Double Bass and Bass Guitar

For bassists and music lovers

Contrabas

Study for a portrait of Philip Baumgarten
by Maarten Welbergen

I am a bassist

Welcome! Let me first introduce myself: my name is Philip Baumgarten and I play double bass and bass guitar. I play jazz and genres akin to jazz. If you are interested in my music, please go to the Baumgarten bands page. I added information about three of my bands to this site.

The bass

The bass is what this site is about. There are five pages about the bass, amongst which the Bass Movie and Bass Gallery page that is renewed every week. There is a version of this site in Dutch. And I am glad to have the opportunity to present my bands here.

Double bass player

And there is more

There also is a page about my bands ans a discography. And there is a Dutch version of this site.

My setup

I use a Hevos amplifyer and box for the double bass. The box and amplifier for my bass guitars were made by Van der Kley. My bass guitars were built by Herman Mulder of Mulderbass. There was a time I did not enjoy playing bass guitar so much: my double basses sounded great and my bass guitars did not. Now I can play on the beautiful bass guitars Herman made for me (fretted and not fretted), I’m having a lot of fun with them.

Czech double bass

Nowadays I play on a wooden double bass that was probably built in the Czech Republic. I’m very happy with the way it sounds and plays. Until recently I played on a carbon fiber bass by Cosi. It has 5 strings, with a low B string and those extra low notes can be great. Right now I prefer the woody, clear and powerful sound of my wooden bass. I’m totally in love with that instrument. I do miss the low B string though.

Philip Baumgarten
A lot of work has been done on my bass

It is not the same bass it was when I got it. Quite a lot has been changed. Some changes were okay, others were not and then the bass had to be changed back all over again. I’m happy with the current state of affairs, so I won’t be changing anything anymore. But were it not for the changes, this would not be the great instrument it is today.

I have had the help of Jurgen Preyer, who made the top of the bass thinner. He scraped off an enormous sack full of wood chips! That made the sound much more direct and full. It still is a heavy bass, but it is lighter than it was and that is very important for someone who’s back is not very strong, like me.

Dirk Jacob Hamoen devised beautiful tuning machines that work very well. Good tuning machines are important; if they do not turn easily, it is vert tiring to change strings. I used to have very tiresome tuning machines and that was not nice.

Ferdinand Rikkers adjusted the height of the strings for me. This is not only important for the playability, but also for the sound. Every height of the strings sounds different. in the old days, when amplification of the double bass was a huge problem, the action of the strings was high. That gave a loud, hyumpy sound. Not a modern sound, but these bass players made the most of it.

Contact

You can contact me by mailing me.