5/8 Whale Bass

Recently I started making new basses in a previously neglected size, the 5/8. My reasons for doing so are many, but the most important ones were ease of playing, adequately large sound, and a market need. Not much is said about this size bass; it is slightly smaller in over-all dimension than a standard 3/4, with a shorter scale length. It is ideal for smaller people or those with small hands. My very first double bass was a German 5/8 from around 1900. I purchased it completely by feel, having played a few dozen instruments and liking the playability. I owned this bass for many years and sold it to buy my first house. (a big mistake) While I really love the bass that I play now I have always respected the 5/8 and what it can do for certain players.

In fall of last year, I was commissioned to construct a 5/8 bass by Corwin Bolt, a teacher at Eugene’s Shedd Institute for the Arts. He had been struggling with a large 7/8 bass for years and really wanted something easier to play. Here are some pictures and descriptions of that process.