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Bass (the instrument, not the fish)

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Jul 30, 2020 - 3:51:27 PM
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4719 posts since 9/26/2008

So fellow Iowian farmerjones got himself an upright bass and wanted to discuss it with others in the fiddle-centric world (rather than the pop/funk/jazz/rock focus of the bass (the instrument not the fish) forums.

I stored one for a buddy for a couple of years. Loved playing it even though it had a terrible set up and was a bear to press down. When I get in the pocket with your 1 - 5 groove I always think it feels like I'm dancing with a partner. Will occasionally play one in a jam or when the Bluegrass bass (not the fish) player takes a bathroom or beer break, but don't have the right hand calluses to do it for more than about 5 - 10 minutes.

Edited by - ChickenMan on 07/30/2020 15:52:22

Jul 30, 2020 - 3:55:20 PM
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DougD

USA

9672 posts since 12/2/2007
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I don't think he got an upright - its a fretted electric. You know - for rock n' roll.

Jul 30, 2020 - 5:06:33 PM
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3510 posts since 12/8/2007

Rock 'n' roll! Whazat?

I've an old electric Peavey one pickup bass. I've played it in a few band formations, always rock or country. Now that the action is too high due to an unfixably warped neck, I've tuned the bottom three strings to E, A, and D (and left the lowest string at a D as well. Much easier to play these looser strings, thusly, although I hardly play it much nowadays.

No one I know has ever tuned his bass thusly...and there's probably a reason.

Curt

Jul 30, 2020 - 5:16:32 PM

1995 posts since 10/22/2007
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There is a group of bass players that tune by 5th instead of 4th, but it requires, a custom set/gage of strings.

Y'know, an electric bass guitar is the one instrument that you can set in a bluegrass jam with an amp. If there is no other bass to be had.

There's one particular country jam that needs a bunch of support, this is why i tied into this project. Well, one reason.

Edited by - farmerjones on 07/30/2020 17:18:03

Jul 31, 2020 - 3:56:10 AM
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4719 posts since 9/26/2008

Oh yeah, I forgot it was electric. I played in two different BG bands that had electric basses. Didn't play any of the official Iowa bluegrass assn. gigs because they don't allow it, but if it was good enough for my favorite band, Bluegrass Cardinals, it was good enough for me.

Edited by - ChickenMan on 07/31/2020 03:57:58

Jul 31, 2020 - 5:32:48 AM
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1995 posts since 10/22/2007
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Good enough for Hot Rize too.
I had a chance at an upright bass, but passed. It's all about the ability to transport it.

Also looked at kala rubber string basses. Heard much good things. Settled on a MF Rogue for 99 bux. Had to wrench on the truss-rod, but sounds okay to me. Might spring for a set of better strings. I keep my roland microcube (amp) under my chair. So far, so good.

Jul 31, 2020 - 6:22:33 AM
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5776 posts since 8/7/2009
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I bought an upright a number of years ago. I enjoy playing it - on occasion. But its not so much my fingers that give me a problem as it is my left forearm muscles. It will wear me down after a short time.

I also bought a small Uke bass - FAT strings. I also bought a small battery power bass amp (cause the uke bass will never be heard without it). That little thing is deceiving... If you hear it before you see it, it will make you believe the sound has to be coming from somewhere else. It definitely has a cool factor. It really sounds great ...and loads of FUN to play.

Edited by - tonyelder on 07/31/2020 06:23:52

Jul 31, 2020 - 7:20:02 AM
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DougD

USA

9672 posts since 12/2/2007
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I remember several Bluegrass bands using electric bass at one time - Jim and Jesse, maybe the Osborne Brothers and possibly even Jimmy Martin (that was a long time ago and my memory is a little hazy). And of course John Cowan with New Grass Revival, who was a rock n' roller before that.
Not so much in Old Time bands though. In the contradance world I used to run into the solid fretless upright "stick" basses like Alice McClain White is using in the attached photo. They work pretty well.
I played two gigs one summer (both nursing homes) in a version of Country Cooking that was Pete Wernick, Tony Trischka, Russ Barenberg, and me on electric bass. That was before Hot Rize.
I have an old Fender Music Master short scale bass that's fun to play and I can play upright in small doses.


Edited by - DougD on 07/31/2020 07:23:55

Jul 31, 2020 - 7:52:19 AM
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4719 posts since 9/26/2008

Kala makes nonrubber strings for those Ubasses. They sound great.

Jul 31, 2020 - 8:19:31 AM

DougD

USA

9672 posts since 12/2/2007
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I played an Ernie Ball Earthwood acoustic bass once. It was great for a motel room jam, but they're hard to find and very expensive (and big!).

Edited by - DougD on 07/31/2020 08:22:09

Jul 31, 2020 - 10:36:46 AM

23 posts since 1/28/2018
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Use to play a '54 Precision (Fender elec.) and still have a '40 King Moretone (standup). performed bluegrass, blues, country, rock, etc. over the years.

As for electronic gadgets/ acoustics...I usually have preferred to match the band. If they are using pickups, fuzz wah pedals, etc. it's no holds barred on equipment pickups, amp, compressor, noise gate, etc.)...acoustic or mic'd I'd follow suit.

Edited by - fiddlewood on 07/31/2020 10:38:23

Aug 4, 2020 - 2:39:45 PM

GeoB

USA

6 posts since 7/22/2020

I forgot who said this... it might have been Jaco Pastorius and I've heard others refer to the bass guitar as the electric Bass.

I was also talking to Wendell (poison) Ivy, who used to be a tenor saxophone player for Wilson Pickett back in the sixties and he asked me what I had in my gig bag one day and I told him a electric fretless Bass and he said you're one of the few people I've heard call it the electric bass which is what you're supposed to call it.

So I thought about it awhile and I think the reason I called the electric bass is my first book I ever had was a Mel Bay instructional by a guy named Filiberto and it was called instruction for the playing the Electric Bass.

So I guess that's where I got it from , and since that point in time I've never called it a "bass guitar." I started taking electric bass lessons from that Jazz bassist

Not to be confused with the upright bass, which is also called the stand up bass, and also called the double bass, or as a classically trained bassist would call it... the contrabass.

Aug 4, 2020 - 3:28:44 PM
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1741 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by GeoB



Not to be confused with the upright bass, which is also called the stand up bass, and also called the double bass, or as a classically trained bassist would call it... the contrabass.


Someone less trained might call it the doghouse bass.

Aug 4, 2020 - 3:44:25 PM
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DougD

USA

9672 posts since 12/2/2007
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I've never understood how a dog could get in and out through those "f" holes.

Aug 4, 2020 - 4:50:37 PM
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1741 posts since 8/27/2008

About 10 years ago a friend sold me a doghouse bass for $100 made from fiberglass with bondo patches and spray paint touch-ups. It leans in one corner of my shop at the ready for any jam. My assumption is these things were made during WWII when spruce was diverted into airplane construction. The action is high and I've never done anything to change it. It sounds great though. Better than most plywood basses. It's known lovingly as that piece of s*** bass.

Aug 5, 2020 - 4:52:15 AM

GeoB

USA

6 posts since 7/22/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood
quote:
Originally posted by GeoB



Not to be confused with the upright bass, which is also called the stand up bass, and also called the double bass, or as a classically trained bassist would call it... the contrabass.


Someone less trained might call it the doghouse bass.


??I completely forgot about that.

Aug 5, 2020 - 4:57:22 AM

GeoB

USA

6 posts since 7/22/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood

About 10 years ago a friend sold me a doghouse bass for $100 made from fiberglass with bondo patches and spray paint touch-ups. It leans in one corner of my shop at the ready for any jam. My assumption is these things were made during WWII when spruce was diverted into airplane construction. The action is high and I've never done anything to change it. It sounds great though. Better than most plywood basses. It's known lovingly as that piece of s*** bass.

?-----------------------

There were also aluminum upright basses, but since aluminum was a scarce metal during WW2 in all probability it was after the war.

I read that it was real handy to strap one on the roof of the car because it was impervious to weather.

Edited by - GeoB on 08/05/2020 04:59:16

Aug 5, 2020 - 8:11:28 AM

4719 posts since 9/26/2008

The bass that lived at my house for a while was also fiberglass! Terrible setup, a bear to squeeze with the left hand.

Aug 6, 2020 - 3:47:19 AM
Players Union Member

boxbow

USA

2543 posts since 2/3/2011

quote:
Originally posted by GeoB
quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood
quote:
Originally posted by GeoB



Not to be confused with the upright bass, which is also called the stand up bass, and also called the double bass, or as a classically trained bassist would call it... the contrabass.


Someone less trained might call it the doghouse bass.


??I completely forgot about that.


A friend calls her upright bass Chester, as in Chester Drawers.

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