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

For instance:

enter image description here

and

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. – Carl Witthoft Aug 17 '14 at 19:44
  • You may be 'pretty sure', but you're demonstrably wrong! – Laurence Payne Dec 11 '16 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 '18 at 5:08
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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.

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5

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!

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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.

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