Philosophy Of Bass Making

or

Why I Do What I Do How I Do It

What is my bass in the universe?

     After only a couple of years and a half dozen pieces, I was able to make building double basses my full-time business. Clearly there was a need for my instruments. I think there are several reasons why my basses are still in demand today, a decade later.

     Many luthiers around the world provide gorgeous, top-quality instruments for premium prices, and several mass-market companies create passable instruments very affordably which a good player can make sound great. However, just like in woodworking, the better your tools are, the easier the job is to accomplish. I strive for the balance: to make top-quality, easy to play, customizable basses, while keeping them as cost-effective as I am able.

      I believe my basses are meeting an unforeseen demand because bass playing and the bass itself are evolving. People of all different sizes are picking the double bass. Also, more players are taking bass playing itself to a new high level in technicality, which requires an accessibility that most historic basses lack. My models are based on several historic basses, most of which have actually been significantly altered from their original forms to meet modern players needs. I design with respect to those old patterns, but also with my own style and whimsy and further refinements for improved playability. I aim to to take the best of the traditional appearance mixed with recent innovation to create an instrument of combined beauty, practicality and awesome sound.

   I follow the Bauhaus model of “form follows function” and strive to produce consistent work for common use by employing efficient, modern hand-building tools and techniques. No part of the wood on my basses is ever CNC’d*; it is all done with my hands, but I do use power tools. Otherwise it would be impossible to keep my prices in their current range. Of course that is alongside many traditional hand-tools, and careful finishing work. I think the inevitable variation of a hand-built instrument is what catches the eye and the ear.

    Players need their instrument have a unique voice. They need their instrument have a unique beauty. They need their instrument to be easy to play  for their physical size and style of playing. What they sometimes need is not available on the mass market.  It is players who have led me to what I build today: a bass for today’s bass player.

 

     Play what you love, and love what you play.

* "Computer Numerical Controlled" cutting machines.

We have ideas for more things we would like to include under this heading, so "stay tuned!" 

Get it? 

haha.  Musician joke.

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© 2013 to Present (2020)  Seth  Kimmel

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