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Upright Bass = Taboo?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by carteru93, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. I've heard the double bass, contrabass, doghouse bass, bass fiddle, etc. be called an "upright bass" by a few members on here, and the response to that makes calling it an upright bass taboo, as if it's not the right terminology. Is it right to call a double bass an upright bass, or is it just an ongoing joke here or something like that?
  2. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Don't make me come up there.

    I guess I'll have to make sure my passport is current though.
  3. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC

    -that other one is "toy bass"

    : ):):ninja::bag:
  4. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
  5. You could call your bass anything you like, if people don't like it just ignore them. :smug: Everyone I know calls it an upright bass so that just sounds right to me.
  6. Thanks Drurb...that's my answer right there!...I didn't think it would be worth filtering the 10000000 results of the search term "upright", :)
  7. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    My stepbrother used to describe my BG as my "power tool" or "Black and Decker Bass," in comparison to my "bass" or "double bass."

    Always liked that; sort of says it all. :)
  8. Jazzcat


    Jan 20, 2009
    Titusville, FL
    Not that a 7-page thread is much of an improvement.
  9. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    A passport isn't required at land crossings until June of this year.
  10. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, I did say "hornet's nest." :)
  11. I like "upright" double bass confuses most people. I hate when people think I play drums.
  12. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    I just say I play bass. Who cares if they think it's a DB or BG, most people are ignorant about music and don't care.

    Are they gonna make some sort of special ID for land crossings? Probably best to just get a passport I guess.
  13. BenderR


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sorry Vista, AZ
    FWIW, I tend to use whatever it takes to comunicate. As "Bass" says, most people you meet are ignorant about music anyhow. I find the term "double bass" the most accurate to my sensibilities but if I'm talking to a non-musician the term "upright bass" seems to convey the meaning more effectively, if that doesn't work one can always resort to gestures. :)

    Ditto in the bass guitar world where there is more than plenty of confusion to go around. "Electric bass" seems to work for many non-musicians as does "bass". The unions used to have a category for "Fender bass", probably just to distinguish it from the double bass.
  14. FSSmikey


    Mar 7, 2009
    Miami FL
    i always called it a bass violin.

    is that wrong?
  15. BenderR


    Jun 1, 2004
    Sorry Vista, AZ
    I like it.
  16. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    When I'm talking to metal heads I always refer to it as a double bass 'cause it confuses the crap out of 'em. I usually get this response: "Double bass? When did you start playing drums?" :)
  17. 61pollmann


    Apr 30, 2005
    Double bass was traditionally used because the bass part played by the cello was doubled an octave lower to give it strength. Contrabass is also used in the same sense. Non-orchestral players used other terms because "doubling" was irrelevant. "String Bass", "Upright Bass", and several other terms are commonly used by non-classical players. Their use is fine by me.

    By the way, the name that gives me a problem is "Bass Guitar." A bass guitar has six strings, and is tuned one octave below a guitar. It also has one string interval of a 3rd(between the g and b strings). The Fender Six is an example of this. These were designed to make it easy for guitar players to play them(usually with a pick). The correct name for instruments tuned in all 4ths should be "Fretted(or Fretless) Electric Bass."
  18. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I don't care what you call it as long as there's money at the end of the gig.
  19. the engine

    the engine Guest

    Um.... Who really cares as long the person to whom you are speaking gets the point?
  20. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    Most people know it as "upright bass"

    Members in this section of TalkBass say that this instrument was first. After the popularity of the electric bass (played in a horizontal fashion), people refered to the original as an upright for clarification, but people here take that as an offense to the original.

    However, I agree with engine above me as words refer to things, but are not the things. Call it a Doomaflicky for all I care

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