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Wanting to convert to upright bass for jazz playing...any advice?

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  • Wanting to convert to upright bass for jazz playing...any advice?

    I'm a massive jazz fan and I've become really interested in playing upright bass as a result, and I've now got the time, money and space for an instrument.

    Problem is that I've got virtually no idea how to go about getting an instrument or really where I could start, as I'd really only be able to take lessons possibly a couple of times a month at the most, and I'm not too sure as to whether self-teaching is an option.

    So, what do HCBF suggest?

    Originally Posted by Motorik

    [Prog rockers are] all babes. It's like the Miss World contest, but with sudden changes of time-signature.

  • #2

    Id suggest a decent quality plywoood bass. Cant help you since you are in Europe. Two good sources in the US are



    You need to go to a reputable dealer to avoid CCCs(Cheap Chines Basses) which are a crapshoot and are notorious for having bad glue and comming apart rather quicky and easily. Just like guitars and violins, not all chinese stuff is crap but a lot of it is. Esp the stuff they sell at the big box online places. Theres good chinese, and also Eastern Europe puts out some decent stuff. Also, most entry level uprights do not come set up well. They usually need some nut work, the bridge fitted better, and a lot of times they even need the fingerboard  planed. A reputable shop will do this for you & set it up with your preferred strings and action included with the purchase.

    Lots of knowlegeable folks on the Double Bass forum of Talkbass. They might could steer you towards a good shop and brands on your side of the pond.

    For jazz, most folks prefer low action and Tomastick Spirocore steel strings. But there is no hard and fast rule about that. Lots of folks use gut or some other synthetic string. 

    I dont jazz, Im more of a bluegrass/country/rockabilly roots kinda guy. My bass is a plywood one made in Romania( Roma is the brandname). I use Tomastick Superflexible Solo steel strings. THey are ment to be tuned up a step from normal for solo orchestral playing. But I play them tuned down to standard pitch with medium action. They are flexable enough to slap but still have some punch. 

    Id recc a teacher at least at first for the physical part. Its easy to hurt yourself and wind up with carpel tunnel or something with poor technique. I never did but I prob should, and I definately would if I wanted to get into more involved stuff like jazz or arco playing.






    • PhilGould
      PhilGould commented
      Editing a comment
      Cheers Pine Apple Slim! I've been looking at Primavera basses right now, as these seem to have a decently good reputation.