I've been playing guitar for nine years and bass for three, but I've never played an upright bass. I'm considering playing bass for my school's jazz band next year, and I'll need to learn upright. So all you standup bass players: for someone with experience playing guitar and bass, with solid fingerboard dexterity and a strong foundation and understanding of music theory, is it difficult to make the transition? Is there much of a difference besides the different posture??
i'd say the hardest part is going to be the fact that its fretless, with no fret lines, so depending on how good your ear is, it could be very easy, or you might wanna blow your brains out
Do they typically have fret markers (the little dots on the side of the fingerboard)? I've played fretless electric basses that have fret markers just fine.
It's not incredibly difficult to transition if you're just going to be pitzing, playing arco takes a hell of a long time to get passable at.

Don't try to treat it like a bass guitar rotated a few degrees, you have to play it in a completely different way. And someone might tape one of the school basses up as TSN said, but no the actual basses don't have any markings whatsoever, it'll take you a while to get a feel for the much larger scale length as well. You actually think about half positions instead of just first position, second position, etc.

A sad note: your current fingerboard dexterity is absolutely worthless for the transition, movement on the fingerboard is not akin to bass guitar in any way shape or form. you move from different parts of your body, you rotate the bas itself as you play, you do a lot of crazy things that have no correlation to bass guitar.
Quote by dullsilver_mike
It's not incredibly difficult to transition if you're just going to be pitzing, playing arco takes a hell of a long time to get passable at.

Could you explain what pitzing and playing arco are?
To be honest I found it suprisingly easy to transition from bass guitar to upright.
The only thing that really bothers me is when I'm playing for a long time, because my fretting arm starts cramping.

You shouldn't really have a problem with it if you are competent with an electric, theory wise.

Also the size of the body is a factor, but I have an electric so I can't really help you there.

And yes, bowing is a bitch.
If you've played guitar for 9 years and bass for 3 years the fretless part shouldn't really bother you, at that level you should just have a feel for where you play.

Your fretting technique means little on double bass because everything you do is either amplified or changed.
Frets are bigger, definately bigger, you don't really anchor your thumb in the middle anymore, more 3/4 of the way towards the top and you put your thumb behind your second finger (the "flip-off" one) and your elbow goes up. The fingerpicking technique was a bit confusing to me at first aswell, it's just like bass but on it's side and i started out deadning the string below i was playing (tonewise) and then doing scissor motions, picking with my index. I often forget to move my give-the-finger finger and sometimes stretch too far or not play the string at all.

But at your level nothing should be TOO hard.
I played guitar for five years before I picked up a bass.
That doesn't say anything for how good I was.
In fact I still suck pretty hard with the ol' six string.
When I started bass though I really worked at it, because I enjoyed it alot more, and now I can out play most guitarist.