first upright this week after sitting in on one at a local barbeque joint for a couple of songs. Too much fun.

    Its a china bass from American Musical Supply about 5 or 6 years old. Been striped in glow in the dark green and has hillbilly slap strings i think. They are the ones with the Kevlar core. Any ways here are a couple of videos I've made this week. Any feedback is welcomed.



    It's set up with a pretty low action and I put one of the old wound E strings that came with it because the slap E was pretty quiet in comparison to the others.
  2. Use the side of your index finger to pluck the string. The more meat on the string, the bigger the sound. Keep your left-hand thumb in the middle of the back of the neck, it increases your reach and decreases strain on your wrist.

    And don't be so tentative! Spank that bass!
  3. souperman63


    Jun 27, 2013
    Thanks man. I'm quite because everyone in the house is asleep. I'll try to work on those tips.
  4. DILYSI Dave

    DILYSI Dave

    Jan 26, 2013
    You rush the walk back up at the end of the phrase. Let that walk just groove a little, and be more sparing with it IMO. You're staring at the finger board, which looks a little odd, but the intonation was good, so if that's what it take, no big thing.
  5. souperman63


    Jun 27, 2013
    Yea. I'm still learning to deal with how far apart the strings are and it's prolly messing with my timing a bit. Staring at the board cause before last Tuesday I've never even held a double bass much less played fretless. Lots of fun tho and thanks for the advice.
  6. souperman63


    Jun 27, 2013
    Worked on some of the tips. Still I have a tendency to go to the "baseball" grip. But working on that. Is using the pinky a good idea to save arm movement or should I use my stronger index for barring the 1 & 5? Also does the height seem ok? Thanks for the help guys.


    Either way I'm having a blast. Walked into a music shop today and started jamming with a couple of guys with the 1/2 scale German bass they had there. When I had to go they begged me to stay.
  7. theBadFace


    Feb 7, 2012
    Detroit, MI
    I too just got my first upright a 1940 Kay C-1. I actually got it in a trade awhile ago but it has been with Ed McChoppin (Elderly Music) getting fixed up, Setup. I just picked it up last Monday and I love the thing. I am going to be playing Classic Country, Oldtime and Bluegrass. I do wish I would have had some idea about strings as he put a spirocore on and I think a Synthetic Gut would have maybe been more my style. Anyway I can't put the thing down. Should I mark my fretboard so I can play in tune a bit better from the start or no??? Thanks
  8. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    No. It's better listen a lot and adjust your intonation than it is to distract yourself looking (and still need to adjust your intonation). Just play a lot and listen a lot whenever you play, and the intonation will come.

    And CONGRATS ON LANDING A DOUBLE-BASS! You are going to have so much fun, and grow so much.
  9. DILYSI Dave

    DILYSI Dave

    Jan 26, 2013
    If you've got an ear for intonation, I'd say no need to mark the notes, just be mindful. If you don't, then it can help until you gain that IMO.

    As for whether or not to use the pinky, I've seen both, and I don't know if one is more right than the other. I do, but I also have no issue with it being strong enough to work. I had only a little bit of DB training before I jumped to the BG for a couple of decades, then just recently picked the DB back up. So a lot of what I do on the DB is stuff that I honed on the BG, and using all 4 fingers is one of those things. I also, for better or worse, tend to position my picking hand square to the strings, like on the BG. $.02.
  10. bassmanford


    Jan 27, 2007
    Chicago Area
    Well for a proclaimed rookie I'm sure impressed with your right hand technique..if this is your first bass fiddle what were you playing on before?

    I'm also new to the standup and starting with bluegrass music as my first use of it. No amount of my 43 years of EB playing has me using this right hand technique - my compliments

    Bassman Ford
  11. justholler


    Oct 14, 2011
    Lenoir, NC
    Your July video was much improved! I take lessons from a teacher in person so my advice is coming from what he tells me. You do need more pinky use in the left hand; barre chords are common and a lot of bluegrassers do it but watching him not do so many barre chords makes sense. His saying is "it's all right under your hand" and that works if you follow the proper technique of using index middle and pinky. You get to plenty of notes this way and barre chords means a lot of moving. The other thing, which might be more personal preference, is your right hand palm could be closer to the strings, even as much as touching the strings...that helps me get more "meat" on the string.