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Need Help Convincing!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by VitaminC, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. VitaminC


    Oct 4, 2008
    Alright here's the deal, I am 16 and I have a secret love for Uprights :ninja:. I want to learn how to play one really bad. I love jazz and classical music too. I predict that I may have a small maybe unnoticeable head start from playing a fretless (lined) bass all the time. The deal is my parents are on the fence with the idea of me getting one.

    They want to know:
    * why learn upright?
    * how does it very from bass guitar? (this is form them not me)
    * Will it help me along the ways of playing guitar?
    * is it still in use like easy to find a band. <- again for them

    Also, do you guys have any other points that you can think of?

    As far as aquiring one, I am thinking about renting one (rent-to-own deal) from a Music & Arts store. They "guaranteed student level instruments and are rated on an orchestra level." I assume they mean a student orchestra.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
  3. I'm certain you will be deluged with reasons soon from our friends here.

    The most important thing is this: Music brings joy to your soul and to others. In the double bass, you may (if not already) have found your voice. I highly recommend reading a new book called The Element. Knowing where music lies in your heart, your soul and coming to terms with that knowledge, will lead you on your way.

    I can tell you my experience of going from guitar to bass.

    I'm self taught as a guitarist. I started in 1975 when I was 17 and I've played lead guitar with a number of bands in Southern California, did recording work and was invited to go on a few tours. My path provided a foundation for my bass playing (no pun). However, I have learned more about music because of my bass, especially over the past 12 months. In the bass, I have discovered my voice. I'm dedicated to what I'm doing and have established my goals and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

    One of the things that was legendary when I was coming up was the simple fact that guitarist were everywhere. But bassists--let's just say that it was not uncommon for a bassist to be in high demand. I believe that still rings true today.

    I wish you well on your endeavours.

  4. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Double bass is expensive, challenging, and impractical. Which tells you a lot about how rewarding it is.
  5. Fred19137


    Jan 23, 2009
    active musician
    not to be too much of a downer for you, I love bass guitar a lot more than uprights. I can play faster, and it is easy to store and take places. Upright are very difficult. I am certain u don't know that jaco as a youngster also wanted an upright. when he finally got one he went from an air conditioned inside to a hot outside and the bass shattered in his hands. So the transportaton is harder than just size. However, i do admit that upright has added a lot to my playing. I rceomend finding a youth orchestra in the area and joining. That is what I did and have never regretted a day.
  6. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Lol I was going to make a snide remark but yes, it's harder, more of a PIA to carry aroud, more fickle, more fragile, harder to play fast lines at any level of competence compared to EB. It takes more work, more patience, and even more dedication.

    But if that's the sound you hear in your head, you can't deny it's call. We can't convince you. You have to convince yourself.
  7. BananaKing

    BananaKing Supporting Member

    May 15, 2008
    Vancouver, B.C.
    I hope you were joking..............

    Impractical in what way?
  8. VitaminC


    Oct 4, 2008
    Great responces so far!:hyper:
  9. Fred19137


    Jan 23, 2009
    active musician
    seriously join the youth orchestra it will do far more for you than buying one for at home. and will let you know with out wasting money if this is really for you. so do it. right now go tell your parents. "ok then won't buy me one. then i would like you to sign me up for the youth symphony of orchestra."
  10. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Well, it's over 6 feet tall, it's notoriously difficult to amp, it reacts like crazy to humidity and temperature changes, parts and repairs are much pricier than other instruments, it's very hard to travel with, etc. etc.

    I read and post here, so obviously I'm saying that in spite of all the hassle, the rewards make up for it. I think pipe organs are wonderful, but they're impractical. Timpani is a bit impractical too. A flute is practical. You can carry a violin on your bike to a gig.
  11. akmusicfreak


    Sep 6, 2008
    I've been playing bass guitar for 15 years and just started playing double bass a couple years ago. In my experience my bass guitar playing ability has increased drastically since I've taken on the "beast" DB.

    Like some others more experienced have said here in this thread, the DB is difficult to play, awkward to transport, and sensitive to temp and humidity.

    All that being said I still practice, and drag the beast around for gigs. Nothing sounds like a DB but a DB.
  12. ERMarks


    Mar 2, 2009
    Portland, OR
    timpanist make the more money than a lead oboeist... just FYI... seriously UB is so much beter than BG regardless of if its "impracticalities". anyone that plays bass can whip out a lick on electric. but it truely takes a talented dedicated musician to play upright. if i was your parents id support you 100% regardless of your music endeavors.

    and bassists are always needed everywhere, classical jazz or anything. not even kidding

    good luck kid :)
  13. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    Unemployment lines....:


  14. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Spot on!

    Indeed, it's a labor of love. Those of us that have been hooked for a lifetime wouldn't have it any other way. We don't wish we played a smaller instrument that's easier to deal with.

    Absolutely and that's crucial. The DB is not just another version of the bass guitar. It's a related but very different instrument. I admire greatly those who can play both DB and BG well. The DB will help you along the way to playing the guitar or any other instrument but I don't see that as a major reason to take it up. You take up the DB because you fall in love with it.

    It would be a good idea to rent one to see if you and the DB hit it off. You'll also need a real DB teacher. I wouldn't necessarily rent-to-own unless you can get such an arrangement through a bona fide bass shop/luthier. When it comes time to buy, avoid guitar stores and musical mass merchants. Buy from a bass shop. A decent, new entry-level instrument (laminate) complete with a good setup (CRUCIAL) will run you in the neighborhood of $1500 minimum. One way or another, you'll spend that. There's no magic and no way around it.

    I think that addresses all of the questions you asked except for "Is it still in use?" I suppose you've figured that one out! The truth is that the DB has enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence. If you're playing classical, it is, of course in use. There's also jazz, bluegrass, roots, and on and on. A GOOD DB player is almost always in demand.

    Where do you live?
  15. VitaminC


    Oct 4, 2008
    I live Nashville, Tennessee... yea probably one of the best places for music.
  16. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    join the orchesta at school, then they pretty much have to.
    or steal one from the school.
  17. But you're more likely to have a gig to go to as a Bass Player vs Violin Player!:p

    Edit: I just re-read the thread and see some people beat me to it! Oh well, it's still the truth..
  18. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Sure, and part of that is if you do something that is very challenging, you will find that the crowds thin, and your demand is higher.

    In fact, having the patience and drive to do things that many other people find too challenging or tedious can be a great recipe for success in life, both in terms of satisfaction, and in terms of remuneration.
  19. VitaminC


    Oct 4, 2008
    My school doesn't have one...:meh:
  20. Someone before you stole it, obviously.

    Well, in any case... plan on joining the orchestra anyway. You can't do that with BG, it's what the double bass was made for, and it will teach you volumes about music that you can't learn from band playing alone. And it's great fun. Not to mention, if you're any good whatever you'll get the work. I'd say it's significantly easier to find work, playing either jazz or classical, than it is to get work on BG.

    The instrument itself is completely different, and yet related. The sheer physical challenge of playing it is not to be underestimated... you have to be something of an athlete to do it. You're pushing the limits of what human hand and arm muscles can do. One time I had a hand injury, and while I was recovering I had a chat with a physiotherapist about grip strength, because my left hand was feeling rather week. So she handed me a grip-strength gauge in my left hand and told me to squeeze it... and then just about fell on the floor in fright from looking at what it said. She wrote down the number, and then, shaking her head, gave it to me in my right hand... and jumped again. And then she said "Well, I can see what you mean, in that your left hand is significantly weaker than your right and it should be a bit stronger. But all I can say is just go on doing whatever you do. I can't help, because you'll just break all my equipment!". Apparently average grip strength for men is about 30kg. Mine's about 65kg, my left hand was then about 55kg. What other activity asks you to do 8kg pulls with your little finger at 4 or 5 a second for a long period?

    Beware though... once you're a double bass player, you're doomed. No matter what else you CAN play, you'll always be playing bass because that's what everyone will know you as. Still, there are worse fates... you could be a piccolo player... look up their rates of hearing damage, both from their own instruments and from continually sitting in front of the trumpets.

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