I have seen some rockabilly gigs where people actually stand on the double bass.

For instance:

enter image description here


How is this possible? I haven't tried it myself, but if I try to stand on my double bass, I'm pretty sure it's going to be wrecked.

  • 2
    Well, pretty clearly,unless you weigh a LOT :-( , you won't b break your bass. String instruments are built a lot stronger than you might think, and you'll notice they are standing on spots right over internal struts. If you stood on the faceplate, that might well collapse. Aug 17, 2014 at 19:44
  • You may be 'pretty sure', but you're demonstrably wrong!
    – Laurence
    Dec 11, 2016 at 11:26
  • I once saw a show where the bassist set up the bass during another musician's solo, and the guitarist stood on the bass with his electric guitar, both of them still playing.
    – user45266
    Oct 10, 2018 at 5:08

4 Answers 4


Effectively, the image and video prove that a double bass is stronger than you imagine.

There are angles at which you wouldn't want to step on a double bass, but at the positions shown, it will safely hold an average weight person.

You wouldn't want to try this with an expensive instrument, but a rockabilly bassist is unlikely to be using a high-end bass. Subtleties of tone are not important in this kind of music, and there's a certain thrift-shop glamour to having a beaten-up instrument.


Some double-basses are made with solid wood sides and back, which are quite fragile. Other less-expensive basses have sides and back made of pressed laminated wood (plywood) which is much stronger although not as good with regard to tone. I believe that some basses have a pressed laminate wood top as well. If you want to stand or sit on your bass, get the laminated-wood kind!


I have been told that "Reinforced upright basses" are the kind that are strong enough to be stood on, and for rock gigs are better because they have less feedback than a nonreinforced upright bass. However, to get a nice reinforced one I have been told is around 4,000, although I know you can get them for cheaper if you aren't worried about the quality. I have no experience with upright basses, but I am an electric bassist and asked someone I know who plays upright basses and that is what he told me.


The Alcoa Aluminum Basses made from 1928-1932 are perfect for standing on.

enter image description here

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