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The official talkbass newbie's guide to buying a double bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Rob Thompson, Dec 7, 2011.


  1. Rob Thompson

    Rob Thompson Supporting Member

    Talkbass now has a wiki, and I took it upon myself to start a "beginner's guide to buying double bass":

    Beginner's Guide to buying a Double Bass - TalkBass Wiki

    A few folks have already started to flesh it out, but I thought I'd start a thread here (with Chris Fitzgerald's permission, since it's not about a bass) to get more attention. Hopefully we can turn it into a sticky and a catch-all for the beginner questions that get asked daily.
     
  2. powerbass

    powerbass

    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    Great idea!
     
  3. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hi. I just wanted to tell my tale so first time buyers can understand we all got to start somewhere.

    I was graduating HS and it was becoming clearer to me and my current teacher (electric) that to continue my musical studies in college I needed to get an upright. Auditions for school were about 8-9 months off, but we figured even having some basic skills on upright in addition to my electric playing would maybe get my foot in the door (this strategy partially worked).

    So the obvious question was "where do I get an upright?" This was before the days of ebay and candy shopping online. As I assume most people got their first bass, my teacher put the word out to players in town and I bought my first upright from a local player in Chicago that was super busy with electric work.

    It was an older Engelhardt with a crappy french bow but I was thrilled to finally have a DB. I remember driving around town to the various string/bass shops to find a bag that fit. Without my teacher back then I would have never gotten a decent playing instrument that I knew could be trusted. He steered me in the right direction on the instrument purchase and soon after we split since he wanted me to study with a FT DB player. To this day I still feel lucky that I had good guidance in getting an instrument b/c those first 6 months of study will make or break it for you.

    Today is a great time to be in the market since there are many entry level basses to choose from, not to mention some pretty great deals on fully carved basses. Take your time and find the right instrument that is for your and your playing needs.
     
  4. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks, I added some body regarding eBay basses. I spoke in the royal "we". If I'm not authorized to speak on behalf of us all on this subject, someone let me know or feel free to edit me.

    How do I add sections? I was going to add one for "full sized?" and one for "I'm a great electric bassist and it should only take me a weekend to make the transition, right?"...or something like that.
     
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    This is a great idea!

    Add a section for why to buy from a luthier or bass shop if possible. I'll volunteer to write such a section if you'd like some help.
     
  6. Rob Thompson

    Rob Thompson Supporting Member

    To add a section use equal signs. For example:

    === 3/4 vs. 4/4 Basses ===

    You should click on the edit button on the tabs at the very top rather than the edit button next to each section.

    You can read about "wikitext" here.

    It think this thread is a good place to discuss what should be in this article, and also the possibility of splitting it into multiple pages if it gets big.

    fdeck: your section sounds like a good idea.

    troyk: you could add links to some previous threads on talkbass to the page to back up "our" opinions....
     
  7. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    OK if I go ahead and add something... roughly 4 paragraphs?
     
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I edited myself on the "Cheap and eBay basses" section and wrote the "3/4 vs 4/4 vs other" section. I may take a swing at Plywood vs Carved later, but need to live in the real world for a little while.

    Feel free to edit me.
     
  9. Rob Thompson

    Rob Thompson Supporting Member

  10. I took a shot at ply vs. carved.
    Now we all promise to respond to all newbie questions with a link to the wiki right? :)

    BTW, my post ends at "matter of preference"
     
  11. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Really fine work guys! I've edited and added a bit.
     
  12. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    I added a few things...
     
  13. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Added some in "accessories" and noted US-built plys from my pals at Upton

    GREAT WORK, posters. Hopefully this will really help some people!
     
  14. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Great distillation of your communal wisdom, guys. Should be of tremendous value to those getting in on the ground floor.

    Cheers!
     
  15. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    It doesn't say which DB is best for metal though. :mad:
     
  16. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    This is one of two keys.

    1) Those of you with good perspective, keep adding and editing to make it useful.
    2) Let's all resist the urge to indulge 5 pages of discussions to questions that could have been answered by this wiki.

    If someone shows us that they've tried, but have followup questions, great. If they can't be bothered, let's not pollute our forum with repeats of these threads?

    Blood oath?
     
  17. Rob Thompson

    Rob Thompson Supporting Member

    Wow, it's coming along nicely.

    For what they're worth, a couple ideas for those working on "the guide" (including myself). Brevity is probably best, especially if you'd like an impatient newbie to get the idea quickly and clearly. Also, we might link to TB threads on the topic, like ebay basses, etc.
     
  18. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    England
    That is a great resource and coming along nicely. I haven't had the temerity to add anything yet because there is so much knowledge around on the forum. But well done and thanks to all who have done so far.

    There is one thing that has occurred, though. With your first bass you won't know much but with your second bass you will be so much more knowledgeable - you'll get the compare and contrast perspective.
     
  19. Maybe the wrong forum/topic, but what about article(s) on Double Bass v. EUB v Bass Guitar? I have read so many times on these forums 'I play bass guitar and want a double bass. Would an EUB be the way to go.' type of thing, only to have someone reply that this is a completely different instrument. Or is this all in there, and I just overlooked it?
     
  20. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    What we seem to need now is a prominent link to the Wiki at the top of the Basses forum. I don't think newbies can find it easily right now. I'll send a message off to the mods.

    Yes, blood oath! I'll send you a small vial; you do the same. :) So here will be my boiler-plate response:

    You've asked what has been asked here many times. In order to help you and others in your position, we've prepared a comprehensive guide that should provide answers. Please read it over along with the newbie links indexed at the top of this forum. Then, if you have specific questions, come back and post them. There are many helpful members of this community who would be happy to answer them.

    Feel free to steal all, part, or none of it. ;)

    Kudos to the crow!
     

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