How to Find the Best Double Bass

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The double bass may look like a huge violin, but it’s quite different. So if you want to play the lowest-pitched instrument in the orchestra, you should know how to find the best double bass.

That way, you can start your bass playing on the right foot. Soon enough, you’ll want to use the same steps to look for an upgrade.

How To Find The Best Double Bass

Whether you want to play in an orchestra, jazz band, or on your own, you need to know how to find the best double bass. A good instrument will make a huge difference to your playing and learning.

And you won’t have to struggle to get a good sound from the strings and the resonance of the bass. Instead, you can focus on choosing music you love that you can play.

So consider the following steps to help you or your students find the perfect double bass.

Start With The Player


First, you need to think about who will be playing the double bass. Of course, most people shopping for the instrument will be double bassists looking for a personal model.

However, orchestra and band directors may need to search for double bass for their school. That way, their students will be able to borrow a double bass and not spend thousands of dollars on their own instruments.

If you’re shopping for yourself, you can be a bit pickier with the model you choose. But if you’re a teacher shopping for future students, you’ll need to find a bass that multiple people will be able to use.

Consider The Playing

No matter who will be playing the double bass, you have to think about that player and their musical education. If you’re looking to study bass in college, for example, you’ll need a more advanced model.

But a beginner or a middle school orchestra director can go with a student instrument. Either way, you should think about your experience playing the double bass.

Then, you can choose a model that will help you improve your playing. But it won’t be so hard to play that it will discourage you from practicing.

Compare Bass Sizes

Just like other string instruments such as the violin, the double bass comes in different sizes. If you’re an adult, especially if you’re taller, you can probably get away with a full-size (or 4/4) bass.

However, teens and shorter adults might need a smaller model. That way, they won’t have to strain their hand or arm just to try and reach the notes in first position.

If possible, at least stand by a few basses in different sizes. Even if you’re new to the instrument, you can get an idea of the right size for you.

Look At Some Models

Violin bass

Speaking of finding basses, you should look at a few models in different sizes and from different companies. Then, you can see what’s available on the market.

You’ll be able to find instruments that meet your needs and can help you get better. And you can make sure to find a bass that you can afford.

Some players may luck out and only need to look at a few basses before finding one. However, it may take more searching before you find a bass that meets all of your specific criteria.

Decide On A Budget

Once you look at some models, you can get an idea of how much your dream double bass will cost. Then, you can use that information to set a realistic budget.

If you don’t have the money you need, you can save up for the purchase. While you may be able to afford an okay model now, you don’t want to compromise, especially at the advanced level.

As a beginner, you may want to save a bit of money because you can always upgrade. But you still need to consider how much you can spend now and if you’re willing to wait to spend a bit more.

When it comes to buying a bass for a school, your district may provide you with a specific budget. So you’ll need to work within that to find a good instrument for your students.

Select Some Bass Repertoire

Next, you need to figure out how you will test the different basses in your search. If you’ve played the instrument before, you should have some bass pieces you can use.

Be sure to use pieces that span the entire range from low to high, soft to loud, and slow to fast. That way, you can make sure everything sounds and feels good.

The last thing you want is to buy a bass only to bring it home and learn it has tons of problems. If you don’t play the bass yet, ask a bass player or teacher to play the models for you and help recommend a model to you.

Play New Basses

Playing Violin

Now comes the fun part, where you get to play a few double basses. You can start your search at a local music store or online through a music retailer or a general retailer.

A new bass will have come from the factory, so it will have little, if any, wear. Some people may have played it before you on their search for a bass, but it’s still pretty new.

Go through all of the music you chose to use to test the bass and play those pieces. Take note of the sound and feel of each bass you get to try and consider what you do or don’t like.

Test Used Basses

If you don’t find the right bass for you, you should expand your search to include used models. Buying a used bass can be risky because you never know how the previous owner handled it.

However, if you find a used model in good condition, you can save a lot of money. Especially at the student level, used instruments don’t generally hold their value.

That means you may be able to save hundreds of dollars on a suitable beginner instrument. Be sure you or another player can try it out before you commit to buying it so that you can verify it’s in playable condition.

Think About Rentals

Another great way to save money on your first-string bass is to rent it. This is nice for students who want to test out the bass before committing to buying one.

You can bring the bass home and start learning it, and you can experiment with the sound. When the rental period ends, you can return it and upgrade.

Or some programs will apply your rental payments to toward the purchase price of the bass. That way, you can own the model, and you can pay it off over time.

Be Patient

Sadly, you may not find your perfect double bass the first time you go shopping. This is particularly common at the professional level when you may have specific preferences.

But at any level, you may find that you don’t like a lot of the models available. In any case, you’ll need to be patient and keep searching for a good instrument for you.

It may seem annoying now, but it will be worth the wait when you find your perfect match. Then, you’ll get an instrument you love, and that will work for you for years.

Upgrade Your Bow


If you’ve tried every possible model out there, you may still have no luck with basses. But you can experiment with different bass bows to see if one improves your sound.

Once you choose a bow you love, you can keep playing your current model while shopping for a better instrument. Or you can use the bow to test out different basses.

The right bow can make it a lot easier to play. So if you don’t mind the sound or feel when plucking a bass, you may just need a different bow.

Switch The Strings

Another way to improve your current bass to make it the best one is to get new strings. You can find bass strings from a variety of companies, so you can get the sound and response you want.

This may be a quick fix if you’ve used the same set of strings for a while. The strings may not be as strong or responsive, so you can replace them for a better sound.

Alternatively, switching to strings from a different maker may help your sound. Then, you won’t have to worry about buying a new bass if that’s not the source of your problems.

Best Double Basses

You may know how to find the best double bass, but what if you don’t know where to start? There are tons of options out there, and it can be hard to figure out which models are worth trying.

I looked at basses at a variety of price points and levels to provide options for almost any player. And I looked for models that used good quality materials and that came in different sizes.

Here are some of the best double basses I could find.

Cecilio CDB Upright Bass

Cecilio CDB Upright Bass

The Cecilio CDB Upright Bass is an affordable option for people who can’t rent a bass. It’s a full size, so it’s good for adults, and it uses ebony and oak on the body.

Meanwhile, the nylon strings aren’t too hard on your fingers, so it can be easier to start playing. The head has a tuning machine to help you get the instrument in tune, so moving the pegs is simple.

Unfortunately, the white color is very bright, so an orchestra director may not allow you to play it. But this can be a good option for practicing at home so that you don’t have to transport one bass back and forth to rehearsals.


  • Easy to play
  • Affordable
  • Good materials
  • Easy to tune
  • Full size


  • Not a standard color

Silver Creek Thumper Upright Bass

Silver Creek Thumper Upright Bass

If you’re looking for a 3/4 bass, the Silver Creek Thumper Upright Bass is worth trying. This model uses maple and spruce for the body, and there’s an ebony fingerboard, which is standard among string instruments.

Thanks to its nice-looking finish, you can use this bass in an orchestra, band, or any other setting. And the bridge is adjustable to help you get the right sound.

However, you will need to purchase a bow separately from this model. Still, it’s not as expensive as some models, so it can be great for beginners.


  • Good materials
  • Easy to play
  • Looks great
  • Adjustable bridge
  • 3/4 size


  • Not on Amazon
  • No bow

Strobel MB-75

Strobel MB-75

Getting a little smaller, the 1/2 size Strobel MB-75 is a great model to test out. It’s an excellent choice for younger students as well as middle and high school orchestras.

Laminated maple and laminated spruce make up the body, while the other parts use ebony. If 1/2 is the wrong size, you can choose from sizes as small as 1/8 and as big as 4/4.

This bass does come with a bow, so you have what you need to start playing. And it comes with a soft gig to protect the instrument during storage and careful transportation.


  • Easy to play
  • Great materials
  • Different sizes
  • Not too expensive
  • Comes with a bow


  • Not on Amazon

Cremona SB-3

Cremona SB-3

The Cremona SB-3 is another excellent string bass to consider. Like other instruments from Cremona, this one follows national music education standards, so it’s great for students of all ages.

Since it’s a 3/4 model, you don’t need to be super tall or have long arms to play it. The spruce and maple body allows you to get a resonant sound.

And the ebony fingerboard and fittings help make the instrument easy and comfortable to play. But you’ll need to get a bow to use with the model since it doesn’t come with one.


  • Great materials
  • Easy to play
  • Meets education standards
  • Not too big
  • Resonant


  • Not on Amazon
  • Only one size

Strobel MB-300

Strobel MB-300

If you’re looking to upgrade from your current bass, try the Strobel MB-300. The intermediate model is part of the recital series, and it uses maple and solid spruce for the body.

Its tuning machines are easy to use to help you work on your intonation. And the carbon fiber bow is lightweight and easy to hold for long playing sessions.

You can choose from 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 for the size, which is nice for a lot of students. But since it is an intermediate model, it’s a bit more expensive than the prior options.


  • Various sizes
  • Easy to play
  • Good for advancing players
  • Nice materials
  • Comes with a good bow


  • Not on Amazon
  • A bit expensive

Ren Wei Shi Model 705

Ren Wei Shi Model 705

The Ren Wei Shi Model 705 is another intermediate model for you to try when you’re ready to upgrade. Its top uses spruce, while the back and sides use flamed maple.

Those materials help you get a warm, rich sound throughout the bass’s range. And the ebony fingerboard and fittings make the instrument feel good as you play.

Unfortunately, playing this model can expose you to chemicals that may cause cancer. It’s also not the most affordable model on the market.


  • Good materials
  • Easy to play
  • Nice sound
  • Comfortable


  • Not on Amazon
  • Chemical exposure

Maple Leaf Strings Model 140

Maple Leaf Strings Model 140

If you’re looking to go pro as a bassist, you should consider the Maple Leaf Strings Model 140. This double bass uses fully hand-carved spruce for the top.

Meanwhile, the maple back and sides help you get a good look and sound. The tuning machine heads are easy to use to help you get in tune quickly during a rehearsal.

You will need to purchase a bow separately, but you may have a specific bow you love at this level. You’ll also need to save up quite a bit of money to afford this model.


  • Easy to tune
  • Good materials
  • Great for advanced players
  • Looks and sounds nice


  • Not on Amazon
  • Quite expensive

FAQs On How To Find The Best Double Bass

Question: Why does having a good double bass matter?

Answer: You won’t have to fight with your instrument to get a good sound when you have a good double bass. The right materials and construction can make playing much easier and more enjoyable.
As a beginner, that can be particularly nice since you’re still learning how to play. At a more advanced level, the best double bass will be one that helps you get the sound you want for playing the music you love.

Question: How much does a good double bass cost?

Answer: Good double basses start around $1,000 to $2,000, though you may find the occasional cheaper option. And this price point applies to beginner models.
Intermediate models start around $3,000, and professional instruments cost $5,000 or more. I’ve heard of one professional bass costing $17,000.

Question: How do you choose the best bass?

Answer: You should consider the level you’re at as a bassist. Then, you can look at models that fit your playing and can help you get better.
If you’re a professional, you should look for a bass that offers a good tone. And you should consider the genre of music you play to help choose the tone you want.

Question: Can a beginner play any bass?

Answer: A beginner double bassist may be able to play any bass, but they should start with a student model. Student basses aren’t as expensive as more advanced instruments.
That means the investment will be smaller as well as the risk. So if a beginner decides to quit playing the bass after a month, they won’t have to recoup as much of a loss by selling the model.

Question: Can you teach yourself the bass?

Answer: You can teach yourself to play the bass as long as you have the time and dedication. Make sure you have the discipline to practice even when you don’t want to.
That way, you’ll be able to make consistent progress, and you can enjoy playing.

Final Note On How To Find The Best Double Bass

Learning how to find the best double bass is just as crucial as learning to play. If you don’t have a good instrument, you’ll have trouble getting better.

Be sure to check out the Cremona SB-3 as a beginner. Then, you can try other models at that level until you find one that you love playing

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