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putting ergonomics and fundamentals into a design shape

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jordan_frerichs, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. jordan_frerichs


    Jan 20, 2008
    well, i was looking over my single-cut model, and the flaws just stuck out. 1st, it is very wide, 2nd, the leg contour is small, and most of all it is not in propertion with the needs of a bass. for example, starting from not down, strap button is in line with 12th fret, lower cutaway alsos good 24 fret access, but then the scale marker (in this case, 34" line) has a good 5.5" after that. :eek:
    i am working to correct this design, and well as create a solid platform to start from other designs. i was wondering if you had any info on incorporating good eronomics and keeping everything in check, as in, good balance, everything is where it should be, no more, no less, and so on.
  2. Over 30 years ago, a man by the name of Ned Steinberger gave a revolutionary bass guitar design to Stuart Spector for him to build. It incorporated ergonomics/comfort/balance like nothing else before it. The rest is history. Thank you Ned! Thank you Stuart! :D
  3. CptanPanic


    Dec 31, 2008
    Do you have a drawing of the Spector bass design?
  4. JebSmells


    Jul 23, 2007
    I think the best way to design may be to try and take in the design aspects you love from existing basses.

    For me a fender J is all I need to feel comfortable, the weight, "leg room" and contours just fit me perfectly, but in the interests of trying to come up with different designs I just incorperate the same shape for my tuck in the middle so my leg (should in theory) fit in the same way as it would on a J.

    (one thing I don't like however is the neck dive I usually seem to get so by removing some wood from my headstock shape and by using lighter tuners hopefully when I do build my J copy it will feel slightly better balanced to me)

    This is just a little (if slightly poor) example but maybe it's one thing you could look at. What basses do you particularly feel comfortable with and which parts in particular?
  5. Zombbg4


    Jul 15, 2008
    If your proportions are wrong take out your trusty eraser and fix it. Nothing to loose sleep over. Now for ergonomics its obviously not that simple. Something that saved me a lot of trouble would be to trace your shape on to cardboard, that is if you have made a templet. It gives you a very rough feel for where things are going to be, feeln ect...

    Oh, and I've gone through 2 or 3 pencil erasers myself untill I've found "the" design. Not that its anything spectacular...
  6. Fred19137


    Jan 23, 2009
    active musician
    A perfect example of this is violins. I hate the electric ones they look like poop. However, real violins are beautiful.
    Why is this?
    Because that shape produces the best possible sound.
    So when designing a bass shape. Just think about the aspects of it that would be good for you and practical. After this is done you should not have much more to do.
    (this has held true for all my makes except my double neck because the need for more room makes it look a little fat. but it is not too bad because I used all the specs i needed and it keeps it looking decent.
  7. jordan_frerichs


    Jan 20, 2008
    lol. i already have 2 in the making from my misproportioned first draft. one is a hollow-body, so the bridge doesn't look so weird not at the end of the body. designed a better one, and if fits inside the ash body for the other first draft build. the new one is slightly larger than a violin. looks weird next to my squire p bass, but then again, quite a few bodys look little compared to fender body shapes.

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