According to abbreviationfinder, the notion of double bass, which derives from the Italian contrabasso, is used to refer to a musical instrument of large size and low sound. It is a rubbed-string instrument that is played with a bow.
In general, the double bass has four strings, which are tuned by fourths. But there are also bass with five strings and bass with three strings, although they are less frequent. To produce the sound, the double bass player must rub the strings with a bow, although another possibility is to strike the strings directly with the fingers.
The origin of the double bass dates back to the 16th century, possibly as a derivation of another instrument known as the violone. It was not until the 19th century that the double bass began to have the characteristics that define it today, combining properties of the viola da gamba and the violin. In those years its inclusion also became common in orchestras.
It should be noted that there is a version of the traditional (acoustic) double bass that has electronic amplification: the electric double bass. In this case, the instrument is much smaller in size.
Among the best-known double bass players throughout history are Willie Dixon, Oscar D’León, Charles Mingus, and Rinat Ibragimov. The double bass is used in genres and styles such as classical music, jazz, and rockabilly.
However, although these are some of the best known double bass players in history, we cannot ignore the figure of another very special one either. We are referring to the Venetian Domenico Dragonetti (1763 – 1846), who is considered the first virtuoso double bass player. And it is that not only at the age of 13 he played that instrument perfectly, but at 14 he became the double bass player of the Buf Opera, he was part of the Grand Opera of Vicenza and, in addition, he came to replace Berini in the famous Chapel of San Marcos in Venice.
In the same way, Giovanni Bottesini (1821 – 1889) was another of the great virtuosos of this instrument that concerns us. Specifically, this man born in Crema (Lombardy) toured the world giving concerts and presenting what was the “Paganini of the double bass”.
In addition to all that is indicated, we cannot ignore the fact that this musical instrument has become a key piece and protagonist of some musical genres. This would be the case, for example, of the so-called rockabilly and psychobilly. In these fields, there are also great double bass players, such as the American Lee Rocker (1961), who was part of the group Stray Cats and has continued his solo musical career since the 1990s.
The American Willie Dixon (1915 – 1992) was another relevant double bass player of these two exposed genres and was part of the band The Big Three Trio.
It is important to mention that, in addition to the string instrument, the concept of double bass is used to refer to the voice that is deeper and lower than the voice of the ordinary bass. The subject with this type of voice is known as a double bass.