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I want to learn double bass...

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by The Beast, Jul 19, 2004.


  1. The Beast

    The Beast

    Jul 19, 2004
    Evil Town
    I have played electric bass for almost 5 years now, and am very interested in learning to play double bass, both classical and jazz and anything else about it. Can anyone tell where a good place to buy/ rent one is and any playing tips for some one who is starting to swich. (I can read music, and know a pretty good amount of theory, and play jazz frequently.)

    P.S. I didnt know what section to put this in, move it if its incorrect.
     
  2. Josh McNutt

    Josh McNutt Guest

    Mar 10, 2003
    Denton, Texas (UNT)
    No one can suggest any place if you put "Evil Town" as your location. Help us help you.
     
  3. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    i have the same request as the beast. can anyone give me advise on learning double bass?
     
  4. The Beast

    The Beast

    Jul 19, 2004
    Evil Town
    I found a place to borrow one, but I cant get it for another week or two... :bawl:

    Does anybody have tips for someone taking up double bass as well as electric?
     
  5. lcook

    lcook

    Mar 20, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    The biggest thing that I can say is make sure that you realize that electric technique and double bass technique are two totally different approaches. Get a good teacher so you don't carry any EB habits over to the double bass.
     
  6. I agree with lcook. Get a good teacher. I've seen a lot of electric bass players carry over bad habits to DB, especially with fingerings and bow technique, so get someone who will help you through these difficulties.
     
  7. rockness

    rockness

    Jul 30, 2003
    Stratford, CT
    -Don't hurt yourself, if you feel too much discomfort, take a break and figure out what's causing you to feel pain (other than the aspect of playing something the sheer size of the DB).

    -Listen to as much music with DB in it as possible, listen to how they approach the song.

    -Watch live performances, observe how they approach the instrument.

    -Speaking from personal experience, jumping from electric to DB caused me to simplify alot of my lines and to think differently...that was a good thing. I got caught up in too much 'pattern thinking' and not enough 'note thinking' if you know what I mean. Of course DB has patterns as well, just not so easily exploited when you first are acquainted with it.

    -Listen to the instrument to hear if you are in tune, whether you use markers or not.

    That's all I can offer for now...good luck amigos.
     
  8. moped10

    moped10

    Apr 9, 2003
    Wilmington, NC
    I like to sneak up on it from behind...
     
  9. rockness

    rockness

    Jul 30, 2003
    Stratford, CT
    I personally like to grab it by the neck and push it around myself, but YMMV.
     
  10. Yeah, I was starting to learn it by myself, but I'm doubting my posture...it made me feel all shtupid. What is the right way to hold it?
     
  11. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    That is a great question for a teacher.
    Sorry, but that's the only way to learn this one.
    I showed one of my electric bass students how to hold a doublebass the other day in about 10 minutes. So it doesn't have to take a long time, and it isn't difficult.

    Call the local musician's union, or the local University or College music department, and they should be able to hook you up with a good teacher.

    Gary Karr, Rufus Reid, Francois Rabbath, Ludwig Striecher, and Ray Brown are all great double bass players that have great books on technique and musicality. Check those players out, and you can work on their materials with your teacher.

    Best regards,
    Laurence
     
  12. Tom Warrington ring a bell to any of you?
     
  13. Please you guys....go to the Newbie links under each heading. There's all you want to know in there! Good luck!
     
  14. Tom W. is a superb player. I recommend his recording called "Corduroy Road" Also from what I can tell from his website he has put a great deal of effort into his teaching methods. AFAIK he's primarily a jazzer, but is probably well schooled in classical technique as well.
     
  15. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    "Just" a Jazzer, he said, feigning offense!
    ;)


    I use Tom's Essential styles book all the time now. He knows his stuff!
    LM
     
  16. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Feigning offense means I was joking that I was offended.
    :bassist:

    But NOW, I'm really getting offended! :smug:
     
  17. The Beast

    The Beast

    Jul 19, 2004
    Evil Town
    I already have a Ray Brown book that i was using for electric. Now that I play through some of the exercises on the DB its helping me get the scales and arpeggios down. I am still completly lost on bowing, I am saving that until i have a teacher.

    I have some numbers for different teachers, I should line one up soon and start really learning it.

    I have heard before that the third finger is not used at all on Double Bass, but this seems impractical. Is this true or not?
     
  18. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Hi "The Beast" from "Evil town" :rolleyes:

    Anyways. . . It's a good idea to use 1, 2, and 4th fingers low on the neck. When you put 2nd finger down, keep 1st finger in place. When you put the 4th finger down, keep all the other fingers in place. In the middle of the neck you can certainly use all four fingers chromatically, as long as you keep it in tune!

    Gary Karr (http://www.garykarr.com) recommends using the same fingerings you use on electric bass when you play in the middle of the neck, and this can be done with some practice. Remember to stop if anything you practice hurts.

    A good teacher will get you going on the bow, and that will help your intonation, as well as help you play a bunch of great music. Don't forget to listen to as much great music as you can.

    Best regards,
    Laurence
     
  19. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    I don't use my left hand third finger for any note below the G on the G string. I guess it varies from bass to bass but that is where I start making the transition to thumb position. BTW - something my teacher told me that really opened things up is that going in to thumb position is a gradual process - the thumb gradually starts wrapping around the neck. You'd probably have to see it demonstrated to know what I mean. Anyway, I know there are some methods that use the 3rd finger down low but, for me, that's not the way to go. I don't try to apply guitar fingerings to the DB because it just doesn't feel right to me. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend picking up the Simandl Vol. I book. If you're going at it without a teacher for now, at least this book will give you the fingerings and systematically teach you the fingerboard. And if you want to learn arco, it's meant for that - has the bowings written in, etc. It starts out with a lot of whole notes with open strings and gradually takes you up starting with half position (the open strings and first 3 notes on each string). Also, the exersices work great for pizz playing too. Chance are, if you get a teacher you will be instructed to get the Simandl book. My teacher was happy when I showed up with it. Good luck and have fun. It's a great instrument and incredibly fun to play.

    -Scot
     
  20. The Beast

    The Beast

    Jul 19, 2004
    Evil Town
    Thanks for everybodys help, I'll get this whole double bass thing down soon enough. I really really love playing this insturment.