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Tackling the “Amati” bass – Part II

This post contains thoughts and observations about playing Gary Karr’s former double bass. Read the first part of my “Amati” bass story here.

 

When I first picked up the Amati bass from Aaron Reilly at the Guarneri House, I couldn’t wait to get it home and start working on my recital program. I pulled it out of the case and got a chill up my spine when I saw the distinctive sunflower-embossed tailpiece. It had a new set of Pirastro Permanent solo strings on it (which happen to be my favorite brand of string), so I knew that I was ready to go.

 

This famous bass is extremely small. It actually doesn’t feel like a bass at all, but more like some strange bass/cello amalgamation. I play a large 7/8 Jakstadt as my main bass, so transitioning to this tiny solo bass was quite challenging. Usually I stand when I practice and play solos, and I am used to the feeling of a lot of mass resting against my side when I play. It felt very strange to have such a light instrument against my side—it actually was difficult for me to keep it balanced. Everything about this bass is small—the bridge, fingerboard, neck, scroll, and string length. The above photo is a side-by-side comparison of my Jakstadt bass and the “Amati” bass. Notice the vast difference in size.

 

My two weeks with the “Amati” were filled with orchestra rehearsals and performances in Chicago, and this was hard on both my nerves and my chops. Switching between big and small, heavy and light, orchestra tuning and solo tuning, and extension playing and upper register playing was very stressful. I am sure that many bassists are comfortable switching between vastly different set ups, but for me it takes a few days to really feel at home on a bass, and I unfortunately ever got to really get a practicing groove going just with the “Amati” bass.

 

The sound I pulled at first on this bass was very sweet but fairly small and unfocused. The tone of this bass got richer and fuller the higher I played, and it got smaller and less resonant the lower I played. This is not a knock against the bass. Quite simply, this is an incredibly special and specialized instrument, and I had not learned the skills to fully activate its potential. This instrument sounds (under my hands, at least) fantastic from the G octave to the edge of the fingerboard and beyond, decent on the D string and lower G string, and downright strange on the E and A strings.

 

This bass responds best when the bow is right up against the bridge and is pulled very slowly with a lot of weight. If I bowed the strings any farther away than that the instrument sounded kind of like a violone or other such early instrument. Only when the bow is near the bridge with a great deal of weight in the right arm did that famous “Gary Karr sound” emerge. While playing like this, one also has to remain very free and flexible in the right arm. Too much weight will crush the sound, however. Playing this bass with the correct right arm technique is like herding cats—very challenging and often frustrating, but strangely fun.

 

 

I have all the pieces I played on this recital in my podcast Jason Heath’s Double Bass Performances. Click here to subscribe to the podcast and check out all of the tracks. Also, you can click any of the individual links below to hear me on the Amati bass:

 

Eccles Sonata movement 1

Eccles Sonata movement 2

Eccles Sonata movement 3

Eccles Sonata movement 4

Koussevitzky Valse Miniature

Gliere Intermezzo

Hindemith Sonata movement 1

Hindemith Sonata movement 2

Hindemith Sonata movement 3

Massenet Meditation from “Thais”

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September 22, 2006 Posted by | double bass, Music | 10 Comments

Tackling the “Amati” bass – Part I

The very first double bass soloist I ever heard live was the extraordinary double bassist Gary Karr. I was fifteen years old and had only been playing the bass for a year. Gary Karr was playing with my hometown symphony orchestra (the South Dakota Symphony), and my teacher Charles Kreitzer had gotten me a ticket for this performance. This concert was a revelation for me–I had no idea that a double bass could be played like Gary Karr played it. Low rumblings and flute-like harmonics mesmerized me, and I knew from that point on that I wanted to be a double bass player.

I know that I am not the only bassist who has had this experience. Gary Karr inspired countless double bass players to pursue the study of this great instrument. When I ask my colleagues to name their first double bass solo record they almost always name something by Gary Karr. His televised performance of The Swan from Carnival of the Animals under Leornard Bernstein at Carnegie Hall propelled the bass into the spotlight as a solo instrument. I have an old record of this concert (which has been released on CD), and that track is my favorite Gary Karr recording of all time.

I had the opportunity to go backstage before the concert in South Dakota, and I saw my teacher and Gary Karr rehearse a duet for the concert. I marveled at his playing, but also at his small bass with the beautiful, sunflower-embossed tailpiece. Gary Karr frequently spoke of the sound of a bass as being like sonic chocolate. I never understood what he meant until I heard that bass up close. It had a complexity and beauty that I had never heard before. It was owned by virtuoso bassist and Boston Symphony conductor Serge Koussevitzky, and it was given to Gary Karr by Olga Koussevitzky, Serge’s widow, under unusual circumstances.

Fifteen years later I was asked out of the blue to play a recital on this magnificent bass. Gary Karr had recently retired from the concert stage, and he donated his bass to the Internatonal Society of Bassists. It was being loaned out at the moment to performers for use in recitals. I naturally agreed to it, although I was quite busy and hadn’t prepared any repertoire. This opportunity was not likely to come again for me. I would only have the bass for two weeks before the recital, and I began to get apprehensive about my ability to play well on a foreign bass in such a short time. Also, I had heard that the bass, while possessing a beautiful sound, was very difficult to play. I will describe in detail the experience of playing this bass in Part II of this post.

This bass has for years been attributed to the Amati brothers of Italy. Recently, however, the origins of this bass have been called into question. A scientific study using tree ring dating was recently conducted on this bass. You can read the conclusions of the study here. I wrote a short piece on this study for my recital:

Gary Karr had acquired the Amati bass (the bass that this recital is being played on) at a special party after his Carnegie Hall debut by Olga Koussevitzky, widow of bass virtuoso and famed conductor Serge Koussevitzky. She gave Karr her late husband’s bass in 1961 after telling Karr that she had seen the spirit of her late hus- band embrace Karr onstage as he performed. Before he became a conductor, Koussevitzky had been a virtuoso bass player.

Koussevitzky is said to have purchased the instrument from a French dealer in 1901 for $3,000. Nothing is known of its history before 1901, but it is reputed to have been made in 1611. Karr made all of his albums and played virtually all of his pub- lic performances on this magnificent instrument. He recently donated this famous instrument to the International Society of Bassists.

Most sources claim that the “Amati” bass was made in 1611 by the Amati brothers, Antonio and Girolamo, of Cremona, Italy. If this is true, it would only known dou- ble bass made by the Amati brothers. In 2004 this bass was carefully inspected and evaluated independently by four experts in bass design and style, and all agreed that inconsistencies in style suggest that the bass was constructed after 1611. The wood appears to date to 1761 at the earliest. Also, many attributes of this bass suggest a French origin. All of these facts suggest that this bass was not made by the Amati brothers. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic bass that has inspired countless bassists over the last few decades, and I feel very fortunate to have an opportunity to play this recital on it.

It is now commonly referred to as the Karr-Koussevitzky bass, but it will always be the “Amati” to me no matter who actually made it.

 

You can learn more about this very interesting double bass at the following sites:


Strings Magazine Article – “Parting Gift”

Angarano, Anthony – program notes for Gary Karr’s “Spirit of Koussevitzky” album from Hsiao-wei Cho’s website

Next time:

Tackling the “Amati” Part II – playing the bass

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September 8, 2006 Posted by | double bass, Music | 2 Comments

Catalin Rotaru on the double bass

Catalin Rotaru at Arizona State University has some great online recordings (MP3) of himself playing some excellent double bass showpieces. Click on any of the links below–they will take you to Catalin’s recordings. Catalin previously taught at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. I teach at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, one of the other satellite University of Wisconsin campuses.

Catalin is a great guy and an awesome player. Check out his playing below–it is definitely worth it.

  1. Giovanni Bottesini – Variations on “Carnival of Venice” (excerpt)

  2. Pablo de Sarasate – Zigeunerweisen (excerpt, originally for violin)

  3. Johannes Brahms – Sonata no. 1 in E minor for cello and piano (excerpt from the 1st movement)

    Catalin Rotaru: Double bass

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September 7, 2006 Posted by | double bass, Education, Music | 4 Comments

New podcast episode from The DoubleBassCast

I hope that any bass players reading my blog have already checked out The DoubleBassCast. If you haven’t listened to this podcast yet, stop reading this right now, open iTunes (or your podcatcher of choice), and subscribe to this outstanding podcast. You can also visit the website here. The DoubleBassCast (formerly called The BassCast) is really an excellent podcast. It is the only real double bass podcast out there, and, fortunately for us bass players, it is terrific. I have a couple of podcasts, but one consists of my live performances and one consists of MP3 practice tracks for double bass solos, scales, and orchestral excerpts. The DoubleBassCast is a REAL podcast, with interviews, commentary, in-depth discussion of excerpts, and the like. Episodes come out every 1-2 months (I’d love to hear more), but each episode is a polished gem of a podcast.

I listen to a lot of podcasts every day. I must spend a couple of hours each day listening to podcasts. Whenever a new episode of The DoubleBassCast I put all of my other podcasts on hold and listen to it–sometimes several times in a row. My favorite episode of The DoubleBassCast is Episode 105. In this podcast all the orchestral excerpts from a recent Tenerife Symphony audition are discussed. The commentary on each excerpt is intelligent and insightful, and it would be a smart thing to listen to for anyone preparing for a double bass audition.

The newest episode (Episode 107) features an interview with Dietmar Engels. Dietmar serves as Principal Bass for the Coburg Opera House in Germany. This episode is all about the Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra by Jean Francaix. Dietmar talks about the process of preparing an unfamiliar concerto, and it is a very interesting interview. Check out the shownotes for this episode here.
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September 7, 2006 Posted by | double bass, Music, podcast | 1 Comment

Thoughts on double bass strings

Picking the right set of bass strings can be a difficult and expensive process. Experimenting with a variety of brands is the only way to find strings that work for you and your bass, but each set of strings runs $150-200, which limits experimentation. Some (but not most) local luthiers will let you experiment with their old strings, so if you find someone like this, stay on their good side!

I should mention before getting into my string descriptions that I am a classical bassist, and what I use is not generally considered good for jazz and bluegrass styles of playing. For example, most jazz players I know consider Pirastro Obligatos to be the only acceptable jazz strings Pirastro makes, while classical players tend to favor many different types of Pirastro strings. I have not done much playing on gut strings, so I have not offered any opinions on these strings. It would be smart to do some research before buying gut strings since a set can easily approach $400.

  • Pirastro Permanent – This is my current favorite string brand. A recent addition to the Pirastro line, they are powerful, medium tension strings that are quite popular on the audition circuit right now. Permanents to me are a great string to start your experimentation. They combine the free and open feeling of lighter gauge strings with the power of heavier gauge strings. They tend to work well on a lot of basses.
  • Pirastro Obligato – These strings are a close second favorite of mine. They are a relatively low tension string with a great deal of flexibility under the hand. You can actually twist the string winding back and forth and feel it move. These are one of the few brands of strings that seem to work well for both classical and jazz playing. The response under the bow is excellent and they have that jazz “growl” when plucked. I have had great success with these strings on a wide variety of basses. They seem to work well on cheap as well as expensive basses. Since they are a lower tension string they can make a tight bass sound more open. If you are looking for a firm feeling under the bow, however, these may not be the best choice.
  • Pirastro Original Flexocor – These strings are a classic favorite for orchestral section players. These do not make good jazz strings – in fact, they are the opposite of what a jazz player is usually looking for. They are a higher tension string with very little pizzicato ring. These strings tend to sound great with the bow. They have that “chocolate” sound prized by arco players, and they blend very well in a section. Since they are a higher tension string it takes more weight and energy to activate them. They can feel stiff under the bow, especially when compared to Permanents or Obligatos. It all depends on the player – some people really like that feeling under the bow. You can put a lot of energy into these strings and they will respond in kind. They are a darker sounding string and are therefor not appropriate for all basses. Also, they tend to sound very good under the ear and less good in a hall.
  • Pirastro Original Flatcrom – These strings are as old school as you can find. They make Original Flexocors look wimpy in comparison. These strings are even higher tension than the Original Flexocor, and they are definitely only for orchestra playing. In my experimentation I have found these strings to sound great on very nice old Italian basses and terrible on just about everything else. They have even more “chocolate” in their sound, but they will only work well on certain basses, and solo or jazz playing would not usually be a good idea on these strings.
  • D’Addario Helicore – These strings exploded in popularity in the mid 1990s, but I don’t see a lot of players using them now. Quality control at D’Addario seems to me to be shakier than it is at Pirastro. I have never broken a Pirastro string while playing, but while using D’Addarios over a three year period I managed to break three A strings. This was while playing arco, not pizzicato! These strings come in an orchestral variety, hybrid variety (good for both pizzicato and arco) and a jazz variety. They also come in light, medium and heavy gauges, so there are more customization options in your set up with these strings than there are with the Pirastro brands. I used two heavy gauge orchestral strings on the G and D strings and heavy gauge hybrids on the A and E strings. This for me was the best set up for my old Lowendal bass. These strings tend to be similar in sound to the Pirastro Permanents. All versions of D’Addario (orchestra, hybrid and jazz) sound brighter to my ear than Permanents, and not in a good way. I don’t see a lot of players on the audition circuit with these strings.
  • Corelli by Savarez – These are some strange strings. They come in light, medium, and heavy gauges, but even the heaviest gauge is extremely light. These strings come in nickel and tungsten varieties. I have only played on the tungsten strings, and I have not been impressed by the results. To my ear they sound light without any substance, and are disappointing to play. I have a hard time recommending them to anyone.
  • Spirocore by Thomastik-Infeld – These strings are extremely popular for jazz bassists, but they can work quite well for classical bassists in some situations. They have a huge, powerful sound with lots of sustain and pizzicato growl. They tend to be difficult to bow, so a player playing primarily arco should consider this when thinking about these strings. They are very bright and clear. Their Wiech string variety is lighter gauge and easier on the hands while still retaining the power of the standard gauge. Many classical players use Spirocore solo strings. They tend to sound extremely bright up close but to sound well-balanced and clear in a hall, and they can cut over an orchestra better than most other brands.

I hope these descriptions will help people looking for strings to make a good decision. I welcome any feedback or suggestions on brands of strings that I did not cover here.

September 1, 2006 Posted by | double bass, Music | 1 Comment

Great new bass book by Peter Tambroni

I have mentioned this before on my blog, but double bassist Peter Tambroni’s excellent new work An Introduction to Double Bass playing is now available. I highly recommend this book. It is a well-crafted and intelligently conceived resource for beginners, experienced players, teachers, and parents.

Peter has been a clinician for many years at the Whitewater Winter Bassfest, which I coordinate. He is a truly outstanding teacher (see his recent teaching award here). I have some older posts about Peter. You can check them out here, here, or here.

This new book is available from Lulu.com, which is a really cool publishing site. The books from this company always look really good, and Peter’s new book is no exception. You can get it with color photos, black and white photos, or as a PDF e-version. All teachers who have any interaction with bass players at all should get this book–it will prove to be very useful.

Check out Peter’s excellent bass website Mostlybass.com for more information on this and his many other projects.

August 30, 2006 Posted by | double bass, Education | 2 Comments

Jazz Practicing Resources

I just discovered a great educational resource for jazz musicians–I am surprised that I haven’t seen this site before. PlayJazzNow.com distributes play-along MP3 files for jazz practicing. They have tracks for drummers, bassists, vocalists, horn players, pianists, and vibraphonists. Here is the page for bass materials, and here is a example of the ii-V-I sequence chart.

The most effective way to become a fluent jazz musician is to get some face time with other musicians. Play-alongs simulate this experience and allow musicians the opportunity to work on certain tunes, chord sequences and patterns by themselves. This sort of work is necessary to really develop jazz chops, and it is the sort of work that would be very difficult (excruciatingly painful for your otherband mates) to do with other musicians. Working with play- alongs allows a developing (and expert) jazz musician infinite repetitions on a given sequence. Having developed fluidity and jazz language chops with the play-along tracks enables the musician to open up, experiment, andcommunicate once he or she gets into a live situation, rather than honking out lame lines.

Working with play-alongs is also a valuable exercise for classical musicians. I also use tracks like this in my own teaching, and I recently created three podcasts consisting of MIDI-generated practice tracks for double bass players:

Jason Heath’s Double Bass Scales – Practice Tracks

Jason Heath’s Double Bass Solos – Practice Tracks

Jason Heath’s Double Bass Orchestral Excerpts – Practice Tracks

These tracks of mine serve a valuable need (learning how to play in tune and in time), but it is a different need than the tracks available at PlayJazzNow.com. I’d encourage any jazz student to check out this cool site. I have added a permanent link to PlayJazzNow.com on my music links page.

August 21, 2006 Posted by | double bass, Jazz, Music, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Flying with the bass

I just read a new post by Renaud Garcia-Fons in the International Society of Bassists Events page:

On the 28th of October, departing on an Air France/Alitalia flight for a concert in Rome, I was refused transport of my double bass because its weight in the flight case exceeded the authorized50 kgs. Indeed, the registered weight was 51.4 kgs, that is to say, an extra 1.4 kgs. Despite my attempts at politely explaining to the Air France officials then present that if I could not go to Rome with my instrument, a charity concert “Jazz for Children” would be cancelled, they maintained their refusal to take my double bass on board.

This sort of experience, I fear, will only become more common among bassists. I did a lot of flyng with my bass for about five years (I have not flown with my bass since 2001–lucky me!), and I encountered many nasty situations. At least a few of them warrant a separate blog post in the future. There are no set rules for dealing with double basses (or musical instruments in general) that are consistent between airlines. It usually depends on the knowledge/attitude of the person at the baggage counter. I’ve gotten on for no extra charge, for $40, for $100, and for $160 each leg of the trip. I have never had my bass denied completely, but I have heard of it happening to many bass players.

check out Jason Heath’s Bass Page for more information

August 20, 2006 Posted by | double bass, flying, travel | Leave a comment

Buying a Bass Part II – Where to Look

There are four main methods used to find a bass. In this post I will write briefly about these methods and their benefits and drawbacks. These are my opinions based on my own bass searches and those of my students. I welcome any feedback and comments on any of these methods.

1. eBay

While a truly great resource for musicians, eBay is not recommended for novice bass buyers. There are some spectacularly bad basses advertised on eBay for very low prices. This is tempting to an instrument buyer on a budget, but there are a lot off hidden costs to this transaction. Under very few circumstances should you buy a bass for less than $1000. I often see basses advertised for around $500 on eBay. I would be very suspicious about buying a cheap bass at all on eBay (eBay is actually better for more expensive instruments), unless you are looking for a restoration project or you really know what you are doing.

The hidden costs of cheap eBay double basses:

Initial cost: $500 + $200 shipping

TOTAL: $700.

This seems like a good deal at first. The bass arrives and it is (hopefully) in one piece. It seems to be playable, and you take it to your teacher. He looks at it stone faced and advises you to get new strings, bridge, end pin and fingerboard. You bring it into the shop:

$150 for good strings
$300 for a new bridge plus adjusters
$120 for new end pin
$800 for new fingerboard

TOTAL: $2070.

The initial price has now almost tripled after these repairs. $2070 is still not a bad price for a bass, but you have now spent what it would have likely cost for the same bass at a local shop. Then, six months later, you hear a bang and notice that the back seam has split open two feet. This is happening because the top is sinking. Your local shop glues the seam for $100:

$100 for glued seam

TOTAL: $2170.

Then, three months later, the seam opens again. This time, however, the top also cracks by the F hole. You have both cracks repaired plus a shorter sound post carved (because the top is sinking):

$150 for cracks
$50 for sound post

TOTAL: $2370.

Three months after that you are playing one day and hear a big bang. Your back seam has opened down the middle and you have a new, bigger crack on the top. You notice that the top has continued to sink to the point were it is actually becoming convex. This time your local luthier has a little talk with you about whether this bass is worth saving.

I’m not saying don’t ever buy a bass off of eBay. Just keep these points in mind when you see that shiny new $500 (plus bow and case!) bass advertised on eBay. I have seen cheap basses implode many times. Even higher quality basses are not 100% safe. I saw the top sink as I described on a Jakstadt once (a very good instrument maker–I play one!), so even more expensive bases aren’t completely risk-free, but they are much more so than the eBay exploding specials. Buying from a local store or bass luther/dealer also gives you a lace where you can bring all your problems. If they are reputable, they wil fix these problems. You are not going to get this kind of service from an eBay purchase.

2. Local Music Store

General music stores (the kind that sell trumpets, drums, clarinets, sheet music etc) are also not wise places to shop for an instrument. There are exceptions, of course. Some local shops have a really excellent string luthier working there who takes extra care in setting up each individual bass. These shops, unfortunately, are the exception rather than the rule. Often a local instrument shop will have the “eBay” type basses described earlier. One advantage to buying at a local music store over eBay is that you can take it back for repairs when it starts to fall apart (assuming the shop stands behind their product).

3. Specialized Bass Luthier/Retailer

Now we’re talking! Double basses are a non standardized, peculiar, subjective thing, and it almost always pays to go to a specialized bass luthier/dealer when buying instruments. This is true even for entry-level instruments. You will save money in the long run and have a much better experience if you simply go to a specialized shop. There aren’t that many truly outstanding places to buy basses in the country. I frequently have students interested in a professional-quality instrument go to Albuequerqe, Cincinatti, and Grand Rapids before finding an instrument that suits their needs.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but here is a good selection of quality double bass luthier/retailers in the United States:

Henry Boehm’s Double Bass Workshop
Heartland String Bass Shop
Robertsons Violins
Guarneri House
KC Strings
Cincinnati Bass Cellar
David Gage String Instrument Repair
Hammond Ashley
Kolstein Bass Shop

Since I am based in Chicago, I would like to include some of the Chicago area shops that I frequently recommend:

SMR Doublebasses
Classic Contrabass
Sonksen Strings
A440

4. Private Sellers

Word of mouth and private sleuthing will often yield the best basses. Many professionals would rather sell their old basses themselves and avoid the commissions taken by bass shops. During your search it is a good idea to spread the word that you’re looking and ask your teacher, orchestra director, and fellow students to keep their eyes open. It is a good idea to take whatever you find in to a luthier for an evaluation. Ask the luthier about the integrity of the instrument, its general value, and any visible flaws or drawbacks. Find a trusted, independent luthier that will give you an honest opinion.

check out Jason Heath’s Bass Page for more information

August 19, 2006 Posted by | double bass | Leave a comment

Buying a Bass Part I – three basic categories

Buying the right double bass is never easy. Basses vary drastically in quality even when the cost is the same. There are quality basses out there in every price range–the challenge is where to look. What characteristics should one look for in a bass? Private teachers and knowledgeable bass dealers are incredibly valuable in answering these questions.There are three general categories of basses: laminated, hybrid, and carved. Laminated (plywood) basses are usually the cheapest. Plywood, as you might imagine, is not the ideal construction material for a resonant wooden instrument, so these basses tend to sound the worst. The wood of the instrument cannot vibrate as freely as that of a carved bass, so these basses tend to sound pinched, nasal and small. A bass made out of plywood will generally not develop a more mature tone as it gets older. There are exceptions, of course. Many Kay basses from 50-60 years ago do have a certain maturity to them. I have a Kay bass from the 1950s. It looks terrible but sounds great.

In many musical circumstances, however, a plywood bass is actually preferable over a carved bass. Rockabilly, bluegrass, and some (although not most) jazz musicians seek out plywood basses, especially older Kay basses. Having a plywood bass is also a good idea in an elementary or middle school, or for outside gigs and rough playing situations. 1/2 and 1/4 size basses are usually plywood, so people who start young almost always start on one of these. High schools are also usually stocked with plywood basses, although this is changing as the price of starter carved basses drops. Plywood basses tend to fall apart. On my Kay I have had problems with buzzing, warping of the bridge, rattling tuning mechanisms, a terrible fingerboard (that gives you slivers when you shift!), a cheap tailpiece that broke in half soon after I got it, and more. Still, it is nice to have that plywood bass when facing 95 degree humid summer playing gigs!

Unfortunately, cheap basses are just about as expensive to fix as quality basses. Bridges, fingerboards, tail guts, nuts, and tuning mechanisms all cost good money to repair or replace. I have often found that a student who buys a $1000 plywood bass has to put in another $1000 within the first year on such repairs or replacements. For the $2000 they end up spending they could have gotten a much better instrument in the first place.

Hybrid basses have a carved top and laminated sides and back. This gives the instrument more resonance. I will often suggest hybrid basses to my beginner and intermediate students. They usually have a much better sound than a plywood bass, especially for bowed playing. They are also priced somewhere between $1000-2500, which is reasonable for a starter bass. If you are going to spend less than $3000 on a bass a hybrid model should be seriously considered.

Fully carved basses range in price from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Professional players (with the exception of a few styles of music) play on carved basses. These instruments will continue to mature as they get older and develop rich, complex sounds. If a student can afford a carved bass it is always a good idea to get one, since these basses will almost always produce superior results. Don’t think about a carved bass until a student is ready for a 3/4 size bass (usually around the end of middle school).

check out Jason Heath’s Bass Page for more information

August 19, 2006 Posted by | double bass | 1 Comment