Hi all! Tips on technique needed for newbie.

Discussion in 'Rockabilly [DB]' started by BigDalBass, May 19, 2007.

  1. Hello to you all! I play in a 50's Rock n Roll trio, piano bass and drums. I've been playing my electric bass and the band leader has been "suggesting" that I might try using a double bass for authenticity. I've bought one and I'm getting on o.k but wondered if anyone had any tips on technique for both hands, pitch and achieving a good quality of tone with my right hand. Or maybe you could point me in the direction of good tutorial dvd's. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me! Cheers. Darren
  2. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    Walking into France and saying "I'm a beer drinker but I'd like to start making wine, any tips?" Ok, all sarcasm aside, start by looking through the archive here for info on slapping and rockabilly etc. Also look on you yube for the same. Other than that start drinking a lot of carrot juice to help your eyes prepare for the onslaught of "get a teacher" posts. The double bass is anything but a casual instrument and it takes a lot of work to even get a nice sound out of it. It's one of the few intruments that can actually hurt you if you don't know what you are doing. Start by listening to the music: check out Elvis' Sun sessions and early Willie Dixon like "The Big Three Trio". There is a lot of info here so start digging. Best of luck.
  3. What has helped me get back into playing DB a bit, has been just checking out what others on this site have been through, and learning from it. I also have gotten on Youtube, and Myspace and found some vids that have heled me out tremendously. Let me be the first to say it though -Get A Teacher!!! There is a lot of physical stuff to learn with this instrument that being one on one with a teacher will help with,
  4. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    For a 50's rock trio, you probably want the sound of gut strings, at least on the D&G. There are also a few synthetic strings (Innovation Supersilvers are my favorite) that come close to providing this sound.

    You should have your strings high enough that you get a percussive sound, and low enough that the notes are not choked. If you don't have adjusters in the bridge, it would be good to have them installed. You can set the strings where they work best for you.

    To achieve a good quality of tone with your right hand, use an equal force with your left hand. This is not done by squeezing the neck between your fingers and thumb, but by using the weight of your arm, shoulder, and body. Be sure to work on getting your sound without amplification. If you get a good acoustic sound, it is much easier to get the amped sound afterward.

    Have fun!
  5. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    You have a great deal of playing time in front of you before you even know what you need to work on. Jason's reply, even though a bit sarcastic, was right-on. Here's a few "bassics" 1. Get your bass set up correctly. 2. Practice technique and get your fingers in shape. 3. Watch some other players live, youtube, where ever & note the right hand technique. 4. Play some different styles of music to get insight into methods of getting tone. 5. good luck.
  6. Lol. Thanks for the replies chaps. Obviously I'm in the process of looking for a good teacher. I am a bass player but I'm not THAT stupid that I thought i could just pick the thing up and sound amazing. I just thought that all you double bass players out there could maybe give me some pearls of wisdom with the benefit of all that experience. You can't beat experience in my opinion and the more pointers I can get the better. The youtube idea was particularly helpful so thanks for that.:D
  7. Hi BigDal, it helps if you fill out your profile too! Then we can see where you live and hopefully suggest teachers/ luthiers...

    Here's my 2 cents: Learn to play with a bow! it really puts everything under the microscope- intonation, left hand, articulation, etc.

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