Octobass – double bass but one octave lower!

Recently I was listening to some music in my studio and suddenly I saw this video of an Octobass. My studio monitors are equipped with a subwoofer for the ultimate low end auditioning and can you imagine what a double bass sounds like if it’s tuned AN OCTAVE BELOW the regular tuning? Well, obviously, you could use a bigger body and a longer string length, which is the Octobass. And you need a subwoofer or headphones to fully enjoy this video!

Here’s a video of someone with an electric upright emulating an octobass, that’s awesome p76slug…note that he’s playing with a double bow!

How it’s going…

Currently, I’m not playing that often on ebass I must admit. The last year was a very busy period as I had to finish my PhD. When the K-oZ Collective hiphop project stopped I started playing with acoustic groups and there’s little utility for electric instruments. Ebass had to wait in a corner of my studio for better opportunities. An example of these acoustic groups is IBO, centered around a Dutch troubadour. This video of a gig in Amsterdam pretty much explains it all:

Some months ago I bought a 150 year old German double bass that needs a very serious restauration…It needs a new neck and a major number of cracks need to be fixed. Interesting…

Ebass is still doing fine, it’s a great instrument with a very powerful tone.* It’s not jealous of the acoustic basses and is waiting patiently for its turn. The bass needs some adjustments. I want to lower the action a little bit and it’s time for new strings. Did I mention I have a new band? 😀

*Just listen to the sound…
Like a f3ather by sillybeats

What’s a suitable EUB to play bowed?

I got a question from a reader asking:

I’m interested in building an electric upright bass myself, and whilst I’d predominantly be playing pizz I would also play a reasonable amount of arco. I’d just like to know what your experience of playing arco with this is like. So far as I’m aware getting a good arco sound is best acheived on an EUB with certain pickups – could you point me towards the correct types?

Does anyone have an opinion about bowing the EUB? Personally, I don’t really like bowing on my ebass. I miss the acoustic contact with the bass, although the instrument can be played with a bow. Perhaps it’s time to reinvestigate this…
What’s your opinion. Do you have a electric upright bass that really produces a beautiful sound when played with the bow? Or do you believe that there is no EUB suitable for bowed playing? Which kind of pickups work best? Do you need a hollow body? Leave your opinion below or use the AnswerGarden.

What’s a suitable EUB to be played arco (bowed?… at AnswerGarden.ch.

Bass sculptor Fabian

It’s been a very busy period for me, so I completely missed this message of ‘bass sculptor’ Fabian, who sent me the following message on MySpace:

hello dr bass
im also building my own electric upright basses

i have created a blog and also a youtube acount where you can see some videos construction. im just an amateur, i thing more like a sculptor rather than luthier.

i was in your website, i liked ur design, very good! gretings from mexico. fabian

Have a look at Fabian’s blog, featuring three basses already and his Youtube account.

Zeta bass

Now you all know the electric uprights built by Zeta, right? And you probably know their crossover bass as well…
Some of us think that EUBs need to be played upright. That gives us a cool look and a better sound. Well, have a look at the following video, which shows us a Zeta Crossover being played by Will Karling. Nice playing and a great sound, Will…reminds me a bit of the bass in the recording of Cowboys and Angels by George Michael.