I just got a Double Bass!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Sound Guy Paul, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. Hey everyone, ever since I picked up the electric four years ago, I have wanted to learn the Double Bass. Well today I realized that dream. For my 18th birthday, my parents suprised me by taking me out and shopping for a bass. I brought home my new bass, and havent stopped playing it until just now, when my fingers were raw, so I decided to announce to you all, that I am officialy on your side. Any tips you guys can offer to a brand new player? How to keep my bass in good repair, how to get the best sound, that kind of stuff.

    BTW I ordered a Fishman (sp?) pickup for it. Are these good pickups?
  2. Hey, Congratulations!

    Get a GOOD teacher!

    Don't worry about the pickup!

    Get a GOOD teacher!

    - Wil
  3. Dayton, isn't that the home of the draggin's?

    BTW, what kind of bass did you get and where did you buy it; if I'm not being too nosy? I'm shopping for a bass myself.
  4. rablack


    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, Texas
    Welcome, Sound Guy

    A few tips:
    1 - Get a teacher
    2 - Read all the newbie threads on this side of the board and comb the archives as well. Lots of great info there (it's where I started my journey)
    3 - Get a Teacher
    4 - Find a real bass luthier to check your setup. Depending on where you bought your bass (hopefully not a guitar store) it probably needs a fair amount of setup.
    5 - GET a Teacher
    6 - Go to (All Hail) Bob Gollihur's site http://www.urbbob.com/basslink.html for the best collection of links and information on the web.
    7 - GET a TEACHER

    Do you detect a theme? Keep us posted. This is a great resource. Welcome to the dark side.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    Congratulations! The other posts had good points in them. The first thing you should do is get a teacher. Playing the Double bass is not like the electric, and you can hurt yourself if you don't use "proper"(good) technique.

    The Fishman pickup has a reputation for being a scratchy, trebly sounding pickup. If you get the Fishman pre-amp with it, it should solve all of these problems. I usually found the pickup sounded best when mounted anywhere but where it is supposed to go! I got the best sound from mounting it like an underwood with the contacts facing the body of the bass.

    Have fun with the bass. Did you have it setup?
  6. Thanks for the tips guys.

    I HAVE A TEACHER THANK YOU VERY MUCH. haha, no but seriously my electric teacher played Double Bass primarily, so I assumed I could get lessons from him, but I just got a message today telling me that he had moved, no good.
    I am going back to the store I bought it at, a small violin store, because the guy there told me that he knew a list of local teachers, so I am going to get that from him. Now call me ignorant (PAUL YOUR IGNORANT, thank you) but what setup is their to do on a DB? I know on an electric you have the truss rod to mess with, the bridge saddles to adjust, and all that fun stuff, but I see nothing like that on this bass. It does have an adjustable bridge, and the guy took a look at it when he sold it and said that the setup looked really good. I have been playing every chance I have gotten since yesterday, and honestly have gotten pretty used to it, which is probably a very bad thing. But you cant expect me to leave this beauty sitting in the corner unplayed until I get a teacher can you?

    BTW, the bass is a Christoper made in 2000 in Beijing, that mean anything?
  7. If that was the Baroque Violin Shoppe I probably played it a few weeks ago. There were two Christophers there. Both were nice basses.

  8. There are a ton of issues for setup on the DB. And compared to the BG they can be a lot more complex. I'm no expert but these are a few things I think I know about setup. Any of the more experienced player and of course our resident luthiers can provide more info. The bridge needs to be set properly for sound and intonation, it also needs to be rounded properly in relation to your fingerboard and your desired string height. The metal adjusters on your bridge have less to do with setup and more to do with adjusting your basses action due to changes in climate etc. So in a sense, you have your bass setup properly and then use the adjusters to maintain that setup. Also, there is a whole lot about the soundpost that I don't know. Your teacher should be able to help you with setup or reccomend a good luthier to you. By the way I've heard mostly good things about Christopher Basses. Do a search for them here, as I know they are mentioned in several threads. Enjoy your Double Bass!
  9. That would be the one..... I bought the cheaper one of the two, that did not have the fancier look to it. I still think its a beautiful instrument

    You dont happen to teach do you??? haha
  10. No, I'm afraid I don't teach. I just started playing a little over a year ago.

    I'm getting ready to buy a Christopher like yours from a luthier in Chicago. I liked the way it sounded better than the ones at the Violin Shoppe. Could be several reasons, different rooms, etc., but it was set up by a bass luthier and I believe these guys when they say that makes a difference. Another thing I got to do was to listen to Mark play it. It sounds totally different when someone else is playing it.:)

    There is a luthier in Cincinnati with a good reputation, Andy Stetson, at the Cincinnati Bass Cellar.
  11. I got my new bass yesterday. I bought it in Chicago from Mark Sonksen at Sonksen strings. It's a Christopher laminate. I think I'll celebrate by becoming a supporting member.:D
  12. Congrats on your new bassGetting a teacher is the best thing you could do. Most issuses of getting a good sound, intonation and what not will be dealt with.
    As for your fishman, I recomend not mounting the elements on the bridge, that sucks! I have taken two sided tap (real thin) and applied it to the elements, then attached them to the top of the bass right at the bridge feet. I have to say the sound is much better, everyone I play with who heard it before have complimented the change. I have recorded with it before the change and after the change, I wish I could go back to my first recording now with pick up where it is now! It's that much better.