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Transport for your Double Bass

Double Bass transport poll  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you have a product for transporting your Double Bass?

    • Yes
      6
    • No
      10
  2. 2. Do you find it very hard to transport your Double Bass across public transport such as a train or underground station?

    • Yes
      12
    • No
      4
  3. 3. If you do public performances, are chairs or stools provided for the double bass? If yes, are they comfortable?

    • Yes they are provided, and they are comfy.
      0
    • Yes they are provided, but they are not comfy.
      0
    • No they are not provided.
      16


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Hello everyone,

I would be grateful for everyone's opinion on this.

I am a double bass player in school, and I am working on a project to create a method of transport for my school's double bass. I would love to hear from people about the products that they use for transporting their own double bass, and certain things that they love about their own methods or things that they would wish to see on a product in the future. I would also  like to know more information about how people travel around with their bass across all types of public transport. I am based in UK, so I would focus a bit more on the underground tube station and train transport. And also, if you're doing a performance or a gig and require a seat, do you bring an extra stool or is there usually one provided. I will also put up a poll and hopefully you can put in some time to answer a few questions!

Again, I would be so grateful for any insight on this topic.

Thank you all very much!

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'fraid I use a device called a Skoda citigo ... And if amps etc are needed, a bigger version called an Octavia estate.  I've taken it on the train a few times, with discomfort and difficulty.  Met a bloke once who moved his around in a bicycle trailer ... bit risky, these things cost £1000s!

 

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I had to get a double bass around London on and off the tube and overground to busk and play various gigs.

A upright trolly and bungie cords did the trick for the most part.

 

07C4FF85-578A-4DAC-9B0E-21A7627FAD56.jpeg

615F1E2B-6B65-467E-B118-E17442CC387B.jpeg

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When I was at school, the primary method of transport was Dad's car, eventually my car once I passed my test. I've recently adapted a golf trolley to take a 3/4 bass, but I wouldn't attempt to go a great distance with it, and it would be a nightmare on the tube.

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I tried taking a double bass by tube just once, to an open-air festival gig with no parking anywhere near.

My DB gigbag has wheels and is therefore towable, but the bass really didn't enjoy being towed along uneven pavements and up & down curbs. 

My journey was very simple, eight stops on a single line with no changes, but neither station has lifts so the DB had to be carried up/downstairs at both ends.

All I can say is, I'm bloody glad that @Silvia Bluejay was there to help!

For any public transport gig, leave the DB at home and take a Precision ...

 

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53 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

For any public transport gig, leave the DB at home and take a Precision ...

Or indeed, get an electric upright, a semi-acoustic bass guitar, or a bass uke. (We've done all that!) :)

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56 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

 

For any public transport gig, leave the DB at home and take a Precision ...

 

Exactly this....

And I wouldn't rely on any venue for a decent stool. If you are able to travel by car, stick in your own. I use an old bar stool, bought from a car boot sale that is light and exactly the right height/size for me. Sometimes you luck into the venue having a super-comfy, professional looking stool which is briliant, but more often than not, you'll be glad you took your own!   

Also, one of those light but huge hard foam cases from Gear4Music is great if your bass is in a van and gives much better protection than a soft case. But it's a bit too bulky/impractical  for your standard car and public transport. 

 

 

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Contrary to opinions above, I use public transport all the time, and so do many other double bass players in London. Indispensable in doing so is the brilliant Bass Buggie, which allows you to push your bass in front of you. https://www.gollihurmusic.com/product/2334-UPRIGHT_BASS_BUGGIE_BASS_TRANSPORTER_BASS_BUGGY.html

I lift up the bass to avoid potholes and kerbs, done by a little flick of the knee. A good case is important. I have been doing this for years now and haven't had any trouble. Use lifts where available, and bring the least amount of stuff you can get away with. Carrying a bass up a set of stairs is alright once you get used to it. Avoid rush hour and know your way around stations.  

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Seems a lot of hard work to me! If we did that we'd end up getting to the gig pre-knackered, but still having to play 2 hours on DB, and then having to do all that in reverse to get home. The Precision still looks like the wiser option! 😉🙂

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Saves on a gym membership though! But seriously, the only cumbersome bit are the stairs, everything else is just walking like you would otherwise do. Manoeuvring a bass with the Bass Buggie becomes second nature after a while. 

On the gigs I play (mostly straight ahead jazz), bandleaders would not consider hiring a bass guitarist. If I brought one, I'd never get the call again... So the temptation tends not to present itself!

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I see what you mean. I think @Happy Jack and I may be older than you, though! And he plays mostly rockabilly, which looks like hard work, from what I can see from my sound engineer seat. :)

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2 hours ago, Duckyincarnate said:

Contrary to opinions above, I use public transport all the time, and so do many other double bass players in London. Indispensable in doing so is the brilliant Bass Buggie, which allows you to push your bass in front of you. https://www.gollihurmusic.com/product/2334-UPRIGHT_BASS_BUGGIE_BASS_TRANSPORTER_BASS_BUGGY.html

I lift up the bass to avoid potholes and kerbs, done by a little flick of the knee. A good case is important. I have been doing this for years now and haven't had any trouble. Use lifts where available, and bring the least amount of stuff you can get away with. Carrying a bass up a set of stairs is alright once you get used to it. Avoid rush hour and know your way around stations.  

I have one of these too and though I don't travel by public transport, every time I arrive at a wedding venue and have to move the bass 500yds up and down more corridors than you thought possible I thank myself for spending the money on one. They've gone up a bit since I bought mine but if I lost it I'd replace it immediately. I got mine here:

 

https://www.kontrabass-atelier.de/zubehoer_e.html#bb

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Plus One for the Bass Buggie. Yes, it is very expensive, but I recall a fellow DB Player watching me carry my DB back to the car park after a gig, using the back pack straps (on a new, strong case) and telling me that carrying it that way in London gave her a bad back. I woke up the following morning with a bad back and spent more in Osteopath fees! I'm now glad I've got a Bass Buggie, even if I tried to skimp with a Screwfix folding trolley first!

As for DB stools - the height and set-up is too personal to risk using something supplied at a venue, so you have to use your own.

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For about 4 years now I've been taking my bass around Bristol on this homebrew bike trailer. Usually secured with bungees but on this occasion I was caught short. 9 times out of 10 there's also an amp on there in that space under the bass.

I've also swapped out the wheels a few times for festivals and taken it onsite sans bike. Great for carrying obscene amounts of kit.

Not so great for steep hills but I recently scavenged parts from a mobility scooter and am working on a power-assisted version.

 

 

basstrailer.jpg

glastobass.png

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Hey everyone,

Thank you very much for all your input! It has been great, and correct me if I'm wrong, I believe that I spot a few themes. Everyone has their own way of carrying their double bass, whether it's DIY with a bungie cord @Tjhooker or it's a product on the market such as the bass buggie @Duckyincarnate. People also don't get provided a seat,  but @guyl suggests to use a light barstool which can be carried around. And finally, stairs suck!

Please keep these replies coming, and if you have anything else to add or can forward this to your friends or colleagues that play the double bass, that would be even better!

Thanks for all the support 🙂

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When I was a student at RCM and playing in youth orchestras etc, I took my bass on trains, underground and buses, and carried it walking. Now i'm an old, lazy man I have a Merc E class estate to carry it for me. I have to be honest, I wouldn't take a gig that I couldn't drive to, and all of the various wheeled contraption scare the life out of me with what the shock loads are doing to my near 200 year old bass, so I carry it rather than wheeling it, and I have a K & M folding stool. Not much help, sorry!

N

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