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The Plucky Notes of the Double Bass

May 22, 2008
The double bass is the largest string instrument that is played with a bow or plucked. It also has the lowest pitch, which is why it is often used as a bass. While it is most commonly known as the double bass, there are a few other names that it is known by, such as the string bass, the bass violin and the bull fiddle. Most will associate the double base to classical music, much like the rest of the string instruments are, but it is often used in other music genres including bluegrass, rock and roll, blues and jazz.

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 animal gut, but today they are made out of steel, which hold 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 has 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 musicians 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.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments. You can find the best marketplace for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments at these sites for used bass CDs, autographed double bass CDs, and used double basses.
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