Wulf's Webden

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Three String Bass

Before you ask, no, I haven’t bought a new instrument. Instead, I got my old electric upright bass out last night for a rehearsal. I have hardly used it since getting the acoustic upright – it was a brilliant way for me to get started on upright bass but it doesn’t have the sound or feel of the real thing. However, with a short rehearsal in an unknown room, I decided the electric upright might be a good choice and I got it out and gave it a test.

So far, so good. In truth, it worked pretty well and sounded and felt better than I remembered. It is less of a beast to lug around and has less string tension, making it easier to play. Unfortunately, when I got to the rehearsal venue and started tuning up, the nut cracked leaving the top string nothing to anchor on at the top of the neck. The string was still attached but I could’t get it tuned up to anywhere near pitch so I had to do the rehearsal on three strings. It was with Mudslide Morris so there’s nothing too tricky as far as playing range or jumping between octaves goes; easier playing made up for not having the open G and notes running up that string.

Next project: work out how to replace the nut. I think it was plastic and a nice, hard bit of wood should be a good replacement if I can find a suitable bit to shape and fit. Going down to three strings was okay for one night but I think I’d rather have four strings even if (on double bass) I can’t easily jump up to six.

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