#1
I've been playing guitar for several years, as well as the occasional electric bass. I've gotten into rockabilly and psychobilly music, and I really want to buy and learn how to pluck/slap on an upright bass. I have some questions-
1. What kind should I buy? I know there are different sizes and such. And where do I buy one not online?
2. I'm self taught on my other instruments. I've found some videos of upright bass lessons, so along with the help of these, is it reasonable that I could teach myself how to play upright as well?

Thanks for any help
#2
Well rockabilly is generally IMO the sloppiest form of playing, the violin approach to holding the instrument anyway. If you want to make it worth while playing this instrument, first of all find a really good teacher, preferable one who classically trains you. They'll probably give you a free intro lesson, for you to see if you like it. Then if you do you can rent or buy yourself a double bass. A double bass to buy, for a good one i would look at around 1500 then another 100-200 for the setup, that a beginner plywood one anyway.
Double bass is very different from guitar and bass, and should not be approached like either. Get yourself a teacher, learn properly and make it worth while, its a great instrument.
Yamaha TRB1006
Fender MIA jazz bass
Hora Hybrid double bass
Hartke lh 500
Ev 606L
Epiphone les paul
#3
1) I'd look used. Used uprights are always better anyways. Unless you're over two metres tall, you're going to use a 3/4.

2) Your intonation gets away with murder when you play piz. As soon as you switch to bow, it's all over :P If you want to learn Arco (bow) you need a teacher for sure.

I think you're going to have problems with the intonation. I learnt how to play one note at a time. I started at first position, and when I could play it perfectly in tune (without looking at my hand really) then I went to second. I used powertab and a tuner to check my notes.

I learnt piz with no teacher, but it was probably harder. I used the Simandl method book, which was good but went very fast, I found.
Last edited by Canadian_basser at Nov 19, 2009,
#4
Oh ya as Canadian basser said the simandl method book is the standard to learn from.
Yamaha TRB1006
Fender MIA jazz bass
Hora Hybrid double bass
Hartke lh 500
Ev 606L
Epiphone les paul
#6
been playing guitar for a while n think i got the 1,4,5 thing down pretty good. Stand up also interested me so I purchased a china bass from big box store for $600. Started checking out Rockabillybass.com. Changed to low tension strings, learned to lower my action n started slapping arpeggio to 1,4,5. Played first show two months later. Keeping it simple and root solid is paramount. Sloppy, Ya wat ev. Its been just over a year n ive been more active playing bass than guitar and the chicks dig it the most. Bottom line, do it.
#7
Quote by fatgoogle
Oh ya as Canadian basser said the simandl method book is the standard to learn from.



Actually simandl is good for fretless playing as well, and without a teacher using it is like being tossed in the deep end of the pool. Off the diving board.

I would really recommend the rent to buy, unless the payments end up being highway robbery. This way you haven't invested a tonne of cash on an instrument you may not like or love. Also most shops (at least around here) have teachers or instructors on staff so you could also get info on lessons. Which I highly, highly recommend.
#8
I've heard from a few people who learned double bass from the dreaded orange Simandl book that they still have murder fantasies about the author. As Anarkee said, it is not something you are likely to pick up and get the most out of without a qualified teacher. That having been said, I understand that it is still the standard teaching book.

You may have trouble finding a double bass at a local music store (unless it is a very big music store). From the store's point of view, upright basses are huge, expensive and don't sell very well, so the stores are often unwilling to stock them. Call around and see if any of the stores in your area have one. It truly sucks to buy an expensive instrument sight unseen from an online source, but sometimes it is your only option.

The only thing I know about Rockabilly double bass is that Lee Rocker plays a signature model King Double Bass. It ain't cheap.

I wish you the best of luck.
#9
Quote by primusfan
1. 3/4 size. don't buy online. if you must, buy here:
http://www.gollihur.com/
2. no. it's possible, but totally impractical. get a teacher.


I'll add Upton Bass to this.
http://www.uptonbass.com/
Also as mentioned, Gollihur's site. Specifically his luthier's directory, assuming the OP has a location that's not down someone's wife's pants.
http://www.gollihurmusic.com/basslink.cfm

Funkyfire
2. I'm self taught on my other instruments. I've found some videos of upright bass lessons, so along with the help of these, is it reasonable that I could teach myself how to play upright as well?


When I was 11 years old I began formal stydies on cello with a graduate student from The Manhattan School of Music. He was having a terrible time convincing me to keep my left elbow from drooping down to my side, forcing bad wrist/hand technique.

One day he walked out of the room. A few minutes later, he came back in with a mic stand, a steak knife and a roll of duct tape. He proceded to tape the knife to the end of the mic stand; pointy side up. He then placed the stand under my left elbow.

Forty years later, we're still great friends, and when I pull out my cello or DB, well.. I think ya'll know where my left elbow is!

Can't get that off a video.

Good luck.