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naive beginner questions..

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by intoresting, Mar 11, 2005.

  1. intoresting


    Mar 11, 2005
    ok, i want to learn to play bass. the question is "where to start?". so, a few questions: first of all, i'm wondering whether to get an acoustic or electric bass. when it comes to guitars, i've generally heard musicians say that a good acoustic guitarist can more easily transition to electric guitar than an electric guitarist to an acoustic guitar. is the same true for bass guitar? i like the idea of acoustic instruments and would prefer to learn on acoustic bass, but not if i'm going to be limited later on. i did a little searching for acoustic basses online and found upright basses, double basses, and acoustic-electric basses. are all basses that are hand held (like a guitar) acoustic-electric hybrids? if so, why? it looks to me that an upright bass is the same thing as a double bass. is this correct? if i learn on a big upright bass would i also be able to play an electric hand held bass? they look so big, are placed on the ground and are played from a completely different angle; it seems almost like a completely different instrument. on a slightly different topic, i was trying to learn to play a regular six string guitar for over a year and finally decided that because i have abnormally knobby knuckles and slender finger bones, i would never be able to play a barre chords (in which all six strings are barred). i assume that because bass guitars only have four strings, there is no need to barre. am i correct in this assumption? if so, is this only true for four string bass guitars? taking all of the above into consideration, could you guys recommend a few specific models that would fall into a $200 ish budget? i know i've asked a ridiculous number of silly questions, but like i say.. i'm just a beginner. if any of you would be kind enough to help me out with some info, i'd really appreciate it.
  2. lopsy_lu


    Feb 15, 2005
    Scotland, UK.
    I can't really comment on the transition from acoustic bass to electric im afraid.

    Yeh thats right, upright bass, contra bass, all refer to double bass.

    Thats just the way it is, I assume it would be nigh on impossible to have a hand held double bass.

    Well, the double bass has a different tuning, but learning on the instrument would make you very precise and strengthen the fingers up a lot, which would help electric bass playing.

    Well it depends on whats stuff you play really, there are certain things that need you to bar across 3 or 4 strings.

    The GSR series from Ibanez are excellent value and high quality for the price, plus are good for beginners due to a very thin neck and a light body.
    The Yamaha RBX170 and RBX270 are good for much the same reason as the Ibane GSR.

    Hope this helped :)
  3. intoresting


    Mar 11, 2005
    thanks for the thorough response lopsy. i did a search on the Yamaha RBX170 and RBX270 and the Ibanez GRS series. it looked like these were
    not acoustic/electrics.. just electrics. i would just like the option to be able to play without plugging in all the time. when a bass is categorized as an acoustic/electric, this does mean you have this option. doesn't it?
  4. It does?? Are you saying I've been doing it wrong the past several years tuning both my DB and Electric EADG?? :eyebrow:
  5. glnflwrs


    Jan 25, 2005
    Hesperia, CA
    Yes, generally that's true. The hybrids do give a better sound unplugged than solid body electrics do unplugged.

    Ibanez has a true acoustic bass that also has a piezo pickup under the bridge. Mod #AEB10 $339

    Dean has a true acoustic fretless, the Performer CE. It also has a pickup. $399




    Gryphon is a purely acoustic custom luthier.

    :) :) :)
  6. Primus_rocks


    Jan 26, 2005
    a double bass doesnt have different tuning!!! I dunno but every upright i`ve played has been EADG
  7. intoresting


    Mar 11, 2005
    thanks, so how do i know whether or not to go with a fretless? again, my main concern is - which one will allow me to more easily transition into the other? or is it strictly a matter of preference? the Ibanez #AEB10 seemed to get pretty good reviews at a site called "same day music".(38 people gave it a 7.9 out of 10). http://www.samedaymusic.com/productreview--IBAAEB10
    i noticed a couple people gave it ones and twos in the "ease of use category". i guess this means it's hard to play?
    4 people gave the dean performer ce a 4.8 out of 10.

    has anyone ever played a fender bg31? 97 people gave it a 7.8 out of 10.
    i don't know how much stock to put in this sites reviews.. but they seem as legit as any other source to me.
  8. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I don't think it will really matter. Pick whatever interests you the most. Don't worry about transistioning. You can make any transistion work if you have the desire.

    The most important thing is to pick an instrument that you will want to pick up and play. You won't learn anything if it sits in its case all the time.
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    No acoustic bass guitar is loud enough for playing with others, unamplified. This is why 99% of the acoustic bass guitars out there also have eletronics built in.

    For playing alone, around the house, they get the job done.

    Double basses, acoustic bass guitars and electric bass guitars are all tuned the same. EADG.

    Since this thread covers a lot of different topics, I am moving it to our Miscellaneous forum.
  10. This is my opinion and some may disagree. But get your self a good P-Bass or jazz bass. Play that for a while. Get into your head the sound of the bass, intervals, proper technique and other stuff. Once you get that down the move on to bigger/better things.

    I personally wouldnt start with a fretless.. You need to get the fundamentals down first and not having frets is just one more headache. Not to say others havent started on fretless. Thats just my opinion.

    Upright is a whole different animal. Although the tuning is the same you need to use a different technique.

    If you are interested in both, then play both. But realize, just because you can play electric doesnt mean you can play upright and vice versa.

    As far as basses, I would suggest starting with something like an Essex ( rondomusic.com ).. I have a couple of these and they are great basses for the money. Get it, spend the money getting it setup professionaly with some new strings, pop in a couple CDs and play along.
  11. WovenGraphite

    WovenGraphite Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    Bay Area, California
    I am playing both double bass (DB) and electric. I did start by electric.

    The only thing I can say is that they are both totally different instrument technically. The job in a band is the same but the instrument technique is different.
    I am a right handed player and the work on the left hand (on the neck) is totally different. However, starting with DB will give you a little bit more strength in the left hand (darn half position!)
    As far as the right hand is concerned, well, on an electric, you need to move your fingers (usually 2... some freak like Trujillo use 3). On a DB, the right hand is not that used. You will probably take lessons (I highly recommend it for DB). You will probably end up learning using classical methods (remember, early traces of DB were found in the 1500s -14th century that is). Not that I am complaining about it (I am classically trained) but classical method will make you use a bow and with a bow, your right hand will "just" hold the bow... the technique will not really be developped to work on the finger movement.
    No worries, this can quickly be picked up.

    Double bass tend to need more care than electric.

    Finally, if you decided to go acoustic (people say acoustic in opposition to electric - upright in opposition to horizontal of the electric) get your bass setup properly. It will cost an extra $ but it is necessary.

    Enjoy and pm me if you need more info