The University of Notre Dame Band of the Fighting Irish recently received a one-of-a-kind gift—a completely weatherproof bass guitar built by Perry Germann, owner of Germann Guitars and longtime fan of the university and the band. Featuring a Notre Dame blue and gold paint coat, this unique bass is used not only by the marching band, but also by other school groups such as the jazz band.
“[Perry Germann] showed me an electric guitar that he built from scratch inlaid with Notre Dame insignias; the workmanship was amazing,” says Dr. Ken Dye, director of bands. “We don’t use electric guitar as much as the electric bass, and he said he could make one of those too.”
Rather than just a modification of an existing instrument, this bass was custom-made from scratch to work in all weather conditions. Sealed pickups and electronics make it almost entirely waterproof and suited to the cold and often wet weather in South Bend, Indiana. Despite these features, its sound is no different from that of a stock bass guitar. Connected to the band’s sound system, it provides some extra punch to the sound of the band.
“We’ve shown it to a number of other guitarists, and they are quite impressed by its workmanship and sound,” Dye says. “This bass got a lot of local coverage because it’s a local guitar maker who made it, and he just wanted to do something for the Notre Dame band. It really shows an appreciation for good craftsmanship.”—SS