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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ghent, Belgium
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    166

    A short clip of my double bass playing

    Every fridaynight I play with a piano player (and usually a drummer and some other musicians) at his small bar/club. I usually play guitar at these jam sessions, but lately I dare to bring my double bass instead. I've been playing the bass for about a year and a half now. Last friday I came in early and we recorded some of our playing just before the first customers entered. We jammed some on the tune 'Cheese cake' (Dexter Gordon), it was the first time we played the song so mistakes were made but I think we have a few good moments. I still have to work hard on intonation (among a 1000 other things...not an easy instrument..).

    Let me know what you think


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    banks of the delaware river
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    124
    sounds good!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Dartmouth, NS - Canada
    Posts
    371
    Those things are bears to play. It sounds like you are finding your way pretty good. A trio with piano, guitar and drums would be a little odd to me so I can see why playing bass makes sense.

  4. #4
    Sounds amazing after only a year and a half of practice. What made you want to take up the instrument? How much do you practice?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ghent, Belgium
    Posts
    166
    Thanks!

    I guess I have always loved the sound of a double bass. My son started taking double bass lessons (after some gentle pushing from my end, I admit..) and I decided to join him. We are taking classical lessons, no jazz.
    I practice everyday which consists of learning at least one new song (standard) a week, aside from the classical stuff I get assigned from my teacher. I try to not only learn the bass part (the changes, walking lines)of a new song, but also the melody of every song.
    I guess the real practice comes when playing fridaynights along with other musicians, learning to anticipate to the music that is played. Can't learn that at home.
    Another mayor part of my 'practicing' is listening to as many recordings of bassplayers as possible. Listening to what they are playing, how this music works. I allways find this part of learning to play this music somewhat underrated by some musicians.

    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Sounds good to me I never noticed any mistakes!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    East of Eden
    Posts
    4,866
    The bassist is the quarterback of a jazz combo.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ghent, Belgium
    Posts
    166
    I have to say that after these fridaynight sessions (which usually last for 5 hours or more) It feels like I played an american football match exhausted and painfull muscles... But it is just this physical challenge of playing this instrument that I love.

  9. #9
    WoW! I think you sound great and the combo seems to be in the groove sounds like you guys are having a ball!

    What did you use to record at the bar?

    kc

  10. #10
    Ooops. Didn't realize it was an old thread..

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ghent, Belgium
    Posts
    166
    Old thread, but still awake
    Thanks for your comment. I have to say I believe my playing did progress since I posted this. I almost exclusively play the double bass these days, I absolutely fell in love with the instrument. Me and my friend the piano player are working on our repertoire, learning more and more songs (we have about 40 standards we know by heart) we have a very nice drummer who regularly sits in with us. I'll try to record some more if I can get my hands on the device we recorded on last time. It was one of those portable recording devices by Tascam I believe.

    Thanks again

    G

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Geert View Post
    Every fridaynight I play with a piano player (and usually a drummer and some other musicians) at his small bar/club. I usually play guitar at these jam sessions, but lately I dare to bring my double bass instead. I've been playing the bass for about a year and a half now. Last friday I came in early and we recorded some of our playing just before the first customers entered. We jammed some on the tune 'Cheese cake' (Dexter Gordon), it was the first time we played the song so mistakes were made but I think we have a few good moments. I still have to work hard on intonation (among a 1000 other things...not an easy instrument..).
    www.fbforce.net
    Let me know what you think

    sounds really good man! Flawless playing

  13. #13
    Hi Geert,

    I know this is an old thread, but I was wondering how things were going. I'm considering taking up the double bass, as I haven't touched my guitar for a few months now. I've been exclusively playing a fretless fender jazz bass, and I really want to start with an upright. However, there are a number of challenges such as house, car and bank account size.

    I just wanted to see if you had any advice about acquiring an instrument and starting out. Thanks!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ghent, Belgium
    Posts
    166

    2 years later..

    Hi,

    Long time since I posted anything on this forum.
    I guess I've been turned to the dark (or low) side allmost completely, spending my time playing upright bass leaving my guitar standing in the corner...
    I posted a clip 2 years ago, so I thought I'd upload a little recording of a gig we did last week.
    A trio with my regular piano player and a great tenor saxophone player we met recently.
    Hope you enjoy, and please comment what you think.

    Thanks,

    GJ

    https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url...true"></iframe>
    Last edited by Geert; 06-05-2016 at 08:47 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,112
    Sounds good. How is the soloing going? People need to know when to go to the bathroom.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Ethiopia
    Posts
    1,713
    bump

  17. #17
    I finally switched over also. I played guitar for about 25 years. I exclusively played a fender jazz fretless electric bass for two years (see below). I've bought a double bass about 5 months ago and I just play that now. I'm having lots of fun and progressing fast. I've played in jam sessions, but I still decline solos at this point.

    I'm taking lessons. He says I'm a natural bass player, and I do like it much more than guitar. I still play guitar on occasions, especially when I write music.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Shelbyville, Kentucky
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    3,088
    Nice work on the upright. I'm a bass player also but I've never owned a double bass. I can play fretless but the upright is just too big for me to drag around. I'd have to play one of those new fangled electric uprights.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ghent, Belgium
    Posts
    166
    Hi,


    Our weekly jamsession on fridaynight is still going strong.
    More and more musicians seem to find their way to our place.
    I rarely play guitar anymore on these nights, just double bass...for hours on end
    Here's a little recording of a Coltrane blues we did last friday.
    Hope you enjoy!

    Last edited by Geert; 04-23-2017 at 01:06 PM.

  20. #20
    This is a cool thread. I've also mostly switched to double bass after 20 years of jazz guitar, I've been playing bass about 3 years now, hard to believe. I have a long way to go, but I was surprised how quickly I was able to get up to speed enough to be able to play gigs. The main pizz technique I use is the "stacked finger", a la Paul Chambers and Peter Washington.

    it's really cool to hear about everyone's journeys. here's some clips of my playing:




  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ghent, Belgium
    Posts
    166
    Great playing pcsanwald!
    I took 2 years of classical lessons, but I realized that with the time I have for practicing music (with 3 kids and 2 jobs) I wanted to concentrate on my jazz skills.
    I never play with the bow anymore, and I regret not having the time to learn it properly esspecially after hearing your clip.

    I also found my guitar background very helpfull with learning to play double bass (the same notes, you 'just' have to find them on the bass) allthough the approach to the music on bass is offcourse totally different.

    G

  22. #22
    I hear you, man. The opportunity cost of learning classical as opposed to spending time on jazz is pretty significant. If someone asked me, I would say that the big advantage (for me) of spending a lot of time with the bow early on in my bass playing was intonation. It's just way easier to hear when I'm even slightly out of tune with the bow, and I think this allowed me to develop some pretty good habits regarding intonation.

    I'm interested if you had a similar experience?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ghent, Belgium
    Posts
    166
    Learning the correct technique through classical lessons has certainly been very usefull in the beginning.
    Not only what intonation is concerned and thereby learning the different positions but also concerning the correct left hand form, how to stand properly while playing etc.

    I would have loved to continue the lessons since they would still be usefull to better my playing today, but as said I can't find the time to do it all...

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,773
    My classical bass lessons were invaluable. You can play longer, more comfortably, with better intonation if you employ classical technique. Learning arco really puts a premium on intonation, as has been noted. You become a much better player--even if you intend never to play in an orchestra.

  25. One of the most essential things bass players have to deal with is the intonation. As playing with good intonation can be a challenge, it is important to engage in classical lessons. But if you don't have much time for that, you can fix flat or sharp noise as soon as you notice it or check and correct dodgy intonation before it can create problems in the long run.

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