upright

And I don’t mean citizen.

On Friday I saw an ad on Craigslist: a bluegrass band needed a bass player. I was pretty pumped. Though I’ve only recently begun listening to bluegrass music, I’ve been playing bass for a long, long time. Problem was, they wanted someone who could play upright bass.

The last guy's career was inexplicably cut short.

The last guy’s career was cut inexplicably short.

The ad stated that they had their own upright bass, so I emailed them and told them I’d played upright in high school. Which was a complete fabrication. I once moved the upright bass in high school – that’s about it.

But, you know, I was pretty sure I could do it. Bluegrass-style bass is about as difficult as walking and doing literally nothing else at the same time,(1) so the hardest part would be finding the notes. No problem, right?

Well, on Saturday I auditioned for the band…and it turned out not to be a problem much at all. Playing the ‘strings’ in GarageBand for iPad gave me just enough of an idea of how far apart each note should be on the fretboard.(2) After a little bit of trial-and-error, I was doing just fine. And once the band learned that I can sing harmony, well…

I am now the bassist in a bluegrass band. And the bass players are always the coolest.

bass

Damn smooth.

Well, compared to some of the other players anyway.


  1. Unless you’re playing Bela Fleck-style bluegrass. In which case, Victor Wooten can kiss my ass. Or, at least he’d be able to if I would stop bowing down before him.
  2. I just had to project what I’d learned onto a much larger neck.
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