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Barker Vertical Bass in a straight-ahead jazz context

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by modeshapes, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. modeshapes


    Oct 17, 2005
    NYC Area
    For anyone interested in hearing a fretless 4-string Barker Vertical Bass at work, here are some clips.
    The strings are tapewounds.
    The clips are from a cable-access tv show and the sound was recorded with two room mics.

  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    There are three of them on Ebay right now, for relatively cheap. Less than a half hour to go. If I wasn't so scared of my wife, the fretless would be mine!!
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Sorry, I remain unconvinced.
  4. I am not hearing it either. I think some things to consider when trying to get a good sound out of an EUB, is looking at how double bass players get a nice acoustic sound as well as a nice amplified sound.
    Red Mitchell used a fishman in the 70s and 80s while most people sounded terrible amplified he got a beautiful sound.

    Also, you should set up the EUB like a double bass and get double bass lessons so you can play it like one.

    Also, you can replicate an amplified double bass pretty well with an EUB these days, but trying for more than that is just going to drive you crazy.
  5. If I'm not mistaken, this instrument is just some kind of vertical bass guitar, right?
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yes, you can check it out in the Barker Bass forum here on TB. Essentially it's just a Warmoth BG neck stuck onto a large solid slab body, BG scale, with typical BG hardware and electronics. Kind of it's own weird in-between thing. I like the idea of a 34" scale upright, and I know Zeta, BSX, NSD, and a few others have experimented with things like that, but the look and sound of the Barker just doesn't do it for me, either as a BG or as an URB substitute.
  7. I think the Barker is its own thing. Not a DB/EUB nor is it exactly a BG - good for someone who wants to translate BG technique into an instrument that has a different look and also gain the ergonomic advantages of upright positioning.

    Being broke (and bassless for now) ... Anyway, if I wanted something similar, I would chamber the body of a fretless jazz bass knockoff (think SX) and mount it upright on a stand. Might not look very good but it could be played the same way.

  8. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    quick note: barker basses have a chambered semi-hollow body, not a solid slab. i think this affects the tone quite a lot, actually. later, ron

  9. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    i would call it an electric upright bass guitar. the scale is shorter and the fingerboard is realtively flat and unbowable compared to a double bass. i believe the large body is what throws some people off (or on).

    actaully, the tonal character of the instrument derives mightily from the design and construction of the body. i would really love to hear one with a double bass/eub style neck, bridge and pickup system. later, ron


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