Introduction: How to Make an Electric Bass Sound Like an Upright in Under a Minute

Nothing beats a walking bass line with a double bass. Unfortunately, double basses cost ALOT of money. This will convert an electric bass (without hurting it, removable, etc..) to an upright bass (as far as sound goes). It is free too!

Step 1: What You Need

You need:
A pair of boxers or other thin fabric
An electric bass

Step 2: What to Do

Turn the knobs to the neck pickup with a Jazz bass. If you don't know how, play around with the knobs until the sound is as bassy and punchy as possible.

Take the boxers, and starting from the highest string (g) run them under, between the bridge pickup and the bridge, or if you have a P bass, just by the bridge. Run the legs through, so that the waistband is near the knobs (if your bass is a normal design). Try to even out the fabric so you have the same under each string.

You should now have excess fabric after the E string (or B, if you have a 5 string).

Twist the fabric on each end of strings (one hand at the highest, one at the lowest) opposite directions so the strings hold it in place.

Take the excess fabric and run it under the lowest strings (E and A, and B with a 5 string), leaving a little tuft at the D string.

Play around! Push the fabric around until it gives you the sustain you want. Normally you will come pretty close the first time, but it can't hurt to perfect it!

Tips: More twists will increase the sustain. The lower strings will have more sustain, so you wont want these as tightly would as the G and D. Keep everything as close to the bridge as possible.

Have fun!

Comments

author
T.C.H (author)2014-11-04

The basic concept works, but like some one else commented, it's unattractive! I've used "soft" foam/sponge, packing from products that I've received since the middle nineties. Folded it, if need be, and cut it to make it a nice looking rectangle and placed in front of the bridge. Folding it thick enough to make a difference, you will have to experiment with it to determine which thickness is right for you. Someone also now sells a piece of foam for the same purpose, and charges about 15 or more dollars for it, dressed up pretty with a name on it, but you can do the same thing for free. Playing salsa, I wanted my bass guitar to sound more like a "baby bass", and with that piece of foam, I came pretty close.

author
Mr.alexc992 (author)2010-04-17

I do the same thing with my acoustic guitar when my room-mate gets annoyed with my playing.....

author
tontdoch (author)2009-11-04

Me again - the position of the sponge determines the tone and damping without losing the tuning.

I know because I just tried it out, lol

author
tontdoch (author)2009-11-04

I think this comment might qualify as an Instructable.

For a single/split pick-up bass all you need to do is to cut a section of sponge to the width of the strings at the bridge and just the right amount of the action.

For the bass to sound acoustic - place the sponge to just after the bridge and pluck at the fret-board.

Using the sponge has the advantage of not affecting the tuning and the bass will not become pregnant.

author
bennyb1 (author)2009-09-13

I've been doing this for years with a small piece of soft foam. You can move it closer to, or farther from, the bridge for different damping effect. Works on my jazz, precision, but get a Great wood sound from the electric-acoustic. Try different thicknesses for different damping. Thump on, dude.

author
bigredlevy (author)2009-05-20

For a permanent mod, you could make something like this:
http://www.boxvox.net/images/2008/01/27/compositevolt_2.jpg
The blue pad mutes the strings, and it's mounted so that it can be moved with the lever.

author
bassmonkey (author)2009-04-17

nice idea, but really unattractive, I would use kleen x's or one of those rectangular nail polishers

author
buggybunch (author)2009-04-09

You can always ask your fans for panties. LOL

author
JuCo (author)2009-03-24

i do this sorta thing with my guitar. (of course, smaller strings means i can just use a rubber band)

author
bassdale (author)2009-03-24

packing foam will work and has a better stage presence.

author

True, but I didn't have any of that lying around. Ever seen a simple instructable and not had the right simple things lying around that day to do it? And it did not mean enough to you to do it another day? I wrote this for people who have boxers lying around... Also, depends on what "stage presence" you're going for ;).

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