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BASS GUITAR TO UPRIGHT BASS: The Top Ten mistakes migrating players make...
We now have GIFT CERTIFICATES!
Can't figure out the right size/gauge/color... whatever? That's okay, you can get your favorite bassist a Gift Certificate
instead! Certificates are emailed to you directly, so you can print them out without waiting for the mail to arrive - so even if you're pressed for a last minute gift, we've got your back. Available in several denominations, no fees or hidden charges.
Gift Ideas for the Bassist in Your Life
We've got lots of great (and affordable) stuff for the bass players on your gift list
! Under $25 items include our popular clip-on electronic tuner, the clever Turbo-Tune string winder, and our "nation of bass" hot beverage travel mug. We also have videos and book sets, a bass stand that fits virtually any upright bass, a great cleaning/care kit and more - all under $50! Most items don't require you to know specifics about their bass - they're delightfully universal, for the most part!
Getting Gifts In Time!
Gollihur Music is well-known for our very quick shipments and well-stocked warehouse, and we always hustle to make sure your orders get to you as FAST as possible. Ordering a gift for a bassist in your life?
Check out our handy guide for getting gifts in time
We now have volutes for Kay Basses!
I'm very pleased to announce that we've partnered with Roger at KayBass.com to stock the wooden volutes for Kay Basses
(both pre- and post-1952 models). We add these two new offerings to the Engelhardt models we have had for many years. Now in stock, and shipping free to all 50 states.
New Version of our Popular Gig Bag - IN STOCK
Our previous model gig bag was a useful carry case for small amps, cables, preamps, and other miscellanea - our newest version
is slightly larger, includes some handy new features, and has a new, lower-profile "BASS" logo for a classier appeal.
Line 6 Digital Wireless System (2.4GHz)
For years I've directed people to other retailers to get Line6 wireless systems; now, get one directly from us - one that's been tested to work with upright bass pickups!
SB200H Lightweight Bass Amplifier Head
We love the combo, now you can get the same great features in a standalone head. Tiny, lightweight, and quite affordable - this amp can do double duty; turn down the Low Expander and it's a great upright bass amp. But it sounds great for electric bass, too...
(not in any particular order)
- Thinking that Upright Bass is just a big bass guitar. It isn't. It's a very different animal. Be prepared to learn an instrument that is completely new to you. And while they are tuned the same, you seldom play as many notes as you might play on a bass guitar. You use different techniques, and play using an entirely different mindset.
- Using Bass Guitar plucking techniques on an Upright Bass. Don't play with the tips of your fingers, curl your finger a bit and play with the side of your finger, put some meat on it for a big sound. And don't pluck it, pull it back and let go cleanly so the moving string doesn't scrape against your skin. If you want a big sound, play big!
- Gripping the neck like a baseball bat when stopping (putting your finger in place) a note. Your position in relation to the bass (rear corner) should allow you to apply leverage using bass against your body so you pull back against the fingerboard with your fingers. This allows pressure to be applied more naturally, freely, and without clamping down.
- Calling the fingerboard the fretboard. There are no frets. (You don't want other players to make fun of you.)
- Buying cheap and getting cheap. Tools don't make the carpenter, but crappy ones can affect the project. The instrument, bridge, strings, etc., all contribute to the sound, and poor results discourage progress and reflect poorly on the musician trying to overcome inferior tools. If that's all you can handle, do everything you can to make it perform up to its potential, leading to...
- Living with a poorly set up instrument. Playing upright bass is enough of a challenge, why handicap yourself? Invest in yourself and have the bass' playbility maximized by a pro, and if you can't -- visit my Double Bass Links Page to find all the wonderful resources out there to help you learn more about doing it yourself.
- Believing what another person who plays upright bass says. Also, buying into Internet wisdom based on frequency rather than accuracy. Everybody has opinions, I seem to remember a saying about that... Regardless, life is like the internet, you have to consider the credibility of the source when you read the words. Worthwhile opinions usually come from people with a wider range of experience, and the length of a player's experience does not necessarily make it quality information. The net is a wonderful resource, do your research before buying into "the best strings I've every played" when the writer is someone who has only ever played two different string types in his life. In fact, you better check to see if this Bob Gollihur guy knows what he is talking about.
- Ignoring the bow -- don't. Using a bow when practicing is a great tool for discovering your intonation... or the lack of it. We can get away with murder when plucking; bowing reveals the true pitch and helps you to correct bad intonation. Also... when you successfully draw out your first big open E string note using the bow, you'll really understand what playing bass is all about! Get a decent horsehair bow and don't cheap out on rosin(s); you're going to love it!
- Not getting lessons from a competent teacher. If you don't learn the fundamentals of baseball you'll never be a decent player. Same thing goes with bass playing. If your budget is tight, at least get a couple introductory lessons to start off on the right foot. And refer to #7 - anybody can say they are an upright bass teacher. Lessons from a schooled player will probably be more valuable.
- Not practicing or playing enough. Take every opportunity to play with others, especially if they are better than you are, but also if they are not. Listen, interact musically, and learn. But then... that goes for any instrument, doesn't it?
Products Related to This FAQ
The Fine Print:
The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain and/or my opinions as of
today and is subject to change. Like any topic, a great deal more information could be added—but
the intent of these writings is to present easy to understand, quick FAQs, to address common questions
and improve the reader's general knowledge. What's written here is by no means the authoritative absolute
answer, I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on anything else for that
matter. I hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you, that's the point!
I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints that help improve my personal awareness and the
content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know