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How can i make my Bass guitar sounding like a Contrabass?

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by poulsen, Dec 20, 2011.


  1. Bass Player a few years ago. Good to hear he's back bringing his DB w/him. In the article he was decrying having to use rentals due to his lack of personal familiarity w/his long time Jurek. I'll see what the citation is and report back :D
     
  2. pbasswil

    pbasswil

    Feb 17, 2008
    Play with your right hand up near the neck! And yeah, tilt the neck upward and pluck with the sides of your fingers. That's a good start.

    Also: roll off all EQ above about 1500 hz, and below 100 hz. The actual "thump" is between 100 and 200 hz -- not below that. Bump that up if necessary.

    Pitch definition (er, what there is of it) is in that octave between around 600 to 1200.
     
  3. boomtisk

    boomtisk

    Nov 24, 2009
    Germany
    He's German and the German term for upright bass/double bass is Kontrabass. There's indeed a number of words that are spelled more or less the same in English and in German, but it doesn't always work, obviously. ;)
     
  4. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    best thing to do is the "3 F's"

    Flats
    Foam
    Fretless

    You will get very close with the first two, but I think the fretless aspect is crucial to getting that upright sound. It's amazing how much difference that some metal pieces can make.
     
  5. pbasswil

    pbasswil

    Feb 17, 2008
    It's some variation of contrabass(e) or kontrabass in almost every language. English is the odd man out here, although note: that's English usage -- "contrabass" is actually in most English dictionaries.
     
  6. pbasswil

    pbasswil

    Feb 17, 2008
    Fretless may be crucial for hinting at the way modern jazz DB often sounds -- growl and "mwah". But in really old pop recordings the strings were much deader with very little growl or sustain. So in a quest for that sound, fretless only nets you one advantage: the ability to play slightly out of tune.
    Imho, ymmv, of course.
     
  7. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Oh yeah, forgot about this one.
     

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  8. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    the 50s squer? shorstscale with a big pickup close to the neck

    flatwound strings feel nice
    and play nice
     
  9. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    oops
    this is backwards in th emirror
     
  10. I think Sting is more well known for playing electric bass guitar than playing double bass.

    Yep... Electric Bass is common shorthand for Electric Bass Guitar.

    Never heard Contrabass to be used as a noun to describe an acoustic bass guitar. The Electric Bass mentioned above is also a Bass Guitar, just electric! I defer to Leo Fender's original patents for his Precision bass; they most definitely say GUITAR on them.

    Although the VI was most famously used for playing tic-tac basslines and baritone guitar parts, the instrument itself is a bass guitar. It is approx. 30" scale length like any other short-scale bass guitar, and is tuned all the way down to low E like any bass guitar or double bass. It just has two higher strings and thus can perform a baritone role very nicely. A dedicated Baritone Guitar typically has a scale length shorter than 30" and longer than 25.5" and is usually tuned from A to a or from B to b. But both standard Bass Guitars and regular (Spanish) guitars are tuned so that their pitch ranges overlap, and they each cover part of the baritone range (in fact, some four-string short-scale basses have "baritone" switches which cut out much of the low frequencies to enable them to play baritone guitar lines, without muddying up the low end where a separate bass line may reside).

    Contrabass is a common term for the double bass, especially among classical players; it comes from the Italian name of the instrument contrabbasso
     
  11. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Good to know! Thanks!
     

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