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#1
I'm sorry, I don't know if it should be here, but a bass is a bass to me. I'm going to start upright bass for my schools music program (Orchestra and Choir accompaniment). I'm buying an electric bass soon, and I would appreciate some tips for both. I'm originally a guitarist, and I know its a lot diffrent already. I read the FAQ thread and it doesn't offer much help for an upright. My biggest concern is that does the first fingering got to the first fret on an electric and so forth? any other helpful comments are VERY VERY appreciated
<3 Kino
#2
The scale on the upright bass is much longer, the notes won't be in the same place as electric bass.

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#3
Electrics are (usually) fretted to half steps. Uprights are fretless obviously, a longer scale, and you use a bow sometimes. I know bassists that play both. The plus is you can learn how to read bass sheet music.
#4
I love the sound of uprights but I don't know much about them. Check out talkbass.com or was basstalk.com? They have a special section just for uprights
#5
Quote by HighPotency
Electrics are (usually) fretted to half steps. Uprights are fretless obviously, a longer scale, and you use a bow sometimes. I know bassists that play both. The plus is you can learn how to read bass sheet music.

okay, so I'm guessing one fingering to every two frets? I normally play pizz style because someone jacked the rosin
#6
You're getting an electric upright?
I'm sorry but why not just get like an electric bass?
Are you going to play electric bass in the orchestra?

Quote by Kino Chan
okay, so I'm guessing one fingering to every two frets? I normally play pizz style because someone jacked the rosin

It doesn't work like that.
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
Last edited by Woogles at Oct 7, 2008,
#7
Quote by HighPotency
Electrics are (usually) fretted to half steps. Uprights are fretless obviously, a longer scale, and you use a bow sometimes. I know bassists that play both. The plus is you can learn how to read bass sheet music.

okay, so I'm guessing one fingering to every two frets? I normally play pizz style because someone jacked the rosin
#8
Quote by Woogles
You're getting an electric upright?
I'm sorry but why not just get like an electric bass?
Are you going to play electric bass in the orchestra?


It doesn't work like that.

No, a regular upright, they don't allow electric instruments in orchestra
Okay, I guess I'll have to just figure it out then : /
#9
I can give you some information on Upright Bass.

For starters, it's a much more strict instrument. Sloppy technique is extremely bad on an instrument with no frets, especially one with a long scale length, so you have to be perfect with your tuning. The way to ensue this is to keep your hand like a "gadget" or a tool that NEVER changes until you go above the body.

The easiest technique for fretting is the 3 finger technique - Index, Middle, Ring & Pinky. This ensures that in half position, it works out at about a fret to each.

Now, the biggest problem you'll have is learning to use a bow (which you will). Two styles for that - French and German. I would recommend German, as I feel that's the easiest. You can read up about the different styles of bow on Wikipedia, and make a decision which you'll go for based on that information. The grip style is different, and gives a different strength and tonality to the arco note.

Finally, plucking. You can't pluck like on an electric bass guitar. You've got to pull with all of your finger at an angle when you play pizzicato. Finger at an angle, pull. If you try with the fleshy end of your finger, you'll get horrific blisters in a very short time unless you have very good calluses.

One last point - a teacher. Get one. Double bass is far too strict an instrument to learn on your own, especially to play in an orchestra. For Rockabilly/blues, you might be able to get by on your own, but for a classical music setting, you'll be providing the rock with long arco notes most of the time, so a teacher to get your technique perfect is vital.

Sorry for the wall of text, but I played double bass for a while, and it's all stuff I had to learn.
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#10
Quote by Kino Chan
No, a regular upright, they don't allow electric instruments in orchestra
Okay, I guess I'll have to just figure it out then : /

Practicing on an electric upright will be a lot different than a regular one.
Can't you barrow one from the school?
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
#11
Quote by Woogles
Practicing on an electric upright will be a lot different than a regular one.
Can't you barrow one from the school?

I'm getting the double (?) from school.
no electric yet :3
#12
Quote by Kino Chan
I'm getting the double (?) from school.
no electric yet :3

Why do you want an electric upright then?
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
#13
Quote by Woogles
Why do you want an electric upright then?

Oh, I wasn't being clear. Sorry about that!
I'm buying a regular, horizontal bass guitar soon.
I have no use for electric upright
#14
Quote by Nutter_101
I can give you some information on Upright Bass.

Sorry for the wall of text, but I played double bass for a while, and it's all stuff I had to learn.

You are like, my new best friend.
I didn't even know that they had diffrent kinds of bows.
#16
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
The first thing you have to do is stop thinking of the upright and electric bass as the same instrument. They are so very different. Also, get a teacher.

This is true.
There is almost nothing similar in playing them.
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
#17
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
The first thing you have to do is stop thinking of the upright and electric bass as the same instrument. They are so very different. Also, get a teacher.

okay, I figure they sound similar, but from what I've gathered, they are very diffrent to play
#18
Quote by Kino Chan
okay, I figure they sound similar, but from what I've gathered, they are very diffrent to play

They don't sound similar either >.>
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
#19
Quote by Woogles
They don't sound similar either >.>

I feel kind of dumb
I've never heard an electric bass guitar outside of a band : /
#20
the notes are the same, but the huge body of the upright gives it a booming resonation sound that is more bassy and melodic then a electric could ever wish to be. The difference in tone is very significant, even to an untrained ear. The best way to approach it is to realize that it is a completely different instrument and treat it as such.

I would recommend learning the bass with a bow and not with your fingers, the bow will require a much higher skill of intonation and the bow also seems to be a downfall for most upright basses (myself included) just because it can be somewhat of a pain in the ass to learn.

Overall, its a great instrument to play, though extremely difficult.
#21
Quote by Kino Chan
I feel kind of dumb
I've never heard an electric bass guitar outside of a band : /

Well a electric bass can sound like anything from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dWb-aCWR8U
to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHksPJjalEU
to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxZWvhGE7CM
to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptj2qKIswLw
:O
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
#22
Quote by Trabo
the notes are the same, but the huge body of the upright gives it a booming resonation sound that is more bassy and melodic then a electric could ever wish to be. The difference in tone is very significant, even to an untrained ear. The best way to approach it is to realize that it is a completely different instrument and treat it as such.

I would recommend learning the bass with a bow and not with your fingers, the bow will require a much higher skill of intonation and the bow also seems to be a downfall for most upright basses (myself included) just because it can be somewhat of a pain in the ass to learn.

Overall, its a great instrument to play, though extremely difficult.

I would probably say that it is less bassy since it is most of the time it is not amped.
I also don't see how any instrument could be more "melodic" than another.
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
#23
Thanks Trabo
I would have started with a bow today, but like I said before, someone took all the rosin and I'm not even allowed to touch the bow without intending to rosin it first.
I think I can master it though
#24
Quote by Woogles

thanks!
Those are really good actually, I love the sound.
(And this was my first time listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers )
#25
Quote by Kino Chan
Thanks Trabo
I would have started with a bow today, but like I said before, someone took all the rosin and I'm not even allowed to touch the bow without intending to rosin it first.
I think I can master it though

Bowing takes a lot of practice.
It is going to take some time.

How have you never listened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers before? o.O
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
#26
Quote by Woogles
Bowing takes a lot of practice.
It is going to take some time.

How have you never listened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers before? o.O

Thats what I was told earlier today. I'm seriously going to practice my ass off until I get it perfectly.

Because I only listened to foreign music (Germany and Japan xD)
Like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neNNPH8rZ94
(If you can't figure it out, noseband man is the bassist. He started with upright and is a big reason why I am too)
#27
Quote by Kino Chan
Thats what I was told earlier today. I'm seriously going to practice my ass off until I get it perfectly.

Because I only listened to foreign music (Germany and Japan xD)
Like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neNNPH8rZ94
(If you can't figure it out, noseband man is the bassist. He started with upright and is a big reason why I am too)

How does that sound like an upright XD
I really don't see how starting with an upright would help other than knowing the basic notes and knowing how to read music.
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
#28
Quote by Woogles
How does that sound like an upright XD
I really don't see how starting with an upright would help other than knowing the basic notes and knowing how to read music.

It doesn't xD
I was just pointing out who I think is a very accomplished bassist in the world of japanese rock.
Well I figured Reita played upright bass, and to me, he's a very good bassist and well accomplished. I idolize him (as well as hagen) and I figure do what Reita does= be a better bassist
#29
Quote by Woogles
How does that sound like an upright XD
I really don't see how starting with an upright would help other than knowing the basic notes and knowing how to read music.


well i think he just meant that he started on an upright. also i think it would help a decent amound because it requires a great deal of finger strength to press down the strings (in the correct way) and also if you play pizz and gives your fingers massive amounts of strength. I play upright in orchestra and the school jazz band and they both definitely help out with my electric.
#30
Quote by MetalBass 77
well i think he just meant that he started on an upright. also i think it would help a decent amound because it requires a great deal of finger strength to press down the strings (in the correct way) and also if you play pizz and gives your fingers massive amounts of strength. I play upright in orchestra and the school jazz band and they both definitely help out with my electric.

she : ) I'\m a she xDDDDD
I wish my school had a jazz band D':
Yeah, thats the ONE thing I'm sure about is that it takes A LOT of finger strength
Last edited by Kino Chan at Oct 7, 2008,
#31
Quote by Kino Chan
she : ) I'\m a she xDDDDD
I wish my school had a jazz band D':
Yeah, thats the ONE thing I'm sure about is that it takes A LOT of finger strength


sorry i shouldnt have assumed you were a guy. too bad you dont have a jazz, most likely the highlight of my day (well 3 days a week at least)
#32
Quote by MetalBass 77
sorry i shouldnt have assumed you were a guy. too bad you dont have a jazz, most likely the highlight of my day (well 3 days a week at least)

S'okay : ) It happens a lot.
I'd love to do jazz.I think we had it last year, when I wasn't at the school.
I'll probably teach myself when I become more proficient
#33
Quote by MetalBass 77
well i think he just meant that he started on an upright. also i think it would help a decent amound because it requires a great deal of finger strength to press down the strings (in the correct way) and also if you play pizz and gives your fingers massive amounts of strength. I play upright in orchestra and the school jazz band and they both definitely help out with my electric.

It didn't really take much more finger strength for me but I think my fingers are just hella strong from the constant bass and guitar playing all day.
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
#34
Quote by Woogles
It didn't really take much more finger strength for me but I think my fingers are just hella strong from the constant bass and guitar playing all day.

ha, I wish I could play all day. But I have evil school ;>__<
But its also nice having all your instruments in the 'lunchroom'
(I just lurk in the orchestra room until the last class leavs then I have 40 min. to myself and the instruments)
Does anyone know anything about transporting? Because my dad only has a little sports-car type thing (Is a Mitsubishi Mirage) ans we're not sure if it will fit.
#35
I'll be honest, transporting a double bass in a Mitsubishi Mirage is going to be a bit of a challenge, lol. One of my older sisters used to play double bass and even with an american station wagon I hear it was a bit of an issue.

Everyone has given great advise here. I would also concur that you need a teacher and that honestly one of your bigger issues as a female upright bass player is going to be hand strength. But its only a minor issue that will plague you in the first few weeks or so.

Good luck and keep posting in the forum and let us know how it all sorts out. The folks here on the forum are really helpful and supportive, so if you need anything, just let us know.

(And btw, until I changed my avatar, I got called a dude quite a bit...)
#37
given my experience with uprights involves a NS Designs WAV4 and two separate uprights I tried to play Hysteria on, I of course, can't help.

but I must ask, does your school even have music? every school I've ever seen/heard of has a jazz band, except for a few tiny colleges with a total student population the size of my spanish class.
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#38
I poke around this forum sometimes and whilst I have no experience playing the upright bass (or the electric bass for that matter) I did start studying violin from the age of 6. In fretless instruments it's essential to use your ear. You may be given small tape markers or something similar to start, but even though you remember where the note is later on, if you do not hear it there is a big chance you will be slightly out of tune.


My tip is to work on aural and vocal training(they sort of go hand in hand). If you get a well developed relative ear(assuming you don't have perfect pitch) your endeavour in playing a fretless instrument will be much easier.


Good luck.
#39
I play both, and there two totally different beasts.

Just make sure you learn to read music, and think of them as 2 different instruments.

www.talkbass.com will probably be of more help then UG.
#40
Quote by Cyanide176
I love stuff like this

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=c2Qia4LgtII

Sounds great

Ewwww......Slap rockabilly is just...bad imo.
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.
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