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Rock bass player thinking of purchasing a double bass...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Knavery, Aug 22, 2005.


  1. Knavery

    Knavery

    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Hello everyone:

    I've been playing electric bass for quite a few years, but have pretty much remained in the realm of heavy music throughout that time due to other band member interests. In the last couple of years, I have been listening to a lot of progressive music, and feel I have finally found what I'm looking for. In the last 6 months or so, I've been getting into jazz, and jazz fusion quite a bit, and it's really opened my eyes.

    I have lately been thinking of purchasing a double bass, but am not sure if it is COMPLETELY different than the electric bass.

    My question is... For those of you that also play the electric bass, how is the transition to double bass? Would I be starting from scratch on a completely different instrument? I have no experience with an electric fretless, and am a little frightened of experiencing this without at least some kind of fret markers.

    Perhaps it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I am just fishing for ideas now.

    Oh, and I apologize if this has been asked, I tried a search, but had no idea what to use for keywords. Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Yes it is a different instrument though it's tuned the same. You will need another player that's an experienced double bassist to guide you with respect to technique issues i.e. holding the bass, left hand, right hand pizzacato and arco. You will need to be able to read to follow many of the recognized methods like Simandl. If you're going to play Jazz, that will probably be a whole new idiom for you and so you will have to imerse yourself in it and play in as many situations as possible as you move through the theory of it all. Kind of a paradox, you need to play in as many situations with the best people possible but you will in the beginning suck at doing it.
     
  3. tzadik

    tzadik

    Jan 6, 2005
    Maine
    Cool. Go for it. It is very, very different, and lessons are really essential to protect yourself from developing injuries.

    Fretlessness isn't so bad IF you are a good listener. Ever taken an ear training course? If not, sign up, or buy the software, or have other people sit you down and drill you. You won't need frets if you can trust your ears to guide you. It's easiet to practice on piano for this sort of thing.

    It may seem overwhelming at first, but it will be worth it if you are willing to put in the time and brainpower. You'll have a blast.

    Now, go work on your ear training. :)
     
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    What, no requests for books?
    Try this or this or this or this. That oughta provide some innerstin reading , for a while...
     
  5. When and if you decide to take the plunge, your first order of business is figuring out how and where to buy one. It's not as simple as going down to the music store. I'm not trying to scare you off, just save you some hassle. You're better off taking your time, doing the research, trying as many basses as you can, and getting it right from the start, than buying hastily and end up frustrated. Check the newbie links in the basses forum for starters.

    Some other ideas. You might investigate renting or renting to own, to see if it's for you. Or if you know you're ready to buy, you absolutely should have a professional setup done by a reputable luthier.

    Next: Do not proceed without a teacher. This has been flogged to death already. Also, I would suggest going through the paces of learning the instrument from the ground up before trying to play it in a band. Crawl before you walk, etc.

    Good luck!
     
  6. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Also, if you do, don't buy into the whole double bass supremacy thing. I would venture to say that many of us here started on bg and played a lot of music that we wouldn't dream of playing today.

    Kudos to you for considering the journey into a whole new dimension. DARJEELING ORB spelled it out pretty well...

    Good Luck and keep us posted !
     
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Why not? How much does it cost?
     
  8. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002

    More than some are willing to pay,Ed. More than some are willing to pay...
     
  9. How much you wanna spend?
     
  10. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Geez Ed, you know what they say: if you gotta ask, you can't afford it...

    Maybe ask Ken Smith.
     
  11. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    thanks..I just had to clean the coffee explosion off of monitor ! lol
     
  12. ...and out of nose.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    ..and in underwear.
     
  14. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    :eyebrow:
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I can understand what you're saying and that you don't get really the essentials from books...but they can be very "comforting" for people who are coming to DB and Jazz late in life.

    So it's kind of embarassing, when you're a mature individual who holds down a responsible job, to go back to school and be a know-nothing kid again! ;)

    I found that reading as much as I could, from books and around here made me feel better about myself; so when I actually was face to face with a teacher - I could ask the really important questions and not feel like I was wasting that person's time with a load of questions I could have researched myself or which were blatantly obvious!

    Maybe the books only gave me fraction of the knowledge I have gained from actual dialogue with people - in terms of talking or playing - but it was at least a start and made me feel less of an idiot, when faced with somebody who had been doing this stuff all their life! :)
     
  16. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Well, apparently not. It's just a reference to another thread of NAY, VERY's
     
  17. jrduer

    jrduer

    Jun 27, 2005
    Georgetown, TX
    The DB is a different animal. When I took it up, I was forced to completely rethink my approach to the instrument. Of course, the first two things I noticed were that there were no frets, and that the notes in the lowest registers are REALLY FAR APART!

    I'm now looking for a teacher (I've been teaching myself for a couple of years) who can help me "unlearn" all the bad habits I've picked up, and set me on the correct path to musical fulfillment.

    Oh -- I almost forgot: You might try renting a DB before you buy one, just in case it doesn't work out. I rented one from Brook Mays Music, just like any high school orchestra kid would. They hit my credit card each month, and some of the monthly payments go toward purchase of a new (better) instrument.

    Good luck!

    ~John
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    Well it was because I read that thread, that I posted what I did above !! ;)
     
  19. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Context, context...
     
  20. Don't know about you, but I have to pay my teacher by the hour so he doesn't mind how many stupid questions I ask.

    And on a serious note, it's surely the stupid/basic questions that help the teacher to gauge your level of understanding and consequently fill in any gaps.