Upright Bass question
March 6, 2005 7:58 AM   Subscribe

Will a 3/4 scale Upright Bass fit in the back of my car?

I have a 94 Mercury Sable. I'm beginning to rent my first upright bass and have been told by some that it'll fit and by others won't. Also, is there any special advice I should know about for having an upright bass?
posted by drezdn to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
Psychobilly crowds will love it when you spin your bass around or stand on it.
posted by Eamon at 8:09 AM on March 6, 2005

If it's a Sable wagon, then yes, it will fit.

My boyfriend and his mom both play 3/4 upright bass and they can fit both of them in her Taurus wagon at the same time with the back seat folded down. I've been lingering under the impression that a Sable and a Taurus are actually the same car.

The both use soft cases, by the way. There seems to be quite a bit of extra room (it's not a shoving match to get them in) but I suppose a hard case might be bigger and could make a difference.

It seems doubtful that you could fit a 3/4 bass into a car that wasn't a wagon, unless maybe you left a window open and let the neck hang outside. Which sounds vaguely illegal to me.
posted by bcwinters at 8:31 AM on March 6, 2005

If it is a sedan and one or both of the rear seats go down, yes. I have a friend that puts his full sized road bike with both wheels still on in the trunk/back seat of his Taurus sedan, no problem.
posted by fixedgear at 8:50 AM on March 6, 2005

Best answer: My brother drives a Nissan 4 door sedan and is able to fit his bass in the front passenger seat with it reclined. The only way it would go in the backseat would be if the headstock stuck out the window.
posted by wsg at 10:04 AM on March 6, 2005

Best answer: If it's a wagon, yes. I spent most of my high school years hauling a double bass and amp around in first a Sable wagon and then a Subaru Legacy. I can also report that two people, a french horn and a double bass can happily coexist in a VW Rabbit.

I'm fairly certain that at some point I've hauled a double bass in either a Sable/Taurus or a Buick Sedan. I think the bass goes in the back seat and the front seat is slid forward. At any rate it's a do-able fit. I think Rufus Reid's The Evolving Bassist has a chapter on transport. Mainly you want to avoid placing weight on the neck. Don't forget that the endpin can be completely removed and that the bass can go in upside down.

As for general advice, beware of Edgar Meyer recordings. He's so damn good he'll make you want to hang up the bass. Also, if've you can play at all and like bluegrass, rockabilly, folk, or western swing, you'll be able to work every night of the week.

Good luck and enjoy the instrument.
posted by stet at 10:39 AM on March 6, 2005

Best answer: Very likely yes. I have seen 3/4 basses fit inside an old East German Trabant, and it is hard to get smaller than that. You put the passenger seat down, lift the bass - body first - into the middle of the back seat, let it set by the foot-peg against the rear window ledge, and then the neck protrudes between the driver and front passenger seat, usually leaning on the dash board in front of the passenger.

It isn't comfortable, but east European Gypsy bands have been doing it this way ever since cars - and they are always tiny cars - have been around. I traveled ten hours (Budapest - Isola, Slovenia) wedged next to a bass in the back seat of an old Russian Lada. I got through it by reverting to childhood and imagining I was on board an Apollo space craft orbiting earth.

Bass players know amazing things about cars.
posted by zaelic at 1:03 PM on March 6, 2005

I play the upright for a big hunk of my living (I have a late 40's Kay) and have learned that inside of a gig bag, it will fit in virtually any car (though sometimes the headstock has to stick outside the side window). I, however, have a Volvo wagon.

Also, if've you can play at all and like bluegrass, rockabilly, folk, or western swing, you'll be able to work every night of the week.

True dat. I often pack 4 or five gigs Thurs through Sat.
posted by sourwookie at 1:50 PM on March 6, 2005

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