The Double Bass

The double bass, also called bass Viol or contrabass, is the largest and lowest-pitched member of the orchestral string section. The standard double bass has four strings and a range from E just over an octave below the bass staff, upwards for nearly three octaves, although some instruments may have five strings in order to extend the range downward. The strings are tuned a fourth apart at E1(41.2 Hz), A1, D2, G2(98 Hz).

String instruments characteristically produce a fundamental resonance plus all the string harmonics.

Because of the string mass and stiffness, a geared arrangement is used to adjust the string tension.

The large bridge on the bass instrument transfers a component of the string vibration to the top plate of the instrument. This bridge is fitted with piezoelectric pickups on the bridge to produce an electrical output that can be amplified.

Index

String instruments

Musical instruments
 
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