Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota Life on the frozen tundra of South Dakota

The Bass Version Of My Banana Pudding Guitar

The Bass Version Of My Banana Pudding Guitar

Instrument completed on 11/14/2020

Instrument completed on 11/14/2020

I love my original Banana Pudding guitar. Since I finished it back in August of 2014, it has been my main Sunday morning guitar, where I have played it for at least 90% of the services. I love how it sounds, how it feels and how it looks. In fact, during the sermons sometimes I catch myself just admiring it as it sits in the stand. That's probably not very spiritual, is it? Don't tell the pastor.

So it stands to reason that I wondered if I could make a bass version of this guitar. Sometime around Thanksgiving of 2017 I decided to sketch out the body shape. I started by tracing my original template, then modifying it. I lengthened the upper horn to make it balance better with the long neck. By doing that, I had to tweak a few of the other dimensions slightly. I also changed the pickguard shape, just to make it unique for this instrument.

I didn't really need another bass, so my original intentions were to build it for the Tundra Boy to play in his high school show choir band. Because of this, I wanted it to feature the school colors (orange and black.) He also frequently uses dropped D tuning, so I wanted to give him a Hipshot bass extender to make it easy to switch back and forth. Finally, to give him a little flair during the concerts I thought it would be cool for the instrument to have LEDs in the fretboard.

Alas, before the instrument was completed the Tundra Boy was no longer involved in the high school show choir band, which is a long story that I'm not going to bother going into on the internet. So I wound up with a cool bass of my own. That's OK. You can never have too many musical instruments, right?

Here are the specifications of the bass:

  • Neck Type: Bolt on, 5 screws with recessed ferrules.

  • Neck Wood: Tiger Maple, laminated construction for stability

  • Truss Rod: Dual action

  • Reinforcement: Two carbon fiber rods

  • Headstock: Flat, Fender-style

  • Tuners: Three Wilkinson, one Hipshot with a Bass Xtender

  • Nut: Bone

  • Body Wood: Poplar

  • Fretboard: Tiger maple, 12" radius, LED dot inlays and side markers

  • Scale Length: 34"

  • Pickups: Aguilar Super Single soapbars

  • Controls: Two volume, one tone, push-pull on tone to turn on LEDs.

  • Hardware: Black. Hipshot KickAss bridge.

  • Finish: Nitrocellulose lacquer on body, satin poly on neck

  • Weight: Approximately 8.5 lbs

I'm really pleased with how the body color works with the black hardware, pickguard, and the light maple neck.

A complete shot of the front of the bass

It doesn't show up well in the photos, but there is a forearm contour to make playing the instrument more comfortable.

The instrument from the player's perspective.

This is a very bold looking, and sounding bass. It's definitely not what you want to play if you're looking to blend into the background.

The instrument from the right side.

There are two volume controls and a single shared tone control.

A close up of the controls and the bolt on neck.

The Aguilar pickups are very powerful and have a pronounced midrange growl. It sounds like a Jazz Bass on steroids.

A close up of the body from the left side.

The bridge is a Hipshot KickAss, and the bass uses a 34" scale length.

A close up of the body from the front.

The LEDs are a lot brighter in person. The camera tends to wash them out.

The LED fretboard.

The LEDs are turned on by pulling "out" on the tone knob.

A close up of the LED fretboard.

The headstock is a flat (recessed) style. The nut is made of bone.

A close up of the headstock.

There are also LED side markers.

Looking down on the left side of the body.

The long neck is very thin and comfortable.

A complete shot of the back of the bass.

The five bolt neck makes the neck very secure in the pocket.

The whole back from the left side.

It's hard to see it in the photos, but there is a belly contour to make playing the instrument more comfortable.

The whole back from the right side.

The Hipshot detuner on the low E string allows for a quick transition to "dropped D" tuning.

A close up of the back of the headstock.

The neck is made up of four pieces of laminated tiger maple. The outer two laminates are from the same board, and the inner two laminates are also from the same board.

The tiger maple neck.

This cover hides the battery case that runs the LEDs.

The battery box for the LEDs

This photo makes it look like there's something wrong with the finish. It's actually the room carpet reflecting in the shine.

The belly contour.

I'm kind of a sucker for offset body shapes.

The offset body shape.

A few hours after I finished the instrument the Tundra Boy played it live during our Saturday night church service.

The Tundra Boy performing with the bass.

Curious how I built this guitar? Check out the construction photos here.

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This page last updated on 11/17/2020