#1
Hey there!

I'm a guitarist by nature, with some good skill on the electric/ acoustic guitar-like bass and am wondering how hard it is to make the transition to upright bass like the one in orchestra. help please?
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#3
after you play bass till the point you don't look at the fret board to see if your hitting the F or play scales like they're nothing then maybe try. Using a bow is a whole other beast all together. I tried it at my school. It would take some getting used to (plus he was better then me) I'm currently saving up for an up right acoustic electric.
#4
Double bass is one of the most physically and mentally demanding instruments out there.

You'll need atleast $1,500 minimum to get yourself started (this covers the cost of a bass, maybe a bow, and perhaps a cover). You'll also need to get rosin, and build up a relationship with a local double bass luthier. Stay away from cheap chinese crap like Palatino, Cremona, and such. A good, reputable chinese brand is Shen.

Afterwards, you'll need a teacher. Preferably someone who plays in a professional symphony and charges more than $20. This isn't to say that someone who gives $20 lessons will be bad, but you pay for what you get.

I also hope you know theory, and can read sheet music well, because there is no such thing as 'tablature' for Double Bass.
DB Player
#5
Quote by abornael
Double bass is one of the most physically and mentally demanding instruments out there.

You'll need atleast $1,500 minimum to get yourself started (this covers the cost of a bass, maybe a bow, and perhaps a cover). You'll also need to get rosin, and build up a relationship with a local double bass luthier. Stay away from cheap chinese crap like Palatino, Cremona, and such. A good, reputable chinese brand is Shen.

Afterwards, you'll need a teacher. Preferably someone who plays in a professional symphony and charges more than $20. This isn't to say that someone who gives $20 lessons will be bad, but you pay for what you get.

I also hope you know theory, and can read sheet music well, because there is no such thing as 'tablature' for Double Bass.



This.


A bit crass... but all totally true.


I've seen dudes pick up doublebass on the cheap with no instruction and play REALLLLLLY basic (boring) lines in rockabilly bands. But even then, those guys are above average on electric bass.
"Punk Rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting anything that you like, as sloppy as you want, as long as it's good and has passion."
#6
Agreed with abornael and Din: The amount of money you have to spend to get one that feels like an actual instrument (even a beginner one) makes it hard to get one just as a toy like you might with a uke, or banjo, or bongos, etc.

If you want to get enough use and skill out of it to not just have an expensive toy, you're going to need lessons. Stuff as simple as learning the proper posture will take a month with a teacher, but forever to learn on your own and that's not even worrying about bowing technique.

In some ways, double bass is really easy--you can play one for a few hours and have good control of intonation--the 42" scale on a 3/4 makes muscle memory a breeze and is forgiving about placing your fingers slightly off. There are also a lot of great instructional books out there that make it easy to learn standard notion while learning the bass (the generally less busy playing on bass makes it easier to learn to sight read than a lot of instruments too).

Still, with all those advantages, it's still such an insanely physical instrument that slight problems in posture and movement ruin the entire sound and response of it. The only effective way to get up to task on those things is to invest in some lessons.
#7
Quote by abornael

Afterwards, you'll need a teacher.


No you don't.


It'll be nice to have one, but it's not a dire necessity. I learned UB just fine by myself and while I still have a few issues here and there, at the end of the day, the UB is just another instrument. You can fare well by yourself if you apply yourself.
pinga
#8
Quote by Cb4rabid
No you don't.


It'll be nice to have one, but it's not a dire necessity. I learned UB just fine by myself and while I still have a few issues here and there, at the end of the day, the UB is just another instrument. You can fare well by yourself if you apply yourself.


To my memory, we've already had this chat in a previous thread. In conclusion, mostly everyone besides yourself recommended to have a teacher for a few reasons.

1) To improve fast.
2) To not cause injury (because Double Bass strings often carry pressure of 200+ pounds.
3) To not form bad habits.
4) To learn from someone who has been doing it for years.
5) To learn how to naturally pull a good sound out of a bass.

I am not saying that you can not be self-taught. I self-taught myself for the first year, save for a master class here and there. However, as soon as I started taking lessons with professionals, I learned that I had many bad habits. I only know of one successful double bassist who is self-taught. Thinking of it as a ratio, you have one great double bassist who is self taught, and then you have a myriad of bassists who are just as successful, but were taught. The ratio of bassists that were taught and are successful, is much, much, larger to the number of self-taught bassists who are successful.
DB Player
Last edited by abornael at Aug 30, 2011,
#9
I played guitar first, then double bass. (followed by electric bass)

There's these red books (by Alfred publishing?), that's how you need to get down your basics. After that if you move onto the other colored books you'll be good and should move on to lessons.

It's expensive as hell to start though, so try to find used.

Get a tuner that clips onto the bridge, pencil some lines on the fingerboard to get intonation right, then put on thin strips of tape so you know your positions. Peel these off when you're comfortable.

LEARN YOUR SCALES. LEARN STRING SKIPPING. LEARN POSITIONS/SHIFTING.

If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.
#10
Quote by abornael
To my memory, we've already had this chat in a previous thread. In conclusion, mostly everyone besides yourself recommended to have a teacher for a few reasons.

1) To improve fast.
2) To not cause injury (because Double Bass strings often carry pressure of 200+ pounds.
3) To not form bad habits.
4) To learn from someone who has been doing it for years.
5) To learn how to naturally pull a good sound out of a bass.

I am not saying that you can not be self-taught. I self-taught myself for the first year, save for a master class here and there. However, as soon as I started taking lessons with professionals, I learned that I had many bad habits. I only know of one successful double bassist who is self-taught. Thinking of it as a ratio, you have one great double bassist who is self taught, and then you have a myriad of bassists who are just as successful, but were taught. The ratio of bassists that were taught and are successful, is much, much, larger to the number of self-taught bassists who are successful.

Actually, I remember that day. All i'm saying is that many people (like myself) learn better and faster without somebody watching over them. I just don't like ruling out learning by yourself as an option, even for UB, which is a difficult instrument.

I'm in my last year in High school and we're playing Russian Christmas by Alfred Reed, which, if you've ever heard it before, has a long 6/4 section near the middle which straight 8th notes for the bass, which i'll admit, has been getting the better side of me. This is probably one of those cases where a teacher would come in handy, but I think it's much more rewarding if I learn it myself.

Just my two cents though.
pinga
#11
Not quite the same but one of my first instruments was Cello, and yeah completely different. You might be lucky if you get a good book/video/whatever to learn from but I agree that having lessons would be best. It's completely different, and especially important if you want to use the bow as well as plucking without getting some kind of repetitive strain injury. Even just a couple to start out with would help.
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#12
Quote by Cb4rabid
It'll be nice to have one, but it's not a dire necessity. I learned UB just fine by myself and while I still have a few issues here and there, at the end of the day, the UB is just another instrument. You can fare well by yourself if you apply yourself.


if you're not willing to invest in a teacher to teach you, you're probably not serious about the instrument.
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at Aug 31, 2011,
#13
Just saying, I don't really agree with those who say you can learn an instrument without a teacher. I mean, you CAN learn without a teacher, but without feedback from a professional I don't really see it as learning, but rather as just copying, doing what feels comfortable even though it may be wrong.

You really need another pair of ears and eyes critiquing what and how you are playing. Personally, I totally object to learning a brand new instrument by yourself. It just doesn't seem right to me. I play the violin as well as bass, and have been for much longer than bass. Without a teacher, yeah sure I could learn how to play, but having a teacher greatly improves learning experience, feedback, skills, and ultimately you become a better player then without a teacher. You don't just know how to 'play' the violin, but further understand and embrace what it truly means to master an instrument through feedback and critiquing.

Just a few thoughts.
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#14
Quote by primusfan
if you're not willing to invest in a teacher to teach you, you're probably not serious about the instrument.

Oh yeah, you're right. Cause i've only been in music for 5 years, have decided to per sue a career in music/bass because i'm not serious about the instrument. Yup.

Quote by bass//player
Just saying, I don't really agree with those who say you can learn an instrument without a teacher. I mean, you CAN learn without a teacher, but without feedback from a professional I don't really see it as learning, but rather as just copying, doing what feels comfortable even though it may be wrong.

You really need another pair of ears and eyes critiquing what and how you are playing. Personally, I totally object to learning a brand new instrument by yourself. It just doesn't seem right to me. I play the violin as well as bass, and have been for much longer than bass. Without a teacher, yeah sure I could learn how to play, but having a teacher greatly improves learning experience, feedback, skills, and ultimately you become a better player then without a teacher. You don't just know how to 'play' the violin, but further understand and embrace what it truly means to master an instrument through feedback and critiquing.

Just a few thoughts.

Copying is pretty much what you're doing with a teacher it makes no difference whether I take it from somebody else or learn it myself by research and or trial and error. Like i said, it's much more rewarding to me than having somebody spoon feed me everything.

You'd be surprised how much I have taught myself. I don't need a teacher. But seriously, enough teacher vs. no teacher argument, ive had like 3 of these on this site already. I just brought it up as an option.
pinga
#15
Quote by Cb4rabid
Oh yeah, you're right. Cause i've only been in music for 5 years, have decided to per sue a career in music/bass because i'm not serious about the instrument. Yup.


Copying is pretty much what you're doing with a teacher it makes no difference whether I take it from somebody else or learn it myself by research and or trial and error. Like i said, it's much more rewarding to me than having somebody spoon feed me everything.

You'd be surprised how much I have taught myself. I don't need a teacher. But seriously, enough teacher vs. no teacher argument, ive had like 3 of these on this site already. I just brought it up as an option.


So, if you go to University or College for Double Bass, you're going to say no to all of the teachers? Never go to a Master Class? Nothing? Face it, you are limiting yourself by deciding not to have a teacher, and are deciding to attempt to be an 'exception'. Think of it, Beethoven had a teacher, Bach had a teacher, Haydn had a teacher, Paul Chambers had a teacher, everyone worth mentioning has had a teacher. That means something, and perhaps since you have never had a teacher you don't understand it yet.

Also, if you're in last year of High School are are finding straight eighths difficult to sight read, there is probably something wrong in your technique. This wouldn't be obvious to you, because of your teacher dilemma, but perhaps you should look at material that you get outside of High School. Dvorak, Mahler, any of these classical guys, or jazz standards as well; they'll be much more difficult than any Alfred Reed piece.

Of course, not having a teacher is an option. But again, think of the ratio. I know of one successful bassist that is self-taught. The others have all had teachers, and the number of successful and professional double bassists is immense.
DB Player
Last edited by abornael at Aug 31, 2011,
#16
Quote by abornael
So, if you go to University or College for Double Bass, you're going to say no to all of the teachers? Never go to a Master Class? Nothing? Face it, you are limiting yourself by deciding not to have a teacher, and are deciding to attempt to be an 'exception'. Think of it, Beethoven had a teacher, Bach had a teacher, Haydn had a teacher, Paul Chambers had a teacher, everyone worth mentioning has had a teacher. That means something, and perhaps since you have never had a teacher you don't understand it yet.

Also, if you're in last year of High School are are finding straight eighths difficult to sight read, there is probably something wrong in your technique. This wouldn't be obvious to you, because of your teacher dilemma, but perhaps you should look at material that you get outside of High School. Dvorak, Mahler, any of these classical guys, or jazz standards as well; they'll be much more difficult than any Alfred Reed piece.

Of course, not having a teacher is an option. But again, think of the ratio. I know of one successful bassist that is self-taught. The others have all had teachers, and the number of successful and professional double bassists is immense.

The difference is that I already know how to play bass. They aren't teaching me how to learn the instrument from scratch, what i'll gain is knowledge in music and tips on my technique in order to refine it, but that's it. And that is because I am going to school for it. It's nothing I can't get from researching myself and teaching myself. Like I said, it's nice to have a teacher, sure, but its more rewarding doing it myself.

Also, I NEVER said I had a problem sight-reading straight 8ths, I had a problem playing the melody. As soon as I figured out where I was, I adjusted my position on the neck to be able to reach the high D and F.

Why are people so against learning something by yourself? For christ's sake, I mention ''teaching yourself'' and apparently it's like blasphemy in this forum. I know the ratio, thank you. Call me stubborn, I still like doing it myself. sue me.
pinga
#17
^There is no doubt in my mind that you are a worse off player for not having a teacher, that's not a personal attack but in my mind you are just missing out on a huge aspect of learning the bass. And you shouldn't have problems reading the high D or F, depending on your bass, the heel of the neck is usually a spot on indicator of where the high F is and if you learn your scales, as a teacher would tell you to do, you would know where to place your hand to get the D!

But then again you could be some miraculous, one in a million, virtuoso, dragonetti-esque bassist.