Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Had My First DB Lesson Today

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by afzoomie67, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. So, since May or so, my bass teacher and I have been talking about me starting DB. I've been playing electric bass for 4 years now, and I always liked DB's and I finally got around to playing one. My first though was "the neck is huge." I slowly got used to the size of the neck and body, and the radiused [DEL]fretboard[/DEL] fingerboard. My intonation was so off, too. It was funny. I figured out where the notes went though, it's so much harder with no dots or lines. And then, after I got some pizzicato down, he goes "Ready to play with the stick?" meaning the bow and I'm like "Uh, sure." And he handed it to me, and I immediately griped it improperly. We spent the next five minutes discussing how to hold it properly and he showed me, and then I finally figured it out. And then he goes, "Play the open strings" and at first, I bowed on the neck, which resulted in a terrible sound. Then, I self-corrected myself and moved down, figuring that if the strings had more room to vibrate, they'd sound better. And they did. And so he was impressed. Following this, he tells me that I should play the notes (I learned the open strings, plus the lowest 3 on the string) and I did with ease. He said my left-hand technique was great, which was nice to hear, as I've been taking a couple guitar lessons lately. After that, I had to go back to class.
    So yeah! Overall, it was totally awesome and I love it. It's going to take a ton of work though. And I know I'm just "okay" on electric, but to be "okay" on DB is going to take FOREVER. Sorry that this is so long, I just felt the need to share.
  2. halfjackson

    halfjackson Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston, MA
    There ain't nuthin' wrong with a ton of work. I'll tell you, for the first six months or so on upright I felt like I wasn't playing it so much as I was wrestling it. But now look at me, I'm mediocre at best! Congrats on the lesson and good luck, man!
  3. I have another one next Thursday! It's pretty awesome. The whole EB to DB transition is weird though.
  4. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I think it takes a few months to feel like you're really getting somewhere. But it's awesome! The further down the road you go, the longer the road seems. Like I never thought I would get as good as I am now, but I still don't feel like I'm that great. Certainly I've always wanted to be AWESOME, so the only explanation for the paradox is that it's a lot of fun. Seriously, if you wind up loving it, you just want to practice for its own sake, just like playing video games or watching star trek.
  5. I know. I'm going to have to stay after school to play and everything, seeing as I don't own a DB. I'd eventually like to get an EUB, although they're kind of different from a DB. But much cheaper.
  6. halfjackson

    halfjackson Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Yeah,'s definitely a bizarre transition. A lot of what you have learned on the EB will translate, but they are very different instruments for sure, as I'm sure you've already realized.

    I think that you are in a great position though, having access to one without owning one. Even if you only play it a couple times a week you'll have a much better ear for what you want when you decide to buy. Definitely take advantage of that.
  7. Viggo51


    Oct 26, 2012
    Portland Oregon
    Just started playing and EUB it is a lot different than my frettless, try and practice with a drone note playing in C to help with intonation you can hear when you are sharp/flat.
  8. Yeah. I don't have the money for a regular DB at this point, so I'm thinking of an Ergo 4 (or 5, because some of my favorite DB players play 5's).
  9. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Don't let money stand in the way of getting a DB. My DB cost $800. You can figure it out. I see EUB as an instrument. It's not a transition instrument or a practice instrument.

    PS they sound wicked and the chicks dig it. You don't want your girlfriend trying to tell her friends about some weird stick you play. :)
  10. JohnDavisNYC


    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario, Subdecay, Tonefactor
    I don't know that EUB's are necessarily cheaper... I got my first upright, a 40's Kay for $500 in the mid 90's.

    It was a beater, but it was a good 'real' bass. I think an EUB would close a lot of doors...

    Also, I don't know that you can develop a good sound or feel by starting on EUB.

    They are an interesting instrument, but not a substitute for acoustic bass.

  11. Oh, but where do you find them for such cheap prices? I remember a senior at my HS last year went shopping for his DB and he was going to spend thousands (he owned a Sadowsky J5, Fender Deluxe Active J, and a couple other $1000+ Electric basses).

    Even if the EUB has the radiused neck and all that?
  12. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Out in NYC, there's usually a <$1000 plywood for sale. I got a make called Eberle. It came with a bow and a bag even. There's about a jillion of those Eberles floating around. I would suppose most of these are in decent shape. Because you have access to a bass and will know a thing or two about what to expect when you touch a prospective buy, you should feel confident about deciding on a bass if it's <$1500 or so.

    I don't know how close your town is to say Philly or Pittsburgh, but you might have to get your folks involved in the situation if you've gotta drive to buy something.

    Save some cash, and I promise, by the time you've got enough to get a decent DB, you'll find out about one that's convenient to buy.

    In the meantime, it's awesome you can play the one at school. Is the band director cool? You never know what kind of support you can get if you reach out for it.
  13. Coeball


    Aug 25, 2007
    Bath Uk
    Yes I have been playing DB for about two year and it is crazy difficult compared to electric, just stick with it and you will go far.
  14. I go to school like 45 minutes from my house in Wyndmoor, PA. And Philadelphia is like 10-15 minutes from there.
  15. halfjackson

    halfjackson Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Hey man, how was that 2nd DB lesson?

    Also, I agree that a quality bass can be had for $800-$1200, you just have to keep a look out and have some patience. But like I said, take your time and take advantage of the one you have access to.
  16. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Well that's good that Philly and NYC are so close by. If you were in Wyoming or something, boy that would be tough. Would probably be difficult to find a teacher.

    Yeah, you gotta tell us about the next lesson.
  17. Sorry I forgot to post about the second lesson. I've had 4 or so since that day. I took a little break from TB. If you're still interested, I can tell you both.
  18. SolarMan

    SolarMan Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    Marlborough, MA
    Tell us about all of the lessons please!
  19. Anonymatt


    Jan 3, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Tell us. The longer you go from the forum, the better you'll get.
  20. Sorry to keep you all waiting in suspense! I've had numerous lessons since then, each one getting slightly better than the last. I'm still having a bit of trouble with finding some of the notes as I'm used to playing a 30" EB. It took me numerous weeks to properly grip a bow. It just feel awkward doing it properly, but my wrist got sore after awhile if I didn't. So, I forced myself to adapt to the awkwardness. Now, whenever I play anything that's not in the "first position" (I'm coming from electric, so I'm not sure if that's what it's called on DB) my hand slowly slides down, making me go out of tune. It's problematic, to say the least. I know, this post is short compared to my others, but we're currently on Christmas Break but when we get back, I'll try and take a lesson each week and update ASAP!