In this paper we develop two new approaches for directly assessing stability of nonlinear wave-based solutions, with application to jointed elastic bars. In the first stability approach, we strain a stiffness parameter and construct analytical stability boundaries using a wave-based method. Not only does this accurately determine stability of the periodic solutions found in the example case of two bars connected by a nonlinear joint, but it directly governs the response and stability of parametrically-forced continuous systems without resorting to discretization, a new development in of itself. In the second stability approach, we pose a perturbation eigenproblem residue (PER) and show that changes in the sign of the PER locate critical points where stability changes from stable to unstable, and vice-versa. Lastly, we discuss follow-on research using the developed stability approaches. In particular, we identify an opportunity to study stability around internal resonance, and then identify a need to further develop and interpret the PER approach to directly predict stability.