Don't worry, I'm not here to ask what rosin Flea uses or where I can get Mingus tab - it looks like I could soon be playing a double bass. I was asked to join a community band a few days ago, and I've got to say the lure of playing a "real" bass was too much for me to resist. The problem is, this band hasn't even got instruments yet. Apparently, a lottery grant is forthcoming, which should give the organisers a few grand to play with, and I've been asked to research obtaining a double bass. So, I thought, where better to begin this honourable quest? I think a few facts would be handy, now. I'm in the north west of England, and I'm an absolute beginner at the double bass. As it's a community band, it's likely that I won't be the only person to use the bass. So, I have these few questions that I would like to pose to the DB fraternity... 1.I don't think there's anybody who reads this side of the forum who lives in England, but I'd like to know how much a decent bass would cost roughly. 2.I've asked above how much a "decent" bass would cost, but I'm sure someone like Don Higdon or Ed Fuqua would have a different idea of decent bass than I would. Bearing in mind it'll be used in a community band, by people with no prior DB experience, how good a bass should I be looking to buy? Unfortunatelty, there isn't a bottomless pit of money, but seeing as I'm spending someone else's, I want to look for a bass that's at least playable. 3.How would I go about purchasing a double bass? Would I be better off going direct to a luthrier, or looking in shops? If anyone knows of any places where I can obtain a bass in the north of England, details would be very much appreciated. 4.When (if?) I do go shopping for a bass, are there any things I should be looking for? For example, I know to check the neck when buying a bass guitar, and for any rusting or damage. Are there any warning signs that will tell me if I'm buying a dud? To be perfectly honest, I doubt that this money will ever come through - the person who asked me has a history of setting up wonderous plans that never quite come off. But, if by some miracle he does come through, it would come in handy to have some sort of rough knowledge. Right, I think I've wasted enough of your time. Thanks in advance for any advice or responses anyone can give me.