|DOUBLE BASS - Music-Instruments of the World|
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Friday, September 29, 2017
|Photo by Rod Waddington|
Like most other string instruments, double basses are made in a particular way in order to get the right sound. Maple, spruce, and ebony are the three different kinds of wood that are used in its construction. The strings of the earlier double bass models were made out of the animal gut, but today they are made out of steel, which holds a better pitch and a better volume when played. The strings are quite durable and are normally played with a bow, though they are sometimes plucked.
Another difference between the double bass in the past and the one that is constructed today have also differed. The earlier double bass was only constructed with three strings. Today, the double bass has four strings. It is interesting to note that while the double bass had only three strings in earlier times, other string instruments in its family had five or six strings. Today, the double bass is tuned in fourths and the strings are tuned to E, A, D, and G. While this is the norm, there are the odd basses that are tuned to fifths; it often depends on the musician's needs of the instrument. As a result of the size, the musician also has the opportunity to choose whether they would like to play the instrument standing up or sitting down. Most these days prefer to sit down to play the instrument. They will sit on a stool that is measured to a certain height so that the musician can reach the notes easily.
The double bass might not be as picked as often as some other instruments by beginners, but it is one that can be a rewarding instrument to play. While it is sometimes used as a bass and is referred to as a bass, it does have the ability to play more than background notes. It is quite flexible in what it can play because of the range of notes it can hit, it is only that the pitch is so low that many will prefer to have it in the background. It might not be a good choice for someone who is new to reading and playing music, but it could be if it is something that the person really wants to play. Musicians who have played a few other string instruments may have an easier time picking it up because they are more familiar with playing string instruments.
Monday, May 30, 2016
|Double bass. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
A double bass is one of the largest musical instruments you can buy and is commonly used in orchestral music and genres such as jazz.
But people who are purchasing one for the first time may wish to consider a number of factors before making an investment. For instance, what size of double bass do you intend to buy and do you have to stick to a budget?
Double basses in different price ranges are available, so musicians have the option of deciding what sounds best for the amount of money they intend to spend.
The age of the player could also influence their choice, as a three-quarter size instrument would probably be more suitable for younger people.
And the type of music you want to perform is another factor. For example, jazz musicians in particular are often known to favour three-quarter size double basses.
There are four main parts to the instrument.
Firstly, there is the bridge, which supports the strings and transfers vibrations to the body of the double bass.
This contains the F hole - a space on the main body of the instrument that allows sound to escape.
Double basses also contain tuning pegs similar to those on most types of guitar, which make the strings longer or shorter to get them into tune.
And finally, they include a tail spike, which allows musicians to balance the bow on the floor when playing the instrument.
Musicians can buy a brand new double bass at highly affordable prices, but some may opt to purchase a secondhand instrument.
However, if you do intend to buy a used double bass, do not worry too much about aesthetics, as the sound should be its most important quality. Indeed, the large size of the instrument means that you would be very lucky to find a used instrument that does not have at least some superficial damage to its body.
But a double bass with well-repaired cracks should not present a problem to any musician, although if it has severe cracks, it could make a strong buzzing sound when it is used.
People who are looking to buy a secondhand double bass should also look closely at whether it has any loose parts that may need replacing, such as a tuning peg.
And since this instrument is likely to be a long term investment, make sure it is a good quality item that is not likely to fall apart any time soon.
Other practical considerations also need to be addressed. This is a very large instrument so do you have sufficient storage space for it? A double bass stand can be purchased to ensure it is stored safely and neatly.
And for those who plan to play their instrument outside of the home, it would be prudent to see whether it comes with a hardcase, as this should stop it from getting damaged in transit.
Musicians should remember that they will need to keep their instrument well-maintained. For example, a double bass player will need to use rosin to make sure the bow is properly looked after.
But if prospective players take all this into account when making a purchase, they should be able to make the most of their double bass.