ROSIN Rosin provides the bow hair with friction in order to produce a sound when the bow is pulled across the bass strings. Without rosin, the bow will slide across the string and produce a faint whispery sound (or no sound at all). Rosin is generally shaped in round or oblong shapes. A good rosin will enable the bow to grip the string without sounding too rough or coarse. Some bass players perfer a soft amber rosin such as Pop's, others prefer a harder dark rosin such as Nyman. You may want to try several brands until you find the rosin you like best. Visit our Rosin & Sound page for an explanation of how to use rosin.
FINGERBOARD TAPE To assist beginning bassists, some bass teachers use thin strips of colored tape to temporarily mark where students should place their fingers on the bass fingerboard. Teachers often use a variety of different tapes such as pre-cut strips of graphic arts tape (e.g. 1/8"); auto detailing pinstripe tape; commercial instrument tape; or they cut thin strips of tape using masking, painting, vinyl or electrical tape. For pictures and additional fingering assistance, visit our Finger Placement page. Once these tapes are removed, the sticker residue may need to be cleaned from the fingerboard using an instrument cleaner such as Fiddlebrite.
INSTRUMENT POLISH To clean your bass, all that is generally needed is a dry, lint-free cloth to wipe rosin from your strings after each playing session. Although polish is rarely necessary, there may be times when you need to clean and polish your bass. If you do so, only use commercial bass polish which is specially formulated for stringed instruments. It’s important to never use commercial furniture polish or water to clean your bass (doing so could not only damage the varnish and acoustics of the bass, but could also cause the seams of your bass to open). For additional bass care suggestions, visit our Instrument Care page.
MUTES & STRING WINDER Mutes are devices placed upon the bass bridge to dampen or mute the sound of the bass. Bassists generally use two types of mutes: 1) Mutes for passages of music which call for a muted sound (composers use these muted passages for special effects or a contrast of sound). 2) Practice mutes which significantly reduce the sound of the bass (so bassists can practice and not bother others nearby). Some bassists use string winders to assist them when putting on new strings and tuning their bass. For more information about tuning, visit our Tuning page. For directions on how to change strings, visit our Changing Strings page.
BASS PICKUPS Some bass players find it helpful to amplify the sound of their double bass using a pickup. There are many different types of pickups, and the resulting sound varies widely depending on your instrument, the style of playing, whether you're playing arco or pizzicato, and your desired sound.
TUNERS & METRONOMES When tuning a bass, many beginning bassists use an electronic tuner to assist them. Reference pitches are used to tune each open string. Some tuners also use pitch recognition to help the bassist tune their instrument (a needle moves until the note being tuned matches the reference pitch). Visit our Tuning Page for additional tuning suggestions. As the various products below indicate, some tuners also include metronomes (hybrid products). A metronome can be useful when practicing to help maintain a consistent, steady rhythm, as well as experiment with new tempos.
HUMIDIFIERS Bassists often monitor the humidity in their case and room with a hygrometer, and if needed, use a humidifier (excessive dryness or too much moisture can damage musical instruments).
|BASS FINGERING ASSISTANCE|
|TUNERS, METRONOMES & RECORDERS|
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