Thursday, 6 June 2013

Now that's one heck of a big ol' bass!

Pictured next to a Fender Jaguar Bass (which I believe has a 34" scale length), I'm guessing that this extremely long fretless electric bass is intended to be played as an upright. It probably wouldn't be great as a double bass replacement as the fingerboard does not have the necessary radius nor are the strings high enough from the top of the body to allow playing with a bow. But as a fretless electric upright bass played finger-style, I'm sure it'd work fine. It does sort of look like a giant bass guitar what with the P-Bass pickup, the fingerboard position markers giving the impression of frets, and the Fender-esque 4-in-a-row headstock. There must be an awful temptation to try to play this horizontally as if it was a bass guitar. Imagine how crazy that would appear on-stage.

I am reminded of Mark Rubel's Giant Jazz Bass, built to the scale length of a double bass, and which we featured in the Guitarz Calendar for 2012 (long sold out, but then it was last year's calendar). I was going to let all the calendar pictures remain as exclusives, but if enough of you want it, I'm tempted to show the Giant Jazz Bass pics here. (Vote NOW in the comments below!)

Anyway (I went a bit off-tangent there), the pictured electric upright bass, which I'm sure must be a one-off creation, is currently listed on eBay UK with a Buy It Now price of £499.

G L Wilson

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  1. I've got it! It's a baritone Bass! Hear me out, 30' is short scale, 34' is full scale, 32' is a mutant hybrid, and this is a baritone. Filling the role for basses the ridiculous 28' scale metal guitars do for guitars.

    That said, in the Wagnerian orchestra (basically the instruments Wagner employed) they did utilise very very rare extended cscale double basses that required two men to play them, one to 'fret' the other to use the bow and play the strings. there was another of similar size and scale which was 'fretted' by use of foot pedals operating fret positions, I think it's on display in a Parisian museum? That said the bodies were so massive it would be almost impossible to get your arm arund to get to the higher notes, but I guess other double bassists could fill in there.

    1. Hi Steve, yes I know those giant basses of which you speak, the Octobass.

    2. Yes! Thank you! I think perhaps that the octobass would make a good electric double bass, moreso than an actual double bass does, as it would drastically reduce the cost. The bass above appears to e, given it's next to a 34 scale bass about 42' scale, which is double bass scale. which is kind of a pity, I really wanted it to be an insane octobass, put all those p-bass players to shame.

      But given the massive size of the octobass, it would be easier to turn into an electric instrument, it would basically be like the 'stick' tapping instrument, massively long with almost no body. Although how you would play it would probably revolve around fretting it with one hand and having your other arm almost touch the floor to use a bow.. But finger style would be simpler. It just wouldn't be in the ideal place for finger style.

      Some of the comments for the octobass are unusually funny for YouTube; "it sounds like doom" "I think it's purpose was to shake a whole building in key".

  2. Oh my god... There's a very slim chance that this may have been built by my uncle. Or at least, he told me he made a bass in the 1980s which, from what I remember of his description, lines up EXACTLY with this thing. I kid you not. Unfortunately he died a few years ago so I suppose we'll never know for sure, and at any rate I have no idea how it would have ended up in Poland.

  3. show the giant bass from the calendar please

  4. At the other end of the scale, how about a mini cello? (Caution - sounds like nails down a blackboard)

  5. Contacted the seller and they said the scale length was 126 cm which is about 49.6 inches
    It's actually a longer scale length than most upright basses which tend to be around 43 or 44" inches.



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