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Where to bass shop in Baltimore

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by ii7-V7, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    So, I want to start trying out basses, as opposed to buying over the internet. However, I don't know where to go to find them.

    I went to Bill's House of Music in Catonsville. That is the largest music store that I know of in this area. They had one cheap bass with about 3/8 inch action at the nut! :eek:

    Where to go in the Baltimore area?

    Chad Dukes
  2. prelims222


    Sep 20, 2004
    Southeast US
    Don't go to Baltimore - go to DC and get in touch with Bob's house of basses or if you want to spend, Bill Vaughan of the National Symphony.

    Better yet - drive about 1.5 hours or so to Elizabethtown Pennsylvania and go see Michael Shank - he is a great guy and will do his best to help you figure out what will work best for you.
  3. John Sprague

    John Sprague Sam Shen's US Distributor

    Mar 10, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Sales Manager, CSC Products Inc.
    So you've got Bob's House and Shanks, add Potters and Brobst in DC and Joe Farrell in Baltimore and I think you've got em all. Lots of basses down there.

    Good luck!
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Joe Farrell? Isn't he a dead tenor player?
  5. tappingtrance

    tappingtrance Cooke Harvey Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2005
    Also on your way stop by my house and play the two I have for sale - a 3/4 Czech bass and a 7/8 Czech

    Cooke Harvey
    Landenberg, PA - where's that? - think Newark, DE by the University of Delaware


    Aug 26, 2005

    Bob Kurz-- Bob's House of Basses, near Bowie, MD - always has about 20 fine instruments on display, and extremely knowledgeable, and a virtuoso-level player who will demo anything in his shop.

    David Brobst, Brobst Violin Shop, Alexandria VA.- always has 15-20 fine instruments on offer.

    Potter's Violin Shop, Bethesda, Md. Marketing cheaper Chinese models, and occasionally a higher-quality instrument rolls in on consignment. Generally slim pickings for a bassist here, and then you'll very likely be ignored by the staff, who don't seem to care much whether they sell an instrument or not. They're all focused on violins and violas and cellos, and if you do manage to get their attention regarding a bass, they won't be able to tell you much about it-- not even the price.

    George Vance, Silver Spring Maryland. George is also a virtuoso player, teacher and pedagogue who usually has a handful of better quality instruments on hand. Wonderful chap, who focuses on his customers. Is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of the LaBorie carbon fibre angled endpin.
  7. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Wow, Thanks for the info. I can't wait to start checking out some of these places.

    Let me ask you a question about etiquette. I go to music stores all the time to try out different instruments. I don't necessarily plan on buying them then and there but it helps me to make decisions and to know who carries what. Is it polite to do the same with these expensive instruments? I don't have my money ready yet but it won't take long for me to get it ready. When I make a major purchase like this it usually takes me a long time and a lot of research. I don't want to spend $3000 to $5000 dollars and be disappointed. So, will I be looked down upon for window shopping?

  8. I'm sorry to hear that Ed, :( saw him years ago with RTF . . Chick and Stanley, Tony Williams on drums and Al D. on guitar, Great Show :smug:
  9. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    Looked down on, no. Are we disapointed when someone leaves without buying...sure. Thats how we pay the bills. Just be honest with the shop you go to, and let them know where you are in your quest for a bass. Put all your cards out on the table. How you are treated from there should weigh heavy in your future decision. It's tough if you fall in love with a bass in a shop that was less than welcoming to you though.
  10. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    Bob's House of Basses is great--I bought my Shen from Bob. He is a fantastic player who will let you take your time with a bass.

    besides what everyone else mentioned:

    There's also David Mainsbridge in Annapolis, the Chesapeake Bass viol shop. He does a ton of repair and restoration work and is happy to let you take your time. His shop is cool

  11. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    EVERY time I go into Dave Gage's shop, they always stick something they know I can't afford and have no intention of buying in my hands. I think if you get a bunch of folks who like the same stuff together, the over riding thought of commerce is dulled for a little while.

    Sure, if I went in saying I was looking to buy and all I did was play stuff out of my price range and kept doing that over and over, well you see where i'm going. But if you go in saying "this is my budget, this is my timeframe, but I'd like to play a bunch to get a better idea of the sound I'm looking for to see how close to that i can get in my budget" I don't think anybody would have a problem with that.
  12. colors


    Sep 1, 2005
    hey chad it's nice to see another Baltimoron on here, and especially one that is new to double bass as I am. Right now I am using the junky laminate which is my friends' old bass. It's got features like an UNadjustable bridge, 16 in. crack on side with glue repair job, tepramental end pin, ancient strings, etc...

    Right now I am playing (learning) with a trio of violin, guitar and bass. It has been an excellent experience for me, as I have come over to bass from drums.
    I am considering shopping around for a new bass depending on the success of the trio and my own playing. I know people that frequent shanks outside of harrisburg and bobs in DC. I also bought an old Mini-brute amp from a gentleman who gave me joe farrell's contact info. I am primarily looking for private sellers now, so we should keep one another updated.
  13. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Hey Alan,

    At least you have a bass to use! I'm glad to see another newbie from B-more too.

    Hey, I've got a minibrute too. I play my fretless SX Jazz through it. Can't wait to play a DB through it!

  14. prelims222


    Sep 20, 2004
    Southeast US
    Mike Shank has always been extremely generous with his time and insight when I was looking for an instrument. The first time i was there he had picked out a bunch of instruments he thought I might be into, and wanted me to play the 4/4 dearborn and another instrument just for the experience.
  15. Jake


    Dec 11, 1999
    Rumano Solano is a very fine luthier who works near Baltimore. He makes really good basses and may work with you on the price. You can e-mail him at rumanosolano@comcast.net. One of his basses would be a great investment, but the price would be well over 5k.
  16. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    +1 on Solano but I'm not sure if he keeps basses in his shop. He mostly builds them to order.
  17. Jake


    Dec 11, 1999
    I think Rumano has one that is sold and one that is availible.