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Questions tagged [double-bass]

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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Traveling with an upright bass

This is mostly hypothetical but I was wondering what the safest way to travel with a 3/4 size upright acoustic bass from Minnesota to New York? And what considerations are there
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Would it be possible to start learning bass guitar with a fretless bass?

I wonder if learning bass with a fretless is doable, because most of the music I play is Jazz. I have no prior experience in fretless instruments, I have played jazz guitar for 3 years, and want to ...
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1answer
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Advice for a classical guitaris and Jazz bassist

I have played guitar and bass (classical and jazz) but my main instrument is the guitar. I lost touch with the upright bass many years ago and want to pick it up again. I also recently picked up the ...
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2answers
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Switch from bass guitar to upright / double bass: available resources

First time poster here after years on the math board. Feel free to school me in etiquette if need be. For most of my life, I have been a guitarist. About ten years ago, I picked up bass guitar and ...
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Range implications of C extension on double bass

I know the C-extension allows playing C1 on a double bass, but it's not entirely clear to me what the implications are of using it: AFAICT if none of the mechanical fingers are used you can play C1 ...
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660 views

As there's a “double” bass, is there such a thing as a “single” bass?

The lowest stringed instrument that is typically played in orchestras is sometimes termed a "double bass". Is there a corresponding "single bass"? Naively, one might think that it would be the cello, ...
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1answer
138 views

How do you call the technique where you slap the bow against the string? [duplicate]

I'm talking about this kind of technique (at the beginning of the video): How would I notate this kind of technique on paper?
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5answers
661 views

How can I keep the Double Bass's endpin from sliding on the floor?

A really big problem I have when performing with my double bass, is that the endpin keeps sliding on the floor. Unless there is a carpet or the floor is grainy (or something that isn't slippery), I ...
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535 views

Why is this Fermata over a double bar line?

I'm currently studying Hrabe's 86 Etudes for String Bass and on Etude #3 I came upon this fermata: It's not on top of any note or rest, but on the double bar line. How am I supposed to play this? Do ...
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2answers
145 views

Blisters on Fingers: Double Bass

My band practiced for four hours tonight and I got a blister on my right middle finger, popped it (as I was playing), got another one, and got one on my index finger. We're performing twice tomorrow (...
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3answers
546 views

Is it advisable to try to teach myself double bass?

I'm learning bluegrass bass, at the moment, but I really want to eventually play classical music. However, teachers are incredibly expensive and I cannot afford one right now. Should I try to teach ...
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329 views

Octaves doubling on double bass in “Sometimes I'm happy” by Lester Young?

I am intrigued by the sound of what I assume to be a Double Bass played with a bow in "Sometimes I'm happy" by Lester Young, between minute 1 and minute 2. If I am ...
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352 views

Clicks in bass tracks

I found that in the recent recording I am producing the double/upright bass track is full of small clicks here and there. Not loud, but audible. Here they are clearly visible on the spectogram: Just ...
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2answers
145 views

What does this marking that simply says 'tempo' imply?

I cannot understand what the score is trying to say here. It simply says 'tempo'. I can understand the 'a tempo' that is used later on, but what do I have to do at the part where it simply says 'tempo'...
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3answers
183 views

Is a white Double Bass okay for practice?

I have been playing double bass for 3 years, and I have been borrowing a bass. However, as I can no longer buy a bass, I am looking to buy/rent one. The best one I have found is this White one. It is ...
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3answers
215 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 ...
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1answer
398 views

How to record through a preamp

Just recently I purchased a Realist pickup to put on my acoustic bass so I can record sound. I run the pickup through a cheap, $30 amp (an early model Crate GX-65) and then into Audacity for a final ...
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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 looking,...
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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 signature ...
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1answer
516 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 ...
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1answer
693 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 ...
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924 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 ...
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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 ...
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3k 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 ...
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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 double ...
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511 views

What is a finger bow?

Today, a fellow double bassist, sent me this 'finger bow' : What is the purpose of such a thing?
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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 ...
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2answers
269 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?
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9answers
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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 fourths, ...
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292 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 1/...
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1answer
718 views

Double bass position for very high octave

I recently saw a Punch Brothers show and Paul Kowert 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 ...
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1answer
557 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 a ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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618 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 seen ...
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1answer
689 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. Is ...
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684 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?
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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 to ...
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3answers
3k 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?
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4answers
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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, ...
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3answers
296 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 ...
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597 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 ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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5answers
5k 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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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1answer
513 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 ...
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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 ...