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Jumping in...

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by catchnedge, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. Hey gang, new to this community, first wanted to say HI & introduce myself... name's Mark. I WANT to learn DB and determined to make this happen. A little bit of asking around has led me to this web site, thanks to Ed Friedland, Austin TX. I love the versatility of this instrument and it's the way I want to pursue my love of Bluegrass and Folk music, as well as being able to play along with my kids and friends acoustic guitar and other music talents. Who knows where this will take me.

    OK, here's the readers digest version of what's scrambling around in my brain...

    - 30 min of being on here and reading some posts, I know I'm in the right place

    - I will try my best to not ask questions that have already been asked

    - I have mostly a "long ago" music background, HS & College Trumpet, but played a little "not serious" guitar/mountain dulcimer

    - I'm not connected whatsoever with any local musicians/programs, so starting completely from scratch

    - I recognize I'm a true "newbie" at this, so I intend to listen/read more than open my mouth

    - I live near San Antonio TX, and don't see a lot happening with this instrument around here (possible challenge)

    I think my priorities should be:

    1. Educate myself--I see the newbie post and intend to read it fully.

    2. Find an instrument--I believe I need a good entry level 3/4 DB, adjustable bridge, that will not, in itself, discourage me. SA craigslist doesn't have squat!

    3. Start lessons and playing--Ed is available to teach in Austin, but looking for someone in San Antonio or Canyon Lake TX area (closer to home if possible), but bottom line... I need to take care of priority 1 & 2 first

    Sorry for the long post! I welcome any info, advice and pointers you may have and look forward to being a more active part of this community.


  2. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2006
    Founder - Discover Double Bass
    Mark that's a killer intro post. I'm sure you will do great and be playing in no time.
    I would recommend getting a local teacher as soon as you get a bass to make sure you are on the right track.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how you get on and if you need any help you are in the right place. There are some amazing people/bassists @ Talkbass.
    Cheers Geoff
  3. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Welcome and best wishes! Huge Awesome-Dad points for playing bass with the kids!
  4. misterbadger

    misterbadger Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome - I was in your shoes a year ago. I found a great pro teacher, and am having a wonderful time. Aside from tone, timing, and intonation, I'm doing pretty well with it.

    +1 on Geoff's advice to find a local teacher. He's too modest to flaunt his great video lessons at discoverdoublebass.com, but they're a great help. Check 'em out!
  5. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
  6. Rebop


    Jul 9, 2008
    La Honda, CA
    Phil Flanigan is the guy you want to talk to.
    When I was just getting serious in the late 90's he was based here in South Florida and I used to ask him as many questions as possible. Genuinely nice guy.
  7. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Welcome, Mark! That was the best intro post I've ever read here. Kudos for taking the time to do a bit of homework first. We're here to help.

    Geoff gave you great advice. I second the quality of his on-line lessons and his advice to get a teacher. It might be wise to establish a relationship with a teacher before you get a bass. It's worth paying a pro for his/her time to help you find an instrument and folks here can help as well.

    So, let's start. What's your budget for a bass? I'm a fan of getting the best instrument you can (within reason). Doing so pays large dividends in terms of ease of playing, progress, and enjoyment. Ordinarily, a good suggestion would be to rent a DB to see if it's what you really want. If I'm interpreting your post correctly, you're already committed. (Choosing strings can cause you to be committed, but in a different way :D).

    You are wise to steer clear of craigslist and eBay. Looking forward to hearing about and helping you with your journey!
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah, we need a "like" button. You're coming in the right way and I'm sure you'll find us and people in San Antonio welcoming and helpful because of your thoughtful approach. Keep us updated.
  9. All, thanks for the welcome & great advice. I'm motivated!

    Just missed the Jim Cullum band and Phil Flanigan a few days ago, but they're next performance is on my phone, Oct 26, psyched about attending and hope to get a chance to speak with them and connect. Thanks for that tip!

    Budget for a Bass? Therein lies my first hurdle... two weeks ago, I was thinking I could maybe drop $300 on one to get started. No financial planning required... what was I really thinking! I know now I need a more thoughtfull approach. IDK for certain, but based on what I'm reading, to go right after where "I think" I want to be, seems like I'll need to be in the ~$1500-2000 mark, to get a quality 3/4 that I'll still be happy with 1-2 years from now, avoid some of the learning pitfalls, and will allow me to take this in any direction I want to go. So, onward and upward... I'll start saving, but it's going to take me a good 4 months. That's ok. In the mean time, I'll just get smarter. Would like to get my hands on one and start playing though, so I'm going to try and follow your advice... see if I can rent one.

    Ed in Austin has been real willing to respond to my emails. Think I'll pay for a lesson, just go meet him, absorb, see if he or someone he knows has a DB I can rent & see if he would be willing to help me look for one.

    Hey, at least I know what/who a "Luthier" (edit: Lutherie) is now... maybe I can teach an old dog some new tricks!

  10. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Why wait? Phil Flanigan's contact info http://www.thejazzcorner.com/artist-profile.php?ID=103
  11. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Perfect, Mark! Your approach is extremely wise, clear-headed, informed, and absolutely optimum.