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Jazz Bassists:Do you prefer playing Upright, Electric, or Electric Upright and why?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ellexz, Jan 29, 2005.


  1. Acoustic Upright Bass

    34 vote(s)
    82.9%
  2. Electric Bass Guitar

    3 vote(s)
    7.3%
  3. Electric Upright Bass

    1 vote(s)
    2.4%
  4. All three types

    3 vote(s)
    7.3%
  5. Acoustic Upright Bass and Electric Upright Bass

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Electric Bass Guitar and Electric Upright Bass

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. ellexz

    ellexz

    Feb 23, 2003
    California
    Hi everyone, I'm doing a term paper on the use of the bass in jazz, and I was wondering...how many of you use the Upright Bass only, the Electric Bass only, Electric Upright, or both Upright Bass and Electric Bass? If you use anyother combination not in the poll, please also mention that... thanks! I was wondering what the preference is nowadays. I see more Electric Bass with jazz musicians, but I just wanted to make sure. Also, why do you choose it, and how many of you play both or all three? Thanks so much!
     
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I play bass guitar, but not for jazz gigs.

    I think the double bass sound is the right sound for MOST jazz. I only use electric bass if transport or amplification of the double bass will be a particular problem.
     
  3. Register_To_Disable

  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Really? Are you thinking 'Smooth Jazz', by chance?

    Jazz is mainly an all acoustic adventure, with the 6 stringer given the most latitude with electric and gizmos.
     
  5. azflyman

    azflyman

    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    My choice was not included. I play electric bass guitar and upright bass. Why play an upright electric when I have a bass guitar that is essentially the same thing? I never have really worked that out in my head. :eyebrow:

    az
     
  6. Jazzman

    Jazzman

    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    My feeling is that jazz can't be played with a bass guitar. Not only is the sound not there, it doesn't have the feeling. The phrasing on a double bass cannot be duplicated with a guitar. :bag:
     
  7. ellexz

    ellexz

    Feb 23, 2003
    California
    Well, just around the L.A. area, and some friends that I have that only use electric bass guitar for jazz and upright for symphonic music.
     
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    In answer to your original question, it's double bass for virtually everything for me. I just looked at last year's calendar, and out of the 331 evenings I played, three were on slab, one was on EUB, which means everything else was DB. As far as the daytime goes, there's a slightly larger percentage of slab in the studios, but it's still probably at least 90% DB. And that's the way I prefer it. I have absolutely nothing against the slab, except that I enjoy it a lot more the less I play it :meh: ....with the real bass, I can't wait to get to work.

    Finally, regarding why one chooses DB, I think it's more a case of it choosing you. I play a lot of other instruments with varying degrees of success, but the DB is my voice and my passion. I think would be hard for any of us to come up with a logical reason for playing such a big, fragile, cumbersome instrument if it weren't for the fact that, for a lot of us, it's the sound.
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    Tell that to Jaco!! ;)

    Weather Report with Jaco was one of the most successful Jazz groups ever - and Jaco's feeling for Jazz was certainly there! :meh:
     
  10. Dudie

    Dudie

    Apr 26, 2004
    Sweden
    Stupid poll. This is a Double-Bass forum... :rollno:
     
  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Disclosures:
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    "more electric bass" - just because you don't see a lot of rhinos in your neighborhood doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of rhinos around. I rarely see an electric bass on a jazz gig in my neighborhood.

    "why" - because NOTHING else in the world sounds like my bass. If I could get that sound on a kazoo, I'd play kazoo.
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I got to Jazz gigs every week in England and 99% of the time it is acoustic Double Bass.

    There are a few doublers and I've seen Eberhard Weber play EUB and some players are getting into the "travelling basses" like Michael Formaniak with the Gage Road Bass.

    Generally though - straight-ahead Jazz is DB only (99 out of a hundred gigs) - the audiences round here call it "fusion", if they see an electric bass!! ;)
     
  13. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    LOL nice one Ed

    I voted DB, I only play EB on a jazz gig if it's specifically requested. I almost always use EB on any non-Jazz gigs, except when playing "Rembetika" , etc. - the local Asia Minor music.

    You will find that the modus operandi with Jazzers is the DB. There's not many guys (I Think?) that play (or double, for that matter) a lot of slab - though notable examples are Bob Cranshaw and Steve Swallow.
     
  14. Confucius

    Confucius

    Dec 27, 2004
    New York
    You forgot to list Tuba.
     
  15. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    Yeah!!! I wanna learn that one day

    for those who don't know, "Bassist" used to mean that you double on Tuba and Double Bass.
     
  16. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Disclosures:
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    The Jazz Bass sound IS the regular Upright Bass/Double Bass with or without an amp.. Everything else is a compromise.. You need seperation between notes and the String Bass (aka.. u know!) is perfect for that.. Bleeding notes don't swing the same.. or swing at all IMO..

    Marcus.. 331 evenings?.. Wow.. That sounds a bit like my old schedule... Congrats.. Keep up the good work..
     
  17. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I don't know if I'd agree with note separation -- NHOP swings like a MF with a very sustain-y sound. I would propose it has more to do with the shape of the note and the consonant of the attack. Where a Slab gives you a 'p', naturally, the fiddle gives you more of a 'd' or 'b'.
     
  18. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    To add to that, try swinging a walking line arco. I do this to my cats from time to time as I practice :) Or listen to a tenor player walk a line behind you whilst yoo solo. Even if you get the notes in the right part of the groove, the feel is odd because of the sound. Both the T/S and the arco bass have the softer attack and flat sustain of the slab. I'm including 'thumpier' slab tones with this, too, including Ampeg Baby Bass types of sounds.
     
  19. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Thanks, Ken... My wife and kids, the Montessori School of Maui, and my mortgage lender all agree with you :smug:
     
  20. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Disclosures:
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    We got a DVD yestreday of Oscar Peterson 1977 montreau, with both Ray Brown and Neils Pederson... Huge difference in the Swing.. Neils is a fantastic player... What he has in technique over Ray, Ray has over him in swing AND Sound... Make that Xs two for my money. I'll take Ray's shorter seperated notes 8 out of 7 days a week as compared to Neils 3-finger constant eighth note+ solos...

    Sorry.. just my personal prefrence....
     
  21. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Ray was nuts about NHOP. So, there ya go.