Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Upright Electric Bass Build

  1. #1

    Default Upright Electric Bass Build

    So, as I was distracting myself from doing my work a little while ago, I was thinking about upright electric basses. And started looking around for used ones... just a passing fancy, probably. But, the cheapest used ones are about $1000, which is a bit much for a passing fancy.

    But looking at them, it occurred to me that they don't look that complicated, especially if you're going to use an external preamp. Has anyone here built one out?

  2. #2
    Registered User j. condino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Asheville, NC

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    You will get a lot more real world experience & replies if you head over to with this question.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    Yeah, I know. But I haven't posted over there for many years... I thought I'd give it a whirl.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    My guess is, if you can start with an upright bass fingerboard and build on that, it'd be a rather fun and (relatively, compared to building an entire acoustic instrument from scratch) simple project. Something like this:

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Westchester, NY

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    Not electric but GAL has a couple of simplified upright bass plans listed here ("Savart-style Upright Bass" and "Low-Cost Bass Viol"):

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  6. #6
    working musician Jim Bevan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Limache, Chile

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    I visited Rigel-maker Pete Langdell's house once, to pick up a new instrument. He had some odd inventions lying around his living room, including one that had a double bass-style body with a detachable fretted electric bass-style neck.

  7. #7
    Jo Dusepo, luthier Dusepo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    London, UK.

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    If you do decide to build an EUB, I'd love to see it! (I'm sure I'm not the only one)
    I am a luthier specialising in historical and world stringed instruments. You can see more info at my website.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    From my experience (built a few) an EUB is a pretty basic project, particularly if it has magnetic pickups. For a 3/4 scale instrument, all the critical dimensions come from the upright bass. I've built 34" scale length instruments for use by electric bassists, and for these the critical dimensions are taken from the electric bass or acoustic bass guitar. Two things that may not be obvious at first glance when considering an EUB project are dealing with string length, and ergonomics. On the first, unlike with mandolin or guitar strings, wound steel string length cannot (usually) be simply wound around the tuning machine posts without breaking, so dimensions between string anchor and bridge, and between nut and tuning machine posts are critical. More info on that is available on my website here:

    The ergonomics of a 3/4 size EUB are challenging, because the upright player's body touches the bass body in ways that must be emulated by an EUB to facilitate playing. A good make-or-break test of an EUB to see if it is playable is to try to play it in thumb position. Different EUB builders use different techniques to deal with the ergonomics. Some include various pieces that emulate the places where the player contacts the body of an upright. Some mount the whole thing on a rigid stand. One of my own EUBs is wearable, which deals with the ergonomic requirements in a somewhat unique way. Plans and some construction info on that one can be found here:

    EUBs are cool instruments for sure, and like all instruments they come with their own design and construction challenges.
    R.M. Mottola

  9. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to rmmottola For This Useful Post:

  10. #9
    Laps, Banjos, & Mandos rudy44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Central Illinois

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    This might provide some ideas for you to use. It's an EUB that I designed and built several years back.


  11. #10

    Default Re: Upright Electric Bass Build

    Built a couple, keep one in a corner of the shop for 41" scale hand exercise, has an old fisherman pickup. Got several fingerboards from Randy Allen long ago, built up from there.
    Traded the second for a jazz bass, customer came back a month later to have me remove the maple glazed donut scroll, cuz he had a sense of humor like an adobe brick.....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	stickbass11.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	1.09 MB 
ID:	201101   Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Scan 2.jpg 
Views:	20 
Size:	169.1 KB 
ID:	201102  

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts