Your first instrument. Where do you begin, when looking for an upright bass?

Your first instrument. Where do you begin, when looking for an upright bass?

First-time prospective bass owner? It's time for "the talk."

I talk to a lot of players who are searching for a first "real" bass for themselves. Usually, the conversation starts with, "I've been playing electric bass for years, and think it's time to make the jump to the upright bass, because I've always wanted one." Or, maybe it's a dialogue with a parent, on behalf of their child -- looking for a replacement for a rental or a school instrument -- and it's high time to get their kid a bass that isn't utterly thrashed, barely staying together with duct tape and wood screws. 

(I'm only partly joking - I've seen some real basket cases that people are somehow using to try to learn how to play bass!)

So yes, it's a big step, and no small investment. As it so happens, we specialize in this sort of situation. As a mail-order store, we don't carry pre-owned instruments or high-dollar basses. Why? It's pretty impractical for us, actually. Since we don't operate a bricks and mortar store, we don't have people trading in their old stuff to get new stuff, so the "feeder program" for getting used instruments in store simply doesn't exist. 

And as for higher-ticket basses, it generally doesn't make sense for customers to purchase those sorts of instruments over the internet - once you reach a particular budget level, it's almost always preferable to be trying those instruments in person - perhaps traveling to several stores in the region - rather than taking my word for it and crossing your fingers. At a certain level of playing, you'll want to form and develop a "bond" with your instrument, and you can't recognize that potential bond by looking at photos and descriptions (or even online videos.) And, I don't usually recommend spending that kind of money for a higher-dollar bass as your first instrument - not because you don't "deserve" it, but really more because you simply don't know yet what sort of bass will truly suit your "bass voice." As you grow as a player, you will develop a preference, and a style of your own, and you'll then better know which basses "speak to you" (and which ones - despite their high cost - don't.)

But quality, dependable, great-sounding instruments that are well-priced for beginners and intermediate players, carefully vetted by us for consistency and value? That's right in our wheelhouse. And I can help you decide whether your should be opting for a low-maintenance laminate bass, or perhaps reaching for a more tonally complex hybrid or carved bass, depending on your needs, wants, and other factors.

I have recently created a "Buyer's Guide" for purchasing a Double Bass. Check it out, as it might be worth a few minutes of your time; I hope that you'll get some (hopefully) helpful tips and perspective.

Even with a guide, it's a little harrowing, though... like I said, I know very well that it's not a small investment, and I don't take it lightly. I want to ensure that you get the right bass for you, even if you don't get it from me. I'll always give you "the straight dope;" meaning, I don't play games, I don't "talk down" other companies, stores, or brands, and I don't try to finesse you into stuff you don't need, don't want, or shouldn't bother with.

If you're looking for your first upright bass, we're here to talk. No pressure, no obligation, no BS. Thousands upon thousands of double bassists (and prospective double bassists) have trusted us not to steer them wrong since 1997. I'd be honored and humbled to continue to develop that trust with you.

Mar 15th 2021 Mark

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