The double bass looks like a huge violin, but with a low pitch. In the modern symphony orchestra where it’s a standard member of the string section, it is the largest (six feet from scroll to endpin) and lowest-pitched member of the bowed string family.
The double bass sounds like the cello, and is sometimes tuned (by jazz players) like a cello but an octave lower. It can play solo – as it did during its heyday when Haydn, Dittersdorf, Mozart and Hoffmeister wrote solos and concertos for the bass – as well as play in ensembles like concert bands, chamber music, concertos, and in other genres like the jazz, bluegrass, folk music, blues, rock and roll, psychobilly and rockabilly. Despite its large size, the double bass doesn’t produce a very loud sound.
The double bass is played either with a bow or with hands (plucked), with the instrument held upright (hence, its other name, standup bass). The strings are stopped by placing the finger directly on the wooden fingerboard. A music teacher, especially when you are just beginning, can help you develop good fundamentals, especially as the instrument’s strings are thick and large, and the notes on the fingerboard are spaced wide apart. Playing it can be physically demanding.
Having skills in both bass guitar and double bass can give you a huge career boost as an independent musician. You'll be able to play in more styles of music, and therefore take part in more performances. Even if you are just dabbling instruments, playing double bass can give you a broader perspective of the role of the bass, and enrich your empathy and connection with your bass guitar.
You may not easily find a double bass instructor in your area for private music lessons. Instead, try finding music lessons online via Live Music Tutor where you can get training from experienced double bassists at a time and place most convenient to you.
Join in today at Live Music Tutor in 3 simple steps; create your profile, select your Double Bass Instructor and start learning today! Live Music Tutor is convenient – schedule lessons 24/7, customizable and user-friendly.