Re: Help!

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Posted by Rich Laird on September 28, 2000 at 13:07:57:

In Reply to: Help! posted by dubka on July 18, 2000 at 13:18:46:

: I am an electric bassist of about 7 years. A while ago I came across an upright bass in my high schools attic and as I expressed interest towards the long forgotten bass I was given it free of charge. It's not the best bass but over the last few weeks I have taken a real interest in it and have been playing to a much better standard than I remember being disuaded by when I first got the bass. I have dropped in on your post board to see if any of you would be kind enough to point me in the right direction. I know my theory, etc, from electric bass and my regular technique seems to work okay (with a little adjustment) but I was wondering if there is anything I should learn/ practice before I make bad habits. Thank you.

You already have been given a couple of good suggestions: The Rufus Reed book is great. And getting a teacher is an even better idea.

I've played both instruments myself - as well as six-string guitar. My experience has been that the upright bass is much less intuitive. A good teacher will not only help you avoid bad habits but clue you into the things you need to work on to build on the strengths you already have. No book in the world can actually listen to what you are doing and help you become your own best critic.

From what you said, I would also be concerned about one other thing...that instrument that was lying around the attic is - I'm sure - fine for getting started with. But it very likely should have some adjustments made to it - possibly a new bridge, etc. Once you find a good bass teacher, s/he should be able to recommend any work that should be done on it to make it sound and play at its best. The teacher should also be able to recommend a good luthier to do the work - and help make sure you don't spend money on something that's not really necessary. Since strings run about a hundred bucks a pop, your teacher should also have an idea as to what kind of strings will work best on that specific instrument, given the kind of playing you want to do.

Good Luck and Enjoy!

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