Starting to play upright. Is this bass good to start with?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by DerrickShaney, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. DerrickShaney


    Jun 18, 2011
    St.Cloud MN
    I an electric bass player looking to begin learning upright. I have been searching for a reasonably priced bass to start with. I want something that is not going to be hard to play and will hold up with my bluegrass band. I have recently come across this CL posting and have been thinking about purchasing this bass. Can anybody give me advice as to whether this is a good deal or good quality bass to start with. It is a 1947 Kay for $1000. Posting is below with pics and info.

  2. The H-10 designates a 1/4 sized bass with a 35 1/2 inch scale. The most common double bass is a 3/4 size with around a 42 inch scale. Unless you are a very small person I wouldn't recommend it.
  3. TalkBass Sponsor

  4. From a COMPLETELY-uncredited-from-the-DB-side perspective, what she said.
    Also, nice username.
  5. DerrickShaney


    Jun 18, 2011
    St.Cloud MN
    What are the negatives about playing with a smaller scale? Would it be debilitating to my learning? I feel like it might be better to start with one of these as it would be cheaper and more portable. I am a taller guy though so I would need to extend the pin. What are the pros/cons of a 3/4 vs 1/4 I am looking to mainly play bluegrass with it. Thanks!!
  6. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    How tall are you?
    Usually by the time students are in 7th or 8th grade they're ready for a 1/2 size.
  7. If you're over 5'6" there's no reason not to use a 3/4 bass. Small basses sound lousy and don't have the same resale value. If you want to play, play the real thing.
  8. fu22ba55


    Apr 16, 2009
    I'd second everyone's recommendation to get a "standard" 3/4 size bass. Especially if you're 6' 2".

    1) No matter what instrument you get, you're going to want a reputable shop to check it out.

    2) If you buy this smaller bass and you're serious about upright, you'll just need to turn around a sell it.

    3) You'll need a teacher, and he / she will likely be playing a 3/4 size, which will help you to "mirror" their ergonomics. The ergo is tough enough with a 3/4 size… you don't want the smaller size working against you.

    I'd recommend finding a teacher FIRST, then having him / her help you find and instrument… maybe from one of their students upgrading from plywood.

    4) You should be able to find a decent plywood 3/4 size for 1K, maybe even including setup, if you're able to look around, wait, and pounce when one comes up.

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    The crippling lack of volume and low end response would be your primary problem. I once played one of those fun-size Kays in a jam with a young lady playing an upright piano. I was inaudible.

    The secondary problem is that you'd look like a dork playing it.

    Problems three to infinity have to do with the inherent design and construction problems Kays have, a likely history of poor maintenance, the fact that it's a deteriorating older cheapo plywood bass, the seller's optimistic asking price for that bass...
  10. DerrickShaney


    Jun 18, 2011
    St.Cloud MN
    These are the things I was needing to hear. Thanks for all the info folks!
  11. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
  12. I didn't want to say it...

    Pretty sure that's the real determining factor.