there a lot of vertical basses out there already?
Yes. They, however, are l-o-n-g scale--42 inches, instead
of the 34 inch scale that horizontal bassists are used to. If
you go to a 42 inch upright, you get three notes from one left
hand position instead of 4. Almost all of the electric upright
basses (EUBs) on the market are fretless.
hasn’t someone thought of this before?
There have been a few fretted 34 inch scale uprights
along the way. I take no credit for the originality of the idea.
you make a 5 string?
is an upright, but does it sound like an upright?
Your new bass will be strung with medium gauge roundwound
strings. Set your amp to zero EQ and experiment with finger attack
and you'll begin to hear the tonal range that's available to
the acoustic sound, we recommend LaBella Black Tapewound
strings. Slip a foam mute under the strings at the bridge.
but can I get a fretless neck?
Of course. There are usually some assembled, or
you can order a custom body with a fretless neck. The fingerboards are typically ebony for looks, durability and tone.
is the body made out of? If it's solid, it must weigh a ton.
It's not solid. What you see, front and back: solid
wood, nearly a half inch thick. The center section
is a chambered core made of select alder. It provides rich sustain,
easy portability and a great wood look.
me about playing the instrument while it is resting on the
Rather than bolt or screw on an appendage of some
kind that allows the bass to lean against your body, I opted
for the stand. Here are the benefits: First, this sustain we
talk about? That’s due in part to the instrument being
free to resonate its entire length without being damped by the
human body. Second, your left hand is free to work the fretboard
without having to do double duty holding the instrument.
hard is it to adjust to playing this way, upright? I’ve
played a bass guitar for years.
It took me about 20 minutes. The left hand is doing
the same fingering job it has always done. The right hand angles
down a bit more and is clearly more relaxed. The position of
your body in relation to the instrument will range from nearly
behind it to facing the side of it. In that arc you’ll
find your "comfort spot."
adjustment you’ll have to make is not carrying a
heavy instrument on one shoulder while you're playing!
really like to see one and play one before I buy. How can
I do that?
Contact us. We'll put you in touch with a dealer
come see us. There is airline service directly to Redmond.
There’s lots to do here year round, from skiing to
golf to whitewater rafting and kayaking, rock climbing,
hiking… (whoa, I am starting to sound like the Redmond
Chamber of Commerce.)
us know. We’ll see that you get all the time you
need with all the basses that are available at that moment.
We encourage you to bring your current bass and amplifier if that is possible. We're fearless that way. You'll appreciate the harmonics, the richness of tone and the continuity of the fretboard of the Barker Bass even more if you can do that sort of comparison.