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String dilemma

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by JimmyM, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have a bit of a string dilemma that I thought I would run by you all and see if I'm going to get laughed at and thrown out by a classical teacher.

    I have only been playing a month on my double bass, but thanks to years of playing electric, I'm now fairly good at pizz playing, and I have an opportunity to do some good-paying swing/rockabilly gigs, which will of course involve slapping the doghouse. I have tried and tried to make my Obligatos work for slapping, but after opening up my middle finger and bleeding my own blood a couple days ago, I've taken off the Obligatos and put weed whacker strings on my bass so I can do these gigs without any further harm (don't laugh...they work really well).

    I want to take classical lessons so I can better myself as a player. And these weed whacker strings bow pretty well. I am certainly not good with a bow at all, but I can draw it back and forth and get a pleasing tone. I know the vast majority of classical bassists use steel strings and don't even care for real guts, let alone whackers.

    So if I were to take lessons, how badly is the teacher going to yell at me for showing up with whackers? I'm looking into buying an ultra-cheap used CCB specifically for these swing gigs, and when I find one, I'm going to put the whackers on it and put the Obligatos back on my good bass. But as a career musician, I have to do what I have to do to make money. And the Obligatos are only going to take being taken off and put back on a certain amount of times before they get ruined, so I'm not looking forward to putting them back on every time I have a lesson only to take them off for gigs.

    So I thought I would run this question by the classical pros on here where I can't see you goofing on me before I try it with a teacher who will be in my face laughing at me :crying:

    Thanks in advance for being nice with your answers.
  2. jsbachsonata


    Mar 30, 2005
    it's a hard decision but you have to make a choice... steel wound strings will sound much much much better than the whackers you have WHEN BOWED. There's no way that anyone can obtain a good tone using whackers when bowed.

    however, if you are going in a jazz direction, there's no problem

    sooo... i know it's a hard decision, but that's life. Choose one and stick with it...one of the styles you play will have to suffer some consequences.
  3. Mr.Phil


    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    Stick with steel, build up calluses... I think steel just sounds better all around, and any kind of tough skin you have obtained playing electric is not sufficient. So, practice, practice, practice...
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh believe me, Dr. Phil, I have discovered the hard way that the calluses aren't the same! And I did take off the whackers and put the Obligatos back on. I think I will just keep them on. I think they will end up making me a better and more accurate player in the long run. I'm still going to try to find a CCB beater I can use exclusively as a slap bass with the whackers, but I think this bass will have Obligatos on itfrom here on out. Another bout with bleeding blisters, though, and I'll probably change my mind yet again.

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