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Viewing articles tagged with “double bass.”
Double bass, also known as standup bass, doghouse bass, string bass, and bass fiddle is the instrument I play. The name double bass comes from classical music, where it often doubles the cello parts an octave below.
I played 100 shows last year, and I’m on track to play at least that many again this year. These aren’t back-to-back touring shows with the same band every night. There is no tour manager, itinerary, or even a single set list to memorize. This is by far the busiest I have ever been, and it’s really quite challenging to manage a schedule like this. I get asked quite frequently how I do it. This is the answer.
I don’t really get asked this too often, likely because the genres of music I specialize in aren’t necessarily known for great bass players—in the sense of flashy playing. On the contrary, flashy playing is what usually makes a poor bass player. Here are players that inspire me.
I’ve written before about my love/hate relationship with my K&K Bass Master Rockabilly Plus. In short, the sound is phenomenal, but the execution is awful. After suffering with its flaws for the past 15 years, I finally decided I’d had enough and modded it.
When we last left our hero, we had a broken neck joint and a splintered heel cap. I’m happy to report the surgery was successful and the patient has fully recovered. Ah, but friends, there is even more to this adventure.
I dropped my bass the other night. It was in its heavily-padded bag, but it took a pretty solid hit to the back of the scroll on the cement. The glue line at neck joint is cracked, and the heal cap is splintered a bit, but it still holds tension. I can’t move the neck even when the string tension off, so I don’t think it’s super bad, but I plan to have it checked out before I play it again.
Well, I recently got myself joined up with another bluegrass band. I’m not really one to go joining bands all willy nilly. I have a good track record of sticking around in bands for a long time, so it’s important to me that everyone is easy-going, but takes professionalism as seriously as I do. And of course they need to be, you know, good. The folks in Red Dog Ash check those boxes for me.
I have been on a quest for the perfect double bass preamp for years. There are a lot of options, but almost nothing properly suited for a slap player who wants a clicky but doesn’t want to strap a giant metal box to their tailpiece or their waist.
The Upright Bass Players Union is one of the few reasons I keep a Facebook account. It’s an awesome group of working class rockabilly and honky tonk players who share tips and talk a lot of shit. Amplifying the double bass isn’t easy, so it is incredibly helpful to see such a diverse range of rigs and setups. I think I have some pretty unique things going on in my rig, so I thought I should share it with the group. I like to own my mojo, though, so I’m posting it here as well.
In which I also played bass some ukulele, and sang some harmonies. This was my first time recording music in many years. Many. As in, before people really used computers to do it at home. This was released last September, so I thought it was about time I mentioned it here.
In early February of this year, I got a flu shot in my right shoulder. The medical assistant who stuck me said, “oh, your muscle didn’t like that” and warned me that it would likely be sore for a few days.
Fast-forward nearly two months later and I still can’t raise my right arm without significant pain. There are days when it hurts less than others, but the performance isn’t even close to where it used to be.
There wasn’t much to go on on the YouTube when I was trying to learn this tune for the Pleasant Valley Boys, so I slowed it down for other bass players out there. In the name of more bass and banjo duets!
A friend of mine who has recently gotten back into the double bass, asked me about gut strings the other day. Like most bass players, I struggled (and still do) with choosing strings for my instrument. I don’t know if classical or jazz players struggle as much with this issue, but for Americana music, string choice can directly affect what styles of music you can effectively play on your instrument, and how long you can physically endure playing it.