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There goes the neighborhood.

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Joe Nerve, Jul 3, 2004.


  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Sorry guys, but it's no mistake this time. I'm posting in the proper forum. I've come to join the ranks of you Dbers as I've borrowed a beautiful DB from a friend yesterday and I've been obsessed since it's gotten into my house.Just wanted to drop a note of excitement here and get you all ready for the questions I'm sure are to come.

    I've played in my entire lifetime approximately 3 collective hours on the DB - yesterday accumulating 2 of them. I'm freaking because I seem to be taking to it pretty well IMO. When I got it home, I was initially pretty discouraged. I want to learn to play for a gig I have with a Belgian singer. I tried playing one of the easier songs, and it was virtually impossible. It's a simple riff, midway down the neck, with harmonics and a slide. Wasn't going to happen, as I said, impossible. I was sure the action was way off, too high - nobody could do. I fiddled (pun intended?) with it obsessively none the less, went to get taco bell and brag about my new bass in the BG section here, went back to the DB, and uhhh.... I could play the riff!?!?? Not well of course, but it was executable. I played it like a crappy bass player - but it got me going. This is do-able. I dig it bigtime. I dig the vibration and feel too. It feels so real, so bass... I am the happy newcomer!

    1st question. The strings are 5/8" away from the neck - seems consistent midway and at the bottom. Is this horrible, average, or good action.

    2nd questions - I need to restring it. What kind of strings would be easiest on my fingers for sliding and learning and how much do they cost. I know nothing about this stuff.

    Thanks - sorry if I put this in the wrong category, my thoughts and questions changed as I was writing.
     
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    First, wear a shirt when you play the real bass.



    There's a lot of help in the Newbies section about all of your questions, but here's my take:

    Obligatos are a nice, easy string to start on. There are others, but these will do you fine.

    5/8" at the octave is in the high side. 4-6mm on the G side and 6-8mm on the E side is on the low to medium side for steel strings and will still allow you to get a decent sound. I'd advise that you hook up with a teacher and then shortly thereafter get it to a luthier for a setup.

    My two cents.

    Welcome to the fold.
     
  3. Hello Joe,
    Great on your new adventure. WARNING!!! The Double Bass is very addictive and will concume your thoughts and money but you will love every freaking minute of it. I play EB also. I started out on porkchop like many of us have. Many moons ago I would sit in my room with the amp cranked trying to impress myself and the poor dog trying to learn the fav song of the week but I knew there was more. I would hear Classical and be awed by its beauty. I would hear Jazz and be awed by its complexity. At one time I was proud of my Eden this and my Roscoe that but now its all just stuff. I LOVE the Double Bass and I LIKE the Bass Guitar if I`m making sense. As far as your troubles playing "riffs", my Teacher spent much time breaking bad technique from being a self taught BG player so dont get discouraged. I highly recommend "along with all the other O`l Crusty`s on the Dark Side" that you find a Double Bass Teacher that will help you. Find one that will teach you what you need to know not just what you want to know...you know?...might want to put on clothes for that quest also. The Newbie Links are great. Dont get caught up in the $5,000 or $20,000 or $50,000 Thread. I dont know for sure but I doubt very many DB players learned on such instruments. Have fun and you will enjoy the ride.
    Dave
     
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    I knew this would happen sooner or later;
    we saw you down here pretty often.

    Welcome to the darkside, JOSENERVOSA.
     
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Thanks for the welcome, guys. Allow me to ramble aimlessly a bit and then please feel free to comment as I'm hungry to learn at the moment.

    I read through some of the newbie threads. Picked up the Todd Phillips DVD, a String Explorer Bass Book 1 (It's funny, for kids - in comic book form. Just my speed.), and I have "The Evolving Bassist". I'd like to get a teacher but I'm super financially challenged at the moment because I don't work (or get paid) over the summer. Don't want to gamble the $50 that I might wind up giving someone who doesn't really help me much. Maybe I'll ask around though - I'm not closed to it.

    I am getting obsessed as I find the more I play, the better I get... uhh duh! and I'm enjoying the physical challenge. My left hand is hurting at the joints where the fingers meet the hands so I'm laying back a little today. I'm growing new callouses too.

    Couple of questions - the bass that was lent to me has a major crack down the back. It's bad. Goes from the bottom binding past midway up the body and the wood is uneven, it's seperated and doesn't push so easily back into place. I don't want to mess with it. The guy who lent it to me said that he was told that's not necessarily a bad thing. I don't know if he was joking or not. I can't see it being a GOOD thing. If I ever decided to buy this from him should that seriously weigh into my considerations? I've no clue what kind of bass it is. He said he paid around $1,400 for it 15 years ago. He also hand painted the whole thing with enamel. It looks pretty cool though.

    Also - while I will wear a shirt for the performance I got the bass for, I'm starting to consider using it with The Nerve, in which case who knows what I'll wear. My point here has less though to do with clothes, as it does proper technique. I don't know if I'm ever gonna be one of those super cool jazz cats on a DB, not motivated at the moment for that, but I do dig the idea of R&R on the big bass - and along with that goes my love of a good performance. I know some people feel differently and it's not a point to argue IMO, just a difference in the way people approach their art, but my point is - I want to also practice performance. Ala Pete Townsend/Flea I want to be able to do all kinds of neat things witht eh DB. Spin it, climb on it, crawl on it, dance with it, jump around it, play it any possible way I can play - will learning proper technique get in the way of that????? Will you guys hunt me down and kille me if put stickers on it? Any thoughts or suggestions regarding this kind of stuff?

    Thanks.
     
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    There's a link to a Rockabilly bass site from Bob Gollihur's website that probably addresses a lot of the performance issues you brought up. I think a lot of those guys have beefed up their basses so that they can do all the acrobatic stuff onstage. To the detriment of the acoustic response of the bass, of course, but if you're playing at those volumes, it hardly matters anyway.

    I think it will still be important to you to get some instruction on the fundamentals of DB playing, in order to avoid hurting yourself. You don't want to tear up some tendons and take yourself out of bass playing altogether. If you get it right from the beginning, all the stage stuff will just be easier when you get around to it.
     
  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    thanks marcus. i will check out the rockabilly stuff. i am also taking suggestions, and happy i'm doing so. i started watching the video and lo and behold, my technique on both hands is off. todd phillips gives good reason to work on proper technique and i'm glad i'm nipping my bad habits in the bud. i also feel it's going to excellerate my learning, exponentially.

    one simple thing he said, where I just left off on the DVD that made me feel good. i noticed that whenever i grab the bass, i have to reaquaint myself with it before i can play in tune. i thought it was just my problem or something, and i was happy to hear him say that HE needs to do the same before he can play with good intonation. little things like that boost my confidence for some reason.
     
  8. SleeperMan2000

    SleeperMan2000

    Jul 31, 2002
    Cary NC
    The rockabilly site that Marcus refers to is

    www.rockabillybass.com

    I think you'll find what you're looking for there. Don't miss the pictures gallery.
     
  9. Joe, welcome to TBDB! I gotta say that the above statement/question is the most OUT i've EVER read here, and there have been some pretty out ones! This So out, I see no possible way of jivin' and shuckin' with ya! :rollno:
     
  10. toytech

    toytech

    Mar 22, 2004
    San Leandro
    I too have just come over to the dark side, bought an Engelhardt today and I don't know if I will play my slabs again.
    Ever.
     
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    A hearty welcome to SLABTECH and SLOPPY JOE - here's hoping you enjoy your stay on the dark side. There's great fun to be had, and many never look back. But Joe, I gotta tell ya that if you actually try all of the stuff you're talking about in the "performance art" realm, I fear you'll be spending much of your time in the "Setup and Repair" forum, and peppering your posts with all of the smilies that aren't smiling...
     
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Now if we could just get Mike Money over here. You guys could keep him if you wanted to. I'm going home now.
     
  13. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    What exactly is jivin and shuckin and is that something that I'd really want to do with anyone here anyhow???

    I have realized that it's more important now that I learn the basics correctly, and THEN learn to play it strapped behind my back - with my teeth.

    specific question: according to the video tape definition of what my action should be, it's perfect. with my finger on the fret the string makes an indent approximately midway between the tip and first joint. my intonation (perhaps from playing fretless electric, or the fact that my hand size seems to work wonderfully with the DB) is pretty good, yet it's still impossible for me to get through an entire song due to my physical inability to execute the notes properly. the tension on the strings is really rough, but doable. i have fairly strong hands, or at least i though i did. is this common for a beginner, or do i really need to get someone over here to check my setup?
     
  14. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Keep asking the same question and you'll keep getting the same answer -- until patience runs out.
     
  15. It is not really a question of hand strength. You need to learn how to press the strings using shoulder and gravity rather than just your hand. This is easy to say, tough to accomplish, especially with a video for an instructor.
     
  16. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Will YOU come to my house and check it out for me??? :) I live in Sheepshead Bay Bklyn. I could treat you to Taco Bell?
     
  17. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I'd have no problem with that, but would charge you for a housecall-lesson. Alternatively you can stop by my place in Park Slope with it one day and I'll have a look-see for nothing and throw in little technique advice to boot.
     
  18. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    Hey. I just checked out your website and noticed you're playing the tea lounge tomorrow. I have a commitment earlier in the evening - but perhaps I could swing by before you're done. If I did, would you mind if I touched your bass for 15 seconds to see if the action is anything like mine??? :) I'd also like to talk with you about a few possible lessons. Do you teach? I only looked quickly at your site because I got all excited that you're playing at the tea lounge and ran back here.
     
  19. Josh McNutt

    Josh McNutt Guest

    Mar 10, 2003
    Denton, Texas (UNT)
    Yes! Yes! Go to Ray. His fingerings are the coolest!