Upright Bassists Playing Bass Guitar

In a previous post, I mentioned that it’s not easy to double both on the upright bass and bass guitar. It’s not that it cannot be done, but one of the biggest hurdles is that upright bass fingering is basically a three finger method (excluding thumb position) 1, 2, 3+/-4 vs bass guitar 1,2,3,4 which is the guitar method of one finger per semi-tone/half step. My brain and fingers are just wired to think the upright bass way.

There are phenomenal bassists like John Patitucci who use each method on each respective bass, but then again he’s been known to be disciplined enough to practice some insane number of hours on each type of bass per day. I don’t have the time or commitment to practice hours on each bass. I put what time I have into one bass; the upright bass.

Nowadays when I do any bass guitar work, I use the upright bass fingering mentality on the bass guitar. I wasn’t too sure what other upright bassists did, but seeing Christian McBride here and Bromberg in the past, it makes me think that maybe this really is the most logical thing to do for upright bassists that double on both types of basses. There is still the problem that if you play bass guitar regularly enough this way and aren’t 100% confident in your muscle memory for intonation on the upright bass, it could throw off your intonation somewhat.

One Response

  1. Don’t forget Stanley Clarke the most famous of “doublers”

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