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just got my upright!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by bassmonkey144, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. finnally, after 6 months of waiting, i went out and rented an upright. from paiges music. the rent to buy dealy. anywho, they gave me the works, case, bow, rosin, music stand, book, rock stop, cleaning cloths, ect. i had been playin electric for like 3 years or so. and my friends in orchestra said i should play bass for them, cuase they have about 6 players, to play in 8 orchestras ( my highschools huge). so i talked to the orchestra teacher about it, and she recomended i try to learn a bit over the summer, and she would help me during the school year. now i know the first rule is to get a teacher. so i talked to my eb teacher about it, and it turns out he plays upright too. so hes gonna help me on that. i just wanted to share my excitement on getting an upright. my hands havnt been this sore since i started playing EB. :D :D :D
  2. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Coolio bro!
    Mine should be here in two weeks, so you're ahead of me...
  3. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    I feel your pain. I just received my Upton Bass last week. I play until my fingers hurt, but not too long. I found that out the hard way. I practiced too long the first day I had time and had to lay off a few days and heal. The tips of my left hand felt like someone hit them with a hammer. :confused: URB strings are much more challenging than EB for sure. Now I just practice every day until sore but I dont push it. You would think 28yrs of EB would help but noooooo. :mad:

  4. azflyman


    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    Oh, by the way, welcome to the dark side. :D

  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Crap! I was hoping it would...:)
  6. The best way to build up your chops, at least for me, is to get yourself into a playing situation with other people to the point that you're having so much fun playing, that the pain won't be so noticable. When it's not fun, it can become tedious to put up with the pain. When you're playing with others you tend to play over your head and that's good....just don't push to the point that you hurt yourself.
  7. Any more advise on building strength & fingertips?
    I'm just getting started again after 17 years away from the upright. My left hand is ok, I try not to stretch too much and shift more often. My right hand fingertips are burning (hurting)though. I'm trying to learn to play with the side of 1st finger as much as possible but I can only handle simple slower stuff before I revert to perpendicular picking which is where I'm getting a better tone anyway.
  8. Ya know, there's no law saying you gotta do it any way! People of my generation use to start out with the old Ray Brown " clip the fingerboard with your thumb and play on the side of your index finger" I think because Ray was the most visible bass player and he got such a huge sound that the idea of getting the most "meat" on the string was the answer. This included as much meat on the first joint and traveling right up to your knuckle. Amps came along and it seemed people weren't quite as bent on doing that. Players lightened up....Sambas and figures like that are just so much easier and relaxed sounding when you use the tips of your first two fingers. Now, we're reverting back to playing without an amp....so the idea of getting as much meat on the strings as possible is still very valid.
    I dunno, it just seems natural to start out with the Ray way, and then start experimenting with all the other stuff to get different sounds and more speed. Alot of guys seem to think that the secret to playing fast is related to how many fingers on your right hand you can get going....like NHOP. I prefer to use some stuff in the LEFT hand to gain some color and improve speed because it seems to get kind of stacattoish sounding to seperate the notes like that with multi-fingers in the right hand..
    Someone mentioned the way Red Mitchell would get alot of gliss stuff going with his left hand, as WELL as a goodly amount of speed in the right. This, to me, is what separates Reds soloing abilities from other bassists and also makes his playing more horn-like. I think the secret to relaxing, horn-like soloing and time playing lies more in the left hand than the right.
  9. I agree with Paul that soloing is all about the left hand even though I can't solo my way out of a paper bag.

    Btw, I just got back from a 3 hour bluegrass jam. Fingertips are fine, just a little right arm fatigue. Feeling good about it anyway. Thanks for the thoughts.
  10. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    If you got a gig and you still have blisters. Try playing right before you hit the stage to get your fingers kind of numb. I had to this on a tour with no days off for 3 weeks and as painful as it was in the initial playing, you get used to blowing through it and you'll get the calluses. The worst feeling is when you're playing gingerly because of the blisters and they are going to hurt anyway so might as well go for tone.

    On the plucking question I usually use the side of my finger to get the meat but on quick passages I use perpendicular plucking (on the fingertips to get the passage out). Do give the technique of plucking with side of your finger a chance even if it feels weird because you really do get a lot of sound that way.
  11. Sounds like you are working too hard. Use a little gravity by letting your arm fall instead of relying muscle to pull those notes.
  12. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    practice everyday...even if it is for a few minutes. You need to build the finger strength and get those fingers hard.

    You said you were going to be playing in the orchestra. I played in a orchestra just a few months after first playing...IMHO...Bow bow bow..Start working with that bow everyday.

    It will help with your intonation and getting a good clear bow sound will take a lifetime.

  13. matt macgown

    matt macgown Guest

    Dec 1, 2003
    Chattanooga, TN
    My God - you folks reminded me about what it was like in the "good ol days - " 50s, 60s. No amplification worth a damn, if any at all. We would play jazz gigs 5 or 6 nights a week, sometimes twice on weekends, do barn dances, and then have to go play a concert with the PSO. Sometimes it was only four nights. Gigs in hotels, bars, etc... you played so much the fingers would get all swollen, even though calloused to the knuckle. Then go do a Dixie land gig and break all the callouses, blisters, and blood was pourng out all over your bass - bad mix with my blonde Swingmaster.

    Then you'd get out the new skin, paint it all over the blown out fingers, screaming silently when all that ethery stuff got into the openigs, let it harden up for a few minutes, and keep on playing. I'd forgotten all that pain.

    Thanks! I needed that. Maybe that's why I went to symphonies and chamber music, and churches! Oh yeah!!!