15 Things Everyone Should Know About the String Bass

Are you looking for an instrument to play? Having a hard time deciding what instrument it should be? Here are 15 things that everyone should know about the string bass. Maybe it is the instrument for you!


  1. The double bass is the largest and lowest pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra. It can also be called the string bass, bass viol, contrabass, stand-up bass or simply the bass.
  2. The bass was developed over the 15th-19th centuries in Europe, and has been basically unchanged for hundreds of years.
  3. The bass is a standard member of the orchestra’s string section. It is very common to see several of them when you go to the symphony.
  4. The bass is used in a wide range of music genres: jazz, 1950’s blues and rock and roll, rockabilly, country, bluegrass, tango, and folk music.
  5. The bass can be played with a bow or by plucking on the strings with your fingers, which is called pizzicato.
  6. The bass stands about 180 cm tall, which is 6 foot from scroll to endpin.
  7. A bass player either stands or sits on a high stool because it is so tall.
  8. The name contrabass and double bass refer to the range of the instrument because it plays in the contra octave below the cello.
  9. The most highly sought out string bass instruments come from Italy.
  10. String bass prices range from $2,000 to $25,000 and more! Carved antique instruments are very expensive and are usually only owned by bassists in top professional orchestras.
  11. The bow for the bass comes in two different forms; the French bow, which is an overhand bow like those used to play other string instruments, and the German bow, which is broader and shorter and is held like you are giving a hand-shake.
  12. String players put rosin on their bow to help it grip the strings when it vibrates. Bass rosin is usually softer and stickier than violin rosin to grab the thicker strings better.
  13. Only a small amount of cleaning and maintenance are needed for the bass. Cleaning with a soft rag is a good idea and then occasionally changing the strings.
  14. The bass comes in a variety of sizes based on the size of the person playing.
  15. The bass is not as popular as a smaller instrument for beginners. This means that a good bass player will always be a valuable member of the orchestra since the number of players is so small.


If you would like to take lessons on the string bass, take a look at our website at www.omahaschoolofmusicanddance.com, or go to https://app.jackrabbitclass.com/reg.asp?id=520295 to register NOW!! We have several great string teacher that would love to teach you all about a new instrument! Come to our 144th and Dodge location today!

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