With its long hourglass body, the Barker Vertical Bass has a look so striking that people will stare in disbelief. What is that thing? they might ask themselves. It looks like an electric upright, but it has frets. Others may say, It looks something like a bass guitar, but it’s played like a standup. That’s exactly what the Vertical Bass is: Lee Barker’s distinctive design turns a bass guitar on end, making it into an upright instrument. Why? Barker says the original inspiration came after hours of bent-wrist playing left him in pain. Why not keep the wrist straight like upright players do? As he set out to improve the bass guitar, Barker also aimed to get more wood in a chambered instrument body for big tone.