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Buying Gear Archives

Making Do With Bass Gear
Ask Damian Erskine

Making Do With Bass Gear

A reader sent Damian a question this week regarding his view on the bass-related equipment, saying “it is much, much smaller than for other instruments” and what to do about it. Damian answers this in 2 parts: one that’s directly related and one that offers a different take.

Finding A Quality Luthier
Ask Damian Erskine

Finding A Quality Luthier

Q: How does one go about finding a quality luthier for the bass? We all have heard, “I know this guy…” Yet, how do you know if they are “your guy” too? I can do complete basic set-ups on my own instruments: truss adjustments, bridge/saddle adjustments, intonation, and other general maintenance, etc. Yet when I need ding repairs, potential fretwork...

Should I Go Active? A Discussion for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Should I Go Active? A Discussion for Bass Players

Q: I’m once again considering using active electronics on my bass, a pre-amp of some kind. It is still a bit of a debate I notice amongst bass players. Some say it’s “colder,” some say it’s difficult to work with, especially on stage. I even had stories from sound engineers who are not too keen on active basses when having...

Resistance to Change
Ask Damian Erskine

Resistance to Change

Q: Why are some musicians resistant to changing gear and/or playing techniques when the player gets faced with pain, hits a technical wall or is dissatisfied with their own progress? A: Note: I saw this question on a Facebook thread I was tagged in recently and thought it was a good one. I paraphrased it a little bit to keep...

Buying Your First Double Bass (Upright Bass): Part 2
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Buying Your First Double Bass (Upright Bass): Part 2

Now that we have had a short introduction into the various sizes and materials of double basses, we are ready to get our own upright bass. Here are a few thoughts on the final steps. Renting For those folks who aren’t ready to commit financially, renting can seem attractive. If you are just dipping your toes in the water, this...

Buying Your First Double Bass (Upright Bass): Part 1
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Buying Your First Double Bass (Upright Bass): Part 1

When people are just starting to get interested in playing the double bass there can be some trepidation when it comes to obtaining one. Both the prices and the terminology can be off-putting for someone just starting out. For those of you thinking about buying your first upright bass, below are a few things to consider. There are many variables,...

Choosing the Right Bass Strings
Ask Damian Erskine

Choosing the Right Bass Strings

Q: I’m making a custom 5 stringer tuned from E to C. It’s a 34 inch scale and the string spacing are 18mm. What strings are recommended, and what gauge are preferred to get both tighter E and a great high C? I’m used to nickel medium gauge. My luthier promised me it wouldn’t have a floppy C, but I...

Best Strings for Two-Handed Tapping?
Ask Damian Erskine

Best Strings for Two-Handed Tapping?

Q: I’m looking for the brightest sounding flatwound strings I can find. I play a highly modded ’66 Jazz 5-string with Barto pickups and have used round wound strings consistently since 1972… yes, that long. The sizes I always use are 45 65 85 105, and 125. I want to experiment with the two-handed chordal technique used by Roscoe Beck...

Spend Money to Make Money: A Discussion for Bass Players
I Wish I Knew That

Spend Money to Make Money: A Discussion for Bass Players

Yes, that’s right, the words of my college accounting professor ring true to this day. You need to spend money to make money. While we often think of this term in reference to the boring section of the local paper or as the guiding principle behind buying lemons to sell lemonade, it’s impossible to think of any business, and especially...

Deciding on an Amp: A Discussion for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Deciding on an Amp: A Discussion for Bass Players

Q: Damian, what’s in your rack and why? The last time I had a paying gig, I could just roll in my Acoustic 360, plug in, and play. Now I’m trying to get back in to playing just as a hobby. What do you need for today’s amplification? A: Personally, I’m an Aguilar guy. I have both a Tone Hammer...