Building a bass with a guitar body

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by bassist4christ, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. bassist4christ

    bassist4christ Banned

    May 26, 2005
    Is it possiable to use say a telecastor or a strat body to make a bass? Thanks for all of those who help out with this
  2. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Possible? Why, of course! It's a piece of work, though, if it has been used as a guitar.
    In that case, the routings will be all wrong.

    You will need to accomodate for a wider neck - extend the neck pocket.
    You will need to use different pickups - any pup routing will be in the wrong place, shape and dimension.
    You will need to put the bridge at the absolute edge of the body - unless you like a hilarious neck dive.

    Bottom line: routed guitar body - forget it. Unrouted - keep thinking.
  3. I'm pretty sure that the Gibson Les Paul bass models feature the same size bodies as their guitar cousins. I've seen some acoustic basses utilising a dreadnaught size body. It can be done. I'd have to wonder about why you're wanting to do it. If it's because you like the general shape and style of the body, I'd think maybe look at making a slightly scaled up version, because you'll still be expieriencing some neck dive with the bridge pushed right back I'd imagine (though it may be marginal). If it's because you like how a strat or tele feels on you then i'd say go for it. I've heard a few guys do it. keep us posted. :)
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Not just because of that - but also because of the SCALE LENGTH!!!
    Unless you are going for a shortscale...

    But... bass bodies are cheap and easy to come by on eBay and other places...
  5. bassist4christ

    bassist4christ Banned

    May 26, 2005
    Well I guess it comes down to I have never seen one. I was wondering what it would look like. It does sound like a bunch of trouble through, but mabye I'll do it. Thanks for all of your help
  6. parttimeluthier


    May 7, 2005
    Hey, check out ... This guy has been making short scale Stratocaster bodied basses for a few years now. They are very nice looking basses and have some good reviews on sites such as Harmony-central.
    In my mind this is ultimate take on short scale basses such as the Mustang or Musicmaster. A strat body is so much nicer and less "novice" looking than a Mustang/Musicmaster.
    If you could get a non-routed strat body like someone mentioned earlier and a short scale neck you would be there. I don't think a Tele body would work as well because of the lack of a longer upper horn the balance would probably be off.
  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Exactly. If you don't put the bridge at the very bottom, you will need a pretty long neck, even if you go for shortscale - and long necks dive like :eek: Something about length, weight and cantilever :D
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Not just that - you won't have the exact bridge-neck pocket spacing. That is, all fretted notes will be off... and unless it will be fretless, it won't be a nice thing...
  9. Ohhh, just think, a fender Jaguar body with a jazz bass neck...

  10. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    I have this plywood bodied Samick shortscale with a great neck that's got a body sized and shaped identically to a strat. It even shares the Fender guitar neck pocket dimensions too. Someday I'll find someone local that can make me another body for it (I'd like ash), routed for the pickups I want and no pg. It's had a heap of pickups through it, and with the right ones, sounds great.
  11. Greg Johnsen

    Greg Johnsen

    May 1, 2005
    Hickory NC
    lol, awesome Idea, you've actually given me some gas for a gibson LPS bass (with a guitar body from warmoth, but with 2 humbkr pups routed, and I'll drill the holes for the bridge). and black hardware, with a LP neck...

    I hate gas, and I hate not having money.

  12. Doug Westlake

    Doug Westlake

    Jul 6, 2005
    I once chopped a 4" wide section out of the center of a Gibson SG guitar and built a through body neck for it. I chose the through body neck design because the SG body was pretty thin, light mahogany, and even strung up as guitars SG's 'wave' in and out of tune as you sway them in the air. I liked the way the small body looked, and with active electronics and some DiMarzio pickups (this was about '79) it sounded quite a bit better than most basses out there, or so I thought. So did M. White (now he's the bassist for the Spindoctors), he bought it from me.
  13. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Well, you must make a special neck, anyway, and that would take care of that.

    BTW, as I said from the start: get an unrouted body or forget this idea.
  14. teej


    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I've thought about this, too.

    Hey guys @ Warmoth!!! If you're reading this, you should have the LPS shape for basses, along with a chambered (semi-hollow) body option. :smug:

    Please? :D
  15. jake_tim


    Jun 28, 2005
    North Carolina