On Saturday I dragged Lady Luck out riding with me. I was going to look at musical instruments, and one of the best ways to avoid making a purchase in the heat of the moment is to arrive on a vehicle that can't transport the new toy.
The new toy in question, of course, was an upright bass. I've been dreaming about getting one and learning to play it for several years.
The trick in double-bass-shopping is finding a dealer who sells double basses and knows what the heck they are talking about. Many stores carry them, fewer have a salesperson that knows anything about them, and fewer still have nice instruments and knowledgeable staff.
Our first stop was at the String Emporium. The proprietor is the Assistant Principal Double Bass in the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, so it's safe to assume he knows a bit about the bass. Steve showed us (and played) several beautiful instruments.
He was curious about Lady Luck's Vespa, since he dreams of owning a scooter. He was also curious about how I was going to bring home a bass on my motorcycle. I told him I just needed a few bungee cords and some luck.
After talking to Steve for a while, we rode over to the String Shop of Arizona. They have a super cool store, but none of the basses in my price range sounded as nice as the ones at the String Emporium (several of the basses that were way out of my budget sounded nice, though). I felt the coolest part of the String Shop was the large chest of drawers they had containing a variety of violins and violas. I need drawers full of musical instruments.
The String Shop was fun because nobody expects a rough-looking biker and a scooter-chick to walk into a store that gets most of it's business from orchestra kids and their moms.
Speaking of orchestra kids and their moms, one of the orchestra kids was waiting to get into mom's car when I started my bike. She just about jumped out of her skin. I felt kind of bad, but mostly amused (the Triumph isn't THAT loud, it's just a weird noise when it starts).
Anyway, by that point I'd tried a heck of a lot of basses out, and decided to get a bass from the String Emporium. So, now I'm the proud owner of a beautiful Roth bass (that is somewhere between 30 and 50 years old).
For those of you wondering how I got the bass home on my Triumph... I didn't. Some things just aren't possible (without a sidecar).