#1
Hey guys,

I have been interested in upright basses for a while. I've been to a few stores and have been playing them (with terrible intonation I might add, I am not used to playing fretless). But I have noticed there are different sizes of basses. At a violin shop they were telling me that 3/4 is the most common size of double bass.
First question: is this an accurate statement?

If I was wanting to play jazz, as well as try to learn some classical music (using a bow) what size should I be looking at?

I assume the sizes are just for comfort in playing the instrument. I am a fairly average sized guy. I can stretch from the first to fifth fret on my 35" scale bass, but no further. What size should I be looking at?

Hopefully my questions make sense, it is rather early in the morning here as I type this.

Thanks!
#2
Most bassists use a 3/4. It really just depends how tall you are, I'm about 5'9 and I use a 3/4. Full size is for people that have to duck to get through a door, 1/2 size is usually for kids.

EDIT:
Your hand size is more or less correlated to your height so that's why I mentioned height.
Last edited by pwrmax at Sep 11, 2010,
#4
Thank you for the responses!
What is the scale length of a 3/4 bass? I assume it is, quite literally, 3/4 that of a 4/4 bass.

What is the learning curve from an electric bass guitar to an upright? Did you find it difficult?
#5
I play a 3/4 inch fine and im 6'2.

In terms of the leap from electric to double bass it depends on your ear really. When you start playing you define 'frets' by ear. Another thing is to make sure that you don't play it like an electric bass with your plucking hand, it sounds weak. I'd suggest getting a couple of lessons in if you can just for a few basic pointers, bad habits made early on can really hamper your playing.
#6
Now to really confuse the math. I am 5'4" and play a 3/4 upright with the pin completely in. The rule of thumb is that the nut should hit about your eyebrow height. Here's a good page on relative scales:

http://www.doublebassguide.com/?page_id=3

I would concur on getting lessons. The technique is going to be vastly different from your electric bass--even nine months into lessons (upright jazz) I find myself getting pointers from the instructor on how to perfect and hone technique. It's not an easy instrument but really rewarding. I love electric bass but upright has a physicality and organic quality that is really amazing and remains my primary love at the moment.
#7
Quote by pepsi_lovr
Thank you for the responses!
What is the scale length of a 3/4 bass? I assume it is, quite literally, 3/4 that of a 4/4 bass.

What is the learning curve from an electric bass guitar to an upright? Did you find it difficult?


It depends on the manufacturer, but it's roughly 41.3 to 41.5 inches.

And it's a completely different instrument in my opinion. The only similarity is the tuning.
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#8
Quote by Nutter_101
And it's a completely different instrument in my opinion. The only similarity is the tuning.

This, you can't even use all 4 fingers, only 3. I found that it really improved my left hand technique on electric after learning upright.
#9
Quote by anarkee
Now to really confuse the math. I am 5'4" and play a 3/4 upright with the pin completely in. The rule of thumb is that the nut should hit about your eyebrow height. Here's a good page on relative scales:

http://www.doublebassguide.com/?page_id=3

I would concur on getting lessons. The technique is going to be vastly different from your electric bass--even nine months into lessons (upright jazz) I find myself getting pointers from the instructor on how to perfect and hone technique. It's not an easy instrument but really rewarding. I love electric bass but upright has a physicality and organic quality that is really amazing and remains my primary love at the moment.


Thank you for the link, it was an interesting read!

As to everyone else that responded, thank you very much! Going to start saving my $$$ for one!