Talk:Double bass

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cscr-former.svg Double bass is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
WikiProject Musical Instruments (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Musical Instruments, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of musical instruments on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / v0.7
WikiProject icon This article has been reviewed by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.
Taskforce icon
This article has been selected for Version 0.7 and subsequent release versions of Wikipedia.

Substitution of Jaco Pastorius[edit]

I changed the reference to Jaco Pastorius where it used to refer to him in the career section as a composer. Jaco did not play the double bass so I substituted him with Dave Holland, who is a better example of a jazz bassist/composer in this context. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:35, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Upright Bass[edit]

There should be a differentiation between double bass and upright bass, so we should split this page into two. Although generally the same physically, they serve a different function. Most bassists in other genres do not call it a double bass because the "double" term is irrelevant. The instrument's role and function is different. The Double Bass should retain the classical content while the content for jazz and various genres should be moved to an upright bass page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:37, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Double bass comes from the Italian "contrabasso". The double part means twice as low as bass range instruments. DavidRavenMoon (talk) 00:17, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Fifths tuning pseudophysics[edit]

I'm reposting this so I don't delete the source in case someone wants to use it for something else:

"Tuning in fifths can also make the instrument louder, because the strings have more common overtones, causing the strings to vibrate sympathetically.[1]"

This is just not true. There are more common overtones on open strings, but as soon as you finger a note, this commonality disappears. The same commonality can be accomplished by playing a fifth interval on a fourths-tuned instrument. This source is a player with much more experience than I, but he is not a physicist and his understanding of the physics of sound is very limited. Conical Johnson (talk) 05:00, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Conical Johnson, please listen to Bottesini: Music for Double Bass and Piano, volume 2. Joel Quarington and Hal Robinson play the Gran Duo together. Please tell me who you can hear better. It's not a engineering or mastering trick, Joel plays in fifths and sounds clearer because of it. Louder? No, probably not louder. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:18, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Have you ever thought Joel Quarrington sounds clearer because he might just play clearer?-- (talk) 07:31, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

I've occasionally tuned in fifths over the years and noticed that it certainly sounds different, but in any case, this sort of assertion comes under the category of "original research" until someone can cite a respected source on this matter. Thus Wikipedia-wise, the topic seems to be moot. JacquesDelaguerre (talk) 17:12, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Strategy to improve the article[edit]

Here is where we will put together a list of issues and strategies, based on comments made above. Feel free to add to the list, or to add signed comments against each item. I have only started this as a template for me or others to proceed on. Andrew Kepert 01:21, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Overall structure and focus of article
  • Problem: some inconsistencies with depth and treatment of different musical styles. Andrew Kepert 01:21, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Suggestion: Sections "DB in classical music", "DB in jazz", "DB in bluegrass" etc covering (in paras or subsections) the role of the DB in that field, repetoire, styles, influential musicians. Andrew Kepert 01:21, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
  • History
  • Problem: muddy POV of origin of bass construction. Andrew Kepert 01:21, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Suggestion: real research, or reference to real research (rather than folklore). Andrew Kepert 01:21, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Playing and performance problems Do we need this language? From my reading of this section of the article, this is really about technical issues and use of the word problems is not constructive or open in its approach (for example weather a player stands or sits is not a problem - just a professional consideration) Also ask yourself does the violin section have a Playing and performance problems section? - Part of me feels that this is a hang over from the original Brtanica article that was some what derogatory in it's consideration of this most Noble on instruments. May be re name this section something like Playing and performance considerations? or simply Playing and performance

Statements such as (in the largest orchestras, the bass section may have as many as twelve bassists) don't make sense when you consider a large orchestra may have 20 - 30 violins Steve Abrahall (talk) 11:02, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

As no one objected to my sugestions I have changed the name of the sub section. - Note section still needs work as it contains tautology

Steve Abrahall (talk) 01:20, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Rhythm and blues[edit]

In the article, it jumps from jazz to bluegrass to early rock and roll. But the link is the early rhythm and blues of Louis Jordan (very popular throughout the 1940s), which did use a double bass to great effect. Bill Haley copied Jordan's basic style years later. This should probably be added in the early part of the "pop" paragraph, as Jordan is generally credited as being the bridge between jazz and rock and roll. Here's an article about his bassist: Badagnani 20:53, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Please add it! 8-)--Light current 00:44, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

OK, I put something in. Badagnani 01:19, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

New jazz photo[edit]

That is one fantastic photo! Badagnani 22:54, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Although it doesn't show Foster "in action." Badagnani 22:55, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I had to crop it out of a picture off of a magazine cover. — ßottesiηi (talk) 23:30, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

It looks cropped because there's some other guy muscling into the shot. Check out the slapping link I just added if you get a chance; it's extremely informative. Badagnani 23:32, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Is it my imagination, or has that bass that Foster is holding got a shorter than normal neck> 8-?--Light current 00:38, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
It really doesn't look all that short to me, and it could have something to do with the perspective of the shot. — ßottesiηi (talk) 00:43, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

internal structure of double bass[edit]

I am wondering about the credibility of A New History of the Double Bass saying that the double bass is the member of the violin family. Does the double bass really have the internal structure similar to that of violin, viola, and cello, and different from that of viola da gamba? And all the viol-like features of the double bass (i.e. sloping shoulders, tuning in 4ths, etc.)-- are they merely modifications to make the instrument more convenient for playing? (i know the German bow system is not)
P.S. All your bass are belong to us!!!!
['frαs.ti] 20:45, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I am not familiar with the internal structure of the viol da gamba, but the internal components of a bass are almost exactly the same as the other members of the violin family. Of course there are differences in structure and support that allow for the increased size, but they share many basic pieces. One difference is the back; a lot of basses are flat-back, as opposed to being swell or round back like all violins. But this is due to the size, and there are also a lot of round-back basses as well. The structure of the bass is still changing, luthiers are always experimenting with new designs. — ßottesiηi (talk) 21:18, 30 May 2006 (UTC)


Why is the "usage" change not discussed here? "Use" is better than "usage." Badagnani 23:19, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Well then change it. It is not discussed because I wrote "per peer review" in the edit summary. I guess I figured that you'd look in the peer review and see that it says not to reuse the article name in the section titles. (If for some reason that seems like it should have read in an angry tone, re-read it in a happy voice, because I'm not trying to be angry or anything). — ßottesiηi (talk) 23:42, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Why not use a smiley face? :-) or 8-) to indicate emotions--Light current 23:04, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Because "smiley faces" are smarmy. The English language in the hands of a competent writer did not require pictograms in the many centuries before the Internet went commercial, and it does not require them now.


My beautiful bass diagram

I created this diagram from a picture of my own bass. Anybody think it should go in the article somewhere? The image to the right is not full-size, obviously. Just click on it. — ßottesiηi (talk) 22:33, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I like your diagram Bott. However, I would make a suggestion that maybe you could label the upper and lower 'bouts'? THen I think it would be an asset to the article (as any good diagram is) 8-)--Light current 23:02, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
How does the new version look? — ßottesiηi (talk) 17:56, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

Jazz Bass pic[edit]

Hi, I am the one who put the Jazzbass.jpg picture on the jazz section a few weeks back. It's a picture of my friend Rudy, a jazz bass player from Indonesia, well he's not really renowned internationally but quite renowned in Indonesia. I took that pic during a practice session in his studio in Bandung, Indonesia. Anyways, I think the pic is good to be put in the jazz section because it shows a playing technique that is distinctively jazz. Current porter picture, albeit historical, does not show he's playing a bass. So I would like to propose to also insert my picture in addition to the current jazz picture. My picture is not copyrighted anyway, and i think it explains the technique better. Thanks! Meutia Chaerani 10:12, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! I thought this about your photo as well; it shows a jazz bass player "in action," doing an upper register pizz. solo. Badagnani 10:25, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Chaerani, Could you tell the reason for his strangely coloured bass?--Light current 15:19, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

He sandpapered that part of the bass, i forgot why he did it. I don't play bass myself so i can't put any opinion about that either Meutia Chaerani 22:17, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Ahh! I see 8-?--Light current 22:33, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

How is the technique unique to jazz? And it's pretty obvious that Foster is a bass player considering that he's holding a bass. — ßottesiηi (talk) 15:27, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I think it's fair to say that a very high register pizz solo is more typical of jazz than classical (though I don't have time to do a statistical analysis of jazz and classical compositions) :) Badagnani 18:07, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
OK — ßottesiηi (talk) 18:57, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I reapply the jazzbass.jpg picture into the jazz section, as agreed under this discussion. Besides, per Wikimania conference, it is agreed that it is preferable to use open sourced photos (as in the jazzbass.jpg) instead of copyrighted fair-use photos (as in the Porter's photo). Meutia Chaerani 13:42, 19 August 2006 (UTC)


Is intonation more difficult on a double bass compared with other string instruments because of its size? It seems to me intonation as such, ie producing a note to the required pitch, is not really related to the size of the instrument, otherwise one could argue that a cello is easier to play in tune compared with a double bass because it is smaller, and a violin even easier. Yes, the positions for the fingers are further apart, so to play the same range of notes as a violin one needs to stretch their fingers and move their hand over wider distances but that is that is not intonation. LDHan 04:39, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

It's my experience--primarily because in faster passages the entire hand (and arm) must jump up and down the neck, often way up the G string. With the violin passages can be played with much less movement of the hand and thus the intonation is easier. Part of it is probably the thickness of the bass strings as well. Let's see what some of the other bass players here have to say. Badagnani 04:50, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
One could also say that intonation is easier on a double bass because the wider distances give a greater margin of error. LDHan 05:04, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
That's a good point, but one that is belied by the severely out of tune bass player we've all heard (and whose sound unfortunately lingers in our minds)!  :) Badagnani 05:09, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm lost. Are you talking about a particular bass player? Gnome 05:28, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Also, isn't perception of pitch less accurate at low pitches? LDHan 05:38, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with LDH, perception of pitch is less certain at low frequencies. On the DB, although the distances are greater along the strings, most bass players do not purposely jump up and down the neck, they use all 4 strings! Intonation can be a problem very high on the neck, becasue the notes are so close together. But on a violn, they are even closer! I think Badagnani has just been listening to a rather unaccomplished player!--Light current 11:17, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
If you're a bass player I'm sure your ear develops as you learn the instrument and one can start to tell when they're out of tune more easily, or at least in my experience. If you have develop a good technique (you know, practicing and doing what you're supposed to), it would be easy to remedy this. The instrument physically is harder to play, and it's been one of the most discouraging instruments to learn. It's huge, it's a pain to carry around, and that sure does make it difficult to learn how to play, or at least it did to me. But it doesn't matter. Stop wasting time trying to find an excuse for a problem and just fix it. In the end something you're not used is going to be harder at first. (talk) 17:24, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Range picture[edit]

The PNG file that shows the range of the double bass needs to be corrected. Double bass music is written an octave higher than it actually sounds, which causes the pitches of the four open strings in the diagram to be an octave higher than they actually are. The user that uploaded that PNG needs to add an 8va below the open strings for the diagram to be accurate.--Markjdb 15:25, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, playing range is wrong. Whats shown is the written range. Can someone fix this? I cant! 8-(--Light current 21:42, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
The article on the Hungarian Wikipedia has a correct one. -- FrostytheSnowman ('sup?) 00:28, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Changed image. The previous one was [[Image:Written range double bass.png]]. I changed the image to [[Image:Range contrabass.png]], which has a 8vb below the open strings notes. -- FrostytheSnowman ('sup?) 01:48, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing! 8-)--Light current 01:52, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi, one note about the range image. It is only correct for four string basses. Five string basses, if they have a lower string, generally tune it down to a low B, which is lower than the C shown in parentheses on the image. Granted, five string basses are less common that four string ones, but it's probably worth being accurate. Lovelace (talk) 04:24, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Hello! Recently I have looked for and found a very informative video on Youtube explaining the range of a double bass. The bassist, Jason Heath, has a 4-string Double Bass, which however, has a mechanical extension to subcontra-B (31 hz.). I realize this is very rare - or is it? The bassist also managed to play a B natural a semi-tone below the C two octaves above middle C. Coming back to my question: is the lowest string on a 5-string bass tuned more commonly to B natural or C. And, does anyone here know, own, and/or play a Double Bass with a low B-extension? -OliverKahnNr1 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:09, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Playing hazards and the funky chicken[edit]

Since playing my EUB regularly now for about 9 months, I have developed a sore neck on the left side when I rotate my head to the left. i went to the doctor and he said it was due to the action of the left arm in playing the bass. He recommended an excersise with the arms thet make it look like Im doing the funky chicken dance. Anyone else had any similar problems?--Light current 11:26, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Can't say that I have. If you are developing soreness, there is probably something wrong with your technique or you're holding too much tension or something another. There are whole classes you can take about the body's mechanics while playing and how to play more efficiently and correctly. - ßottesiηi (talk) 18:42, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Well I cant see that Im doing anything specifically wrong. What are these classes of which you speak ?--Light current 00:27, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

You may want to check this out: [1] It was in the latest edition of the ISB magazine. -- ßottesiηi (talk) 02:12, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I went to the doctor the other day, he couldn't stop laughing. I asked why this was, he said "You see that guy that just went out? He'll be doing the funky chicken for hours" Gnome 03:17, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Hahaha -- ßottesiηi (talk) 14:35, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Ha ha very funky!. It works though! Try it and see!--Light current 05:53, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I think this may be the key:

Muscle-Specific Bass Playing

When you play the bass, be careful to use only the muscles necessary to perform the specific tasks involved. As the body tires, the tendency is to overuse these muscles and to involve muscles that aren't necessary for playing. By building muscle-specific awareness, you can conserve energy, reduce the risk for injury, and allow your body to be more physically fit to play the bass.

from international bassist --Light current 07:07, 19 August 2006 (UTC)


Article says that DB s have always used M/C heads. Im sure I read somewhere that old DBs had pegs just like other members of violin family. Any comments?--Light current 01:11, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Strings section citation not actually needed[edit]

It says that a citation is needed for the line below, but in reality this is common knowledge among bassists and will be found in most any source.

Historically, strings were made of gut, but since the 20th century steel has largely replaced gut due to its better playability.

Well, if most any source will do, why not just cite one of them? I, for one, do not use gut because of its short lifetime when exposed to moisture, not its playability. DaveCW (talk) 08:55, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

GA Re-Review and In-line citations[edit]

Members of the Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles are in the process of doing a re-review of current Good Article listings to ensure compliance with the standards of the Good Article Criteria. (Discussion of the changes and re-review can be found here). A significant change to the GA criteria is the mandatory use of some sort of in-line citation (In accordance to WP:CITE) to be used in order for an article to pass the verification and reference criteria. Currently this article does not include in-line citations. It is recommended that the article's editors take a look at the inclusion of in-line citations as well as how the article stacks up against the rest of the Good Article criteria. GA reviewers will give you at least a week's time from the date of this notice to work on the in-line citations before doing a full re-review and deciding if the article still merits being considered a Good Article or would need to be de-listed. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us on the Good Article project talk page or you may contact me personally. On behalf of the Good Articles Project, I want to thank you for all the time and effort that you have put into working on this article and improving the overall quality of the Wikipedia project. Agne 03:08, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Well then it's time to get to work. -- ßottesiηi (talk) 23:16, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I've added a few, hopefully someone will keep up the work (I will be back after some rest). -- ßottesiηi (talk) 00:14, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Citation #3 actually contradicts the statement to which it is appended. The statement says that the double bass is a viol, while the cited article describes it as a member of the violin family. (In point of fact, it's not exactly either, but is more commonly considered a viol because of its shape and tuning).

bow section pics[edit]

Sometime in my absence from wikipedia, all the images from the bow section disappeared. Anybody know what happened to them? -- ßottesiηi (talk) 02:07, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Plagiarism/Copyright Issues?[edit]

Some of this page (esp. the Origins and History section) appears to be copied from this web page: [2] which carries a copyright notice. I suppose it's possible that they copied it from here. Anyone know for sure? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

That actually appears to be copied from wikipedia, as I have seen that prose actually developed and written here over time. It's not a copyright infringement for them to use it (all wikipedia articles are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License), although I am curious as to their claimed copyright. -- ßottesiηi (talk) 21:44, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it's fair that they're claiming copyright over something that was collaboratively written here. What can we do about it? Badagnani 22:02, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, you can email the email address that I found for them ( if you want. -- ßottesiηi (talk) 22:22, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
They have also used the photo of my Double Bass, which I put up as GFDL. I will e-mail them. Andrew Kepert 03:34, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Why, those f*ers! Badagnani 03:35, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
See Talk:Double_bass/Copyright_notice for my e-mail. 8-) Andrew Kepert 04:00, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
No news yet -- see User_talk:Bottesini#Bass_page_copyvio. However, I will draw from Wikipedia:Standard GFDL violation letter next time, and one of you might like to use one of these letters as the next step -- it gives them a softer option to fix the problem, if they are prepared to wear a "GFDL" and foreign copyright notice on their site. Andrew Kepert 09:32, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Further update: I found WP:MIRROR has a place to put lodge GFDL violations. Andrew Kepert 09:47, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Last one for today: and related sites are also ripped from WP. I put a suggestion on Talk:Musical instrument for a contributor to follow it up. Andrew Kepert 10:25, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Fernando Grillo[edit]

Is that serious placing Fernando Grillo before Gary Karr and Edgar Meyer? Is he a more prominent player, with more experience and notability than those two? Badagnani 08:48, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

No, he is not. -- ßottesiηi (talk) 21:37, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Why, then, does he not only add himself in most paragraphs but he adds himself as the first name? And there is no Wikipedia article for him other than his user page. Badagnani 22:24, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Ummm... vanity? -- ßottesiηi (talk) 22:31, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Wow! He just added himself again, before Turetzky and Karr. Those players are senior in their field, with many decades of work, but I really don't think Grillo should be placed first in this list. Badagnani 01:05, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

He just put himself as the first name in all those sections. I don't think that's appropriate. Badagnani 22:40, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Neither do I. I'll drop him a line as well. -- ßottesiηi (talk) 23:11, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Length of instrument[edit]

Do we not have the length of the instrument (in inches/centimeters) listed? Badagnani 08:13, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

It can vary quite a good bit. -- ßottesiηi (talk) 16:40, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, then, we'd better at least have a "mean" for basses used for orchestral playing. As a bassist, I suppose you have access to this information? Badagnani 19:11, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, I guess most 3/4's (standard size) are probably close to 72" (from scroll to end of body, not including endpin). I play a 7/8 (it's documentation says it's a 3/4, but it takes a 7/8 case) so you can see that even opinions at to what constitutes the different sizes varies. -- ßottesiηi (talk) 20:07, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
From what I've read, bass sizes are bassed (sorry) on the scale length - nut to bridge. A table I found a while back on Gollihur music's site had that a full sized bass is 43.4" (110cm) and a 3/4 is 41.3" (105cm). After finding this I measured my bass (you know ... the famous one pictured at the top of the page!) and it came in slightly over the 105cm - I can't remember exactly. I always thought was full-size, but something I read somewhere claimed that true full-sized basses were not common.
Actually, after having written that, I googled and found the page which is where I got both pieces of information. Andrew Kepert 09:01, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

another diagram change[edit]

The picture for the tuning of the bass needs to be changed to reflect its actual pitches, which would mean that the notes need to be lowered by an octave. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Markjdb (talkcontribs) 23:46, 6 December 2006 (UTC).

Yeah I forked that off the french wikipedia a while ago. I'll make one myself. -- ßottesiηi (talk) 00:53, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Done. -- ßottesiηi (talk) 01:13, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

zubin mehta??[edit]

Does he really belong alongside bassists like Bottesini and Simandl? Mehta is FAR better known as a conductor; the only time I've ever seen/heard him play bass was in a video of the trout quintet on youtube. His article doesn't even mention the fact that he's a double bassist...I would think that any addition to the list should be based on their contributions to the bass, instead of music in general (ie conducting). Markjdb 21:42, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I guess it's moot now... Markjdb 00:06, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Violin Family[edit]

The Bass is in no way related to the violin family and, as such, I am removing that information from the page. Kntrabssi 22:43, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Why are you posting this all the way at the top? The article itself states that the double bass has many similarities in construction with the violin family, so you're wrong about that ("in no way related"). It's also a member of the orchestral string family, of which the violin, viola and cello are part. In fact, the cello is not proportionally the same as the violin either. So you're off base and a bit reactionary, not even following the text of our own article in this regard. Badagnani 22:57, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I've returned this; as the article says, modern scholars have varying positions on the issue, but there is at least one body of opinion, led by Paul Brun's book which we mention in the article, suggesting that the double bass is descended more from the violin than the viol; while borrowing some viol-like features (fourths-tuning, flat back in some cases) for practicality. Some of the very earliest instruments considered double basses are made in the violin form, with pointed corners, rather than the gamba form with square corners. While both bodies of opinion exist, I see no harm in listing both descents. I'm not sure that any scholar would say that the modern double bass has no relationship to the violin family - even if you believe its descent is purely from the viol, at the very least it has been modified (for example, in removal of the frets) to more closely resemble the violin. TSP 00:47, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

The instrument is usually and traditionally considered a member of the violin family, and that doesn't hinge on whether it derives from the viol (or some viol). The instrument's derivation may be controversial, but its violin-family membership is not. TheScotch (talk) 06:36, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I have difficulty with arguments about the 'evolution' or 'descent' of musical instruments. Instruments are creations of the human mind, not reproductive organisms. I do not claim to know about the history of the double bass, but I do know something about making and inventing instruments. When I make, modify, or invent an instrument, I usually use everything I can about everything I know to create the best instrument I can. I might, as an absurd instance, get inspiration from the shiny hardware on a clarinet (or a '57 Chevy for that matter) to design a new shiny tuning peg (or bridge or body) for a double bass. Does this make my double bass a member of the clarinet family?

At other times, I make an experimental instrument by flattening, rounding, straightening, sharpening, adding, subtracting, or otherwise subtly or radically modifying what I have made or seen before. Whether I, or someone in a large audience, gets inspiration from the experiment, and takes it further, is difficult or impossible to trace from one day to the next, let alone across centuries. I can't always pin down where my own inspiration came from, let alone someone else's.

I accept that trends and families exist in the development of instruments, and that there are many interesting and instructive accounts from history which demonstrate chains of innovative thought. I can not accept that there is proof of, or such a thing as, a pure descent for any instrument, as this would require a reconstruction of the experiences and thought processes of thousands of instrument makers through the centuries. As a logical thinker, not a historian, I regard statements such as the modern double bass has no relationship to the violin family as patently absurd. I think the many articles which claim to have certain knowledge of the evolution of musical instruments only degrade the overall quality of Wikipedia. DaveCW (talk) 09:48, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

As a practical matter, the degree of certainty varies according to the instrument. In some cases derivation is clear; in other cases derivation is obscure. The relevance of your personal experience making and apparently inventing instruments would depend on how notable your instruments are. (As a rule, one should be wary of phrases like "as a logical thinker, not a historian". Historians are guided by logic too, but they try to avoid thinking in a circular manner. Unlike mathematics, say, history is not a closed discipline. Internal consistency is not the only test of historical veracity. There is also, and mainly, correspondence to reality.) TheScotch (talk) 02:37, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

In any case, we as editors are not allowed "original research" here; Wikipedia is obliged to go with what the most reputable sources say, and this is what Grove says about the subject of this section (membership in the violin family in contradistinction to derivation): "...the Double bass is also usually considered to be a member of the violin family though in some of its features – all explicable in terms of the practicalities of playing such a large instrument – the influence of the Viol family is apparent: it is tuned in 4ths rather than 5ths, historically had a variable number of strings and normally has sloping shoulders and a flat back that is ‘broken’ so that the upper section slopes inward towards the neck...."TheScotch (talk) 06:03, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree with DaveCW, talking about 'descent' is strange, and the double bass was probably created using elements of both the violin and the viol. I do not pretend to be an expert, but as I understand it this is basically what Paul Brun himself says. Here is an excerpt from his book: In effect, neither the cello nor the double bass are in any way derived from instruments they simply superseded. The offshoots of the bass violin, both of these instruments have been consistently in use from their inception in the late 17th Century to our own time. Admittedly, as a result of the demise of the viol family, a number of contrabass viols were converted into double basses at some point in history. But it is our view that the interpretation of the particular point should not lead to unsubstantiated generalizations, nor should it constitute an article of religion, to be accepted with unquestioning faith. TheScotch, the double bass is tuned in 5ths as well (although it is admittedly less common); the bass violin had three strings, showing that historically there was some variability in the violin family as well; and the wikipedia article itself states that the shape of the double bass can vary. Furthermore, the affirmation that The double bass is generally regarded as the only modern descendant of the viola da gamba family of instruments is debatable: it is just one body of opinion, and implying that it is the most reputable is questionable. I think that this article might be biased in favour of one body of opinion and therefore might infringe on Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy.Patrick59 (talk) 00:04, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Re: "TheScotch, the double bass is tuned in 5ths as well...":
I have no idea why you're addressing me in this manner (and Grove clearly means the instrument is now usually tuned in fourths). I have not voiced an opinion about the derivation of the double bass and I have none. I have only pointed out that 1) its membership in the violin family ("Violin family" is the title of this section) does not hinge on its derivation ("Derivation" is not the title of this section), whatever it may be, and backed it up with a citation from Grove--I don't know why this fails to get through--and that 2) for some instruments, not necessarily this one, derivation is clear. It is not for you or "DaveCW" to decide whether " 'descent' is strange", as you put it; Wikipedia articles must be sourced. It's odd, by the way, that Brun should speak of "an article of religion". Are there persons really that hung up on this matter? If so, I don't think Brun's book is going to help them. TheScotch (talk) 04:51, 26 April 2008 (UTC)


Okay, this is a really dumb reason to add another section to the discussion, but I swear I've heard the Double Bass referred to as a Floor Bass, along with the other names listed. Is this a real term? Albino Bebop 02:28, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Are you thinking of a ground bass? Markjdb 23:25, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
"double bass is derived from the tuning of one octave lower than the cello." This needs to be reworded - too many people are confused thinking that the cello and bass have the same strings with the bass strings being one octave lower. Farful 10:25, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

There is a mistake in the terminology: a "bass violin" is actually a cello ancestor and not a double bass. --Shutterfreak (talk) 10:37, 21 October 2013 (UTC)


In order to trim the size down a bit, should we just list repetoire, instead of giving a small description about quintets, concertos and such? Kntrabssi 09:26, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Five strings[edit]

Don't many German orchestras use a five-string double bass? This seems as if it might be important enough to be mentioned in the main article. Grover cleveland 16:09, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

The traditional string arrangement is 4 strings. The sentence Some bassists use a fifth string tuned to B one half step below middle C. mentions the fifth string. Kntrabssi 18:21, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
As far as I know, the fifth string is supposed to be C exactly one octave bellow the cello's low C. Moreover, although pupils usually play on a four strings instrument, in professional orchestras (especially in the opera and in baroque repertoire) they use nearly exclusively five strings. AdamChapman (talk) 16:44, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
B would seem more likely, as it would keep the instrument tuned in 4ths - I can't see a pressing reason to have the lowest string a semitone higher.
I understand that practice varies a lot by country - German orchestras usually use 5-strings, as do several of the major British orchestras; in America, I think that 5-strings with extensions on the E string are more common. Then of course there are wacky alternatives like tuning the bass in 5ths, an octave down from the cello.
I think this is all reasonably well-covered in the the 'Tuning' section, though. TSP (talk) 13:13, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
The double-bass is tuned in 4ths, like a guitar. Therefore I don't see what is the problem with putting a 3rd in between. I'm a cellist, and played with several bass players (classical music. I don't know about jazz). The reason it's C and not B is that the strings are tuned to support the keys of C major, G major and related keys. A really low B would not fit. Moreover, I don't remember any piece of music in which a bass is required to play lower than C. AdamChapman (talk) 10:03, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Just talking to an American jazz bass player with a five-sring (and examining her instrument) last Thursday. The low string is B, a perfect fourth below the normal low E. (She does have an orchestra background too. She said her fingerboard is wider to accommodate the extra string, but not so wide that she doesn't have to bow much more carefully than she would on a four string to avoid hitting the wrong string.) The logic of C, though, is that many old orchestra scores give only one part for cellos and basses, and where the part goes below E it isn't clear what the bass is supposed to do (drop out? jump up an octave here? jump up an octave a bit before?). The five-string is one solution; an extension is another. (Saw plenty of instruments with extensions at a bass conference a month ago.) TheScotch (talk) 02:17, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Hi The Scotch, the Groves Encyclopedia discusses the whole "what the bass is supposed to do" the days before extensions, bassists would often rewrite the part, either putting the super-low notes up an octave, or if that made the line too "jumpy", then shift the whole passage up an octave....By the time Mahler was writing his symphonies, though, he knew that some bassists had the low notes, so if he had a rumbling low D, he would sometimes specify "Not an octave higher" -- thus telling the bassists who didn't have the low D just to lay out OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 19:20, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
One concern I have about the five-string, though, is wouldn't adding an extra string tend to place more pressure on the top of the instrument, thus maybe affecting how well the instrument can vibrate and resonate? We need a physics/luthier expert to chime in here...OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 19:22, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Spice Girls "Wannabe" on 10 double basses[edit]

Listen Badagnani 00:19, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

"Quality Bows"[edit]

"The wire wrapping is gold or silver in quality bows..."

I know very little about bow or instrument construction, but I question this statement. If something is "gold or silver" it is usually for decorative and/or price-inflating purposes, not for "quality" purposes. I highly doubt that there is some particular tonal or structural quality shared by gold and silver, but not shared by any other (cheaper) metal. -- 01:40, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

The wrapping length (both the exposed length and how far it extends under the leather cushion) and material may be used to adjust the balance of a bow, since a gram or so near the end makes a difference to the feel of the bow, in how it tracks on the string, and how it performs in various lively techniques. Typically, a maker will use a "finer" metal on a higher-quality stick, "labeling" it in this fashion. Of course, label inflation is not unknown, but the material of the winding, and more importantly, the metal of the frog and screw button mountings, do have some significance regarding bow quality. __Just plain Bill (talk) 13:26, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Bow price. I've played plenty of bows without any obvious signs of valuable metal or other ornamentations. The reverse may be mostly, true, however. A bow maker is not going to waste valuable metal on a stick he considers inferior. However, a first class bow can have none of it and still be a first class bow.Tom F. (talk) 14:53, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Silver is actually extremely common in bass bows, not even really expensive ones. $350 and more will typically use silver. It is used to add weight and balance to the bow. Seriously, do any of the people editing this page even play bass, it's kinda an embarassment —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kazkev92 (talkcontribs) 18:10, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Good Article Review[edit]

In light of a severe lack of references, I have taken this article to Good Article review. --Lenin and McCarthy | (Complain here) 19:31, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

The article has been delisted - find the archived discussion here. Giggy Talk 00:58, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Minor typo corrected[edit]

The double ASS is generally & possibly mistakenly, regarded as the only modern descendant of the viola da gamba family of instruments, a family which originated in Europe in the 15th century, and as such it has been described as a "bass viol."

I figured I had better change that... 09:38, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

What makes you think that's a typo? I think there's a different name for that ... +ILike2BeAnonymous 17:42, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Ray Brown arco?[edit]

Ray Brown is "known for his virtuosic bowing technique"? "the Fritz Kreisler of jazz double bass playing"? If ever a citation was needed, it's here. Wikipedia's page on him doesn't use the words "arco" or "bow" anywhere. I'm a huge fan of Ray Brown and don't remember ever having heard him play arco. tells us that "His arco {bow} technique is excellent, though he seldom reveals it. " I got excited watching a YouTube video of the Oscar Peterson trio where Brown picks up a bow... and after using it to check his tuning he just puts it down again. In a jazz bass method book I have by him, there is a picture of him using a German bow, but again, I have yet to actually *hear* him use one. If there are a few examples out there, I'd love to hear them, but as reputedly the most recorded musician in history (because of all of his studio work), there's not nearly enough recorded arco work from him to justify the claim that he's "known for his virtuosic bowing technique." Bobdc 21:43, 11 October 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bobdc (talkcontribs) 20:32, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Removed pending source being provided:
Ray Brown, known for his virtuosic bowing technique, has been called "the Fritz Kreisler of jazz double bass playing."

Badagnani 00:04, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

It has come to my attention that a certain website has basically plagarised the whole thing. They've just added a few things by themselves. Please do something about it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shaunwhim2 (talkcontribs) 05:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


Discussion of the infobox that just showed up is at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Musical Instruments. __Just plain Bill (talk) 23:04, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

music clip[edit]

There is a music clip from the German Bottesini that we could use as a listening clip, so users could hear what a bass sounds like? Also, I'm sure there are many freely available jazz/pizzicato sound clips? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:15, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

New fingerings image[edit]

I changed the fingerings image, because I believed the other one was a bad example. Also, it was a poor image (taken of music with camera). So, I uploaded a new one with an excerpt of Tchaikovsky and added the fingerings with lilypond. What do y'all think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Michael miceli (talkcontribs) 07:09, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Not much; I removed it. First of all, it's too small at its small size to really see anything. And it's not particularly useful and is actually misleading: so far as I know, actual orchestral music doesn't contain fingerings. That's left up to the player's discretion (unless you're talking about a grade-school orchestra). +ILike2BeAnonymous (talk) 07:17, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Other strings often have bowings determined by the principal player in the section, & sometimes fingerings, don't they? Basses also? If so, a good-quality image of a part marked up in pencil might be appropriate, but not a lilypond pretty-printed one. (By the way, Michael, I think lilypond and sliced bread are both right up there near the top of the pantheon of Admirable Things...) L2BA, your first point cuts no ice with me-- the full size image is only a few clicks away from the thumbnail, but I still think deleting the image was the right thing to do this time. __Just plain Bill (talk) 19:14, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
In reply to the second point, no; at least for real (i.e., adult) orchestras, no string parts contain fingerings. This is something you'll find in parts for elementary-school players. Bowings are put in in pencil (and subsequently erased) by the section leader or concertmaster (or "leader" if you prefer). But not printed in the part. +ILike2BeAnonymous (talk) 19:53, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
It seemed that there was a need for a page with explained fingerings. I thought it would look more professional than the elementary bass part with fingerings written in that was up before. Maybe something else would be more appropriate like an etude (it could be larger)--Michael miceli (talk) 20:49, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Rather than an etude, I'd rather see an actual (interesting) orchestral part, as marked up by an actual principal bassist, but that might be tough to find as a free image, since printed scores & parts tend to be copyrighted, sometimes rented copies, depending on how any given orchestra's library works. I suppose an etude with some teacherly fingerings and shifts written in would do, but not for every note, as in the previous photo. Not really sure we need such an image here anyway, but open to being persuaded. __Just plain Bill (talk) 17:48, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to see nothing there, thank you very much; this is far too trivial to even merit inclusion in the article. Bass fingerings are very much a personal choice, and I seriously doubt that many professional players even bother marking them in their parts. Again, this is elementary-school stuff. +ILike2BeAnonymous (talk) 21:27, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Add to that the fact that a lot of basses are played outside an orchestral context, without even paper to write the fingerings on... works just fine for me, to have nothing there, thanks. __Just plain Bill (talk) 03:01, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Re: "I seriously doubt that many professional players even bother marking them in their parts.":

I think you assume too much. Cellists spend oodles of time deliberating about fingerings, and I certainly marked fingerings in my cello parts when I played in orchestra. Violin playing doesn't involve nearly as much shifting as cello playing, but bass playing involves more. It's true that professional orchestral parts aren't generally published with fingering, but fingering is certainly a valid topic for this thread; it's really only a question of where it should go and whether the way it's presented is misleading. TheScotch (talk) 18:48, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

I know many professional double bass players and principles who, when first receiving a part, are required to fill in fingerings and bowings. However, I can see where a whole page with complete fingerings would be overkill. I was just trying to replace a very elementary and poor picture. So, I guess what I am saying is if there is an excerpt or something to show anything about the bass my lilypond experience is always welcome to help out. :-D --Michael miceli (talk) 04:31, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I think we need to differentiate bowing and fingering here. Scores and parts do generally include bowing. This is often changed by the conductor or section leader, and the conductor or section leader usually sees to it that bowing is consistent within a section. Fingering is rarely included in scores and parts, and players generally work this out for themselves individually--fingerings are not usually dictated to them by the conductor or section leader. TheScotch (talk) 06:37, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Bill Haley and the Comets.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Bill Haley and the Comets.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 04:28, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Alternative names for the instrument[edit]

A recent edit removed from the opening sentence the terms bass violin, bass fiddle, and bull fiddle on the ground that "no one calls the bass, bass violin or bass fiddle. Even if they do, it's innacurate because the bass descends from the viol." I restored the terms, remarking, "Bass violin is actually a very common term & whatever its lineage, the instrument is considered part of violin family. Fiddle is the British term for violin. Not familiar w/bull fiddle."

In support of my restoration I now proffer this citation from the fourth edition of the American Heritage English Dictionary: "The double bass, usually considered a member of the violin family [my emphasis], is tuned in fourths and has the sloping shoulders and flat back characteristic of the viols. It has a deep range, going as low as three octaves below middle C. Also called bass fiddle [ditto], bass viol, bull fiddle [ditto], contrabass, string bass." TheScotch (talk) 06:25, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, restore them; it doesn't matter if the terms are inaccurate or not, it's clear we're just listing all the commonly used/heard vernacular names to have the most encyclopedic possible article. The issues of lineage are discussed in the article anyway. Badagnani (talk) 06:31, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Hi, I removed the less common terms (bass fiddle, bass viol, etc) from the lede, because the lede paragraph is where the reader goes for quick, ready reference. I think it is great for the rich variety of terms to be discussed in the terminology section of the article.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 19:08, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm in full support for eliminating the terms bass violin and bass fiddle. Just because people refer to the instrument as that, does not mean it is correct. Dictionaries are not always right either, this is coming from an avid and active bass player pursuing a career in the field. I would rather not give them such incorrect names to such a wonderful instrument, I see it as an insult. Although I see the integrity of this page to be flawed in many areas, I would like to see the name correct amongst all things.

Also as opposed to what has been stated above, the bass is not a member of the violin family. Violins are tuned in fifths, the bass is tuned in fourths. The bass also has sloped shoulders characteristic to the viol family, for the most part at least, since all string instruments have large amounts of variation even within their instrument category. The violin family however have rounded shoulders. Still, the term bass viol wouldn't even be correct, since it has long since strayed away from that class. It no longer has frets like the viol family does. The bass is very much it's own, unique instrument. Neither viol, nor violin.

Thus, I beg that bass violin and bass fiddle be removed from the alternative names for the instrument. Let us not dumb down society. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kazkev92 (talkcontribs) 04:47, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

The terms are actually used in the vernacular, and thus are presented, as "thumb piano" is for mbira. Badagnani (talk) 04:49, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
People also refer to the bass as a "big cello" or "that big thing." That is vernacular amongst many, therefore it's appropriate that we must include those too if "bass violin" and "bass fiddle" stand.
I don't believe those are widely used vernacular terms for the double bass, while "bass fiddle" is one of the most widely used.[3] Badagnani (talk) 05:12, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh believe me. I've heard them said to me many more times than upright bass. I've never heard anyone call it a bass fiddle, but maybe that's because I don't associate with ignorant redneck? I'm sorry but this is extremely frustrating. I'm just trying to make a change for the good of the page and people alike, yet it has to be so difficult. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kazkev92 (talkcontribs) 05:20, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
"Bass fiddle" is a widely used term, as evinced by this Google Books search. Many terms for specific musical instruments are "wrong," yet still widely used nicknames for those instruments. Badagnani (talk) 18:39, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Since when were google books the standard of accurate information? Laughable at best. But still, it does not matter what family people believe the bass is in, since it is it's own as I have said. It has lost attachment to it's former ties. But if we have to be that way, you must include kontrabass viol, and this suggestion is with as absolutely no sarcasm. By any chance badagani, are you a bass player at all? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kazkev92 (talkcontribs) 19:57, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
With sourcing, maybe you can make a case for a sentence like inaccurately called a "bass fiddle" or "bull fiddle", but an upright bass is very commonly known as a "bass fiddle". Bluegrass musicians probably don't appreciate being call ignorant rednecks, and that is probably the most common name for it in that genre: witness sites like this, this, and this. Since I play tricordia and tenor guitar, I sympathize with your frustration at people not knowing the correct names for your instrument, but at least people recognize what you play, and have a name for it, even if it's wrong.
Kww (talk) 20:14, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
That is very true how within the Bluegrass genre it's referred to as Bass fiddle. I'll still call them ignorant though, not so much rednecks. Even the term fiddle for violin bothers me. It's just so undignified, much unlike the instruments themselves. It makes me want to create a seperate classical bass page, though that would never fly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kazkev92 (talkcontribs) 20:19, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Let's get real here -- the alternative names are perfectly legitimate and should be noted[edit]

The discussion here seems to reflect a shocking ignorance of language and how it works, as well as the purposes of an encyclopedia. Words mean what people use them to mean. Bass fiddle, bass violin, and bull fiddle are entirely legitimate and commonly used terms for the instrument, especially in certain cultural circle. To label them "inaccurant," "incorrect," "ignorant," "undignified," reflect blatant prejudice, as well as a misunderstanding of language, of encyclopedias, and of the notion of ignorance, and, more importantly a misunderstanding of the principle of neutral point of view. People who come to an encyclopedia looking for basic information on topics should at the very least have access to information regarding various terms used for things that are covered. I am going to restore all the alternative names and I hope that there will be a discussion based on the values of information and language rather than that of blatant prejudice. Acsenray (talk) 15:17, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Furthermore, it should be possible to FIND information in Wikipedia. A redneck like me, desiring to become less ignorant, might only know the instrument as a 'bass fiddle' and would therefore do a search on that term. Should Wikipedia return no results? -- (talk) 17:21, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

External links: remove Bluegrass webpage?[edit]

Hi, I believe that we should set a high standard for the external links section (for the Wikipedia guidelines on External Links, see WP:EL) Ideally, the External Links should be non-profit, educational or scholarly websites with a variety of quality resources and information on the topic. Along with other editors, I always remove advertising websites from the EL section, whether they are major online retailers or small indie instrument makers. However, with the Bluegrass webpage now in the EL section, we have a "grey zone." The bluegrass webpage does have resources on playing double bass. However it also has a large advertising sidebar on the left-hand side of the page, and a number of smaller "business card"-sized advertisements along the right side. I think that there are enough high quality non-profit, non-commercial websites out there that we should remove website links that have significant amounts of advertising......................................Is the Bluegrass webpage a non-profit webpage that has advertising just to cover its costs, or is it an advertising webpage that uses bluegrass content to draw webhits and make money? We don't know. But I think that we should err on the side of caution, and on the side of setting a high standard for the External Links section. Comments?OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 19:16, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

The site seems good. Badagnani (talk) 19:20, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I have run across this issue with other articles' links and could use more guidance in the form of more defined standards and policy. -- (talk) 17:11, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

other genres[edit]

correct me if im wrong, but isnt the double bass also used in many black, death, and symphonic metal songs? Chipthief00 (talk) 16:53, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I wasn't aware of significant use in metal - in my experience, "double bass" in a metal context usually refers to a double bass drum setup. But if you can provide reliable sources for the use of double bass in metal, it can go in the article. TSP (talk) 17:41, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

New Wikiproject[edit]

I have started a new wikiproject, WikiProject Stringed Instruments. I am looking for 2 other coordinators to help it get started. Apply on my talk page by answering the following questions.

1. Edit count, how long you have been active on Wikipedia.

2. How often you edit string-related articles. (Scale of 1-10)

3. What you hope to accomplish if made coordinator.

Please post by March 1, 2009.

edMarkViolinistDrop me a line 19:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

So how did that go anyway? Willi Gers07 (talk) 19:29, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Hi, I have a bit of a concern about edit counts being used as a measure of the quality of an editor. Some editors (myself included) have an inflated edit count, because we make lots of little edits and save often. However, there are also editors who will write entire articles "offline" and then save once. Doing a whole article and saving it as you go could net you 100s of edits. Yes, in a rough way, the edit count can give you a sense of a person's involvement, but I would rather see, as the first credential, something like "significant contributions: articles written, substantial edits, or substantial overhauls" rather than edit count.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 02:28, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Bunjevac picture[edit]

Just wanted to note that the bass instrument in the picture of the girl from Bunjevac is not a double bass. It is a berda, the bass instrument of the tambura (tamburitza) instrument family. Other names for it are: begeš, tamburaški bas, or in English: tambura bass.

Dorfnerw (talk) 18:37, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Double-bass, viols, violin family[edit]

Arguments against inclusion of the double-bass in the viol family:

  • it has only 3 or 4 strings (the viol-family has 6 or even 7 strings; some high-pitched viols sometimes have 5 strings)
  • it is unfretted (the viol-family is fretted)
  • it was early on functionally used to double the bass of the violin family (the cello) at the (lower) octave

There is some analogy between the viol family and the double-bass:

  • it is mostly tuned in 4ths (the double-bass is almost never tuned in 5ths like the members of the violin family)
  • the shape of the instrument, with its sloping shoulders, is analogous (not identical) to that of the violone (double-basses with the general shape of the violin family are rare)
  • in some places the bow technique used is more analoguous to that of the viol family

In conclusion I suggest people should refrain from broad statements as seen on talk pages

  • the double-bass is not a viol although it has some analogies with the viol family
  • most double-basses are not part, from the point of view of construction and tuning, of the violin family
  • double-basses are, in the Western classical orchestra (sometimes in chamber music) part of the string section, and as such can be said to be functionally part of the violin family, even though a distinction could be made between the two words

Contact Basemetal here 12:15, 10 May 2013 (UTC)


There seem to be very few dimensions of basses quoted in the article. For instance I cant find any reference at all to scale length. (talk) 13:09, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Concern about undue weight given to violin octet in lede[edit]

Is it just me or does the lede give undue weight to the concept of a contrabass violin from the violin octet? I think the lede's space would be better spend covering the key issues from the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:20, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes, that shouldn't have been mentioned in the lede at all. I took it out. Thanks.BassHistory (talk) 02:30, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
OK, I don't want to get in an edit war about this. This needs to be resolved here.BassHistory (talk) 23:38, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
One of the edits had the description "don't just remove information". Here's the thing: the info was not about the double bass. This information is not notable in relation to the double bass, and clearly constitutes undue weight.BassHistory (talk) 23:49, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Fine. If not in the lede then find some place else in the article to put that information. Don't just delete information. Since the contrabass violin is a type of double bass it should go somewhere in the article even if it is not wanted in the lede. Contact Basemetal here 23:51, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
If the editor who's removed the information about the contrabass violin doesn't find a place where to put that information he took from the lede I'll replace it where I see fit. When editing a page you don't just throw away information that others have contributed and which should justifiably be part of the article. If you object to the place where it is in the article you find another place to put it in. That's just basic manners. If you don't I'll replace that information where I see fit. Contact Basemetal here 23:58, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the claim this has been discussed: two people who object do not make a discussion. Contact Basemetal here 00:02, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Please explain why this information is relevant anywhere in an article about the double bass? To me it seems to violate WP:UNDUE. We are not here to promote the violin octet. Are you suggesting that another mainstream encyclopedia would mention the violin octet in an article about the double bass? I doubt that, but if you can argue otherwise I'm all ears.BassHistory (talk) 00:03, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Please resolve this here before adding anything else about the violin octet to an article about the double bass. Also, let's not get personal. I removed the information because it wasn't relevant to the article, and especially not the lede. I suggest that if you want to add anything to this article about the violin octet, that it be well sourced.BassHistory (talk) 00:08, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm trying to promote complete information. The contrabass violin is a version of the double bass. The double bass can come in several shapes, number of strings, tunings. The contrabass violin is one of them. It's not about mentioning the octet but one instrument which fits naturally into the topic of the article. Thus the mention of the contrabass violin (not the octet as you keep pretending) is relevant to the topic of this article. The same way the article about the violin mentions the mezzo violin, which is a member of the octet. It is there not to promote the octet but because the mezzo violin is just a version of the violin, and even though violins are much more uniform as a group than double basses. Contact Basemetal here 00:18, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
How about this: I replace the information in the article. THEN we discuss it here. YOU started throwing away information BEFORE you discussed anything. Contact Basemetal here 00:20, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Please don't place that information in the lede. If you wish to mention the violin octet in the article, please discuss it here.BassHistory (talk) 00:23, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
If you don't want it in the lede then put it where you think it should go. My arguments why I think the contrabass violin belongs in an article about the double bass are above. Contact Basemetal here 00:26, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Two editors were in agreement that undue weight was being given to the violin octet. This is not meant to be pejorative, but the violin octet is fringe information as it relates to the double bass. One could spend an entire life's career as a double bassist and not encounter the contrabass violin. That's not to say that they aren't interesting to read about, but they still aren't relevant to a basic discussion about double bass, and certainly not in the lede.BassHistory (talk) 00:31, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Do you really think it belongs in the lede, though?BassHistory (talk) 00:32, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
No, I did not say that. But it does belong in the article. I don't know who put it in the lede in the first place. I remember putting some info about the contrabass violin in the article about a year ago but I don't think I put it in the lede. But I replaced it there now because it was taken from there and thrown away and because I'm of the opinion that when an editor takes away relevant information from an article because he does not think it's in the appropriate place, he has a duty to try and find some other place to put it and not just throw it away. When I edit an article and find a piece of information that I think is not in the right place that's what I do. Contact Basemetal here 00:41, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm glad that we are in agreement that said info does not belong in the lede. By all means then, let's not put it there. As I have explained, I do not feel that there is a place in this article for mentioning the violin octet. There is a reason why this is listed under "High-importance musical instruments articles", while the contrabass violin doesn't in fact have its own article. However, if you find a place in this article to mention the violin octet bass, please include a source as to why it is relevant to an article about the double bass.BassHistory (talk) 01:00, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

The contrabass violin belongs there by virtue of its being only a variation of the double bass as I've explained above already. If there was a type of double bass made out of aluminum you wouldn't need a source that stated specifically it's relevant to the article to include it in the article. This article is not for you to shape according to what you personally think is or is not relevant and then to require from all other editors a source that explicitly says what you think is not relevant is indeed relevant. But your general advice about sources is good. I think we do need to start removing some statements in the article which are not sourced and there are many of them. Contact Basemetal here 05:27, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Actually, there are double basses made of aluminum. They are not mentioned in this article for precisely the same reason: notability. Just because something exists, doesn't mean it gets mentioned in Wikipedia. Please review WP:UNDUE, it seems like this conversation is going off track.BassHistory (talk) 16:14, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Career section[edit]

I count zero citations. I don't know if people visiting this page are necessarily interested in the job prospects for double bassists. I don't see a similar section for cellos and other instruments. I suggest this section either be greatly reduced or axed altogether. --Webbie1234 (talk) 07:46, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

It's one of the better-written sections of the page, maybe bassists are just more mercenary :) It's harmless, symmetry between wikipedia stringed instrument pages is not a requirement, somebody or somebodies spent a long time writing it, it's fairly accurate, eh, leave it. JacquesDelaguerre (talk) 16:29, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

One string too many[edit]

The third use of "string" in this line in the History section: "Before the 20th century many double basses had only three strings, in contrast to the five to six strings typical of instruments in the string family or the four strings of instruments in the violin family." doesn't make sense to me. Is it supposed to be viol, perhaps? Ineverheardofhim (talk) 10:40, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

edit for typo Ineverheardofhim (talk) 10:41, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

"Playing modes"[edit]

I reverted a recent edit about Lully. I didn't fing it at all relevant to this article.BassHistory (talk) 19:40, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Not a fan of the complete list of all stringed instruments[edit]

Maybe it's just me, but I do not like the massive list of every single stringed instrument ever used. I would much rather see a blue link that LINKS readers to this list, rather than having the full list in the article.OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 19:15, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

I don't like it either. It also crowds the cello page. Just plain Bill (talk) 19:47, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
The half-bright use Wikipedia as cloud storage for anecdotal knowledge. JacquesDelaguerre (talk) 15:38, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Removed it. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 03:55, 15 March 2014 (UTC)