#1
I've been listening to a lot of jazz and I really love the sound of pizzicato double bass on much of the stuff I listen to.

So I was wondering what the best route into playing this instrument is, I'd appreciate any advice and help on this one, especially as I want to play jazz bass specifically.

Also, how much should I be paying for my own instrument should I decide to buy one? I've seen one for 650 pound which to me seems reasonable, but as I don't know about double bass that much, I can't say.
#2
It's like electric but so much better. Approach it with a proper posture and read a wikipedia article on it, there's really not a whole lot to tell other than a couple "don't do this"'s. If you can play jazz on an electric, you'll be fine. The fretless thing might be a little weird at first, but it'll improve your ear immensely.
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#3
Quote by Hail
It's like electric but so much better. Approach it with a proper posture and read a wikipedia article on it, there's really not a whole lot to tell other than a couple "don't do this"'s. If you can play jazz on an electric, you'll be fine. The fretless thing might be a little weird at first, but it'll improve your ear immensely.


Don't listen to him. Double bass is COMPLETELY different to any incarnation of the electric bass. You need a teacher asap if you wish to become competent at it, the technique and playing styles are polar opposite. You may want to look into renting an upright for now if you need to get the money together for you own.
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#4
Quote by Hail
It's like electric but so much better. Approach it with a proper posture and read a wikipedia article on it, there's really not a whole lot to tell other than a couple "don't do this"'s. If you can play jazz on an electric, you'll be fine. The fretless thing might be a little weird at first, but it'll improve your ear immensely.



Now I've got to solve the other BIG problem: how to get a DB into my tiny Ford Ka.
#5
Quote by fleajr_1412
Don't listen to him. Double bass is COMPLETELY different to any incarnation of the electric bass. You need a teacher asap if you wish to become competent at it, the technique and playing styles are polar opposite. You may want to look into renting an upright for now if you need to get the money together for you own.



I can afford one right now. This is why I'm asking this question now, because I know I can at present make a good financial and time commitment.

I should point out I'm pretty good at bowing and other techniques on instruments in the violin family. So I'm already proficient in using a bow.
#6
Eh, if I can go from guitarist to double bassist then you should be able to learn it pretty easily if you can already play other violin family instruments or even bass guitar. It's not too different. Change some positions and you should be good.
#7
Quote by PureGouldBass
I can afford one right now. This is why I'm asking this question now, because I know I can at present make a good financial and time commitment.

I should point out I'm pretty good at bowing and other techniques on instruments in the violin family. So I'm already proficient in using a bow.


My mistake. There are a few regulars who play upright, you'll have to wait till they come along as I'm not so familiar with the DB market.

Even so, bowing is very different in comparison to other instruments in the string family. If you're going to learn double bass it is worth it to do it properly, I really recommend finding a good teacher.
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#8
Quote by fleajr_1412
Don't listen to him. Double bass is COMPLETELY different to any incarnation of the electric bass. You need a teacher asap if you wish to become competent at it, the technique and playing styles are polar opposite. You may want to look into renting an upright for now if you need to get the money together for you own.


Same notes, new calluses. Go through a stack of sheet music and listen to double bass in music - it's not rocket science. It's just like learning any new instrument, and if you're proficient in similar 'orchestral strings' so-to-speak you should be fairly familiar with the techniques required.

If you know music theory at all, which I'm assuming you do, it's not too far of a difference from learning a banjo after you already play guitar. Assuming you need an instructor to be competent with any instrument is just silly, provided you have common sense and a reasonable amount of music theory. If you can walk on an electric bass, you'll be able to walk on an upright, provided you've grown accustomed to the technical aspects of the instrument.

He's not a 6th grader.
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#9
Quote by Hail
Same notes, new calluses. Go through a stack of sheet music and listen to double bass in music - it's not rocket science. It's just like learning any new instrument, and if you're proficient in similar 'orchestral strings' so-to-speak you should be fairly familiar with the techniques required.

If you know music theory at all, which I'm assuming you do, it's not too far of a difference from learning a banjo after you already play guitar. Assuming you need an instructor to be competent with any instrument is just silly, provided you have common sense and a reasonable amount of music theory. If you can walk on an electric bass, you'll be able to walk on an upright, provided you've grown accustomed to the technical aspects of the instrument.

He's not a 6th grader.


I'm not saying you NEED a teacher to become competent at an instrument. But if you want to learn correct technique and cause any problems to your playing or phyiscal well being in the future, then it's advisable to have even a few lessons with a teacher to learn correct technique and get you on your way.
Quote by skater dan0
Damn you and your ninja-like modding
#10
Quote by Hail
Same notes, new calluses. Go through a stack of sheet music and listen to double bass in music - it's not rocket science. It's just like learning any new instrument, and if you're proficient in similar 'orchestral strings' so-to-speak you should be fairly familiar with the techniques required.

If you know music theory at all, which I'm assuming you do, it's not too far of a difference from learning a banjo after you already play guitar. Assuming you need an instructor to be competent with any instrument is just silly, provided you have common sense and a reasonable amount of music theory. If you can walk on an electric bass, you'll be able to walk on an upright, provided you've grown accustomed to the technical aspects of the instrument.

He's not a 6th grader.


You have a partial point. The note order and tuning of the DB is the same as DB, but the actual playing technique is wildly different. Also different and crucial to playing the DB is correct playing posture, bow hold and finger positioning, which can't be learnt from EB and which can't be arsed up or bodged for DB.

And yeah, the actual theory side of things can be tranferred. My jazz books give both electric and upright fingerings, exercises and advice. Nearly every jazz instructor of either instrument will know something of the other.
#11
Quote by fleajr_1412
I'm not saying you NEED a teacher to become competent at an instrument. But if you want to learn correct technique and cause any problems to your playing or phyiscal well being in the future, then it's advisable to have even a few lessons with a teacher to learn correct technique and get you on your way.


That's why I noted that proper posture is important, and reading a wiki article to get an idea of at least how to hold the instrument. It's all of a 5 minute roadblock to hold a bass correctly, and should be common sense to understand, just like with any other instrument. You don't (hopefully!) lay in bed playing guitar with your wrists at a 90 degree angle.
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#12
Quote by Hail
That's why I noted that proper posture is important, and reading a wiki article to get an idea of at least how to hold the instrument. It's all of a 5 minute roadblock to hold a bass correctly, and should be common sense to understand, just like with any other instrument. You don't (hopefully!) lay in bed playing guitar with your wrists at a 90 degree angle.






Seriously? I know teachers who often spend HOURS teaching their students about hand positioning, playing posture and bow hold before teaching a note. And many of the world's top bassists can spend hours practicing a single hand shift, a single bowed note.


Also: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f23/

There's a reason forums like the above exist too.
#13
Quote by PureGouldBass



Seriously? I know teachers who often spend HOURS teaching their students about hand positioning, playing posture and bow hold before teaching a note. And many of the world's top bassists can spend hours practicing a single hand shift, a single bowed note.


Also: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f23/

There's a reason forums like the above exist too.


Maybe if it's their first instrument. Sitting up straight and holding the bow correctly took me all of a few days of fiddling around and I was competent enough to play with a high school orchestra for a year. It's not like that's such a wondrous feat, but I don't understand the elitism people defend the difficulty of their instruments with.
Quote by Kevätuhri
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#14
Quote by Hail
Maybe if it's their first instrument. Sitting up straight and holding the bow correctly took me all of a few days of fiddling around and I was competent enough to play with a high school orchestra for a year. It's not like that's such a wondrous feat, but I don't understand the elitism people defend the difficulty of their instruments with.



Some of the guys on Talkbass are serious pros playing in top jazz ensembles. You're talking about high school crap. Seriously, there is a WORLD of difference between the two in terms of complexity and the demands of both.


I used to play in my own school orchestra on clarinet. I was terrible, but because it was so easy to play the orchestral stuff we did, I coped for all 3 years I was there.

Then I went to a recent jazz jam session. Now I consider myself pretty good, but these guys were pros and they blew me out of the water in a lot of ways. I was told I was making good progress in learning jazz, but there is no way I could play in that band.
#15
I agree 100% with PureGouldBass - if you think you can teach yourself to a decent standard using a wiki article, you are only fooling yourself.

A teacher is a necessity.
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#16
Quote by Killerfridge
I agree 100% with PureGouldBass - if you think you can teach yourself to a decent standard using a wiki article, you are only fooling yourself.

A teacher is a necessity.



It's common sense. Looking at other instruments in the same family (violin, viola, viola da gamba and cello) it takes a VERY long time before you get things like bowing and correct left-hand technique exactly right.

I'm trying to sort out a teacher for this reason.
#17
I'm glad to see that in mindset, you are on the right track. That's the first step to being a good double bass player.

I'm afraid that the wealth of information on this site regarding double basses isn't particularly high, but is very high on the Double Bass side of Talkbass. There are a lot of sticky notes regarding new bass students, and what basses to buy. You sound like a smart guy, so have fun reading for a few hours and learning.
DB Player
#18
Avoid the Double Bass like the plague! If you want to learn the Upright Bass, then you...gasp!...must subject yourself to the dreaded Simandl Book!!!



This book will drive you to suicide faster than watching The Jersey Shore.

Seriously, it is an almost completely different instrument from the electric bass, as many have already said. But I'm afraid that the Simandl book (and its later versions) looms large in the immediate future of any serious Upright Bass student. From people I know who managed to survive it, it greatly improved their playing and understanding of the instrument. But every one of them wanted to throw their bass and that f@cking book out the window more times than they could count.

Good luck with it. And I hope you've got a big car to haul it around.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#19
That permanent binding sticker on the front cover is so that it can suffer time and time again through kicks, punches, throws, and lawn mowing machines.

It's not so bad until the fourth position. But after that..

HAHA!
DB Player
#20
Quote by FatalGear41
Avoid the Double Bass like the plague! If you want to learn the Upright Bass, then you...gasp!...must subject yourself to the dreaded Simandl Book!!!

*pic*

This book will drive you to suicide faster than watching The Jersey Shore.

Seriously, it is an almost completely different instrument from the electric bass, as many have already said. But I'm afraid that the Simandl book (and its later versions) looms large in the immediate future of any serious Upright Bass student. From people I know who managed to survive it, it greatly improved their playing and understanding of the instrument. But every one of them wanted to throw their bass and that f@cking book out the window more times than they could count.

Good luck with it. And I hope you've got a big car to haul it around.




I actually use the Simandl book for studying electric bass anyway, so I'm familiar with it enough to know that yes, it can drive you to distraction. It's harder for electric bass because although I'm brilliant at reading music, translating that into logical fluid playing on the EB fretboard is another matter.

I'm convinced the red color is to deliberately annoy you. Or to act as a method of finding it again after you've 'accidently' lost it.

I do know from flicking randomly on Talkbass that there are alternatives to Simandl, BUT that they're not widely used or accepted as Simandl is. Certainly at the music school level Simandl is The Textbook for both EB and DB students.

abornael: Yeah, TB is likely the best place to start if I want to ever learn DB. And I approach any instrument as though I know nothing about music or how to play it. It's the best way.