Gollihur Music - Upright Bass Specialists
Questions? 856-292-3194
"Not Just a Store, We're Your Upright Bass Information Destination."


McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
 

Bob Gollihur - Gollihur Music  Mark Gollihur - Gollihur Music
Bob and Mark Gollihur

UPRIGHT BASS SPECIALISTS... ON THE WEB SINCE 1997
 
Home Page

BROWSE PRODUCTS
New Basses

Strings

Upright Bass Pickups

Upright Bass Mics

Amps and Preamps:
  Preamps & Equalizers
  Amplifiers & Speakers
  Audio/Speaker Cables

Accessories:
  Bows & Rosin
  General Accessories
  Cases & Gig Bags
  Instrument Stands
  Books and DVDs

Parts:
  Double Bass Bridges
  Other Bass Parts

Other Instruments:
  Acoustic Guitar
  Other Instruments

CLEARANCE!
  Bob's Bargain Basement

(856) 292-3194
9am-7pm
Eastern USA Time




or mail check/MO


STORE INFO
Ordering From Us
  How to Order
  Policies
Contact Us
About Privacy
Warranty Details
Who's Bob?
  About Gollihur Music


Upright Bass
RESOURCES
Buyer's Guides
Upright Bass FAQs
  Questions and Answers
Double Bass Links
Bass Luthier List
   Repair-persons Directory
Bass Teacher List
Join Our Mailing List
Bass Classified Ads
Product Manuals

Printable Catalog


SECURE SHOPPING
Our site is tested by TWO services every day to protect your information.

McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams



GENUINE PRODUCTS
GUARANTEED

We are an authorized retailer for everything we sell - we do not use unathorized "Gray Market" sources.
Bookmark and Share

BASSES- PARTS, GLOSSARY of Upright Bass terms
Recent News and Updates
NS Design CR4 SPECIAL PRICING!

The NS Design CR4 Bass
is a very nice electric upright bass that is crafted in Europe. They don't come cheap - but here's a stellar opportunity to get one at a big discount. If you have been holding out - or considering buying the NXT (the budget version of this bass) - you may want to jump on this deal while it lasts.

SPECIAL LIMITED TIME SALE!
It's a moving sale at David Gage String Instrument Company, and their popular David Gage Czech-Ease "Standard" Basses are 20% Off for a special moving sale! Prices start under $2800 for this amazing instrument!

If you've been holding out for one, now is the time to act - this sale is for a limited time only!

Recently Added Products
'Okay' Logo Vinyl Sticker Parody Emblem for Bass Tailpiece
'Okay' Logo Vinyl Sticker Parody Emblem for Bass Tailpiece
Don't have a real Kay, but DO have a sense of humor? Decorate your Engelhardt or "CCB" with this parody logo (in cut vinyl), which is easily installed on (and removed from) your tailpiece...
Fishman Platinum Pro-EQ Analog Preamplifier with Tuner, Boost
Fishman Platinum Pro-EQ Analog Preamplifier with Tuner, Boost
This item is made in USA!Great new features and cosmetics in this replacement for the B-II and Pro-EQ II preamplifiers - switchable instrument mode changes the EQ points, new boost and phase... a real pocket powerhouse!
Fishman Platinum Stage Analog Preamplifier
Fishman Platinum Stage Analog Preamplifier
This item is made in USA!This new replacement to the long running Pro-EQ Platinum models combines the functionality and adds TONS more useful features, including a notch filter, phase control, built-in tuner, and more!
Not Just A Glossary of Upright Bass, Double Bass, String Bass, Bass Viol, Contrabass, Bass Fiddle, Bull Fiddle, Acoustic Bass, Standup Bass, Doghouse Bass... terms (there is no difference among these, they're just different names for the same thing).

The images at right are labeled with parts of the bass, and the entries below may also include comments to help familiarize yourself with the parts and their purpose.

  • Afterlength: This is the part of the string that travels from the bridge to the hole in the tailpiece.
  • Bass Bar: This is a piece of spruce (usually) inside the instrument, glued to or carved into the top running parallel to the lowest string. It reinforces the top so it does not collapse under the pressure of the bridge. (interior view)
  • Belly: The top, or front of the bass, usually spruce. The back and sides of basses are usually maple.
  • Bout: These sections of the bass are defined by the shape of the top: upper, "c" (the middle, indented section), and lower.
  • Bridge: The bridge supports and shapes the strings
  • C Bout: See bout
  • Dowel: See soundpost (interior view)
  • Endblock: The wood at the bottom of the bass that provides the heft necessary to handle the pressures exerted by the endpin assembly. (interior view)
  • Endpin/Endpin Assembly: The endpin assembly consists of a shaft and sleeve, and in most cases with some sort of mechanism to tighten the shaft. The Endpin Assembly also has a groove or some sort of arrangement to hold one end of the Tailgut (tailpiece wire). There are many variations of endpins, they are not interchangeable, and the endblock and/or endpin assembly must be modified to mate. The endpin shaft often comes to a sharp point; this allows a (usually orchestral) player to "stake into" the floor in order to couple with the stage (but always ask first!) For most players, the bass is played with the point covered by a non-slip rubber cap or screw-on cover.
  • Extension (not pictured): An optional mechanism that is installed to the headstock, to extend the lowest string in order to produce notes below E.
  • F-Hole: Also Sound Hole - an opening in the bass table (top) which allows the sound produced by the bass vibration to project outward.
  • Fingerboard: The "fingering" surface attached to the neck, usually made of ebony or another hardwood (don't call it a fretboard, there are no frets!!). Ebony is traditional due to its hardness, but even it will eventually begin to groove and need planing to return it to playing condition. Does your fingerboard have a sharp angle between the E and A strings? See Romberg Bevel.
  • Flatback: The back of the bass, when it is flat, not rounded like the top of the bass.
  • Gamba shape: The C bout (center section of body) edges are shaped as in the illustration, as opposed to violin corners, which are pronounced and pointy.
  • Headstock: The top portion of the neck, consisting of the pegbox, tuning machines and the scroll.
  • Lower Bout: See bout
  • Machines/Machine Heads: Also Tuning Machines, Tuners - the gear and post mechanisms which allow for tuning the strings to their open (base) pitch.
  • Mensur: The sounding (vibrating) part of the string between the nut and bridge. AKA "playing length."
  • Neck: Usually made of maple, the part of the instrument which attaches to the top of the body and supports the fingerboard and contains the pegbox and scroll.
  • Nut: The block of wood at the top of the fingerboard, usually ebony or whatever hardwood that is used for the fingerboard. The nut is cut to hold the strings in place, with slight indents that are smooth and no deeper than half the size of the string.
  • Overstand: The distance from the bass' top to the bottom of the fingerboard.
  • Peg Box: The squared-off opening in the top of the neck where the strings are wound onto the tuning machine posts.
  • Roundback: The back of the bass when it is rounded, like the front of the bass, rather than being constructed with a flat piece of wood, as in a flatback bass.
  • Romberg Bevel/E-Bevel (not pictured): An optional flat-planed area of the fingerboard beneath the E string, which allows for more area for the large E-string to vibrate, so it doesn't hit the board. This is a tradition dating from when E-strings were larger in diameter and "floppier" - the "need" for the bevel has diminished with more modern string technology. However, some basses are still made with one because they are a "tradition" and some players prefer them.
  • Saddle: The block of wood, usually ebony or a stained hardwood, located at the bottom of the bass top. The tailgut (see below) runs over this block to the endpin assembly.
  • Shoulders: They develop below the neck joint; more sloping shoulders can be useful to soloists and other thumb position players, for easier access.
  • Scroll: The traditional ornamental spiral shape at the top of the headstock.
  • Sound Hole: See F-Hole
  • Sound Post: This round "wooden dowel", usually made from seasoned spruce, spans the top to the back inside of the bass. It is not glued in, but is held by the pressure of the strings and bridge. The location is usually in vertical alignment with the high string side bridge foot, a bit below it. Typical placement is from one to two inches from the foot, but location is determined by the desired effect on the sound. Warning: Loosening/removing the strings will often result in the sound post falling out of place. (interior view)
  • Table: The top or front of the bass, usually spruce.
  • Tailgut: The length of material around the base of the endpin assembly that loops through and secures the tailpiece. These are made from a variety of materials, such as gut, solid and stranded cable, synthetics, and specialized rope.
  • Tailpiece: This device anchors the strings through the keyholes at the top, and is held in place by the tension of the Tailgut at the bottom. Usually made of ebony or whatever hardwood matches the fingerboard. Its weight can be a critical contributor to the sound of the bass, so light ebony is often favored, but as with most parts, it depends on the instrument. Tailpieces are can also made of composite materials, metal, exotic woods, and there are even devices that use nothing but wire in order to eliminate the mass of the tailpiece.
  • Tailpiece Wire: See Tailgut
  • Top: The belly, or front of the bass, usually spruce.
  • Tuning Keys/Tuners: See Machines
  • Upper Bout: See bout
  • Violin Corners: A structural difference where the C-bout has a slightly wider construction and pointed edges like a violin.
    Contact us if you have a term you feel should be added to the list!



Products Related to This FAQ




The Fine Print: The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain and/or my opinions as of today and is subject to change. Like any topic, a great deal more information could be added—but the intent of these writings is to present easy to understand, quick FAQs, to address common questions and improve the reader's general knowledge. What's written here is by no means the authoritative absolute answer, I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on anything else for that matter. I hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you, that's the point!

I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints that help improve my personal awareness and the content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know.
Bob

This page, all HTML code, and all images, photos and descriptions © copyright 1997—2014. All rights reserved.