I received a question today about how to get into upright bass. My journey started on the electric bass, and a great entry point for upright it was for me:
I remember picking up the upright for the first time and – bam – it connected instantly! I remember my classmates being astounded: even though some had an electric bass back ground, too, not all of them had such an easy time with the transition. And some were new to bass entirely; I remember feeling for them because they had to deal with many new things, whereas I mainly dealt with new fingering and posture/technique issues.
The main reasons for my easy time with it I think were:
- Music Theory: I knew music theory (years of classical and Jazz theory training)
- Fretboard Geography: I knew the fret board (due to studying the fretboard systematically, soon to be a book on “The Pattern System”)
- I had a healthy appreciation for good instrument technique (from piano since I was little)
Then of course this cannot be overstated: I had a fantastic teacher for years, Wolf Wein, who opened the world of music and learning to me like nobody ever had before – from thinking beyond just the bass to the emotions music can convey; he emphasized mental practice and gave super helpful feedback (the kind that makes you a better player instantly).
Other influences include Victor Wooten, Kai Eckhardt, Chuck Rainey, Steve Bailey, Michael Manring, Peter Herbert… amazing teachers I was lucky to learn from.
These days I don’t get to play much upright, sadly.
If you want to add it or start it, go for it. (If you cannot see a text box below, please click this link to view my answer on how to start playing upright.)
2 Replies to “How to get into Upright Bass”
Love it! A good understanding of music theory is so helpful when it comes to learning a new instrument. This is how I transitioned from the trombone to electric bass (oddly enough, they have some surprising similarities).
Hi Ryan, thanks for your comment. Trombone! Nice! And it has the same clef, which is nice 🙂