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What is the point of a tummy cut?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DanTheQuaker, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. DanTheQuaker

    DanTheQuaker Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    You know, the rear body contour. I'm not trying to be snarky in asking--I honestly have never understood what the purpose is. Going way back to my old '78 Stingray I have always found bodies without the "tummy cut" contour on the back to be more comfortable and have more contact with my body. None of the basses I currently own have tummy cuts because of this. Same with guitars. I understand the benefit of a forearm contour though.

    Is this one of those things that is done because "that's just the way we do it"? Or is it primarily a way to shave off a little weight from the body? Or is there really an ergonomic advantage that has escaped me all these years?

    Maybe this ought to be asked in the Luthier's Corner forum, but I'm mostly curious about what other players have to say about it.

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  2. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Good question. I have no idea. Subbed.
    But I do like the forearm facet.
  3. jim nolte

    jim nolte

    Oct 26, 2006
    To keep the edge of the body from digging into your stomach or chest depending on how high the bass is on a strap, personally I hate slab bodies with no contour on the back.
    RONTERGO, roccobass, bcouper and 58 others like this.
  4. I believe the less flat a player's abdomen is, combined with the more one sits while playing will make you appreciate the belly cut more, as there is a smother edge rubbing against said belly.

    My take.

  5. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2009
    Also, it results in lower weight after the cut.
  6. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
    Because a significant section of bassists find it more comfortable than slab bodies, and therefore, it helps sell basses.
  7. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I appreciate it most when I'm seated. I sometimes slouch and drape myself over the bass so the tummy cut is actually more like a rib cut.
    rantbot, Timmah, SirMjac28 and 18 others like this.
  8. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Comfort...8 out of 10 bassists prefer it just for that reason.
  9. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    I've always preferred slab solidbodies such as SCPBs, slab Stingrays and Mustangs. I've also played plenty of basses with contoured bodies but they always felt like something was missing.
    waynobass and 2saddleslab like this.
  10. Because of beer.
  11. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Inactive

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody notices
    You ever played a strat for a while, then picked up a tele? You'll immediately notice how it jabs you in the rib. Vice versa, you'll immediately notice how comfortable the strat is.
  12. DanTheQuaker

    DanTheQuaker Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    Interestingly, I've owned both and I much prefer the Tele body over the Strat. My PRS didn't have a tummy cut either. I've never felt jabbed in the ribs by a slab body. But what I do feel is that more of the instrument body is against my body, without a gap resulting from the tummy cut.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
    KaraQ, 2saddleslab and DTRN like this.
  13. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I think it matters how you wear the instrument. Your physiology probably has something to do with it as well. The most uncomfortable instrument I have ever strapped on was a Les Paul guitar. Most models have a sharp edge on the top part of the body that really cut into my ribs. It was brutal :blackeye:.

    The Les Paul Axcess has a cut away that I find is much more comfortable. Luckily I didn't like how any of them sounded, so I saved a bundle :rolleyes:.
  14. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    What is the point...

    groovepump, Eric66, MattZilla and 8 others like this.
  15. It's all personal taste and feel isn't it?

    I'm tall and slim so I've never found sharp edged slab bodies comfortable, I like rounded edges and forearm and tummy cuts, or very rounded edges with no forearm or tummy cuts, like many Spector's and Warwick's.
    People with more meat on their bones might not feel the need for softer edges and contours?

    Anyway, there's plenty of options out there for people to pick from.
  16. Tim Schnautz

    Tim Schnautz

    Jan 30, 2000
    It's there so people will know they're not playing a Rickenbacker, I guess...
    bcouper, Mickey666, GR7G5TER and 2 others like this.
  17. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    Not so much a "tummy"cut.
    More like a "side of the ribs"cut.
    At least for me.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
    cbdriver, KaraQ, Iristone and 10 others like this.
  18. Lagado

    Lagado Inactive

    Jan 6, 2020
    The clue is in the name.
  19. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    I've had two slab-bodied basses, a Fender Tele and a Ric 4001. I find the contoured body _way_ more comfortable.
    Eric66, bdgotoh, Staccato and 2 others like this.
  20. Ummmm...not saying there are a lot of obese bass players but...
    DJ Dru and thetragichero like this.
  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.

    Mar 3, 2021

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