The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    Just wanted to ask if any of you as well as playing jazz guitar also play upright double bass regularly?


    Did you find the the extra strength and physicality of playing an upright double bass impacted negatively on on your left hand and right hand technique and sensitivity when going back to playing jazz guitar?

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxxx
    Just wanted to ask if any of you as well as playing jazz guitar also play upright double bass regularly?


    Did you find the the extra strength and physicality of playing an upright double bass impacted negatively on on your left hand and right hand technique and sensitivity when going back to playing jazz guitar?
    I've played guitar since the 60s and db since the 90s. For a while I played db in a band in which a couple of us did a guitar feature. That was really tough but other than that no real problems.

  4. #3

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    I've got a DB and a bunch of archtops. I hardly ever play it, but when I do it is usually "All Blues" until my fingers get sore. I really like to look at it mostly.

  5. #4

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    I think you'd have to adjust between instruments but it won't significantly throw you off.

  6. #5

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    The calluses and finger action are different. I found that playing DB did negatively impact my dexterity - mostly for violin.

  7. #6

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    Are you going to get a DB?

  8. #7

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    i work with a DB player that used to be a really good jazz guitarist..he went to bass and never looked back, and he works alllll the time lol

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    Are you going to get a DB?
    Already bought.. currently being set up and nut, fingerboard and bridge being adjusted for jazz in Germany before being shipped to me.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by randal
    The calluses and finger action are different. I found that playing DB did negatively impact my dexterity - mostly for violin.


    My neighbour is an instrument builder/restorer and an electric and double bass player going on 50 years.
    He lent me his orchestral double bass a while back for a month with fat heavy gauge steel strings and a very high action. After just a few hours I was able to move around on it quite comfortably for hours on end and zero blisters or calluses every day for a month.
    My left hand though did get and feel a bit tight which plenty of stretching and massage seemed to help.

    I have odd hands.. very strong but I my finger tips/skin never get hard or calluses even when playing guitar in which practice sessions can sometimes be 12 hours a day with breaks here and there..
    When I was younger and played thrash and speed metal all the time for years I never got a single callous or hard finger tips. Always remained soft as a babies.

    So skin is not an issue.
    I wonder if playing an upright full time in the the near future will cause muscle, ligament, tendon dexterity changes over time.
    Guitar and upright bass use the hands in very different ways. The same way a runner and a cyclist both use their legs heavily, yet being good at one does not necessarily translate to the other.

    I used to be a runner.. and then spent a lot of time cycling. When my bike got stolen I went back to running and almost had to relearn it as if felt really weird for a while and I was not quite fluid or coordinated.
    Could something similar occur with guitar and double bass.
    Maybe if one does both equally each day the adjustment will be minimal and the only reason I had to readjust to running after the bike was that I actually stopped running for a long while..


    Yeah that must be it.



    Last edited by Maxxx; 11-20-2022 at 04:39 AM.

  11. #10

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    Good question. I gig regularly on both guitar and upright bass. Technique on the upright is super important to avoid injury, and for most of us that means getting a good teacher. But assuming you are using proper technique it shouldn't present any major problem.

    I have callouses from the bass on the side of my left thumb (from thumb position playing) and on my right index and middle finger tips. I find I must play a certain minimum amount to maintain these callouses or it will impact my performance (and hurt). However, they don't interfere with my guitar playing. The left hand fingertips are not an issue, as I don't find the upright is any harder on the fingertips than the guitar. My hands are noticeably stronger since I started playing the upright.

    Re: going back and forth - The functions of these instruments in a jazz combo are quite different. I find I need to be in a different head space to play each one well, and I don't like switching from one to the other during a single gig or practice session.

  12. #11

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    Yep, proper ergonomics to avoid injury. Enjoy!

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxxx
    Already bought.. currently being set up and nut, fingerboard and bridge being adjusted for jazz in Germany before being shipped to me.
    Enjoy, you'll be fine. Like was mentioned above, I think it's mostly about the focus of approaching each instrument differently. Just don't hurt yourself like I did. Don't ever cave your knuckles on your left hand.

  14. #13
    Here she is. Quite a beauty.

    My neighbours bass had a string distance of almost 2 cm at the 12th position!!
    Mine is being set to something far more comfortable.

    String to fingerboard distance at 12th, maybe something like this:

    • E: 7 mm
    • A: 6 mm
    • D: 5 mm
    • G: 4 mm


    Any upright double bass players/guitarists in here?-screenshot-2022-11-20-08-56-23-jpg

  15. #14
    How she sounds. I can't wait!!


  16. #15

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    Sounds great. Love the sound of a bowed db as well. What make/model is it?

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Sounds great. Love the sound of a bowed db as well. What make/model is it?
    If I tell you I will have to kill you..

  18. #17

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    Well, kill me!

  19. #18

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    I hope to hear some tunes sawed nicely like that in the future.

  20. #19

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    Carved or hybrid? Might want to install bridge adjusters.

    Also you'll have to choose between German or French bow. I chose French so that I could play cello too.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by randal
    Carved or hybrid? Might want to install bridge adjusters.

    Also you'll have to choose between German or French bow. I chose French so that I could play cello too.
    Fully carved with solid spruce top and flat solid maple back. Made in Romania.

    It's being specifically set up and used for jazz so the fixed bridge should be good for the meantime.
    Last edited by Maxxx; 11-20-2022 at 05:42 PM.

  22. #21
    No distractions...

    Any upright double bass players/guitarists in here?-img_20201119_203156_619-jpg

  23. #22

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    No ragerts. Looks nice.

  24. #23

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    I see now why it’s called a DOUBLE bass…

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Smith
    No ragerts. Looks nice.
    After a bum guitar and a bum amp at least one out of three turned out ok.

  26. #25

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    Lol