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String Height

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by ding_man, Jul 19, 2008.


  1. ding_man

    ding_man

    Dec 24, 2006
    Celina, OH
    I'm an electric bassist who got ahold of an old upright. I took it to an upright player I know and he said the strings were too high to play really..

    so I took apart everything and sanded down the bridge and moved it around and I think I got something decent..

    any how at the highest points its around 1 cm on the G string and the D and A are a bit higher while the E is pretty close..

    I think I might actually be a bit low cause I'm getting a little buzz when I strum too hard on the G and E, but maybe its just cause I'm picking too hard. I'm also having trouble playing around where the thumb position starts, but I'm assuming thats just because I'm beginning on it.

    Any opinions?
     
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think you need a teacher - nobody here can see your bass or how you are playing it - so basically it is impossible to comment; whereas a decent teacher, seeing you and your bass, face to face, would be able to diagnose any issues you have...?
     
  3. charlespf

    charlespf

    Oct 21, 2007
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Yeah. You need a good teacher and a good luthier. Attempting your own adjustments is a slippery slope that usually ends with more bad than good. If you're buzzing with 1cm on the G, then something's wrong with your setup.
     
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Sanded!!!?!?! :bag: Which end? If you sanded the feet..... :meh:

    There should be no sanding involved. If your bridge has no adjusters, then you should get some installed by a qualified luthier. And if you took everything apart, did your sound post fall down? And if it didn't when everything was apart...... :eyebrow:
     
  5. nathanmcnathan

    nathanmcnathan Inactive

    Jan 25, 2008
    Barrie, Ontario
    That's why EB player's shouldn't just start playing DB... it's not like guitar where you can adjust the action and intonation with a tiny screw, it's a delicate piece of equipment.
     
  6. cbarosky

    cbarosky

    Jun 7, 2008
    Burlington, VT
    yeah man, i made a grand switch from electric bass to acoustic a couple years ago - under the direction of a world-class bass teacher and a good string instrument luthier... if those two guys hadn't been there, i would have really messed a lot of stuff up...

    something you must consider is that seriously taking up acoustic bass, while a very good decision in all our opinions, will not necessarily be a "cheap" undertaking. find a luthier asap, particularly one who just works on the physical instrument itself. they can help you access items like strings, pickups, bridges, tailpieces, quivers, bows, stands, etc. they will also give you good advice. and like everyone here says - GET A TEACHER!! :) (also save some money...)
     
  7. Uncletoad

    Uncletoad

    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    If you can do it I'd suggest going down to Cincinnati and seeing Nick Lloyd. It's about 2 1/2 hours from you. He's world class. Call him first and discuss the details. You have very little chance of getting it right on your own without quite a bit of instruction. I'm very skilled with wood and instruments and Nick Lloyd works on all my basses.
     
  8. +1. Like Phil said, go to Nick Lloyd. Cincinnati isn't all that far from Celina, and the trip will be well worth it. I've been around double basses since the early 70's, and I wouldn't dream of trying to do my own bridge work. You really need a pro here, and Nick is one of the best.

    After that, find yourself a good double bass teacher. You'll be glad you did.
     
  9. bumbleBur2slow

    bumbleBur2slow Guest

    Mar 10, 2007
    it's not a matter of starting to play DB its a matter of starting to play around with the set-up and start adjusting it.

    but what part of the bridge did you sand?

    and next time i would suggest getting somebody else to adjust and or fix it for you
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well looking at this paragraph from the original post - I think it is a playing issue, rather than setup :

    "I think I might actually be a bit low cause I'm getting a little buzz when I strum too hard on the G and E, but maybe its just cause I'm picking too hard. I'm also having trouble playing around where the thumb position starts, but I'm assuming thats just because I'm beginning on it."
     
  11. EggyToast

    EggyToast

    Jan 21, 2006
    Baltimore
    While I think the people above have a good point that sanding a bridge and just generally messing with an acoustic bass is a bad idea if you've never played one before, Bruce does have a good point -- if he's trying to play it like a "big bass guitar," he may not have the finger strength necessary to avoid buzzes, or it may be he's hitting the strings in an odd way, or who knows what.

    If it's an old beat up bass, there may be other problems that would be essentially "unfixable" except by a pro, such as problems with the nut or who knows what.
     
  12. it is a bad idea to adjust the bridge yourself if it isn't an adjustable bridge
    sanding it can leave the bridge coming off the bass
    this is bad news and is a whole bigger issue than high action
    i agree you need a luthier to look at your bass
    also get a bass teacher that either is double bass major or has had their share of double bass experience
    good books for jazz are
    simandl
    ray brown method
    boardwalkin'
    and all the real books to practice adjusting and walking on an upright
    good luck!
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Mar 5, 2021

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