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Review: So You Want to Make a Double Bass; To Make a Double Bass; Double Bass Making

Review: So You Want to Make a Double Bass; To Make a Double Bass; Double Bass Making

Reviewed by David Riggs

Originally published in American Lutherie #71, 2002 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Six, 2013

So You Want to Make a Double Bass
Peter Chandler
Peter Chandler, 2001
ISBN 9780968935309

To Make a Double Bass
Harry S. Wake
Harry S. Wake, 1995 (revised edition)
ISBN 978-0960704866

Double Bass Making
Bob Hitchings
Gwyllum Press, 1999
ISBN 9780953715602

Until recently, would-be bass makers have had only one main source from which to get specific information on making the string bass. Harry Wake has now been joined by two authors who present distinct approaches to the subject. For those who may have been intimidated by the prospect of taking on such a seemingly difficult project, there is now a good deal of help available in these volumes.

While it seems unlikely that one without any lutherie experience would tackle a bass as a first project, it is conceivable that one may be primarily interested in this instrument, and it is entirely possible to make a beginning, at least, with any of these books.

For sheer detail and volume of information, I would probably pick the Hitchings book over either of the other two, but more on that later. Peter Chandler’s book is the slickest production with 93 pages and 109 figures, more than 20 of which are color photos. At $60US it is also the most expensive of the three.

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