Double basses – C extension v 5 strings v neither?

Asked by: Rachel Brooks

Do double basses have 5 strings?

The double bass, also known simply as the bass (or by other names), is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed (or plucked) string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra (excluding unorthodox additions such as the octobass). Similar in structure to the cello, it has four, although occasionally five, strings.

Why do German basses have 5 strings?

It keeps all strings tuned in intervals of fourths, allowing easier tuning with harmonics. It keeps fingering patterns the same for intervals and scales.

What does the extension allow the double bass to do?

Most Americans play their own personal double bass for orchestral playing, traditionally keeping it in standard orchestral tuning (G D A E). The addition of an extension allows American bassists to play the range required for orchestral repertoire while mainly using one instrument.

Why does my bass have 5 strings?

The biggest advantage of the five-string bass is its extended lower range. From the fretted low-E all the way down to the chest-imploding low-B, that fifth string provides a gateway for exploration into previously uncharted territory.

How many strings does a double bass have?


A double bass is usually strung with four heavy strings pitched E1–A1–D–G; a fifth string is occasionally added—in jazz band basses, at the top of the register to allow high notes to be played more easily; in symphony orchestra basses, below the E string, tuned to C.

What is the difference between a double bass and a contrabass?

Contrabass and Double Bass are two names for the same instrument. Check out a couple of the recent threads under DB – Basses. You will know which ones when you see the titles.

When did 5 string basses become popular?

The popularity of 5- and 6-string basses exploded in the 80’s. A couple of things caused this to happen. First, bassists in the 80’s were competing with electronic keyboards. Many bassists were being replaced by computers and keyboards because they could play lower bass notes than a standard 4-string bass.

Is there a 6 string bass?

Less commonly, the six-string bass guitar is used. Most commonly, six-string basses add a low B and a high C, extending the range on the low end and the higher register, although other tunings are used. Basses have been made with seven, eight, nine, or even fifteen strings with extremely wide necks and custom pickups.

Why do they call it a double bass?

The origin of the name of the double bass stems from the fact that its initial function was to double the bass line of large ensembles. 3. This hefty instrument has several nicknames including contrabass, string bass, bass, bass viol, bass fiddle, or bull fiddle.

Do you really need a 5 string bass?

So you know to answer the question once again do you need a five string bass no you don't unless you need those lower notes. And you want that extended. Range.

Is 4 or 5 string bass better?

A 4 string bass has a narrower neck, wider string spacing, and is easier to play. In comparison, a 5 string bass has an extra string allowing an extended lower range to play notes in lower keys and the choice of more scales, chords, and arpeggios but has a wider neck and a heavier instrument.

Is 5 string bass better for metal?

As a general rule, you do not need a 5-string bass to play metal and for most genres of metal, a 4-string is sufficient. In sub-genres that utilize deeper tunings, many bassists opt for a 5-string as it has more range and flexibility than the 4-string.

Is double bass hard to play?

The double bass is a tough master – demanding strength, stamina and proper technique from its player. As the root of the orchestra, musical and rhythmic accuracy are imperative to the success of the whole – requiring plenty of practice and repetition.

How loud is a double bass?


Instrument Left ear (dBA) Right ear (dBA)
Maximum Minimum
Viola 98.6 82.1
Cello 87.1 81.5
Double bass 86.1 84.5

What is the range of a double bass?

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).

What is the highest note a double bass can play?


The highest note for the bass guitar or double bass is typically considered G4 at 392 Hz. The double bass is the only string instrument in the standard symphony orchestra that is tuned to perfect fourths instead of perfect fifths.

What are the open strings on a double bass?

I want to have a look at a piece for beginner double bass players. Called open string groove. And it uses three different notes uses for them D. That's the second string the second string from this

Is a double bass lower than a bass guitar?

The double bass provides a more low-end frequency sound, whereas the standard bass guitar has a bit more punch. They’re played in different ways as well. The double bass requires an upright position and is considered harder to hold and play because it sometimes requires a bow or plucking the strings with your fingers.

Can a bassist play double bass?

There are no strict rules, but on bass-guitar, most but not all technical advanced players follow the rule one finger one fret. Doing this, you can play any major or minor scale without changing your fret-hand position.

Is stand up bass hard to learn?

The answer is absolutely NOT! In fact, in some ways, it is easier to start on the upright than on the electric bass. (Electric bass, with it’s fretboard simply laid out and accessible first gives the impression that it is all there for the taking… easy!)