The makers of my upright bass

The webpage of Christopher basses in Germany has a changed address – you can now leave away the “en” for an English description, so it’s simply for now…

I have the DB202T Gamba model which now seems to be their base (cheapest) model:

Christopher DB202T

As I’ve learnt when I once asked, the “T” in the name stands for the size of 3/4. So now I’ve also updated the link in my Wikiloops gallery.

As always, thanks for reading.

“That is a sound coming from heaven”

Paul Thompson meant a combined Fender Rhodes and real piano sound overlaid over each other, but here he’s talking about the five great bass players on one of my favourite albums, Donald Fagen’s “The Nightfly”:

From the Bottom: The Bassists of THE NIGHTFLY (1982)

And the next one should be interesting for singers as well, because she’s a legend herself:

From the Bottom: The Bassists of HEJIRA (1976)

Now if you’re a bass player, do yourself a favour and go and transcribe these bass lines yourself if possible. And in case you’re a singer/songwriter/poet, have a look and listen to Joni Mitchell’s iconic album. Love them both.

As always, thanks for reading, and/or viewing.

Transcribing the greatest bass lines ever…

Over at Scott’s Bass Lessons, Ian Martin Allison has a nice series of until now 4 episodes, transcribing the greatest bass lines ever. And two of these first four weren’t even played on basses, can you imagine? But that is no reason and no excuse to not learn them. Here they are in ascending order:

The Greatest Bassline Ever? Ep1. Dua Lipa
The Greatest Bassline Ever? Ep2. The Jackson 5
Greatest Bass Line Ever? Ep3 ‘Attention’ Charlie Puth
Greatest Bass Line Ever? Ep4 ‘Good Times’ Chic

Ian shows how to count *while* you play (very important to get some of these 16th syncopated notes), how to get the sound (including some gear), and he’s obviously having a lot of fun doing this. I think you’d have the greatest benefit if you’d transcribe songs like these yourself instead of taking their free pdf sheets, but you can have these as well if you like. People asked for some Joe Darts lines for instance, but really, a DIY approach would be even better.

Anyway, it was fun watching these. Good times indeed 🙂

Got a new bow

Today I got a new French bow which I had ordered for my bass. It’s made of carbon fiber, and looks like this:

I also ordered some other brand of rosin, a darker one from Sweden, and now I’ll have to apply lots of that on this new bow, and then try it on some pieces of music.

In case you want to learn how to hold a French bow on a double (or upright) bass, the British luthier and musician Thomas Martin explains it quite nicely in 5 chapters on Youtube – here is his first one, about how he grasps such a bow:

The Double Bass with Thomas Martin: French Bow Technique Ep 1, The Grasp


About strings…

This is the video I was *not* waiting for (well actually I was, but then decided that I needed strings, so I’ve bought some already):

PIRASTRO PERPETUAL Double Bass Strings Review (Plus: How do they compare to Spirocore? Hear both!)

Herv̩ compared the two sets of strings for double (or upright) basses I was most interested in Рthe relatively new (invented in 2019 I think) Pirastro Perpetual against the old market leader amongst steel strings, the Thomastik Spirocore Weich.

Both sound pretty good in my opinion. I bought the Thomastik, and have them on my instrument right now – you can hear them on the last two collaborations on Wikiloops, and they made my bass sound way better than it did with the nylonwound strings I had on it when I bought it. And I can also bow it now which is cool 🙂

So thanks again Hervé for that nice comparison, tho I had made up my mind even before you published that video.

See also on TalkBass.

Bowing and plucking for the microphone

Tried the sound of my new strings on my new (used) instrument yesterday – and Zuleikha took some photos of that:

Wolfgang bowing his upright bass, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020
Wolfgang playing his upright bass, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

The first one of these photos is also on my Wikiloops profile in case you’re interested (but the music I played isn’t uploaded there yet).

As always, thanks for viewing.

NBD, and Mr. Booze

“NBD” is a term from, the biggest forum for bass players word-wide, and it stands for “new bass day” – so if you use it, you’re reporting about a new purchase, normally with pictures.

So here you go:

Big bass violin, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

Got it for a very good price including lots of add-ons like a stand, a pickup, a French bow, and a bag from a member of a German/Swiss forum for bass players, It’s a Christopher DB202 which means it’s all laminated (plywood), and in gamba shape (but with a round back, most gambas had a flat one).

So today I connected the pickup and my microphone to the audio interface like this:

Double bass recording setup, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

and then I played a Blues together with Nils, Peter, and Philip, called “Mr. Booze”, like this:

Not that easy to handle an instrument that big in Bb flat minor for your first one, but fun anyway – thanks and merci to my friends for the music 🙂

More in and in – and thanks for reading, and for listening.