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plywood that sounds nice playing any style

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by CherylTheSinger, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. I am a beginner renting at the moment. Within the next three years I will be purchasing my own bass. I have college-educated, performing, working teacher.

    I have no idea where I want to go with the bass yet, but I enjoy every style. I teach general music and vocal music in a public school to every grade and use my electric (also a beginner) in my classes as often as I can. I would also like to use the double bass in any way that I can. For example, playing, "The Elephant" while my Kindergarten walks around like elephants, playing along with my sixth grade guitar class, skipping lunch and joining in with high school band (band director says that I am welcome anytime), etc.

    I miss orchestra from my childhood playing violin. I also enjoyed playing fiddle style music. (and still do, even if it's poor fiddling) I plan on joining an amateur orchestra as soon as I can find the time and play in places other than half and first position. There is a local one at my old college that meets on Tuesday nights in the summer, 25 bucks to join, lots of teachers participate. There is another one in a closer town that meets on Thursdays during the fall and spring that said they could use me now (no bass players), but I just don't have the time during the year usually.

    I adore jazz and rock-a-billy. I take the rental to parties with my friends and try. It's funny; I get very tired, but it's a lot of fun. I plan on playing with my chorus this spring too.

    I LOVE bluegrass. I live in the woods. I have lots of hick friends.

    Through my rental program I can buy a new Shen for certain. What Shen is the question though! I am thinking plywood as I take this rental in my car (Honda Civic coupe, not hatchback) nearly everywhere I go many days a week. I live in a large, drafty house. (I think there are melted pools of pops rosin on my floor that are now frozen for the season. I should have put up a snow fence for the mice I suppose when the drafts kick up and blow around the powered pops from the frozen pools.) I am also not setting the world on fire money wise.

    I can read some of the things on their website, but I just don't know what to aim for.

    Any suggestions? or explanations on what types are used for what? and why?
  2. mlz77096


    Oct 16, 2007
    Houston, TX
    If I could have only one bass and knew I was going to be playing outside sometimes, in who knows what kind of weather, playing all different types of music, and the temperature and humidity in my house is variable, I would DEFINITELY get a plywood bass. Buy the best sound you can for the money you have. That's what my first bass was and it is carefree. This summer I added a fully carved bass to the household. It only gets played at indoor venues and right now I'm worrying about the humidity in the house during this cold spell. No complaining, but I'm glad I have a reliable "go to" bass that can handle anything.
  3. Cheryl,

    I sent you a PM with a lead on a bass. Hope it's helpful.

  4. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Something like a Shen SB150 Hybrid would serve your music well. Sturdy ply back and sides with a nicely carved top to enrich your arco experience.

    Good luck!
  5. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Yeah Shen. Even the completely ply 100 sounded great to me for the money.
  6. Bungee


    Sep 23, 2006
    Cleveland, OH
    Shen SB100 is definitely sturdy and sounds good. It's all plywood, so not ideal for arco, but it would probably work for you, especially with your fiddling experience and stated needs. If you want more bowability, the SB150 is a great choice, too! Let us know when you decide on a path.
  7. I am still in the process of looking, and may be for a while. (money and time)

    I had a nice offer from a man in Tennessee, but I don't have the money for shipping or time for travel for a few months.

    I had an appointment to visit Shanks Strings a few hours away from me (I was looking for bows, but did let them know I was in the market for a bass eventually.) They showed me exactly one bow, didn't like the size bass I was using, so did let me try three different sizes, well by try I mean stand next to them.

    I scraped the bow across the strings a few times, and after 25 minutes was shown the exit. If I could get more time there I would know more about what I could get.

    This process isn't going to be easy that's for certain. I am glad I have my teacher; after my lesson tonight I felt a lot better about myself and my playing than I did after that short visit and long drive on Saturday. I just hope that I get a chance to try a few things before I buy something, bow or bass. At this point, it doesn't look promising! I just want to be knowledgeable and happy if I am spending any amount of money on something that I will be spending hours and hours with each week with for the rest of my life.

    So anyway, hybrid basses. What are the benefits of owning one?
  8. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Anton Krutz told me that 80 percent of the sound comes from the top. It is the primary vibrating surface in the body of the upright bass and as such, is considered pretty important in the grand scheme of how upright sound is made.

    Any bass you may be renting to own you need to sit down and play. I realize this isn't always an option but if you are marrying an instrument, one you plan to take with you for the rest of your life, you need to know if its the one first.

    My friend who plays a lot of percussion and drumset told me recently:

    If you love it, downplay the price if you can. If it talks to you, its the one!