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Thinking of Taking a Dive into the World of DB

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by RaijohAUlik, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. I've always had this thing for uprights. They're great instruments, and I've always wanted to play one. I've wanted to be in a swing band, and also maybe a jazz trio (idealistically speaking), and even maybe the local orchestra. These are major goals for me as a bass player and musician. And about the swing band, I'd execute myself as a heretic if I so much as tried to play swing music on an electric.

    I've been playing electric bass for about a year and a half, but I'm more of the chordal/harmonics/improv/jazzy guy than the slap-happy player, and it's frustrating when people find out I play bass and the first thing that people ask me is whether I slap or not, whenupon I explain that I do the things above, I'm shunned for the slappy guy.

    These two major motives have always had me considering getting a double bass, but after I got maybe a 6-string EB for chords and jazz and such.

    However, on Sunday I attended the first annual Florida Jazz Festival, which (on Sunday, it was also a Saturday show) featured the Bill Anschell trio, the Ken Watters group, the Dirty Dozen Brass Jazz band, and the Dave Holland quintet. I was blown away by the beautiful, rich, upright sound and the talent of the players.

    So then I began to think about leasing an upright when I get a job (I'm only a punk 17 year old and it's almost summer). The more I think about it, the more I realise I'd enjoy it. And I've talked with someone who plays EB's and a DB, and she said that playing upright makes electric infinitely easier.

    So, if you wouldn't mind, because I know this happens a lot I'm sure, I'd like to maybe hear your experienced opinions of what a prospective DBer might want to get as a starting bass, things to look for, the right scale for a new guy, and generally anything you feel like I'd need to know.

    I plan on start looking soon as I can.

    And if you want to tell me anything for any reason not public, just PM me or email me at raijohaulik@hotmail.com

    Thanks for your time and consideration.
  2. James S

    James S

    Apr 17, 2002
    New Hampshire
    The challenge is just the same as anyone wanting to start a new endeavor. You don't want to spend a lot of money because you don't know if it's for you. So you buy a cheap bass and it plays like ______. It is in bad repair and is difficult to play. Plus it does not have that "beautiful rich" tone that you heard Dave Holland get from his $25000 bass.

    The only constructiive advise I have is, buy the best one you can afford. The better the bass you have, the more likely you are to keep playing it.

    This is not to say that one cannot play good music on a bad instrument. It is just very difficult for a beginner to learn on an $89 guitar of the wall of the local music store.

    Jim Stinnett
  3. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Dave Holland plays a 25k bass?

    F.M.- Your post is touching and well-written and I'm sure you'll make a fine addition to the DB fold, however I would recommend you research the "Newbie Links" first before you start asking questions that have been asked here before.

    And that's my impression of a lobotomized Ed Fuqua.
  4. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    What I would do in your shoes is rent an upright for a month or two and take lessons right away with a good upright teacher. I would actually take the lesson first and perhaps you can enlist your new teacher into helping you rent one. If not you can at least play on a good instrument and get a feel for upright so that when you rent one you can at least feel the difference between something that is set up well and something that is not. That way you don't lay out a bunch of money and find out in a few weeks that you are not into it. Good luck.
  5. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    You said you're 17 so you're still in high school right? If they have an upright you could consider joining band. Of course it's important to have an instructor so you may need to seek lessons outside of your school unless your band director just happens to be a bassist (not many of those around) but you'd still be getting experience everyday plus it's bound to help your reading skills.
  6. James S:

    Oh yeah, I know I won't be able to play like Dave Holland on a cheap bass, but it's a start. I'd never be able to get those tones on an electric.:)


    That's a fantastic idea, and I'll probably try it once I get the money for a lease.


    I'm planning on getting in a band when I get the basic techniques down, I already play my electric for a few bands right now.