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How to Read and Play Double Bass in Music

People find playing the double bass difficult as compared to violin, but if you are interested in double bass, you can learn this musical instrument very easily. You have to know some tricks that experts use while reading and playing the double bass.

If you want to play the double bass, you have first to read and understand the notes. To read a note, you must know three facts:

  • The name of the particular note
  • The finger that you need to use for that note
  • The string that your finger needs to produce the sound

Now, you think that how will you know these three facts? In that case, you may use any book on music theory. A music theory book provides you with the best knowledge of these three facts. Seeing the particular note, you have to understand how long you need to last on that note and how that will sound. Music, in the case of a double bass, is written in the same way as in the electric guitar. The music in double bass in written in bass clef, which you can understand by studying regarding bass clef.

On the other hand, while playing the double bass, you have to know the differences in the types of strings. In a double bass, you can find two types of strings – thickest and thinnest. A and E are the thickest strings in a double bass. G and D are the thinnest strings on the double bass. While playing the double bass, you must keep it in mind that there is no fret in a double bass, but you need to play the instrument with feel. You have to learn two basic things – bowing the strings and plucking the strings. These are the two ways, in which you can play the double bass. While playing the double bass, if you want to fret and pull a note, you need plucking. In the case of bowing, you can produce the rhythm by moving your finger back and forth with the bow.

At the time of playing the double bass, you can sit or stand in one place; but it is preferred to sit at one place because the instrument is big and heavy. However, before playing the double bass, you have first to adjust your hand and finger positions. While playing the double base at the upper range, you have to shift your hand from behind your neck, and then you have to flatten your hand out, and at the same time, you have to use your thumb to press the string down. This technique is known as the thumb position.

If you want to perform by playing the double bass, then you have to very conscious about your position. To perform on the stage, you have to practice a lot to place your finger at the right position within a fraction of a second. As the strings of a double bass are thick and they are placed at a larger distance, it is quite challenging to move the fingers quickly. However, if you practice properly, then it is as easy as the violin. If you are tall enough, then it is an advantage for you to play a double base because due to the length of your hand, you can manage the strings properly.

To play the double bass, you must have knowledge about the pitch of the instrument. E1 is the lowest pitch in a double base. The range of the top fingerboard of a double bass is D5. If you want to play beyond the top of the fingerboard, then you have to pull the string to the side slightly. You can also play the double bass, by just touching the strings lightly; this will create a glassy sound. The standard tuning that you need to follow while playing the double bass is E-A-D-G, which is same as a bass guitar. So, if you know playing the bass guitar, then it will be easier for you to play the double bass.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your double bass class and be the best double bass player just applying the small tricks of the double bass as we have suggested.