Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I primarily play bari and recently got a professional Kessler Custom tenor and have been enjoying it for a while. However, after seeing that Kessler just released a new batch of Midnight Low C bass clarinets, I'm thinking that getting one of those things would be a better investment than a tenor since it's in such high demand. Not that I don't like tenor; I'd love to have both! I was just thinking that since tenor is commonplace in the industry (therefore very competitive), it would have been better for me to buy the bass clarinet. But also, I've been interested in upright bass since I've been playing electric bass for a while now and I know that bands are always looking for good bass players. So what's the best option?

1) Keep the tenor
2) Sell the tenor and get the midnight bass clarinet
3) Sell the tenor and get an upright bass

P.S. I'm Japanese and I've actually been interested in playing the shamisen purely because of its sound and versatility haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
As a bari main myself, a bass clarinet is always nice to have when you need it. That said, a tenor may be commonplace, but if you're looking to break into the industry you'll likely need to play it and/or alto at some point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,091 Posts
It seems to me that (at least here) getting a good acoustic bass player is harder than getting a good tenor sax player.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
Joined
·
40,066 Posts
I suppose, investing in yourself is a feature of all the possible choices.

The upright bass seems a choice which will guarantee you to play more than saxophone or bass clarinet because there is no shortage ever of saxophone players and not so much demamd for bass clarinet players ( however many are needed there are always enough) while , I think, bass players always find a band .

I’ve formed a couple of bands before and I was lucky to always have a bass player but if I hadn’t had one it would have been difficult to find one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
As a bari main myself, a bass clarinet is always nice to have when you need it. That said, a tenor may be commonplace, but if you're looking to break into the industry you'll likely need to play it and/or alto at some point.
Definitely true! Like I said, I'd love to own all 4 instruments (bari, tenor, bass clarinet, and upright bass) but getting those last 2 is out of my budget range. I'd only be able to afford one of them if I sold one of my saxes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,761 Posts
If you want to get jobs, I agree bass most desirable. While it's true tenor market is very competitive, the cream does rise to the top. If you are an amazing tenor player, then you'll get more jobs on tenor than on bass clarinet. Unless you intend to do a lot of pit work, I don't see that many gigging opportunities for it. Yes, you can double in a big band, but those typically pay very little, if anything at all. Not really a realistic option for a pro trying to make a living.

As far as bass goes, why not just get an electric? Uprights are awesome, but realistically, there's not nearly as much demand for acoustic as electric.

And of course there's the jack of all trades, master of none aspect of spreading yourself too thin. I vote for becoming the best bari or bass player you possibly can, and the opportunities will come (after Covid is over with). Since you are the lord of the bari sax, sounds to me like that's where you should concentrate your efforts. If I were lord of anything, that's the thing that I'd pursue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,089 Posts
I am a lifelong saxophonist, baritone primarily (playing 42+ years now, in a variety of professional and not so professional setting) who took up double bass about 10 years ago.

Don't think that you can buy a double bass and learn how to play it the same way you bought a tenor sax. The best way to become a functioning bass player quick is to rent a bass; take lessons with a qualified instructor using one of the standard classical methods (Simandl, Nanny) for at least 6 months, THEN think about going out and buying your own bass. Also, while the floor for acceptable electric bass is around $200, the floor for an acceptable upright is around $1500-2000. Do not buy a $400 Chinese made bass shaped object.

The double bass is a lifetime study, you don't buy one and learn the fingering and you're off to the races.

For equivalent skill level, I'd put in order of "getting gigs" -

1) Upright bass - every genre except metal uses it
2) Bari sax - not a lot of gigs, but no one wants to buy it, no one wants to carry it, and most bari players sound like tenor players slumming
3) Tenor sax - tons and tons of opportunities, but tons and tons of players
10) Bass clarinet - the law of supply and demand does not apply, there is only supply.

Bass clarinet is good for pit work, but you'd better have serious flute, clarinet, soprano alto tenor and baritone chops to get those gigs. Bass clarinet hardly ever shows up in big band or small band jazz, and of course never in rock. I only know of one significant bass clarinet soloist in jazz (Eric Dolphy) and I could probably list off 50 prominent tenor sax players in jazz and rock by heart, and I could probably list off 20 baritone sax players in jazz (and a few in rock) , and I could probably list off 50 prominent upright bass players by heart.

Now if the bass clarinet voice really talks to you in a way the others don't, that's a whole different kettle of fish. What I"m talking about is commercial utility.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
well, I was going to say that the best option would be to go to medical school, but if that's not practical, I have to say I am always looking for bass players, depending on their adaptability to chord changes, no chord changes, song form, the whole bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
If you want to get jobs, I agree bass most desirable. While it's true tenor market is very competitive, the cream does rise to the top. If you are an amazing tenor player, then you'll get more jobs on tenor than on bass clarinet. Unless you intend to do a lot of pit work, I don't see that many gigging opportunities for it. Yes, you can double in a big band, but those typically pay very little, if anything at all. Not really a realistic option for a pro trying to make a living.

As far as bass goes, why not just get an electric? Uprights are awesome, but realistically, there's not nearly as much demand for acoustic as electric.
I actually do have a Stingray Sterling SUB Series bass that I bought for like $300 at Guitar Center and it's been playing great! Very easy to play fingerstyle and slap (but tapping not too much as the action is quite high). I've only been playing bass since January, but I am a very quick study as I simply needed to learn where the notes were on the fretboard and technique. After a couple of months, I was playing complex basslines from songs such as Get Up and Jump and Teen Town. My school has an upright bass in the jazz room, and it was quite easy to figure out where the notes were (thank you perfect pitch!) on a fretless neck. After a week of practice, I figured out the bass intro for Better Get Hit In Your Soul (Mingus). I used to play violin for about 5 years, so figuring out bowing was also not that difficult for me.

Both the upright and electric basses are extremely fun to play (except for sore fingers lol). As for sax, I started playing in the summer of last year right before my junior year of high school, and after practicing a TON, I auditioned and managed to get into my school's top wind and jazz ensembles. Now I am currently a member of the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra and it's been an amazing experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
I actually do have a Stingray Sterling SUB Series bass that I bought for like $300 at Guitar Center and it's been playing great! Very easy to play fingerstyle and slap (but tapping not too much as the action is quite high). I've only been playing bass since January, but I am a very quick study as I simply needed to learn where the notes were on the fretboard and technique. After a couple of months, I was playing complex basslines from songs such as Get Up and Jump and Teen Town. My school has an upright bass in the jazz room, and it was quite easy to figure out where the notes were (thank you perfect pitch!) on a fretless neck. After a week of practice, I figured out the bass intro for Better Get Hit In Your Soul (Mingus). I used to play violin for about 5 years, so figuring out bowing was also not that difficult for me.

Both the upright and electric basses are extremely fun to play (except for sore fingers lol). As for sax, I started playing in the summer of last year right before my junior year of high school, and after practicing a TON, I auditioned and managed to get into my school's top wind and jazz ensembles. Now I am currently a member of the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra and it's been an amazing experience.
What are you playing in the LVYJO? If you're playing bari, and plan on pursuing bari as a long-term commitment (I only say this because of your username) you should probably invest in some bass clarinet lessons. Whether or not you pursue it is on you-obviously bass is the most lucrative of the options- but as a multi-instrumentalist myself and a bari player I have used bass clarinet more than tenor sax. I don't play any stringed instruments however, and would not be a good person to talk to in that regard.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
18,497 Posts
I actually do have a Stingray Sterling SUB Series bass that I bought for like $300 at Guitar Center and it's been playing great! Very easy to play fingerstyle and slap (but tapping not too much as the action is quite high). I've only been playing bass since January, but I am a very quick study as I simply needed to learn where the notes were on the fretboard and technique. After a couple of months, I was playing complex basslines from songs such as Get Up and Jump and Teen Town. My school has an upright bass in the jazz room, and it was quite easy to figure out where the notes were (thank you perfect pitch!) on a fretless neck. After a week of practice, I figured out the bass intro for Better Get Hit In Your Soul (Mingus). I used to play violin for about 5 years, so figuring out bowing was also not that difficult for me.

Both the upright and electric basses are extremely fun to play (except for sore fingers lol). As for sax, I started playing in the summer of last year right before my junior year of high school, and after practicing a TON, I auditioned and managed to get into my school's top wind and jazz ensembles. Now I am currently a member of the Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra and it's been an amazing experience.
As I have been a bass player the longest...40+ years now....I think doubling on Baritone and Bass is the way to go.

That you have the 'double-double' on Electric and Double Bass ...which will add to your desirability/marketabiliity/in-demand-ability, IMHO.

Then again...one could also suggest you could get the Bass Clarinet now, then triple Clarinet-Baritone-Elec Bass... and down the road buy a Double Bass, too...which wouldn't be a terrible plan, either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,358 Posts
Get yourself an Erhu just to make sure you like the Shamisen :cool:

erhu Blues & Grooves...

erhu I'd Rather Go Blind...

erhu Oscar Peterson C-Jam Blues Solo - Harmonica & Er...

shamisen - George & Noriko, Japanese Blues Cowboy and Tsugaru shamisen - in Melbourne...

shamisen - Blues...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,080 Posts
As I have been a bass player the longest...40+ years now....I think doubling on Baritone and Bass is the way to go.

That you have the 'double-double' on Electric and Double Bass ...which will add to your desirability/marketabiliity/in-demand-ability, IMHO.

Then again...one could also suggest you could get the Bass Clarinet now, then triple Clarinet-Baritone-Elec Bass... and down the road buy a Double Bass, too...which wouldn't be a terrible plan, either.
Better buy a pickup truck or a trailer to carry all of them in.;)
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top