Upright Bass Masters Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » Miscellaneous » Archive: 2005 » Archive through June 03, 2005 » Upright Bass Masters « Previous Next »

Author Message
4u2nv
Member
Username: 4u2nv

Post Number: 53
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 1:49 am:   Edit Post

Dumb question: in a 4 string upright bass, what's the highest note it can be played ?

Thanks
richbass939
Advanced Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 269
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 6:34 am:   Edit Post

Joe, that's not dumb at all. On mine, the note at the very end of the fingerboard on the G-string is the D that is 3 octaves above the open D-string.
Rich
bob
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 433
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 9:16 am:   Edit Post

Only the 19th 'fret'? I didn't realize the fingerboard was that short, but guess I never really thought about it.
richbass939
Advanced Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 270
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 10:49 am:   Edit Post

It's 3 octave above the open D. 19th fret is 2 octaves. My fingerboard is 34" on a 41 1/4 scale.
Rich
4u2nv
Member
Username: 4u2nv

Post Number: 55
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 1:19 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Rich, so there's other options?, like kind 24 frets, 3 octave from an open G ?

Does anybody know what's the highest note on the alembic clasico ?
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1775
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 2:08 pm:   Edit Post

So Rich, that would be the 31st "fret".

(Message edited by davehouck on May 22, 2005)
dnburgess
Senior Member
Username: dnburgess

Post Number: 408
Registered: 1-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 2:43 pm:   Edit Post

I've seen / heard guys playing notes in the space between the end of the fingerboard and the bridge.

Recalling Xeno's paradox, this implies that the instrument is capable of infinitely high notes.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1776
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 5:45 pm:   Edit Post

Well my memory failed again, so I looked it up.
richbass939
Advanced Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 271
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 7:08 pm:   Edit Post

Joe,
I did a very rough estimate on the classico based on measuring the picture on the Alembic website. It appears to have about the same fingerboard length/scale length ratio as my upright, about 80-82%. So, I guess the classico has about the same 31 fret length.
Rich
bob
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 434
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 9:23 pm:   Edit Post

My mistake. "D that is 3 octaves above the open D-string", played on the G string, would indeed be the 31st fret. I stand (or sit, as Nigel would recommend) corrected.

Somehow I lost an octave. And I concur that a two octave (24 fret) board should be roughly 75 percent of the scale length, so the rest of the numbers here make sense.

Cool, that's a huge range. Though it gets pretty sensitive up there... on a good day, if I've been playing a lot, I can do alright up to the 17-19 range, but much beyond that you really have to be dialed in (at least on a 35 - it would be a little more forgiving on a 41).

(Message edited by bob on May 22, 2005)
4u2nv
Member
Username: 4u2nv

Post Number: 57
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2005 - 11:35 pm:   Edit Post

Is it practicall to have that range ?, or why 31 frets ?, is there an acoustic bass player that play in that range ?
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 1780
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 5:39 am:   Edit Post

Stanley Clarke uses the entire fingerboard; and he's pretty good at it too <g>. And I've seen others play up their too. Practical is relative. Some electric bass players wonder if it's practical to play above the 12th fret; for me, it would be impractical not to use all 24.
mint_bass
Advanced Member
Username: mint_bass

Post Number: 257
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 6:09 am:   Edit Post

OK

Heres another question on uprights. I am left handed. I know you can get left handed double basses but i cant find one in the uk for cheap. Is there any inherent reason why i cant play a right handed double bass from the other side of the neck. I know i cant change the strings around but can i just play it backwards. I realise this would make things more difficult but is there any serious reason why it is impossible or a really bad idea.

thanks
4u2nv
Member
Username: 4u2nv

Post Number: 60
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 9:26 am:   Edit Post

Well i can't help you deciding , but as inspiration, John Ptitucci, and Jimmy Haslip are both left handed.
alanbass1
Member
Username: alanbass1

Post Number: 71
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 10:10 am:   Edit Post

Is there any reason you can't reverse the strings on a double bass? It might require some work on the nut and the bridge, but I thought the body was symmetric.
richbass939
Advanced Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 272
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 6:22 pm:   Edit Post

You could learn to play upright on the other side of the instrument without reversing the strings. However, it seems that it would mess up your lefty electric playing since it would be the opposite of how you normally play.
As far as the construction of the upright goes, I donít think there is any reason why you couldnít string it goofy (I hope the club lefties don't smack me for using a snowboarding term here). In addition to the nut and bridge, the other thing you would need to change is the sound post. It goes from the top to the back and is placed more or less under the G-string. It is slightly below the G side foot of the bridge. I donít know why it is placed exactly where it is but supposedly there is a perfect place for it to go. The bridge could probably be flipped around so the string slots are under the right strings. As far as I can tell the bridges are perfectly symmetrical. You may need to get a new blank nut and file string slots in it. International Violin is a really good luthier supply company. They have ebony bass nuts listed for $2.60 to $3.30, pretty inexpensive. Their site is http://www.internationalviolin.com .
Good luck with it. Upright is a real challenge for me but the sound and fretless flexibility are really cool.
Rich
bob
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 438
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 10:55 pm:   Edit Post

The idea of the soundpost is that it serves as sort of a pivot point for the bridge, which in turn vibrates the top plate, which moves air, makes sound, etc. You need more of this action for the lower frequencies, which is why the post needs to be pretty much under the G.

All I know is the theory, I've never played one of these, and I understand that getting it positioned just right is a bit of an art. But if you were to swap the strings around, you would definitely want to move the soundpost as well.
mint_bass
Advanced Member
Username: mint_bass

Post Number: 258
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 1:08 am:   Edit Post

I thought that the fingerboard on a double bass was non semetrical (if thats the right term) under the E sting. i.e. under the E is the fingerboard flat. I dont know much about double basses but i thought this might have something to do with compensating with the size of the E string. so if i flipped the strings then what would be the effect.

any ideas
thanks for the replies by the way.
andrew
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 408
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 9:15 am:   Edit Post

Every good 4-string upright I've played has had an asymetrical fingerboard contour. The couple of really nice ancient German 5-string uprights I've been blessed to play have had symetrical fingerboard contours.
John
keebler
Junior
Username: keebler

Post Number: 21
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 12:52 pm:   Edit Post

There are upright players that use the upper range of the instrument quite well. Check out Scott Lafaro or Neils-Henning Orsted Peterson (who just recently passed away, and will be greatly missed!). Also, at a great concert this last spring, Edgar Meyer demonstrated some excellent use of harmonics between the end of the fingerboard and the bridge on the G string. Edgar looked so relaxed playing the entire range of the bass, I thought he looked like he could fall asleep right there! Incredible!!
keebler
Junior
Username: keebler

Post Number: 22
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 12:59 pm:   Edit Post

There are upright players that use the upper range of the instrument quite well. Check out Scott Lafaro or Neils-Henning Orsted Pederson (who just recently passed away, and will be greatly missed!). Also, at a great concert this last spring, Edgar Meyer demonstrated some excellent use of harmonics between the end of the fingerboard and the bridge on the G string. Edgar looked so relaxed playing the entire range of the bass, I thought he looked like he could fall asleep right there! Incredible!!
son_of_magni
Intermediate Member
Username: son_of_magni

Post Number: 174
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 5:29 pm:   Edit Post

Mint, If you reverse strings on an upright bass it will completely screw up the sound. There is a piece of wood an inch square or so, that runs down the inside of the body and passes under the E-string leg of the bridge. This is called the "Bass Bar". It serves to balance the volume by reducing the low end, and in combination with the sound post it gives you pretty even volume over the range of the instrument.

But playing lefty on a righty strung instrument would certainly be an interesting experience, and a unique skill if you can do it.

Oh, and Edgar Meyer. He's just amazing. When he plays arco, his bowing is so effortless. It's just beautiful to watch, and hear...

(Message edited by son_of_magni on May 25, 2005)
mint_bass
Advanced Member
Username: mint_bass

Post Number: 259
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 1:00 pm:   Edit Post

thanks guys

i am undecided what to do but i am in no rush just my friend just got a upright and i got a severe case of gas
richbass939
Advanced Member
Username: richbass939

Post Number: 283
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 2:27 pm:   Edit Post

If it looks like finding a lefty bass will be too difficult, you could check with a luthier to see what it would take to move the bass bar and replace the fingerboard with a lefty or symmetrical one.
Rich

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration