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Re: Why don't stand up basses have frets?

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Posted by Allan on February 08, 2001 at 03:14:26:

In Reply to: Why don't stand up basses have frets? posted by Travis Dwyer on February 07, 2001 at 18:37:15:

: I just joined the jazz band at my high school and i play electric bass. I have been thinking to look in to getting a stand up bass. Why don't stand up basses have frets? I am asking this because i saw so pictures and they did not have frets. And if all basses have frets, how do you know what note you are playing?

: Thank You
: Travis Dwyer

Interesting point, Travis - you echo my own thoughts. I too play electric bass, and have recently acquired a double bass. At first I found it hard to put my fingers in the correct places, but after a while, it became easier. I'm sure that if you had lessons, the tutor would give you some tips on fingering, but if , (like me), you are aiming to teach yourself then using your ear is the best guide. At first, I posted some litle black (self adhesive)dots on what would be fret 1, 2, & 3 ( on a bass guitar) on the body side of the neck so that to begin with I could see just where I was, but after a while they fell off and I felt more confident anyway. I'm sure the purists will tell you that you must learn without these positional props - but it worked for me - I really only finger the first 4 positions plus open strings (= the first 4 frets on a bass guitar) - beyond that and I'm struggling - but there's a lot you can play with these 4 positions.
If you do buy an upright double bass you'll find a whole new world opens, and a lovely new sound, (might need amplifying if you're going to play in a jazz band at school - a whole new set of problems in choosing a 2Xbass pickup too!)

Good luck

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