How to Build a Cheap DIY Electric Upright Bass out of a 1×3

This post was written by Scott
Posted Under: Bass Lessons Videos
For under you can purchase good quality lumber at a hardware store. Or browse the wood in the free scrap pile instead. For under , you can buy 4 eye bo…

Reader Comments

That bass is seriously out of tune.

Written By Axel Fuentes on December 18th, 2013 @ 7:34 am

I want to make this for a project for school, how do you recommend I craft
the body???

Written By 0Aidenisaboss0 on December 18th, 2013 @ 8:06 am

What are the measurements of each piece you used for the body???

Written By 0Aidenisaboss0 on December 18th, 2013 @ 9:03 am

Stick with boot/shoe repair.

Written By TheSandbox411 on December 18th, 2013 @ 9:24 am

Quick question on this. Would it be feasible to shorten the width of the
neck, so instead of that long monstrousity that I could wrap my hand
around, it would be smoother, without giving cause for breakage? Just
wondering. Overall great vid though

Written By ClockworkTheif on December 18th, 2013 @ 10:17 am

hey! do you not have problems about dont use a truss rod? the strings do
not raise it?

Written By TheCoronaChannel on December 18th, 2013 @ 10:50 am

thanks. the Ernie Ball set of strings cost more than the material used to
build the instrument minus the old P pickup.

Written By bmiranda2645 on December 18th, 2013 @ 10:53 am

If using a stereo jack, you want to use the longest prong for the tip. If
you use the second, shorter prong, you wont get a signal because it will be
going to ground.

Written By Joseph Wells on December 18th, 2013 @ 10:54 am

very cool. i really want to make one!

Written By Brent Strathdee on December 18th, 2013 @ 11:32 am

So awesome… thank you.

Written By Jared Berg on December 18th, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

Good wondering. You could downsize the hunk of wood and give it a profile
for a more comfortable neck to grasp. You could also shorten the scale
length. I made the scale length 34″ because that is the standard length for
the electric bass strings I used. Double basses have 42″ scales. I made the
neck fat because I’m afraid of the wood snapping in half and knocking my
teeth out. It’s unlikely the neck would break like that but it would
significantly bow and creak if it were under enough strain.

Written By bmiranda2645 on December 18th, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

Actually the strings raise it a lot! Despite being a double laminated neck,
the heavy 50-70-85-105 bass strings I used still cause the neck to bow
significantly. But obviously it would cost more to install a truss system

Written By bmiranda2645 on December 18th, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

i dont understand the hat but i dont care. amazing video dude

Written By Dan Jones on December 18th, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

That… was… the most… instructive… bass DIY video on YT… Great
work man. Yup, bass guitar, but looks like a great teaser for future cello
players ;P

Written By HoryBP1 on December 18th, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

It is possible. But I used round wound bass strings meaning that they sound
brighter because they have round wire windings. On violins, cellos and
double basses they use thumpier sounding flatwound strings so the bow can
grip them with better contact.

Written By bmiranda2645 on December 18th, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

What did you ever do with those MxPx basses?

Written By Mickey Jamieson on December 18th, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

can you play with a bow too

Written By Maggie Schultz on December 18th, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

This is rad as all get-out. But really, is there anything that makes this
an “upright” bass other than that you used a long piece of wood? Seems like
you’re using standard electric bass strings, pickups, etc. I’m not trying
to quibble about definitions, I’m genuinely curious.

Written By AllOtherNamesTaken on December 18th, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

Haha I appreciate your honesty. Technically it is not a double bass in a
sense that it does not even have the correct flatwound strings. But those
are expensive and the scale length is like 42 inches or something. I played
a real bass fiddle and it is huge. What I made was really a cheap electric
bass that stands up because the neck is too fat and the strings have a 34″
long scale.

Written By bmiranda2645 on December 18th, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

thanks. I’m no expert at soldering wires together. I just bent off the
shorter prong so it would not make contact. If I got a pickup signal, the
DIY bass is a success. If I get no signal, then I would edit out the whole
part of the video about installing a pickup.

Written By bmiranda2645 on December 18th, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

thanks mate. the sunhat is just an Asian accessory for the rice fields. I’m
Asian so I wanted to look like a stereotype.

Written By bmiranda2645 on December 18th, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

I sent them in last summer to San Luis Obispo, CA where the Ernie Ball
Music Man plant is located to get the bridges and tuners replaced (I’m
MxPx’s studio guitar tech. We got them all back. Mike Herrera of MxPx
ordered a brand new Big Al Music Man bass in January. I got the honors of
unboxing it myself. It has an 18 volt preamp. The controls on the thing are
insane. I don’t know what the hell Mike was thinking. He orders a bunch of
weird crap because Ernie Ball sends them for free.

Written By bmiranda2645 on December 18th, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

Thanks mate. I noticed that most DIY bass videos I found either didn’t show
how the person made the bass or it was too much showing off while playing
it. I only have average skill at playing a bass and I don’t even have a
proper workshop so I built the wood bass on the floor with no workbench,
bench vise, clamps, and miter saw haha.

Written By bmiranda2645 on December 18th, 2013 @ 6:24 pm

Thanks so much. Going to make one soon. This is helping alot

Written By ClockworkTheif on December 18th, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

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