Just got a bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by storm10, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. I just got an upright bass and ive been playing electric bass for 4 years now. Im having alot of trouble because the notes are so far apart. Is there anyway i can get something that will mark where the notes are at on the fret board?
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Duck when you see Paul Warburton coming -- and I'll not steal his fun.

    Go read the newbie threads, then get teacher.
  3. Gufenov


    Jun 8, 2003
    Welcome to the dark side! You'll get some great advice on this board, but be careful of using terms like "fret board." Just seeing the word "fret" causes some of the purists to break out in hives!

    You'll find arguments here for both sides of the marking the fingerboard issue. Some do, while others feel it's some sort of double-bass blasphemy (bassphemy?) to do so. If temporary markings will help you, a piece of masking tape or even a pencil mark will suffice. Use a good tuner to find the right spot to mark, and remember that the position of the note can chage slightly due to humidity, different strings, and various astrological alignments. Work on training your left hand to get to the position without looking at a mark, and your ear to identify when your intonation is correct.

    And don't be scared off by the "get a teacher" mantra. That's kind of a knee-jerk reaction around here. Not everyone has access to a qualified teacher, and not everyone who calls him/herself a teacher is qualified to be one. A teacher can help you develop proper technique, so you don't develop nasty habits that are hard to break - and could lead to injury. But, it is possible to learn without formal instruction, as many TB members have demonstrated.

    Good luck!
  4. Hi man, welcome to TBDB. I'm the guy Ray warned you of. We don't call that long black thing on a DB a fret board. Why? I ask you? Because it has NO frets! So, we call it a fingerboard!
    As Ray suggests,there's a whole bunch of talk about your subject of putting markers of different kinds on the FB, neck etc in the archives and Newbie Links. Check 'em out. ;)
  5. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Mraz dint need no stinkin' fret markers !
  6. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    ... although it has NO fingers !!! (life is difficult for young DBassist)
  7. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Doesn't somebody have a George Mraz fingerboard for sale?
  8. Chrix


    Apr 9, 2004

    uuhhh....Yeah!...I do...um...(pries fingerboard off of Englehart and paints it Black)....and for only a mere $4,000....umm..it's signed as well....and Mraz will personally deliver it...yeah....that's the ticket....
  9. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004
    But it doesn't have any fingers either.

    Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

    Aw jeez, I just noticed olivier beat me to it. Never mind.
  10. The best guides for where you are on the fingerboard are auditory, not visual. As you probably know from your EB, the "harmonics" are those places where you can strike a note just touching the string without holding it down. Locate the octave harmonic (the mid point on the string), the 5th tone harmonic (it is the 5th tone in the scale of the open string but it is actually located at 1/3 and 2/3 the length of the string), and the 2nd octave harmonic (which is 1/4 and 3/4 the length of the string). These points will give you the equivalents of the 5th, 7th, 12th, 19th, and 24th frets. Most of the others you can derive or guess at if you can find these. A good position to start with is the one equivalent to the 5th fret. Your left hand fingers should cover from that note (with the forefinger) to the equivalent of the 7th fret (which is where your pinkie lands). Your middle finger should land on the 1/2 step between. Now you can play the one string blues on all four strings! Since these are absolute harmonic frequency points related to the string (as opposed to a fixed point on the fingerboard), they are better guides for positioning your left hand. If you need to at first go ahead and put some little marks at these points on the side of the fingerboard that faces you (usually the right side). You will find that the proper intonation usually is acheived by stopping the string just before (toward the nut) the marks. The key is to listen more than look. You can't see proper intonation. A good beginner book that I use is George Vance's Progressive Repertoire. It has Twinkle, Twinkle and other popular favorites! It really has helped me make the transition to DB. Also, you will hear the intonation more clearly if you play with a bow. The inexpensive ones work just fine for us beginners ;)
  11. larry

    larry Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2004

    Absolutely true, get a bow. Even if you never use it outside of your practice room, it will really help.

    There are some differing opinions on teachers. I doubt any serious pro here would say you don't need one. Unless you just want to hack around, you need a good teacher. I would suggest calling your local musicians' union and asking who the "in demand" players are. Call and see if they teach. If not, ask them who does. The good players will know who the good teachers are.

    To find your local union, go to http://www.afm.org/public/home/index.php
    and click on "find a local"