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Strings Double Bass

MandyH

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So, following on from the P-Bone threat, I have now been threatened with Double Bass!

Anyone know anything about Double Bass, or where I can pick one up cheap? Just what is cheap in double bass terms?
Which makes / models are worth buying?
I'm not pushing the boat out here, student model at the most.
And do they come with a bow? Or is that an extra purchase??

Or has anyone got one they'd like to loan me?

Is it written in bass clef? (I assume so, since 'Cello is)

How did that happen?
 

trimmy

One day i will...
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Electric one on eBay £300 or best offer, Manchester area
ebay no’ 222676028161

But there not as cool as the real thing
 
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kevgermany

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What do you want to know?

Unlike the other orchestral strings, they're tuned in fourths, not fifths. They have a bow, two types, German has a different grip to the more standard type, which is gripped like a violin bow. Many different sizes, usually measured in 1/8ths, but the size doesn't change proportionately. You probably want a 3/4 or smaller. Huge instrument to transport. Needs a van or people carrier. Lighter than you'd think from the size. Come in 4 and 5 string versions. Unless you really want to do it, an electric bass guitar is easier, cheaper and more practical. But if you want to play both, start with the double bass, it's easy to go from bass to guitar, but not the other way.
 

Ivan

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I have now been threatened with Double Bass
Threatened? A dangerous new martial art?

Surely you can simply run away from someone holding a double bass
 
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Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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What @kevgermany said. You wouldn't want full-size, I would expect 3/4. The cheapest new is about £700. I know someone locally who was selling one - I can enquire?

You can get a tyre that has a rod which goes into the end-pin hole- makes moving them around much easier.

Bow is separate and usual maths is allow 1/4 the price of the instrument for the bow.German bow hold is similar to viol bow hold and requires a different bow. Or, there's the cello style bow.

I would guess allow upto £200 for a reasonable basic bow? My cello bow was £450. Avoid the really cheap Chinese bows.Carbon fibre bows are good - not the cheap £50 ones though.

Some ideas Double Bass Sales - Manchester, UK - Forsyths Music Shop

As with saxes,set-up us important. Decent well set-up bridge and action plus decent strings makes a big difference.
 

dooce

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Huge instrument to transport. Needs a van or people carrier.

Not as bad as you might think. My Dad was a semi-pro bass player - he used to run his around in a VW Beetle and a Hillman Imp (tiny cars by today's standards). The bass player in our band uses a Mazda RX8, basically a sports coupe, into which he gets his bass and most of the band's PA!
 

Halfers

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Not as bad as you might think. My Dad was a semi-pro bass player - he used to run his around in a VW Beetle and a Hillman Imp (tiny cars by today's standards). The bass player in our band uses a Mazda RX8, basically a sports coupe, into which he gets his bass and most of the band's PA!

Does he take the roof off and stack high!!?
 

MandyH

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What @kevgermany said. You wouldn't want full-size, I would expect 3/4. The cheapest new is about £700. I know someone locally who was selling one - I can enquire?

You can get a tyre that has a rod which goes into the end-pin hole- makes moving them around much easier.

Bow is separate and usual maths is allow 1/4 the price of the instrument for the bow.German bow hold is similar to viol bow hold and requires a different bow. Or, there's the cello style bow.

I would guess allow upto £200 for a reasonable basic bow? My cello bow was £450. Avoid the really cheap Chinese bows.Carbon fibre bows are good - not the cheap £50 ones though.

Some ideas Double Bass Sales - Manchester, UK - Forsyths Music Shop

As with saxes,set-up us important. Decent well set-up bridge and action plus decent strings makes a big difference.

Thank you. I did wonder if full size was needed or if 3/4 would be sufficient.

We have a violin maker in town, who is also a luthier, so I would trust him for setting up as necessary.

I have a Megane, specially purchased because both Bari and Tenor fit in the boot together (it raised a few eyebrows at the garages when I turned up with both cases!) so I'm hoping a Double Bass would fit.
 

Vetinari

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I had a 3/4, it missed our ceiling by 3 inches. Paid £700 new including bow, bridge pick up and gig bag from Johnny Road house. Sold 3 years later for £600 after paying shop commission. It was an easy fit in our Prius and left room for accessories and a sax or two.
 

Tiberius

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My sax teacher's 'main' instrument is electric guitar. He got a double bass a few years ago to play in jazz bands but never used it much. Eventually he claimed it was doing his shoulder in and sold it, but I don't know that he ever had a bow, just used his fingers, like in alley cats.
 

kevgermany

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Not as bad as you might think. My Dad was a semi-pro bass player - he used to run his around in a VW Beetle and a Hillman Imp (tiny cars by today's standards). The bass player in our band uses a Mazda RX8, basically a sports coupe, into which he gets his bass and most of the band's PA!
Amazing. We had no problem with a people carrier, but I wouldn't have wanted to try it with an imp or beetle...
 

SaxoFREAK

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One of my sons band members bought one for occasional use on stage from Gear 4 Music: Student 3/4 Double Bass by Gear4music at Gear4music.com he doesn't use a bow but at £479.00 it seems good value for money, I will ask him what he thinks of the quality and playability..;)

P.S. He has a Megane himself, gets that & a bass guitar and speakers in his car no problem, nothing else mind you haha!
 
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Jazzaferri

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Electric gets my vote. I play gypsy jazz guitar in a band with a "real" bass. Decent sounding one runs a few grand. 3/4's are more portable but lack the fullness and volume of a full size. Have to be fairly strong to manhandle one into a car. Minivans with folddown seats are usually pretty easy.

The violin player in our GJ band uses a bow that cost more than his violin. ITs an amazing rabbit hole you are deciding to go down @MandyH. Have fun with it.

Don't know about your part of the world but over here there is never a shortage of work for a good upright player.
 

Ivan

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Don't know about your part of the world but over here there is never a shortage of work for a good upright player
Well obvs!

It's a Darwinian thing

Survival of the fittest and all that

Supine players are too inebriated to play
 

Vetinari

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This was mine, preferred the light colour to the usual dark brown. Sold to put more money in sax fund.
20150717_221645.jpg
 

Two Voices

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If you're in the market for a Double Bass, I can highly recommend the Gliga, Wonderful instruments from Romania. I know a shop that gets them into order, starting from £800. You won't find anything better for the price. If you PM me I'll give you the details as I'm not sure what the forum rules are these days when it comes to naming shops.

From my own personal experience I've found the electric DBs tend to be more expensive than the acoustic in the long run.
 

Two Voices

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The violin player in our GJ band uses a bow that cost more than his violin.

A bow to a violinist is the same as a mouthpiece to a saxophonist, A subjective but as a rule of thumb it's usually recommended that a violinist's bow costs about a third of what the cost is worth.
 

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