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!)

Hervé compared the two sets of strings for double (or upright) basses I was most interested in – the 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.

Cheap double basses

My brother Willi had a double bass when we were younger – and we both would love to have one now. I have checked some locally and at Thomann’s (Europe’s biggest music store), and was always kind of put off, either by price (~2.800€ for a solid Romanian bass I loved) or by setup.

But lately I saw a review of a Thomann “Rockabilly” – one of the cheapest Chinese plywood basses they offer. That review is in Italian, but the guy can play, and that bass sounds and looks wonderful (with additional Thomastik Spirocore strings (about 160€) on it):

Thomann Rockabilly Kontrabass Review

Miked (or picked up? Both?) a bit closer, and with a jazz standard, it sounds pretty good:

Blue Bossa Bass Line backing track accompaniment

So this one is from Thomann’s plywood line of basses, and also comes in black or different shades of wood. My brother’s comment was that if that is how plywood sounds, it would be good enough for him…

I agreed (with the remark about the changed set of strings on it), but there’s a slightly more expensive hybrid model available now at Thomann’s, would love to check that out as well:

Stentor 1950 Student Double Bass

It’s the Stentor 1950 Student bass, and it indeed sounds wonderful as well:

The Stentor 1950 Double Bass

I agree about that “melting the audience” remark – at least you could melt me with that one 🙂 Available at Thomann‘s as well, for a real good price in my opinion.

I’ll have to try that one. And maybe take my brother with me, maybe they’ll sell two of these 🙂

As always, thanks for reading.

The Gentle Rain (featuring Ali Campbell)

Here’s Don, Ali, and me:

Ali isn’t on Wikiloops as far as I know, so it doesn’t make much sense to show the list of musicians with just Don and me.

Oh, and this is of course not my normal fretless bass, it’s the Karoryfer “Meatbass” which is a great free sample library of a 1958 Otto Rubner double (or contra) bass:

So thanks to Karoryfer and to Ludwik for the nicely sampled instrument as well. You guys rock!

As always, thanks for reading, and for listening.