A Personal Welcome from Lee
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What’s the big deal about a vertical electric bass?
It plays more easily than a horizontal bass and is easier on the wrists. For players of traditional electric basses, it’s a significant upgrade and an easy transition. There are other advantages, such as incredible sound. And you can say goodbye to the strap that hangs all that weight on your left shoulder. And say hello to a relaxed right wrist.

Aren’t 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.

Why 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.

Do you make a 5 string?

It 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 you.

For the acoustic sound, we recommend LaBella Black Tapewound strings. Slip a foam mute under the strings at the bridge.

OK, 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.

What 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.

Tell me about playing the instrument while it is resting on the stand.
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.

How 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."
Another adjustment you’ll have to make is not carrying a heavy instrument on one shoulder while you're playing!

I’d 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 near you.
Or, 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.)
Let 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.

The Barker Vertical Bass - Patent Pending

copyright Barker Bass, 2003

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