Double Bass vs Bass: Are they both the Same?

Ever stuck between the mesmerizing sounds of guitars and big, deep ones from basses? If you have ever thought about the difference between a Double Bass vs Bass, this article is for you. We will talk about what makes them different, why one is more common in modern music, and answer some common questions. So, keep reading. 

Double Bass vs Bass

What is the difference between Double Bass vs Upright Bass?

When you start learning about bass instruments, you might hear different names like double bass, upright bass, or doghouse bass. But guess what? They are actually all talking about the same instrument!

The double bass, upright bass, and doghouse bass are just different names for one big stringed instrument. It’s famous for its deep sound and is used a lot in orchestras and jazz bands. The different names mainly show where the instrument is played.

In orchestras, people usually call it the double bass because it used to play the cello part but an octave lower. In jazz or bluegrass music, you might hear it called the upright bass because it’s played standing up, unlike the bass guitar that’s held horizontally. And sometimes, especially in rockabilly or bluegrass groups, folks jokingly call it the doghouse bass because it’s so big it could be a dog’s house!

So, whether you say double bass, upright bass, or doghouse bass, you’re talking about the same cool instrument. It’s neat how it fits into lots of different types of music, each with its own name for it.

Why is the bass guitar so ubiquitous in comparison to the double bass?

The bass guitar and the double bass both make deep, rich sounds in music, but they’re different instruments. Here’s why the bass guitar is more popular today:

Size and Portability

The double bass is big and hard to carry around, while the bass guitar is smaller and easier to take with you.

Ease of Playing

Playing the double bass is tougher because it’s so big. Learning to play the bass guitar is usually easier because it’s smaller and has frets.


The bass guitar can make lots of different sounds, perfect for many types of music. You can play it with your fingers, a pick, or your thumb, and it’s easy to make it louder with amplifiers.


Double basses cost more than bass guitars because they’re bigger and often handmade with expensive materials.

Amplification and Electric Abilities

Bass guitars were made to be played loud with amplifiers, while double basses weren’t. Bass guitars are better suited for big stages and loud music.


Double basses are common in classical and jazz, while bass guitars are everywhere in pop and rock. Bass guitars have a punchier sound, while double basses are deeper and flatter.

Double Bass vs Bass

How do you play a double bass?

Playing the double bass, also known as the upright bass, is a special experience that needs skill, feeling, and strength. Here’s a guide to help you learn how to play this awesome instrument:

Get to Know the Bass

The double bass has four strings, each making a different sound when played without pressing down any fingers. These strings are G, D, A, and E, from thinnest to thickest.

Holding the Bass

You can play the double bass standing up or sitting down. Hold the neck with your left hand while the back of the bass rests against your body. Tilt it a bit so you can see the fingerboard.

Left Hand Moves

To make different notes, press down the strings with your left hand on the fingerboard. Your hand should form a “C” shape, with your thumb behind the neck and your fingers pressing down on the strings.

Right-Hand Moves

Your right hand makes the sound. You can pluck the strings with your fingers (called ‘pizzicato’) or use a bow. When plucking, rest your thumb on the side of the fingerboard and pluck with your index or second finger.

Making Sounds

Try plucking each string one by one to hear the different sounds. The G string (the thinnest) makes the highest sound, and the E string (the thickest) makes the lowest.

Playing Notes

Press down on the strings with your left hand while plucking with your right to play different notes. For example, press your first finger down on the D string about 4 inches from the top, and you’ll hear a higher sound than the open D string.


Like with any instrument, practice makes perfect. Start slow, practicing scales and checking your posture and hand positions in a mirror. Speed up as you get better.

How do you tune a double bass?

Tuning your double bass is super important for making sure it sounds right and blends well with other instruments. Here’s how to do it:

Know Your Bass

Most double basses have four strings, tuned to E1, A1, D2, and G2 from lowest to highest. Some have five strings, with an extra low B0 or high C3.

Use a Tuner

Beginners can use a digital tuner to help. You can get tuners that clip onto your bass. They pick up vibrations and give accurate readings.

Tune the Open Strings

Start by tuning each string one by one using the tuner. Pluck the string and turn the tuning peg until it matches the right pitch.

Harmonics Trick

Once the E1 string is in tune, you can use it as a guide for the other strings. Press down on the fourth harmonic of the E1 string (or the open A1 string) to create a reference pitch. Match the other strings to this pitch by adjusting their tuning pegs.

Check Your Tuning

After tuning each string, play them together to make sure they sound good. If something sounds off, tweak the strings until they all match.

Practice Regularly

Tuning takes practice, so make a habit of checking your bass’s tuning every time you play.

Also, don’t miss out on reading about the benefits of choosing a commerce class.


Is double bass harder than bass guitar?

Yes, the double bass is considered harder to learn due to its size and the technique required to play it.

Is double bass Loud?

Yes, the double bass is known for its deep, resonant sound. However, its acoustic volume is often less than that of other string instruments.

Why are double basses so expensive?

Double basses are more expensive due to the larger size of the instrument, the high-quality materials used, and the fact that they are more commonly handmade.

Why is double bass difficult?

The double bass is seen as difficult due to its size, the physicality required to play it, and the need for a good ear for pitch.

Wrapping Up 

We get to know that there is a misconception about Double bass vs bass, as in reality, they both are similar instruments just with different names. It is easy to learn so it has become ubiquitous around us.

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