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Please talk me into getting an upright!

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by froglips, Mar 19, 2009.


  1. froglips

    froglips

    Feb 9, 2009
    Arizona
    I am a guitar player at heart, but I love the bass too. About a month ago I purchased two basses (Fender p-bass & a Fender Victor Bailey signature acoustic bass), and I love playing them.

    The reason I need help deciding to buy an upright bass is because I have a chance to get a killer Gretsch guitar for a really good price, but I think I can get pretty much any guitar sound I need out of my Fender Strat, and might not be able to get the bass sound I want from the basses I already have.

    The sounds I am speaking of are Rock-A-Billy bass, 50's music bass, and Bluegrass bass. Can I come close to getting the upright sound from the two basses I listed above, or do you have to have an upright to get that upright sound?

    What are your opinions?

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    You can play any music you like on any instrument you like.
     
  3. froglips

    froglips

    Feb 9, 2009
    Arizona
    :pHa ha ha! To Sam's "Inadvertant Micronationalist" title under his avatar pic. I Lol'ed!!!!
     
  4. Cody Sisk

    Cody Sisk

    Jan 26, 2009
    Lilburn, GA
    Ronald Sachs Violins
    You probably don't need to invest in a fully-carved bass for that purpose. A laminated instrument won't break the bank too bad, will be far more durable on gigs, and will get you that "upright sound" you're looking for. Just be aware that playing the double bass (aka upright) is a whole different animal compared to BG. Though they're related, the technique of playing them is very different. I'd suggest taking a couple lessons to get you started. Your left hand technique will need to be done right from the start to avoid bad habits. This is crucial.

    Good luck!
     
  5. 400$Bass

    400$Bass

    Jan 18, 2009
    Central Indiana
    Buy yourself and Upright Double Bass and your life will never be the same. Your life will be happier with it than without it. Even you have to finance it, bag one and pluck it to your hearts content. :hyper:
     
  6. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    I think to get that tone, you need a plywood bass. There are new plys out there that will get you that tone, but you seem to be describing yourself as someone who is going to fall in love with an old Kay bass if given half a chance. You should be able to find one laying around somewhere near you. Do you know where your nearby bass or violin shops are?
     
  7. froglips

    froglips

    Feb 9, 2009
    Arizona
    Kinda. I need to look around locally, but more than likely I was thinking of getting a "King" double bass from musicians friend, because I may be able to put it on a card at 12 months same as cash. I will check out Kay as well, but I am still on the fence about it.

    ... And while I am at it, do most people have a 3/4 DB for rock-a-billy & bluegrass music, or do most use a full size?
     
  8. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    Adults play 3/4 size basses for that style, with an occasional show-off 7/8 big guy. Full size can be found in some orchestras, but not really made and played much anymore.
     
  9. Cody Sisk

    Cody Sisk

    Jan 26, 2009
    Lilburn, GA
    Ronald Sachs Violins
    Hey John, email me! I want some Shens..
     
  10. If your not sure you really want to play double, why bother? Double bass is hard and requires constant practice just to sustain basic technique. Much like a horn player maintaining embouchure. It’s a non-ergonomic instrument and if your not planning to practice hour’s everyday there’s not much point. Either you know or you don’t

    As far as the new Kings, I’ve met a few rock-a-billy cats and they love them. Rock-a-Billy basses are fairly different than the traditional double bass; they’re specifically made and setup to amp well at the cost of acoustic volume and tone. Their kind of prop acoustics designed for a loud stage show. And they do that well, much better than a traditional bass. Not sure they’d be all that great for bluegrass though…
     
  11. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I'm with Carl on this one. Rent or borrow one if you feel the urge, and take at least one lesson from a pro, so you don't hurt yourself. But it's a big purchase and investment in time before you begin to get proficient.

    Like the man said, either you know or you don't. Most of us who do it for a living can't imagine playing anything else. It doesn't require anyone trying to coerce us into playing it, it's just the sound we hear in our heads.

    I forgot to answer your original question.... the only instrument that sounds like a double bass is.... surprise!... a double bass.
     
  12. Bass

    Bass

    Nov 10, 2003
    Canada
    I don't think anyone touched on rhthym yet. Slap technique is integral to the sound and rhythm of rockabilly. In my opinion it can't be duplicated properly with a p-bass or an acoustic guitar. Nor can the tone.
     
  13. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Are you near Phoenix? See Steve Koscika at the bass cafe -- www.stringemporium.com. He carries several lines of good quality budget instruments

    Louis
     
  14. froglips

    froglips

    Feb 9, 2009
    Arizona
    Thank you for the link. That helps tremendously.

    I am going to take it slow, rent one for a bit, and take a couple of lessons from someone, like you guys suggested.

    Thanks everyone.
     

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