Fodera Unveils Victor Wooten Bow Bass Prototype

Fodera Victor Wooten Bow Bass Prototype - First Edition

Victor Wooten is all about stretching boundaries, but most recently he’s teamed up with Fodera to create a radical new bass design. They’ve just announced the first prototype of their collaboration, which they’re calling the Bow Bass.

“No your eyes are not deceiving you and no we have not decided to move our design ethos into the realm of Modern Art,” says Fodera, “however, here at Fodera Form has always followed Function and this instrument is no exception. For more years than we care to admit our good friend and bassist extraordinaire, Victor Wooten, has wanted us to design and build an instrument for him that can be played both fingerstyle and with a bow.”

The design blends elements of an upright bass’s ebony fingerboard to add more arc to facilitate playing with a bow. Its alder body has some pretty extreme contouring to also provide clearance when bowing the B and G strings. Other features include a 3-piece hard rock maple neck, a heavily modded Nordstrand P-style pickup, and a Fodera/Pope Custom 3-band preamp.

Victor’s new bass is still in its early stages, and Fodera is quick to point out it will be in development in the coming months.

“For better or worse this was very much a prototype that we delivered to Vic in early April of 2014,” they stated. “As with all of our prior designs, The Bow Bass now will be tested “under battle conditions” and, based on the feedback that we learn from Vic’s work and input, we will refine the concept and potentially offer it as a commercially available model.”

Fodera Victor Wooten First Edition Bow Bass Photos:

Fodera Victor Wooten First Edition Bow Bass Specs:

Construction:Neck-Through Fretless
Body:Bow Bass Custom Shape
Body Wood:Alder Body, Alder Tone Block
Top:Box Elder Burl
Neck:3-pc. Hard Rock Maple
Inlays:Blank Inlays (Side Dots Only)
Electronics:Fodera / Pope Custom 3-Band Preamp with Monarch Control Layout
Pickup:Norstrand P Pickup

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Share your thoughts

  1. you mentioned clearance when bowing the E and G strings, is it not a 5 string tuning like E to C, or B to G? or has vic gone for a different tuning?

  2. How would you play with a bow? would you have to put it on a stand or something?

    • Kenneth Beavers

      Go view the video on YouTube he’s playing with a guitar strap on. It’s a prototype he’s playing

  3. I love the idea of an upright style radiused fingerboard. I wish more companies offered a bass like this.

  4. It was a great idea when Conklin Guitars did it back in 2001. I believe NS does it also.

  5. Looking forward to seeing and hearing this in action!

  6. One funky bass for one funky bassist!

  7. Nice, similar to something I once wanted to have built, but my design came with a more violin-esque body shape. I like everything about this bass, except for the Ying-Yang thingy on the back.

  8. simply beautiful. can’t wait to hear it.

  9. It looks kinda thick in the middle. Is it solid or semi-hollow body?

    Per other comments…it is apperently not the final iteration. I am sure vic will discover some more mods for it!

  10. Would it have an end-pin option maybe?

  11. Fugly. And the bridge radius is not round enough for proper bow use.

  12. I wonder how is this instrument supposed to be held (for bowing purposes)?

  13. Beautiful in that Fodera way, but innovative? Zeta Crossover was there years ago.

  14. And no upright bass player see the issue there ? really ?? cos’ it’s an “ergonomics aberration” : If you bow a bass upright, there’s a reason , try to bow an electric bass on the lower string only and see how your shoulder feels, good luck guys !! Victor Wooten and his legendary “Igotmybassundermychin” position will have to worry !

  15. Interesting! I’m sure it’s cheap too! Hahahaha!

  16. But how does it sound…?

  17. Gregwards

    They repeated mistakes. I have been into this for 15 years. Zeta did this with an even more contoured body and a similar radiused, electric-style neck joint. Until they do a neck-body joint like an upright, so the finger board can extend out AND away from the body, you won’t be able to bow, lay into it, like an upright without drastically changing your total bowing style. Also, how percussive his style is, you’d think he would be into more of the upright slap possibilities than bowing.