Setting Up an Upright Bass: How to Adjust this Instrument for the Best Sound


Setting up an upright bass can often be confusing, even for experienced musicians. There are several variables that can drastically change the instrument’s sound, from changing the type of strings to adjusting the instrument’s bridge or tailpiece. Here are a few things to consider when setting up a new upright bass. For more detailed information on all these aspects of Bass, you can visit gudang lagu and learn more about it from the experts.

Setting up an upright bass: What type of tailpiece?

An upright bass with a heavier tailpiece will produce a more dampened sound than one with a tailpiece made of a light material like maple. Ebony is the most common heavy material used for setting up an upright bass. The weight of your tailpiece must be considered when choosing strings or setting your bridge alignment since all of these things must work together to produce a clean tone.

Setting up an upright bass: Choosing the strings

The type of strings used on your upright bass will drastically change the tone it produces. The first thing to consider is whether the bass will be mostly bowed or plucked by hand. Instruments that will be plucked should be set up with pizzicato strings because they have more give and will be softer on your fingers. Arco strings are made specifically for bowing and will adhere to the bow more than pizzicato strings. Quality strings can be expensive, with many sets running over $100, so be sure you are purchasing the right type for your style of play.

Setting up an upright bass: Adjusting the bridge

After you have decided on the strings for your upright bass, there are several other places to adjust if you still have not achieved the proper tone. Unlike a violin or cello, the bridge on upright bass is free-floating, not anchored down to the instrument’s body. Because of this, it can easily be bumped while playing the instrument, altering the tone the bass produces. To adjust the bridge, loosen all of the strings and shift the bridge until it is located in the center, between the inside notches on each F hole and aligned along the fingerboard.

Setting up an upright bass: Fine-tuning the bridge height

Finer adjustments to the bridge of your upright bass may be needed to further customize the instrument’s performance. If the bridge is set too low, the strings may rub on the fingerboard and create a buzzing sound. The best solution to this is to simply install a higher bridge. It may be possible to use small pieces of wood to pad the bridge, but this usually creates more problems with vibration and noise.

A bridge that is too high, the strings may be hard to press down onto the fingerboard to hold the notes. Remove the bridge and sand it down slightly, then reinstall it and test the instrument’s playability. Do your sanding in small increments so you do not take too much off and ruin your bridge. As mentioned above, there is no good solution to a bridge that is set too low. Another solution to bridge height issues on your upright bass is to pay the additional cost to install an adjustable bridge that can be modified just by turning a set of thumbscrews.