My formal training, including countless hours of research as well as the application of proven techniques along with some of my own innovations, are the basis for my success to date.
My basic philosophy to Double Bass luthiery is this; it doesn’t matter what level of bass is being played on or the style of music favored. The double bass should:
A. Fit its owner’s body and hand size,
B. Be set up correctly so that the player can achieve their highest level of inspiration and enjoyment (these important elements translate directly to fellow musicians and to the audience),
C. Be healthy, with all components snug and in their proper place.
I encourage you to check out my “D” / “C” extension page! The “D” extension is of my own design. This is an extremely versatile, 100% noninvasive accessory that adds no adversities to your playing comfort, even at open D. You will find my D extension extremely useful in chamber/orchestral settings or jazz/pop playing. With it, you have the advantage of open Eb and D as stopped low notes with minimal action/string height change. Imagine the possibilities of added range when playing in Bb, Ab, Eb and D!
If you are considering major repairs or restoration, check out my photo gallery/restoration pages which showcase my standard attention to detail on some of the most challenging operations.
As I said earlier, I am a working bassist with now over 30 years experience. This gives me a huge advantage as a bass luthier in regards to set up because I know the discomfort and tone issues that inevitably arise from playing a poorly set up bass.
Above all, a double bass should be set up for maximum sound and playability in accordance with an individual’s height, weight, hand size, and experience playing the instrument. The most accomplished bassists prefer playing basses that fit their bodies. There are many bass sizes and shapes to choose from and if set up properly, even a smaller 3/4, 5/8, or 1/2 size bass can produce good volume and tone.
If you’re noticing discomfort in your fingering hand, we should look at the depth of scoop in your fingerboard while also checking the nut and bridge string spacing, string selection and saddle height. Making corrections to one or all of these can make a notable difference in the feel and sound of your bass.
Maybe you would like to change the sound characteristics of your bass. For example; bigger E, bigger G, or more evenness throughout the mid and high registers. Or maybe you desire a darker or brighter sound. Whatever you’re looking for regarding sound shaping, I have many suggestions that can help.
Now more than ever, double bassists are playing a wider range of musical styles. For those who own one bass, this set up is achievable. The trick is in correctly scooping and radiusing the fingerboard along with cutting a bridge crown that works perfectly with its fingerboard. And of course, string choice is crucial in helping to achieving your goal.
For those who have two or more basses, it is reasonable to say that your basses should be set up as similarly as possible for the greatest ease of transition from one to the other. Having a similar string length can be crucial to comfort and accuracy. I have suggestions to help achieve this.
Feel free to email me with questions or comments.