Resting bass on side?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Blacksheep, Jan 24, 2008.


  1. Blacksheep

    Blacksheep Destroyobot

    Sep 7, 2006
    Manitoba, Canada
    Is it safe to have your bass resting on it's side for long periods of time? I am low on room, and putting my bass in and out of it's bag is a pain, so i just want to know if having it on it's side laying down is in any way detrimental to the instrument. Thanks
     
  2. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Nope. :)
     
  3. Jason Sypher

    Jason Sypher Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2001
    Brooklyn, NY
    You could get some side bumpers put on so it doesn't wear the side too much.
     
  4. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Leaving a double bass lying on its side for extended periods can result in what is referred to as "lambda creep." This is something that affects carved tops only. Because the gravitational forces are perpendicular to the grain when a bass is lying on its side, microscopic compressions of the grain can occur leading to a more "closed" sound when the bass is returned to its normal position and played. The bass can be "re-opened" by bowing extra long notes under room-temperature conditions with normal humidity. Storing the bass upright avoids lambda creep but, again, gravitational forces come into play leading some to suggest that half of the time the bass should be stored upside down in a stand. So far, no manufacturer of which I am aware is supplying a stand that can accommodate that orientation. In the case of laminates having plys of alternating grain orientation, it is best to store the bass upright and on its side for roughly equal periods as this distributes the lambda creep fairly equally among the plys. No doubt, many here are reading this in bewilderment. Rest assured that this is complete nonsense. Given some of the claims made here on TB, I'm betting you just had to wonder. :)
     
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  5. D McCartney

    D McCartney crosswind downwind bass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    LOL:D
     
  6. He'll be here all week, folks! Try the veal!
     
    gnypp45 likes this.
  7. bpclark

    bpclark

    Apr 30, 2003
    West Central, OH
    I think the good Dr. needs to get his medication adjusted.
     
  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Aw gee, and they just did that yesterday! Hmm, maybe I gotta go back to the old dose. :)
     
  9. mheintz

    mheintz

    Nov 18, 2004
    On a more serious note, resting the bass on its side can put stress on the neck, particularly if you have a heavy extension or machine. Or at least, that's what I've been told by a couple repairman. On a practical note, with a really heavy machine, you might also find that there is a lot weight on the upper bout, which can make the bass easier to spin. A clumsy violist will undoubtedly take the opportunity to hit your endpin spinning the bass into stands, chairs and other violists. (I can't abide smacking chairs or stands...:))
     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Dude, you TOTALLY had me.
     
    Tmh2oson likes this.
  11. Blacksheep

    Blacksheep Destroyobot

    Sep 7, 2006
    Manitoba, Canada
    I'm hoping I'll soon be able to clear some space out so I can rest it facing a corner, but until then it'll stay on it's side, thanks!
     
  12. Me too -- so much so that I almost didn't read it to the end, in which case I would have a very different idea of Mister Dr. ...and would have missed out on a pretty good joke.

    Here's what I was told by a very highly regarded luthier:

    Laying the bass on its side is the SAFEST way for it to be. I guess the weight is more evenly distributed, the risks are lowest. Doesn't mean nothing bad can happen, but this position gives you the best odds. You're fine. Just don't leave it that way for months at a time. Next best choice I think would be upright, in a corner, facing the wall.
     
  13. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Connecticut
    How about a stand?

    I keep mine on the stand, and it takes up a lot less room than it would resting on it's side.
     
  14. There's always that!
     
  15. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Drubb, that was beautiful! :)
     
  16. Lambda creep? I remember him from college.
     
  17. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I've heard FAR too many horror stories about stands falling, getting knocked over by room mates, pets etc.

    Dono has one of them corner's hooked up with a safety strap that goes around the scroll and one that goes around the top of the C under the top bout...
     
  18. This is the sort of setup I was thinking about constructing, once my baby boy gets mobile.

    And drurb, you got me as well. What an excellent gag....
     
  19. Joshua

    Joshua WJWJr Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2000
    Connecticut
    I can only solve one problem at a time, and in this case said problem was space.

    :D
     
  20. Gufenov

    Gufenov

    Jun 8, 2003
    I agree that laying it on its side is more "stable" than a stand, but I'm always afraid someone - prolly ME - would trip over the neck or scroll. I prefer a stand.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Sep 20, 2021

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