How long before you take the thing to practice?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Jay Corwin, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Jay Corwin

    Jay Corwin Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    So I've been playing DB since May (long time BG), had a handlful of lessons, and a lot of private practice. I'm almost know what I'm doing with a few songs, and I can actually play a few before I begin to fatigue.

    I think I might be to the s*** or get off the pot point as far as playing it with the band. Jamming to MP3's and metronomes is getting very booooorrring. I thinking I will improve leaps and bounds if I have to actually have to put up or shut up in front of the band.

    So how long did it take for everyone to get to the point where you fealt ready to play the bass with other musicians?
  2. herndonbassist

    herndonbassist Low Down Thumper

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa
    My personal experience was to bring it into the band almost immediately. I also would have buddies over to just jam in my basement (guitar and bass mostly) so that I could work up the stamina with rhythm and everything. I say go for it, there's nothing saying you have to play it for everything, you can always just start with a couple of tunes at first.

  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    After a couple of months practicing on my own, I asked the trio I played with at the time if they'd mind if I started playing a couple of tunes on the big girl during rehearsals. They actually encouraged this. It wasn't long before the DB was the main axe, and the rest is history.
  4. mwiles30


    Dec 31, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    I'm in the same boat as you. I started studying the DB in January (I've been playing electric for years), and I'm at that point where I need to get out of the house with it.

    I got my intonation solid up to about the F on the G string, I started playing with people more.

    Just go for it, man.
  5. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    I had strayed away from the DB for nearly 4 years as I went into my ERB experiences, with only occasional use of the DB during that time. Lately, I've been using the big fella more and more to the point where it now goes on every jazz date.

    IMO, nothing is better than live playing for developing stamina .... I can do a ton of home practice, but until I play it live I have no idea if I have the chops to do a full gig without bleeding to death or needing oxygen :rolleyes:

    Take it out, get some live playing with a band under your belt ... as long as your bandmates are understanding, you shouldn't have any issues ..... :cool:
  6. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    I think if you can keep your octaves and fifths in tune, its time to take the bass out with you. That will quickly build your stamina, and give you blisters like you never had playing with the metronome!
  7. I started jamming with people after playing DB for 2 weeks. It went well. I also kept my electric bass handy to switch to when I felt like it. Back then, I often played the DB with the band for about 20-30 minutes and then switched to electric bass.
  8. catty


    Mar 25, 2006
    I began playing with people immediately when I got my first UB -- playing until I could no longer physically execute.. I wound up developing an annoying chronic tendonitis in my left hand that persisted for about 4-5 years. I'm lucky I have no significant lingering effects (knocking on wood).
  9. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    I got my first upright and took it to a gig, and it was horrible i thought! I couldn't get a sound, I couldn't tell if I was playing i tune or not. AT the end of the gig I felt really bad and told the bandleader that he didn't have to pay for the night and that he could hire someone else for the next two nights he had booked me. Turns out the guy tells me he didn't know what i was talking about, he then offered me the gig on a steady basis. 3 times a week form monday thru wednesday leaving me the rest of the week open to play other gigs. Actually after a couple of months the guy moves to NY and I took over the gig and I played at that club for 6 years 3 times a week with my own group!!!
  10. You should play with other musicians as soon and as often as you can. Listening and responding to other players while you have a bass in your hand can only help improve your range of expression.
  11. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    This echoes my experience. My upright was rendered unplayable during the Northridge earthquake, so I played only electric bass for a long time. A few years ago, I inherited my Dad's DB and when I asked the guys in the band how they would feel about me playing a few songs on DB during rehearsals to help build up my ear/intonation and chops/stamina, they eagerly embraced the idea!

    We don't play a lot of songs that are well-suited to DB, so I asked if we could put them all together during the first set, after which I would switch to electric. It's been a nice way to get back into DB without killing myself, and the band has been very supportive.
  12. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Playing bass guitar since 1967-ish. Got my double bass about 2 months ago. Giggin' with it already. Just country/folk/bluegrass stuff, but lovin' it! Got a nice slap thing goin' now for those rockabilly tunes, too. I practice at least one hour every day.
  13. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Intonation was the hardest part for me. I hacked away at it for a couple of months before it could move up and down. An inline tuner helped a lot and watching other (DB) players use open strings for pitch check (So What, for instance) gave me some ideas. Four months before I even brought it to a gig.

  14. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    There is nothing like playing with people. My old teacher used to exhort me to always relate practicing to a playing situation.

    I started playing out before I owned my own double bass; using a borrowed, but free, pretty ridiculous high school plywood. It just made me want to practice more. The cycle continues...
  15. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    It's been 30-odd years since I began, but I'd say go for it - do what you feel comfortable with. I remember sticking the EB in the car or off-stage as a backup but not using it very much. Keep reinforcing things at home, like left hand technique, intonation exercises, pizz sound, bowing - go to the gig and just think about the music. Have fun!

  16. I started immediately. It was interesting that I played against a piano player who I didn't think was that loud until I played the DB with her, and the 'acoustic' set the band was playing...They actually plugged in and cranked up. It was a great experience for me to figure how to get volume using my hands without being able to turn a knob. Gaining hand strength, stamina and all that. Go For It!
  17. Jay Corwin

    Jay Corwin Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I'm taking it to practice on sunday (which would be from my upstairs to my basement). I have about 6 songs down, and a few more I'm sure I could just jam to. The challenging part is having to write new lines for a lot of stuff. As I'm sure most of you already know, bass guitar lines don't always translate all that well to the DB. Even when they do, the fingering for me doesn't. I hardly ever use opens on a bass guitar.......I use them all the time on DB.

    I'm really trying to just play simple and clean, and not try to do too much, too fast.
  18. That is a Great story!

    In my case, it was woodshedding for about 6 months before playing in public. My surprised musician friends would say in amazement that they never knew I played upright that well (had 'em fooled, huh?). Had the electric as a backup to finish the fourth set if I got knackered on the db.

    I found out (coming from nearly 30 yrs of eb) that with the huge sound of the upright, it was unneccesary to try and play the same electric bass lines. Simpler is better, less is more
  19. Jay Corwin

    Jay Corwin Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I've been trying to leave more air in between notes, and concentrate more on attack and placement of notes.
  20. Erich Bruning

    Erich Bruning

    Nov 25, 2003
    New England
    Took mine out to practice within a few weeks. Definitely different playing it with other instruments rather than solo. I thought I has started to build up callouses, but man did my fingers hurt after that first night.