Best Upright Bass For Jazz Players:
The most popular choice among jazz musicians is the upright bass. Although it may not have a traditional sound, it’s still very useful in many situations due to its versatility.
A good one will give you the right tone for any situation, from loud rock music to mellow classical pieces. And if you’re looking for something with a little more punch, then an acoustic upright might be just what you need!
There are several different models available, but they all share some common features. They usually feature a solid wood body with a hollow top.
The neck is typically made of spruce or maple, although other woods like ash can also be used. The strings are attached to the body via a set of tuning pegs (or tuners) which allow you to change the string gauge depending on your playing style and musical needs.
If you want a great sounding instrument at a reasonable price, then you’ll probably enjoy the sound of an upright bass. However, there are several things to consider before buying one.
First of all, make sure that your budget allows for one. If you don’t mind spending a bit more than usual on an instrument, then go ahead and buy one!
You won’t regret it! However, if you’re on a tight budget then it might be better to wait until you have enough money for the model you really want.
Next, if you don’t already know how to play, then you’ll need to take some lessons before you make your purchase. For instance, some of them are very large and may be difficult for a beginner to handle.
They also require a lot of strength and coordination in order to play them properly. On the other hand, some of them are quite small and require a lighter touch. It would be very frustrating to learn on one and then have to swap it out for another one later.
Also, consider the musical style you want to play. Upright basses are available in a wide range of different sizes and string types.
Each is better suited for different types of music.
For example, an “orchestral” bass (as it’s often called) is the largest, and is often used in big orchestras or concert bands. It’s great for playing lower notes which can add a lot of depth to songs.
Concert basses are slightly smaller than orchestral basses and are better if you’re looking for a punchy sound.
The “standup” bass is even smaller and features a rounded body. It’s easy to carry around and great for playing in small venues or bars.
Although double basses are the smallest type of upright bass, they still tend to be as large as an adult human. These are sometimes used in jazz ensembles but are more popular in rock and blues bands.
It’s probably best to take your time when shopping for a new upright bass. You’ll want to make sure that the instrument is a good “fit” for you.
Remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time with it, so you don’t want to get one that you’re not comfortable with!
When you find one you like, ask the salesperson if you can try it out for a while. (You might even ask if you can buy it “on approval”, which means you can take it home with you to see if you like it).
You should also take some time to read up on your instrument. After you’ve learned everything you can about it, you’ll be ready to start playing!
After a long day of practicing, you might be ready to head to bed. However, before you do, go ahead and spend a few minutes cleaning your instrument.
First use a cloth to gently wipe off any dust or dirt that has accumulated during the day. Be sure to focus on the neck and head of the instrument.
You wouldn’t want anything getting into the wood and hurting the structural integrity of your bass!
After you’ve wiped it down, carefully look over the strings and gently wipe away any dirt or oil that you find on them. Obviously you don’t want to make the strings too dry or they won’t be able to resonate properly, but you also don’t want grime up in there either!
Now you should apply a bit of fresh polish to the wood of your instrument. Be sure to test a small area first to make sure you don’t do any damage!
When you’re finished, carefully look over your bass to make sure you got everything.
Viola da Gamba
Similar to a cello in size, a viola da gamba is played between the legs and often has an elaborate carved decoration on the back. The strings are placed under great tension and are played with a relatively hard bow.
Before you start learning how to play, you should learn a little about the viola da gamba’s history. Although the instruments themselves have been around for quite some time, the modern form didn’t appear until the 14th century.
They are believed to have been created in England though they were later refined in Spain and Italy.
Virtually all music prior to the viola da gamba was written for a related instrument called a “vielle”. These have a much different look and are held in the hands.
You may see these instruments depicted in medieval artwork and they were quite popular throughout Europe until the 15th century when they started to be replaced by their between-the-legs cousins.
While it is believed that the violin family of instruments were created to emulate the human voice, this was never the intention for the viola da gamba. Instead, they were designed to play in a lower range than other instruments of the time.
Nowadays, you don’t see viola da gambas very often. They are quite large and it’s much easier to sit at a piano and just play chords with your left hand rather than having to have someone else (or yourself, in this case) play bass with their feet!
Because of their large size and limited usage, viola da gambas are some of the more expensive instruments. This is unfortunate, as you pour a lot of time and money into learning how to play one!
Now that you have a little background on the instrument you’ve chosen to play, you can start learning how to play it! The first thing you should do is look over all the parts listed in the diagram.
Next, you should take your instrument apart and put it back together. This is a very simple process and there is no right or wrong way to do it (there are some tips in the diagram for assembling it correctly).
Once you’ve got this down, you’ll be ready to start playing!
Tips for Taking Apart and Putting Together Your Instrument:
First, remove the strings from their pegs.
Next, remove the strings by holding the tail end and lifting them up over the peg.
Now, take off the tailpiece.
Next, take out all the small metal pieces in the soundhole.
After this, remove all of the strings from inside the body of the instrument.
After this, remove all of the strings by pulling them up and out of their holes.
Next, you should finish removing the tailpiece.
Now you should remove all of the strings from the pegs.
After this, remove the strings by pulling them up and out of their holes.
Finally, remove the strings from their tailpiece.
That’s it! You’ve taken your instrument apart and can now put it back together.
Take your time and get to know each part, it will help you as you learn how to play!
Now that you have a better understanding of your instrument, it’s time to learn how to play it! In these lessons we will cover everything from the basics, such as how to hold the instrument and proper bowing techniques, to music reading.
You can find a more extensive music library at your local library and learn how to play popular songs. But before we start, you must learn the different parts of the viola.
Parts of the Viola
The diagram below shows you all of the different parts of the viola. You should get to know them pretty well!
Other Things You’ll Need
Besides your instrument, there are a few other things you will need: a shoulder rest, a music stand, and a clip on string tuner. A shoulder rest is used to secure the viola against your chest so you can play it with both hands.
They can be made of various materials, and each teacher has their own opinion on which is best. Choose the one that works best for you. A music stand is used to hold your music so you can follow the notes from the sheet music. Clip on tuners attach to your instrument and allow you to quickly tune your strings.
Violin family portrait
Now that you have an idea of what tools you’ll need to get started, let’s learn the basics!
Holding Your Viola
The first thing you must learn is how to hold your instrument. The diagram shows you the proper way, but you can also watch a video on how to play if you’d like.
Holding the Viola
Now that you know how to hold your instrument, let’s put it to use! We’ll start with something simple: pressing down your strings and making a nice sound.
Pressing Down the Strings
Take a look at your fingerboard. The strings are numbered from 1 to 4, starting with the thinnest string on the left and going to the thickest string on the right.
Using your first (pointer) finger, gently press down the fourth string at the fifth fret. This is marked by the X on the diagram. Now use your other fingers to press down the other three strings at the fifth fret as well. If done correctly, you should now hear a nice buzzing sound. This buzzing is the resonating of the strings when they are pressed down at the same time. You can change the notes by pressing down different strings or changing where you press on the strings. Try making different notes and experiment with the different notes you can make.
If you cannot hear the notes, try pressing down harder or looking at our lessons on how to hold your instrument.
Tuning Your Strings
Now that you’ve pressed down all your strings and made some sounds, let’s make them sound even better! Using the fine tuners on the head of your viola, turn each one until the string you’re tuning sounds “in tune”.
To find out if a string is in tune or not, you will need an “in tune” reference, such as this one. When your reference pitches are in order from lowest to highest, then your viola is in tune.
Help! I’m still struggling with holding down the strings!
If you’re having trouble holding down the strings while pressing on the frets at the same time, you might want to look into buying some finger picks. They make it easier to hold down the strings while picking. They usually sell them at music stores, or you can order some online.
Caring for Your Viola
Violins, violas, and cellos are very fragile instruments. To keep them in good condition, you will need to keep them clean and away from extreme temperatures or humidity.
You should also store them in a case when not in use. Besides keeping your instrument clean and in good condition, here are a few tips on how to look after your strings.
Sources & references used in this article:
An electric upright bass by G Casselman – 1999 – collectionscanada.gc.ca
The Best of Victor Wooten (Songbook): transcribed by Victor Wooten by V Wooten – 2003 – books.google.com
Best practices for catch-and-release recreational fisheries–angling tools and tactics by JW Brownscombe, AJ Danylchuk, JM Chapman… – Fisheries …, 2017 – Elsevier
The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-kept Secret by CJ Schmitt, VS Blazer, GM Dethloff, DE Tillitt… – 1999 – GEOLOGICAL SURVEY COLUMBIA …
IS YOUR BAND SPIC’N’SPAN? by K Hartman – 2012 – books.google.com