Ever since the violins were built for the first time, one wondered about larger and deeper sounding instruments. Several different ones were invented, and the double bass – or floor base – was one of these. Originally, it started out as a classic instrument, but especially in recent times it has got its great breakthrough in the jazz music.Upright basses on Amazon
All jazz orchestras have a double bass as a fixture, because the instrument has a very important role. Whether you play electric bass or double bass, the bass is,along with the drums, those who hold the music together. They are the primary rhythm group, and they make sure that a guitar has some chords in the background that he can play solo over.
5 Best Upright Basses
I want to make the choice of double bass easier. So below, I have selected the instruments that I think are the best right now. There is some for the beginner and some for the experienced musician.
Overall winner: Best upright bass
Best beginner upright bass
Best upright bass for experienced players
Best electric upright bass
Best cheap upright bass
Best upright bass for jazz
Best upright bass pickup
Best amp for upright bass
Double bass instrument history
The double bass dates back to the 15th century Italy, where it was originally known as the base violin. Previously, the instrument looked different, and the shape was not quite as we know it today. However, the time went by and just as with all other instruments, the double bass developed over time. And finally, it became what we are now used to watching on stages and rehearsals.
Originally a double bass had just 3 strings, but nowadays it has 4 like the electric bass. As the only instrument in the violet family (cello, viola) it is not voted in the quarters, but instead voted in the neighborhood. So like guitars and electric basses. Because of the difference, and the fact that the double bass is not designed in the same way with the other instruments in the violet family. – Then there is doubt whether it is, in fact, a completely different instrument for itself. This means that it should not be categorized as an instrument in the violent family, and this is still discussed among historians and enthusiasts. The double bass actually has several similarities to the gambling family, and therefore many believe that it is the rightful family of the double bass.
Double bass construction
The anatomy and structure of the double bass is actually relatively simple. Otherwise, it comes to many people’s surprise as it is so big and mysterious on a scene. Let’s look a little closer at the parts a double bass contains.
The body: the body is the part of the bass that is typically first seen. It is the large hollow piece of wood from which all sound comes through. A double bass body is typically made of two pieces of wood, but can sometimes be made out of one piece of wood at more expensive models. The most characteristic of the bass body are in the holes. Typically, one of these sits on either side of the strings, and these holes are named so as they have a shape. The holes open directly to the hollow of the body, and the sound is naturally amplified. This is what is called resonance holes in subject terminology. At the center of the body is seen what is called the bridge. Unlike electric basses, this is very high on a double bass. Then the strings are clamped, and since it is so high, the action of the strings (the height of the strings from the gripping board) becomes higher, and thus more forces must be used to push the strings down. This is a clear difference from an electric base and double bass. – And it takes some getting used to playing on double bass, although you might master an electric bass. However, we have muscles in our fingers. So with a little walk-on courage and a fresh game of exercise, then there will be no problem 🙂
The strings on a double bass start already at the bottom of the double bass. Here we see what is called a tailpiece in English. Then the strings are fixed, and this is where you start when you need a new set of strings on its base. One can also know it on the body, as it has two c shapes in each side. Each tip of these is called the violin corners (violin corners). The body over the violin corners is called the upper body, whereas that part of the body under the violin corners is logically called the lower body. You will quickly notice that opposite an electric base, then the body rounds a little out front and back. It is therefore not completely flat, just as it is on an electric base.
The neck: The neck is the thin part of the bass, where most of the strings are. The neck is the term for the entire long and relatively thin piece of wood extending from the top of the body upwards. Many do not know or misunderstand the difference between the neck and the fingerboard. The fingerboard is the thin piece of wood that is attached to the neck, whereupon the bass player places his fingers. The fretboard is therefore just a small part on the top layer of the neck. On the fretboard you find what is called the bands. On electric basses (close to tapeless) there is what one actually calls for tape. The metal bars that are cut into the gripping board. When the bass player presses the strings down, the string is shortened or extended, and the tone changes cleanly. These metal bands make the bass sound perfect (not a bit crooked).This is not on a double bass, and it is therefore actually a little wrong to talk about a tape on a double bass.
As with a violin, it is the bassist’s own job to push the strings down the right place to force the correct tone. It can be difficult for beginners as the tone becomes a bit skewed if you do not hit the right place. But you learn it quickly. It is often what a beginner is training the most at the start. Most often, on the side of the neck, there are also drawn lines with white to indicate where the tape would have been if it existed. The bassist can then use it to navigate and thereby find the right tone. It is typically seen on newer and cheaper (beginner) double basses, while it is very abnormal on old and more expensive basses.
The head: the head is the last part of the bass. The head is the large piece of wood at the top where the strings end. Between the neck and the head a saddle is also attached. The saddle’s job is to make sure the strings do not jump around, but are tightly fixed. The saddle is typically made of plastic (in earlier days also in materials such as ivory), which has a deep groove into which each string is inserted. On the head ends the strings, and this is also where the strings are tuned. On each side are seen two mechanics, which are called voice screws. If these are tightened, the strings are tightened and the tones become higher. Unlike these screws, the tones become deeper. For this reason , bassists see the numbers turning. So it’s not to spend time or not to look at the audience, but to make sure the instrument is clean.
Double bass playing style
There are several ways and techniques that you can use when playing double bass. The two most common techniques are called arco and pizzicato. Arco is a technique where you stroke the strings with a bow. It is the most widely used technique for double bass players in classical music.
There are two types of arches. The French Arch and the German Arch. The French bow has the same grip as the arches in the other instruments of the violin family. The German bow, however, gives one more firm grip. The German bow is also shorter than the French.
Pizzicato is a technique where the strings are picked with your fingers (or spots on an electric base). This technique is undoubtedly the most widely used in rhythmic music, where the arco technique rarely occurs, and usually only in ambient pieces of music. The Pizzicato technique is usually performed with two fingers – the index finger and the long finger. However, it may happen that a bass player switches between the pointing, the long and the ring finger so that it can play faster. It is often seen in bass solos, where the musician often runs longer and faster runs. By using 3 instead of 2 fingers you have better time to switch between your fingers.
The last and more modern technique is called lax. It is frequently used in the funk genre. Slap means to beat, and it is actually what you do. One uses the surface of the finger (typically the thumb) to relax. So instead of picking the string, turn it over with the surface. It creates a very specific sound. This sound may be best described as a click sound, followed by the normal tone. This technique is not so used on double basses, but it happens that it is used occasionally. Particularly in good old rock n ‘roll and more modern experimental jazz.
Double bass buying guide
Basses, and especially double basses, can be difficult to buy as a first-time buyer. There are some very specific factors to consider, but there are also some more diffuse factors that are up to the buyer himself. I can therefore come up with a lot of advice, but in the end you have to make some choices yourself.
Let’s start with the very common requirements that must be in order when you go for a buy of a double bass. The bass should be fine. The is most important if you buy used. Of course, if you buy your first base at a dealer, you have a guarantee on it. However, if you buy from a private, make sure you look through it. Are there any places on the bass that have seen better days? Are there parts that may be missing? How did the seller pass the instrument, and have there been more owners in it? These are issues that should have been very similar. If you have a basic knowledge of what is on a counter-base (see anatomy section), then you can quickly check that all this is as it should be. It is often a good idea to buy used. Most instruments are sounding better after some years. It is said that the instrument has been played. There is a lot to save by buying used, and if one had to regret and want to sell the instrument further, then one does not lose much by buying used instead of new. But one can also be cheated by the seller. I always recommend buying new ones.
When all this is in place, you have to go into the more personal points. First of all you have to feel and listen. Keep in mind that it is by no means the most expensive and oldest bass that sounds the best. Therefore, if possible, try a lot of different. The more you try, the better a feeling you get, which base suits you best. Play it a bit – whether you can play bass or not. How does string height feel? How do you think the sound is on the bass? Is its look something that appeals to you? All this must be taken into account. It is not a requirement or need to go out and try the bass before you buy it. If you buy a new instrument, you will often have the opportunity to hear sound samples. In addition, I will also show you some of the market’s best double basses. – And you can be sure they are good. Also, keep in mind that instruments are generally cheaper to buy over the web.
The price is often 20% lower and in some cases as much as 50%. You can therefore advantageously buy your double bass on a webshop.