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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7
votes
2answers
700 views

How do you play a low Eb on a double bass?

The opera Das Rheingold starts with four of the double basses playing a low E-flat, one half step below the lowest E on a bass with standard tuning. In the sheet music, there is the instruction that ...
7
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1answer
663 views

Double bass harmonics are slightly flat?

Here, Lauren Pierce claims that she doesn't use harmonics to tune because they are "slightly flat". Why is this? Is she referring to just intonation vs equal temperament, or inharmonicity, ...
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1answer
304 views

How Do I Make an Electric Upright Bass Sound More Standard?

So I've been playing an Electric Upright bass for about a year now; I have fallen in love with how easy it is to carry around and set up for street performing. I was wondering if anybody here had ...
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4answers
1k views

Are there any violin family instruments built without a left shoulder?

On the bass and cello (and probably violin and viola as well), it seems like many aspects of proper form serve the purpose of getting ones arm over the left shoulder to play high on the fingerboard. ...
9
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2answers
139 views

Function of drop rake in three finger bass technique

I am currently comfortable with a simple three finger right hand plucking technique on the double bass, in regular 3-2-1 rotation of the fingers (ring, middle, index). Transitioning from a two finger ...
8
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2answers
418 views

Tuning cello in 4ths

I want to learn double bass but I don't have the budget to buy an instrument yet; however, I do have an old cello lying around. Is it ok if I tune the cello in 4ths so that I can start learning finger ...
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2answers
2k views

Why are double stops rarely written for double basses, compared to other strings?

I've been doing some orchestral transcription work in my spare time, and one of the things I've noticed is that while double stops are relatively common in violin, viola, and cello parts (along with ...
11
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4answers
1k views

Double basses in Beethoven's Eroica

I have just been listening to Beethoven's Eroica while following a miniature score: Eulenburg score at Amazon. I was paying particular attention to the double basses and I noticed that frequently ...
3
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1answer
162 views

I having trouble of how to play the trill along with the grace note in this piece, how do I play it?

Playing grace notes is fairly new to me, so understand how much value the dotted quarter gets with the grace is confusing. There's no recording of this piece that I could find so I thought I should ...
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2answers
147 views

Is it accurate to tune with harmonics higher than the third harmonic on the double bass?

I typically play an A4 with my tuner when I am tuning because that is the note that the violin would be playing. On the bass, I would be playing the A harmonic on the D-string in fourth position. If ...
3
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1answer
61 views

Should I listen to bowed note or released note when tuning?

When I am tuning my double bass using harmonics, the note sounds like it changes intonation when I release the note compared to when I am bowing. I think this has something to do with the bow action ...
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3answers
176 views

What are some good options for playing a note written below the standard range of a double bass?

I am currently playing a song for orchestra that requires me to play a d below the bass clef staff. Is there any reason why I should not just jump the note up an octave rather than tune the e string ...
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2answers
163 views

Bowing signs (?) in Lajos Montag's double bass method

In volume II of Montag's double bass method, I found these signs above the staff which look like they should be bowing signs. My guesses for the arrows are either alternating down-bow and up-bow or ...
4
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5answers
386 views

Relative positions on electric to string bass?

This may seem an odd request, but I can't figure any way to find this out with out having both in my possession. I am a bassist primarily, & have been for 45 years or so. I play electric & ...
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2answers
258 views

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
5
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
5
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2answers
185 views

Advice for a classical guitarist 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 ...
4
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2answers
896 views

Switch from bass guitar to upright / double bass: available resources [closed]

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 ...
4
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2answers
451 views

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 ...
12
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2answers
4k 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, ...
4
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1answer
625 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
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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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2answers
2k 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
444 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
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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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2answers
531 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 ...
2
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5answers
634 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
357 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'...
3
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3answers
215 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
377 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
756 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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1answer
8k 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 looking,...
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2answers
3k 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 signature ...
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2answers
1k views

What to use for Electric Upright Bass Amplification? [closed]

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 ...
4
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1answer
2k 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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2answers
2k 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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3answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
6k 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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2answers
3k 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 double ...
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1answer
670 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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6answers
5k 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 ...
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2answers
377 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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2answers
397 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
1k 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 ...
5
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1answer
863 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
2k 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 ...
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2answers
197 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 a ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
2
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2answers
539 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 ...