Last night, as I was carefully navigating my tiny car through the miserably cold and inconvenient snow storm, I suddenly remembered that the final issue of Double Bassist magazine had been released! I eagerly modified my route to take me by the Barnes and Noble in downtown Naperville (which is one of the many bookstores in Naperville, but the only that stocks DB) so I could pick up a copy.

I had, in fact, stopped at this particular Barnes and Noble numerous times over the past week to see if they had put it on the magazine rack yet, only to be disappointed they hadn’t. As I entered the store for the 3rd time this week, I could see from a distance the face of Henry Grimes on the cover. I quickly moved through the romance novels, self-help books and calenders to reach the magazine section (for fear that a handful of bassists would suddenly appear out of nowhere like ninjas and grab all the copies).



As I flipped through the glossy pages of this fine publication, I remembered the excitement that coursed through me when I first spotted DB on a magazine rack. I was a junior in high school, and had only recently started taking lessons with Phil Serna. Even though I was still and the Capuzzi/Lorenziti stage of learning bass repertoire, and thus relatively unexposed to the double bass world, I was insatiably curious about basses, rosin, strings, Gary Karr and ALL of that stuff.

When I first picked up an issue of DB, I was in a Barnes and Noble in Washington D.C. My family is originally from Virginia, and I had been expressing interest to my dad about going back to visit my ‘roots’ for a year or two. My dad thought it was a pretty cool idea, but wanted to add a bit of an extension to the trip by visiting our nation’s capitol. We did the entire trip in 2 weeks or something, but despite all of the wonderful monuments, buildings and memorials I saw in D.C., one of the highlights for me on that trip was discovering DB.

The cool thing about DB is that it exposed me to this world that I never knew was there. Even though I had been playing bass since 4th grade, I never took private lessons or did any playing (even practicing) outside of the school orchestras I played in. Through my years of reading DB, I learned about players from other countries, different opinions on technique, historical information on important double bass makers, as well as general advice from well-known and experienced professionals. Of course, no magazine is a sufficient substitute for a good teacher, but, I felt more ‘in-the-loop’ about things that were common knowledge, as well as current events in the double bass community.

Ironically enough, I never subscribed to DB. I couldn’t ever bring myself to pay the money for a subscription, which was pretty expensive for only 4 issues. I’m the same way with ISB’s Bass World, although I think I might start subscribing again (I was a member for a year or two, but needed to save money and canceled my subscription).

As you have probably figured out by this point, DB is going to be discontinued, and double bass content is going to be added to the popular string magazine, The Strad. The editor of DB, Chloe Cutts, insists that there will be a great deal of double bass content in the Strad. I’ll be curious to see how much. Understandably, the content will have to be diminished to some degree to be on equal scale with violins, violas and cellos. We’ll see how things go.


~ by benjamin86 on January 24, 2008.

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