Beginning double bass

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Beginning double bass

Post by aaronpawlak » 08 Mar 2018, 23:10


I'm a bass guitarist of 18 years (jesus... that's just shocked me...), guitarist a bit less.
I really fancy the challenge of learning upright - properly - pizzicato and arco, lessons and grades - the complete opposite of how I did it with the bass guitar!I've recently started brushing up on my theory and sight reading, and that's coming along (albeit VERY slowly with the reading). I'm grasping all the concepts in Music Theory for Dummies, at least...!

As always, budget comes into this - is it better to go for a cheap electric upright like the Stagg ones than a cheap acoustic like the budget Thomann ones? I really can't afford more than that at the moment, so I'd rather go with whatever is least likely to turn me off the instrument. The alternative, at this stage, is no upright at all.The electric appeals on size, of course, and whatever I end up buying will need to go to the attic... so an acoustic would be an absolute pain in that regard. I imagine the construction is much simpler - so should a £400-£500 electric should be a better bet than a £600-£700 acoustic?

Please help

I didn't find the right solution from the internet.

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Re: Beginning double bass

Post by vin-tone » 09 Mar 2018, 06:30

Hey. There are a lot of variables here. Electric upright is good for fingering & intonation but the acoustic will let you learn about balance, stance and posture. This is also a very important part of learning the upright.

Your basic acoustic upright (prob Chinese) will likely need a setup and might want various fittings upgraded , so consider the price you see there as a starting point (…. and thats before you consider amplifying the thing!). I'd also recommend you find a good second-hand seller and try the bass in person. In the UK you might even be able to find an older German student model. Hook up with someone who knows a bit about uprights to get their feedback on various basses available. It's really hard to know what a good bass feels and sounds like before you know how to play - they ALL feel awkward!

Attic space - you'll have to get over that one sooner or later.
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Re: Beginning double bass

Post by slowlearner » 09 Mar 2018, 07:03

Vin, has said a lot of good things there. I'll just add...

Acoustic upright - sounds right acoustically, hard to get it to sound like itself live. Prone to feedback.
Electric upright - never sound like an acoustic properly, even the most expensive ones. Easy to live with though.

I'd suggest taking 10 lessons with a good teacher. That will set you up for a long time. It's an investment worth making. Coz if you get your technique right early, it will save you from a lot of disasters later. Learning to use a bow a little is also worth the struggle for working on intonation.
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Re: Beginning double bass

Post by BazzBass » 09 Mar 2018, 12:19

you have a LOT more choices in Europe than we do here, show us what you end up buying, best of luck.

I saw a full sized upright at the music shop, man I could hardly get my fingers to reach the E string, ow ow ow
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Re: Beginning double bass

Post by Bassboy » 19 Mar 2018, 21:04

If your not totally committed to the acoustic bass it’s going to be a hard decision to make, for me I decided to drop it as I didn’t have the time to put into it at the moment and play at a level that I heard in my head, but I know one day I will revisit it purely for my own musical need to have that sound under my fingers, it’s that sound of the acoustic that draws you in if you are for real. An electric upright is convenient but an acoustic double bass is not convenient, that’s the point, if it is convenient you won’t get the sound that is truely an acoustic bass, some great comments above to consider, it’s the sound that you invest in and it’s the love of the sound that make you sacrifice car space and a corner of your home. In my books if you have the time and the love of the sound go for it totally buy an old bass that’s Chinese plenty of good ones out there, we’ll built and go get a great classical teacher and study jazz along with it.
Good luck man it’s a beautiful instrument. I hope to get back into it soon.

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