The double bass, or upright bass is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument of the viol family in the modern symphony orchestra.

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Why is the double bass the only instrument in the violin family tuned in fourths?

Out of the 4 instruments of the Violin Family (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass), the bass is the only instrument tuned in fourths. Wikipedia states The double bass is generally tuned in ...
14
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2answers
2k views

What is double about the double bass?

One of the most common (English) names for the contrabass, is 'Double Bass'. I can understand the other names for it, like 'Upright bass', 'Acoustic String Bass' etc, but what is double about it and ...
11
votes
3answers
959 views

Walking bass line over an auxiliary diminished scale

I recently found out the auxiliary diminished chord, and that I can play it over a dominant chord, but I'm not really familiar with it, I'm still trying to understand it, so there might be some ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Did they ever make a double bass this huge?

I have seen some pictures where the double bass is literally enormous. Seems like a single person wouldn't be an able to play it on his own. But I don't know for sure if these pictures are real or ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is there a natural accidental on this C?

In Simandl's 30 Etudes for String Bass, Etude #10, there is this natural accidental on the note C (fourth bar of the second line): Since there is no alteration of the note either by the key ...
9
votes
2answers
471 views

What is different in double bass bows with black hair?

Looking at various double bass bows, I noticed that some of them have black hair, like for instance: I'm not sure if this happens to bows from other instruments as well, but is there any difference ...
8
votes
2answers
927 views

Why does the neck of a bass get wider?

I've noticed in many basses (not sure if this happens in all of them), the top of the neck starts at a certain width and towards the bottom, it is wider. Here is an example: This happens to my ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What is this symbol, a line over the note heads? [duplicate]

Today I came across this symbol: (on top of the first four notes) What is this symbol and how am I supposed to play it? A friend of mine told me it's Marcato, but Wiki gave me this: as Marcato, ...
8
votes
2answers
419 views

How can people stand on their double basses?

I have seen some rockabilly gigs where people actually stand on the double bass. For instance: and How is this possible? I haven't tried it myself, but if I try ...
8
votes
1answer
232 views

What is this extension on the scroll of a double bass?

If I look at a modern orchestra playing (here in the USA), many but not all of the bass players will have a bass with a headstock that looks something like this: But the way I think of a bass ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I make a song swing?

I've been trying to play some swing bass lines, and while technically I can play the swing feel (the 16th notes with some triplets), it doesn't sound like it's swinging. It sounds kinda boring and ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I change the strings on a double bass?

I have seen my double bass teacher change strings a few times, but I have a set of solo strings that I would like to learn how to put on by myself. I haven't been able to find much clear advice on the ...
6
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6answers
1k views

Why are bass guitars so much shorter than a double bass?

As electric bass guitars are tuned one octave lower than regular electric guitars, I can't understand why they are only slightly longer. I would think that an octave lower means strings of double ...
6
votes
1answer
287 views

What's the difference between the french and the german double bass bow?

There are two kind of bows for double bass: (French on top, German bottom) The related wiki article mentions some technique differences, but doesn't specify if the outcome is different or not. ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a latin rhythm and how do I play it on Double Bass?

I have to practice this song: Where the A part is supposed to be played Latin and B Swing. How do I play the Latin part on double bass?
5
votes
2answers
504 views

What does 'Poco Meno' mean?

I am currently studying Simandl's 30 Studies for String Bass, and on the 6th one I came upon this term: Since I'm not acquainted with Italian Musical Terms, I used this site to find out what Poco ...
5
votes
2answers
334 views

How do I balance the double bass against my body?

A lot of times when I play double bass, I find myself trying to keep the double bass steady. After some research I did, I found out that I need to balance it against my body. How do I do that? Every ...
5
votes
1answer
362 views

What is a finger bow?

Today, a fellow double bassist, sent me this 'finger bow' : What is the purpose of such a thing?
5
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1answer
154 views

What is different in double basses without a full body?

I was watching a video with the Kenny Barron & Dave Holland duo and I noticed that Dave's double bass didn't have a full body: compared to a regular double bass: I, personally, have never ...
5
votes
2answers
128 views

Should very young bassists use a German bow?

I play bass with a German bow, and teach this to my students. Recently my school aquired a 1/8-size bass. Should I get a German bow for this one, or would it be too big? Should I rather use a French ...
4
votes
2answers
491 views

What does a double bass string eliminator do?

On some double basses, I've seen the players with this on their strings: I found out that it was an eliminator. But what does a double bass eliminator do?
4
votes
2answers
88 views

Angled endpin on double bass?

While on Facebook, I came across this picture of a double bass that had an angled endpin: It didn't have any description. What could the purpose of something like this be?
4
votes
3answers
195 views

What is the most effective way to clean the rosin off the strings?

When I use my bow to play double bass, there is always rosin stuck on the strings afterwards. If I leave that on the string for some time, it gets really hard to clean and the bow sticks to the ...
3
votes
2answers
166 views

Is the bow supposed to be lifted when playing staccato?

When I use the bow on my double bass and play staccato notes, should I lift the bow in order to make the duration shorter or not? Sometimes I lift the bow and sometimes I just 'let go' of the note I ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Is it common for an orchestra to have 5 string double basses?

I recently went to watch Mozart's The Magic Flute and saw at the orchestra that all the double bassists (I think there were 3 of them) had 5 string basses. I had never seen a 5 string double bass up ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it safe to lower the bridge on a double bass myself?

The strings in my double bass are kinda high, and it makes it harder to play. I have to press them with more strength, resulting in me getting tired easier. The bridge is something like: It has ...
3
votes
1answer
419 views

The Endpin keeps creaking

The Endpin of my double bass keeps creaking when I play some certain notes. Is there a way to make it stop? It's pretty annoying sometimes. Someone told me to cut it off, but I don't really want to ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

Why is the back of a double bass's body cut in the middle?

Ι have noticed that the back of the double bass's body is cut and glued in the middle: I first noticed this on some cheap double basses and I thought that it just wasn't good work, but then I saw ...
2
votes
2answers
290 views

What's the use of transparent plastic double bass strings?

I went to a rockabilly live the other day and I saw that the double bassist used transparent plastic strings on his bass. What's the purpose of that? Is there anything different from the normal ...
2
votes
1answer
792 views

Where do you practice your instruments?

I've been playing electric bass and practicing has never been a problem because I could simply use a headphone to practice whenever I wanted. Now I am going to learn double bass, and I see tons of ...
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3answers
64 views

How do I play this double bass part? (16th note + 3 grace notes)

In Simandl's 30 Etudes for String Bass, on Etude #26, there is this passage (last measure of the first line and first measure of the second line), where I have to play a 16th C# note, followed by 3 ...
1
vote
1answer
204 views

Changing from bass to saxophone

I'm a professional, trained musician and yes I know that it's "never too late" to pick up something new. However: I play bass. I started 12 years ago because I actually wanted to play it. But over ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

What to use for Electric Upright Bass Amplification?

Lately, I've been fascinated by electric upright basses. It started with seeing one in a store, and now I've been looking at EUB's of all price ranges online. I realized, though, that I'm entirely ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

How to record through a preamp

Just recently I purchased a Realist preamp to put on my acoustic bass so I can record sound. I run the pickup through a cheap, $30 amp and then into Audacity for a final result. When I hit play on my ...
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0answers
69 views

circled numbers in double-bass scores

My double bass learner's book helpfully marks some of the notes with small numbers next to them to show the fingering. There are also sometimes small numbers enclosed in circles, which are something ...
0
votes
0answers
9 views

What would be a good book / method with exercices to start the double bass? [closed]

In my case I've already played some other instruments and I just would like to find one book with exercices that I can follow and build up some consistent learning of double bass. I'm mostly ...
0
votes
0answers
152 views

Double bass position for very high octave

I recently saw a Punch Brothers show and Paul Cowert repeated a short lick an octave higher and higher until the pitch was higher than I ever thought a double/upright bass could go. He was definitely ...