Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Double Basses

6. Accessories

Strings

Most instrument shops stock a considerable range of strings. These days, they are made from a considerable variety of materials, the choice of which is often related to which genre of music the bass player performs most. In the field of jazz, blues and most ‘non-classical’ repertoire, natural gut strings remain very popular, largely because they produce a heavier, more interesting sound when they are plucked. In music that requires the bass to be predominantly bowed, i.e. most classical repertoire, ‘covered’ strings are now much more common. This means strings that have a core - usually steel, gut or a synthetic alternative – which has been wound with aluminium or silver to create a smooth, durable finish. Covered strings, when bowed, produce more volume than natural gut, which is an obvious bonus for a softly spoken instrument like the bass in an orchestral situation. They also last longer, and settle down more quickly when newly fitted, both in terms of tuning and the sound they produce.

Fitting strings is something that should initially be done by a professional, observed by the student in order to learn how it is done. Once you have progressed to doing this at home, never forget that strings are each specific to the pitch they are tuned to (G, D, A, E for a 4-string instrument - the G being the highest in pitch and the E the lowest) and also that they are not interchangeable, so don’t get them mixed up! Similarly, each string leads to a specific machine tuner, so it’s best to change them one at a time to avoid confusion.

Rosin

Essentially a refined form of the resin produced by coniferous trees, rosin helps the hair of the bow to draw an even sound out of the string by increasing the friction between the two. There are dozens of different makes of varying quality and price, but most come as brittle blocks wrapped in cloth or card packaging. The colour varies from amber to almost black and it is the darker coloured versions, being softer and therefore ‘stickier’, that tend to be better suited to ‘cellos and basses. It’s best to handle rosin by the packaging rather than touching the block itself, as its stickiness is by nature rather resistant to washing off with soap and water. In terms of how much to apply, this is a case of ‘less is more’ – if after playing, the belly of the instrument and the stick of the bow resemble a snowy waste, then clearly far too much is being used!

‘Wolf Note’ Eliminators

‘Wolf notes’ are almost inevitable on the lower pitched string instruments and occur when the vibrations of the strings and the vibrations of the instrument on a specific note, or notes, interact with each other to produce a strange buzzing, or ‘howling’ sound, usually on one of the lower strings. The most common solution is to fit a wolf note eliminator, a small brass and rubber tube that fits on the relevant string between the bridge and the tail piece.

Spike Holders

There are quite a few products on the market - all designed to stop the spike slipping and prevent it from damaging floors. They range from simple rubber tips that fit over the point, to much more elaborate pieces of equipment which attach to the legs of the stool, plus a whole host of other designs in between. Most musicians will swear by a particular type, but finding which one suits you is largely a matter of trial and error.

Bass Stool

While bassists may like to stand while playing in solo situations, it is accepted that a stool is required for orchestral work. There are many purpose-designed stools on the market – height adjustment and a foot rest are essential – including some particularly ingenious ones that double as a trolley for transporting the bass around! Try to get the lightest one you can find - you will thank yourself in years to come.

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in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
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      By pressing the "send" button the participant accepts the aforementioned terms and conditions.
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Double Basses overview

Electro Harmonix Oceans 11 Reverb Gibson Les Paul M2 Citron Green Dante AVIO Analog Input Adapter 2x0 C.Giant LP-6210C Black Vic Firth SIH2 Presonus Studio One 4 Pro UG Prof/Prod Steinberg UR-RT2 TritonAudio FetHead Roland TM-6 Pro Drum Trigger Module Marshall Major III Bluetooth Black Fender SQ J.Mascis Jazzmaster 2018 Ampeg Opto Comp Compressor
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Electro Harmonix Oceans 11 Reverb

Electro Harmonix Oceans 11 Reverb, effects pedal, 11 different reverb types: HALL, SPRING, PLATE, REVRS, ECHO, TREM, MOD, DYNA, AUTO-INF, SHIM and POLY, Tails switch: Select whether the reverb fades out naturally or stops immediately when the pedal is switched...

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Gibson Les Paul M2 Citron Green

Electric Guitar Poplar body, Maple neck, Rosewood fretboard (Dalbergia latifolia), Slim Taper neck profile - .800"-. 875", 22 Frets, Pickups: 2 Gibson Pro-Bucker humbuckers, Volume and tone controls, 1 Toggle switch, Chrome hardware, Wraparound bridge, Mini Button machine heads,...

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Dante AVIO Analog Input Adapter 2x0

Dante AVIO Analog Input Adapter 2x0; converts analog audio line signals to feed any Dante-connected system; 96 kHz / 24 Bit; fully-functional Dante interface; adjustable signal levels: +24dBu / +4dBu / 0dBu/ 0dBV /-10dBV (through Dante Controller); frequency Response: 20Hz...

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C.Giant LP-6210C Black

Keyboard 61 Keys with touch dynamics, 162 Sounds, 200 Rhythms, 61 Percussion effects, 50 Demo songs, Fill-in, sync and rhythms variations, Split function, Chord, Recording, Pitch bend wheel, Microphone input, Line out sockets, Headphone output, Sustain pedal connection, USB...

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Vic Firth SIH2

Vic Firth SIH2 isolation headphones, (reduces overall noise levels by 25 dB). successor of the legendary Vic Firth SIH-1 headphones, features redesigned larger driver in the ear cups that deliver a more powerful low end, cleaner mids and clear highs...

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€79
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Presonus Studio One 4 Pro UG Prof/Prod

Audio MIDI Sequencer (DAW) (download) Upgrade from Presonus Studio One Professional 1-3 / Producer 2 to Studio One 4 Professional Sleek single-window philosophy, Consistent drag-and-drop functionality throughout, Project page allows integrated mastering with DDP export, Redbook...

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Steinberg UR-RT2

4x 2 USB 2.0 Audio Interface Up to 24-bit/192 kHz, 2 Class-A D-PRE microphone preamps with + 48 V phantom power, Rupert Neve Designs transformer switchable on each front input channel, 2 Analog XLR/jack combo inputs plus 2 line...

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TritonAudio FetHead

TritonAudio FetHead, in-line microphone preamplifier, XLR 3-pole female XLR 3-pole male, ultra low noise Class A JFet amplifier, 27dB amplification (@3 KOhm load), 4 matched JFets, 24-48V Phantom Power required, for Ribbon & Dynamic microphones, shields phantom power from...

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Roland TM-6 Pro Drum Trigger Module

Trigger Module For acoustic drummers who want to extend the sound possibilities of their drums with electronic sounds, 500 one-shot sounds, 268 V-Drum sounds, 80 Drum kits, SDHC card slot for importing your own samples, 6x 6.3 mm stereo...

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Marshall Major III Bluetooth Black

Marshall Major III Bluetooth Black stereo headphones, on-ear design, closed back, foldable, Bluetooth® aptX Technology, up to 30 h running time, control knob on headphone, 40 mm moving coil dynamic speaker, newly constructed hinges and headband for a better fitting,...

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Fender SQ J.Mascis Jazzmaster 2018

Electric Guitar J.Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) Artist Model, Body: Basswood, Neck: Maple, Fretboard: Indian Laurel, Neck profile: C, 21 Jumbo frets, Nut width: 42.5 mm, Scale: 648 mm, Pickups: 2 Jazzmaster single coils, Adjusto-Matic bridge with vintage style floating tremolo,...

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Ampeg Opto Comp Compressor

Effects pedal Analog bass compressor, Controllers for compression, release and output levels, True bypass, Power supply with 9 V battery or 9 V power supply (both not included, suitable battery available under Art. 132579 , suitable power supply under...

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