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How hard is it picking up on URB after years of electric?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by rob_d, Dec 7, 2001.

  1. rob_d


    Jun 14, 2001
    Hi all,
    I'm in the process of shopping around for an URB and am definately going to take the plunge on something decent probably within the next month or two.

    I have played fretted electric for 12+ years and even studied music in school. Not to mention all the lessons, and live gigs etc... My question is how hard will it be switching over to the URB after all this time and effort on the fretted electric? What are the big obstacles? Obviously the intonation will be a big factor..and it's going to take a bit to learn the whole new fingering techniques. That's really my main thing is the technique..as I said I've studied music and know it well..it's just a matter of bringing it from the electric to the UR. I play jazz and afro-cuban/latin. Though I hate to say never I don't see myself doing anything major on the orchestral side, so bowing might not be a factor right away..but who knows.

    I'm also in the process of hunting down a good teacher to get me going on all this so if anybody knows any names in the Tampa/St. Pete area in Florida feel free to let me know.

    I can't wait to get started. It isn't like this is the first time I've wanted to do this but growing up my parents certainly couldn't afford to get me an URB, and through college I sure couldn't. Now I'm in the position to finally enter the "dark side" as I hear some of you mention on here. Thanks.
  2. Hi Rob_D,

    Find a GOOD double-bass teacher BEFORE you start looking for a double-bass - that way you will avoid most of the pit-falls associated with choosing an appropriate instrument. Get as much information as possible BEFORE you buy. Don't be in too much of a hurry, and don't be "wowed" by the look of an instrument - you have to consider the sound, the feel, the "playability" of the instrument - something which is difficult to judge unless you have experience, and which can be changed by having the instrument set-up correctly. Be warned though, once you start, there's no going back - it's addictive!

    Good Luck!

    - Wil
  3. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    is definitely not easy as one would think, but keep in mind that you already play bass as far as concept and you have a certain music knowledge, so you are not a total beginner, so go for it, I've been playing electric for over 20 years and upright for about 10, and I play most of my gigs on upright,it was hard at first and frustating at times being that I could play electric, but it's a lot of fun and if you play jazz you'll never want to play it on electric, that is the true sound of jazz, make sure you get a teacher, there are things that you definitely need to know, good luck, enjoy!
  4. Deeter


    Dec 5, 2000
    San Fransico, CA

    I'm not an DB-ist (yet), but I can make a suggestion regarding teachers in the Tampa/St. Pete area. There is a guy named Mark Neuenshcwander (Pronounced New-en-shwand-er) who used to play in a combo called Common Ground in St. Pete. The guy could make the DB sing! I think he teaches over at USF in Tampa, but and I'd wager that he's probalby got a decent sized private studio to boot.

    Here's a link to his info on the USF site . . . not too descriptive, but it should give you a good lead on how to get in touch with him.


    Hope it works out well for you.
  5. Deeter


    Dec 5, 2000
    San Fransico, CA
    Crazy what a small world it is . . . I used to study tenor sax in high school with one of Liquid Bebop's players, a guy named David Pate.
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    When you get going, PLAY EVERY DAY. Playing The Bass is a lot like jogging. Whe you lay off for a day, it seems twice as big when you get back. After a few years you can lay it down for a day or two, but it still seems big for the first 20 minutes or so when you get back to it.

    I have to disagree with Ed a little bit on the Slab thing. I have my bass students start on electric as well as work out new ideas, etc. on the Slab for a number of reasons. You can hear what your playing in tune, the Slab is a good place to work on speed, feeling what it's like to play with a light touch, yada yada.

    Also, expect to put in about a year of daily practice/playing/gigging before you have your strength up to where it doesn't feel like you're playing the Brooklyn Bridge, particularly toward the end of a 5 hour gig.
  7. I've only been playing double bass for a few months after playing bass guitar (I feel like I have to differentiate now) for five years, after playing guitar for 15.

    At first, I started upright because I'm getting a Jazz Performance degree, and you're required to play both electric and upright. But now, I'm really loving the upright a lot.

    Here's the main thing...There are some similarities as far as register, and so forth, but it's a totally different approach. Your body interacts with the instrument in a very different way...not just fingering stuff (avoiding the third finger for example)...but just the feel of it. Your approach will be very different. Remember, it's actually part of the violin family, and not the guitar family. Feel comfortable knowing that you're more or less starting from scratch...You wouldn't have a huge advantage as a bass guitarist, over, say, a pianist.

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