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Old 08-08-2022, 12:38 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Originally Posted by posternutbag View Post
Again, he is plugged into an amp. But no, the Ribbecke is an interesting instrument because it’s about the size of cello (I am partially kidding, but the acoustic bass guitars I have heard that “work” to any extent in an ensemble setting tend to be plugged in and/or very large. I am thinking about Violent Femmes bassist playing the Ernie Ball Earthwood, or even something like the guitarron played in Mariachi Bands).

And again, I want to be clear. I am not ragging on ABGs because I hate ABGs. Quite the opposite. An ABG that worked in an unplugged ensemble setting would be welcome. It would literally completely change the sort of venues my band (small bluegrass trio and quartet) could play.

If a bassist could just show up with a more or less guitar sized instrument and be heard, we could forgo the upright bass, and that would open up tons of new gigs, both out of town gigs (which are hard due to the difficulty in hucking around an upright) and also small venues where the spacing is too tight for either an upright or a bass guitar and amp.

And so again, to circle back to my original point, this is why the Uke bass is a real instrument. It “sort of” solves the bass problem for many small working bands. A Uke and a Fender Rumble 100 are relatively small and portable, and have a relatively small footprint when setting up. But still, a bass guitar that could be heard unamplified in an ensemble setting would solve everything. I am still waiting.
Jack is normally plugged into an amp for performance, but if you listen to the many interviews he has done where he discusses the development of the Diana bass he states that the design permits him to play in a totally acoustic setting with ample volume. I thought that was the whole point of bringing ABGs into the discussion.

Here's my other favorite solution that's "lap-sized"; the guitarron that you mention, but used outside of the Mariachi context:

I have also seen a few bands who use converted cellos as basses, too.

Oh, and I forgot to mention another friend who has a Taylor GS Mini bass and plugs in to a battery powered Roland Micro Cube bass amp. That's the one with four 4" drivers, and actually sounds pretty good as long as you don't want tons of volume out of it.

Last edited by Rudy4; 08-08-2022 at 12:59 PM.
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