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upright bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Pharmecopia, Jan 21, 2003.


  1. Pharmecopia

    Pharmecopia

    Jul 31, 2002
    ...i was thinking of getting one, learning how to play it, and using it in a traditional ska band. good idea? also, how long would it take me to get good, and how difficult is it to play?
     
  2. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Actually, that's a pretty bad idea. It takes at least 4-6 months to get good on the URB. It is a fairly difficult instrument- at least two steps more difficult than kazoo and triangle.

    NY Rudeboy
     
  3. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    If you get a teacher, you can do it in 3 months.
     
  4. Seppie

    Seppie

    Aug 14, 2002
    Austria, Vienna
    lol :D
    hmm i have a teacher and for the first jazz steps it took me more than you mentioned above :eek:

    gruesze sebastian
     
  5. I play Kazoo, as a serious instrument, for my jug band. It's a traditional jugband instrument.

    At first, I found it a little strange that playing URB messed up my kazoo playing, though it really does.

    Kazoo is a pure "ear" instrument, just like vocals are, and I find it very difficult to listen to the bass and keep on-pitch with the kazoo at the same time.

    I 'm STILL trying to get where I can do both effectively!

    Sometimes the simplest little things can surprise you. :confused:
     
  6. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    We had to take away the triangle from the baritone player in my R&B band. That little bastard (the triangle, I mean) cuts through everything.

    Then there was the Venezuelan timbale player and his f*cking cowbell...
     
  7. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I've got a fever, and the only prescription, is more COWBELL.

    (For all you SNL fans)

    Monte
     
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Your avatar seems to indicate a preference for the second wave of Ska - Madness, Beat, Selecter, Specials etc. All the bass players in this genre used BG - like Horace Panter - and they usually stuck to the preferred instruement of the contemporary Jamaican Reggae bands - the Fender Jazz bass!

    I think youre probably better off with this!! ;)
     
  9. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I thought of that too, but to each his own, right?

    I LOVED The Specials -- great bass grooves and completely dance-o-matic. Can't imagine getting the same effect on DB.

    What was the name of that guy who did "Israelites"? Great tune. Haven't heard it in 20 years, I'll bet, but I can still hear it in my head.
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Desmond Decker - more Reggae/Pop/Calypso than Ska though!
     
  11. Gabe

    Gabe

    Jan 21, 2003
    I think that double bass is quickly playable if you have past musical experiance on a stringed instrument, especially if you've played cello.

    I bet that kazoo could be played while bassing especially if you got a harmonica neck rack to hold the kazoo.

    :)
     
  12. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Well, Barefoot's out there everyday blowing kazoo and playing the dawg, so we know it can be done.

    If I understood you correctly, Larry, it's the challenge of playing them both in tune you're talking about. I recently took up singing while playing the DB (no harmonies yet, just leads; the other guys I'm playing with are very fine harmony singers) after 25 years of no singing and I think there are some similarities there. It's a challenge to the ears and the multi-tasking capabilities. There are some melodies I have to practice a lot while playing before the "knots" get worked out...

    My brain puts the voice in tune before the bass, it seems, so I've gotta strip the bass part down to absolute bare essentials. Maybe build it up again later.
     
  13. Pharmecopia

    Pharmecopia

    Jul 31, 2002
    desmond dekker!!!!! hes totally ska man, hit song 'young generation' is considered rocksteady to me though. i like the specials (only problem is that they have too many covers!) and madness. im totally into traditional ska though:

    the skatalites, desmond dekker and the aces, laurel aitken, prince buster, derrick morgan, lord tanamo, dandy livingstone, jimmy cliff.

    some of those are considered mostly reggae, skinhead reggae, calypso...but i generalize them as ska. ive learned a lot about ska...and love it enough to consider myself a rude boy. im wearing a suit, skinny 60s style tie, wingtip shoes, and a porkpie hat 7 days a week. just representing what i love, ya know?
     
  14. anybody know where I can get a Bach hat, just like ole' J.S. used to wear?
     
  15. Yep. Harmony-singing takes more brain-power and ear-effort than lead singing, and playing Kazoo is more like singing harmony than singing lead.

    And yeah, my bass lines definitely get down to 1-5 1-5 (or even 1-1 sometimes) while I'm singing, then stepping out more when it's time for an instrumental passage.

    Luckily, a 1-5 alternation will do just fine on a lot of the material we do, and that is what would be appropriate even if I weren't singing on those.

    You can easily play too much bass on a lot of songs, especially when you get into Bluegrass and Americana.

    Actually, I've gotten to the point where I can play bass and do lead vocals both, on a lot of songs, but a part of my brain is still paying so much attention to what I'm going to do on the bassline that I tend to forget lyrics.
     
  16. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Forgetting the lyrics is exactly what I do too!

    I think that the brain in this case is just dropping data it can't handle, so it supplies the essentials and sketches in the rest. It must mean you're a real bass player, Larry. Otherwise the singing or 'zoo would go first!

    These days I'm mostly doing bluegrass and old country too. Love those old tunes, and singing some of those melodies is a real pleasure. Put a human voice in music and that's where the listeners' ears go right away. The bass can hang a bit, but the vocals can't.
     
  17. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    BTW, I just checked to see if I can still fit into my skinny black suit and skinny tie with the black and white checks. Too old and fat.

    Guess I won't be able to represent what I love tonight.
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think we've heard all we need to know!! :p