Whos heard of the Octabass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Bass for Beef, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. Bass for Beef

    Bass for Beef

    Aug 11, 2005
    So a couple years back I remeber reading about an Octabass in ISB's monthly publication. Being so yound I didn't care so much at the time, but now I'm really intrigued. Where could I find info on it and some pictures? If you still dont know what I'm talking about, the bass is like 10 feet tall and is played by pulling leather straps.
  2. Yeah, it's Double Bassist, Number 3 from Spring/Summer 1997, pages 16-19. It was an interesting article to say the least. It says that the "Octobass" was built by J.B. Vuillaume in 1851.
    If I get the time I'll scan a photo or two.
  3. WOW!!!
    I guess I'd have a smile on my face if I got to play it too. Ha.
  4. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    There is a good picture of it in one of the Elgar Books. It was also written that King George II asked William Forster II to build a large Bass so he would not be out done by one built by the Italians. The OctoBass was made later as the Foster story is from the late 18th century. Kings will be Kings!!
  5. Ashley Long

    Ashley Long

    Jan 3, 2004
    There is also an appendix and a few photographs/lithographs about the octobass' conception, purpose and other stories in Paul Brun's book. I think back in the 70's/80's?? omeone had another octobass made. more info to follow...............
  6. I want an extended-range Octo-bass, w/single-course strings on the lowest two, doubled octaves on the next three, then tripled until the builder dies of exhaustion(at least 6 more courses)...
    Now THAT would be a bass.

  7. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004

    You could then lay it on it's back and use your feet and hands for tapping and call it twister style technique.
  8. I was just watching 'The Polar Express' w/the kids- the elf band(near the end, after Santa takes off & the party starts)'s bass players(3 of them), being elves, are playing the DB in a very octo-bass-esque style- one bowing, another on one's shoulders, 'fretting'.
  9. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I have this on my shop wall, a fun pic.

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  10. Ha! That proves nothing! The kid could be 18 inches tall ;)
  11. D McCartney

    D McCartney crosswind downwind bass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    He he, and that would make the door, what...3 feet? :D
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  13. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Drummers must have been really loud back then.
  14. i bet ya that nowadays that girl is playing an octobass! :bassist:
  15. It is in the Museum of Musical Instruments on the outskirts of Paris . I went there a number of years ago. Cool place and that bass is AWESOME.
  16. A bit off topic, but Jeff's post reminded me of this nice picture:

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][​IMG][/font]​
    Jimmy Garrison with son Mathew, then 2 yrs old, and bass.

    Its no Octobass, but either Garrison was a smallish man or that's one big bass.
  17. Me thinks a bit of wide angle lens trickery. I once made a fish my aunt was holding look 4ft long!! :eek:
  18. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    It's partially the photo, but Jimmy was a small man. His nickname was "half-pint."