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About Accessories for the Bass
This is lesson DB-7, “What Kind of Accessories Should I Get For the Bass?” and is a continuation of my journal of things I have learned as a beginning adult double bass student. Be sure to check out my Double Bass Lessons page for a complete list of all of my lessons!
OK…..What kind of accessories should I get?
I know this is a very subjective and passionate subject among many folks and I am certainly no expert. All I can say at this point is that I know that each rosin is different and what works best for one person’s style and instrument may not work for another. In the past year I have already tried four different types of rosin: Pop’s Upright Bass Rosin, Nyman Bass Rosin, and two different grades of Kolstein rosin — Kolstein Ultra Formulation Supreme Bass Rosin Soft and Kolstein Supreme Formulation Rosin Bass All Weather.
Today I am using the Kolstein soft rosin as it seems to have the right grip for my black horse hair bow and Zyex strings.
I use and recommend the Korg AW2 Clip-on Chromatic Orchestral Instrument Tuner.
- Clip-on chromatic tuners that attach directly to a wind instrument or string instrument for cable-free tuning
- AW2 includes two clips (large and small) to accommodate a variety of orchestral instruments
- Double ball-joint allows multi-angle positioning with far greater mobility for the display section
Internal backlight ensures excellent visibility even on a dimly lit stage
- Energy-saving Auto mode automatically switches to the low-power Soft mode when no sound is present
If you have kids, a cloth diaper works great for polishing and cleaning your instrument. For use at a gig or orchestra, I have a black washcloth that is inconspicuous when used on stage.
A Bass Stand
If you want to keep your bass safe from damage while it is not being used and not in a case, use a stand. It also makes it handy to grab the bass when you get the impulse to start practicing. I use a stand by Ingles: Ingles Adjustable Cello and Bass Stand
Padded Bass Bag
Get one with wheels if you don’t like to carry it.
One of the first accessories I bought were these leather edge protectors from Gollihur Music. I put them on both sides of my bass to make sure the edges don’t get chewed up from sitting on the ground. Due to its size, it’s hard to not bump and ding the bass, but I wanted to do what I could to prevent damage.
If you play in an orchestra setting it is traditional to sit on a stool while playing. The size and height of the stool will depend on your height and the size of your bass and your personal preferences. There are specialty bass player stools on the market that you can spend a lot of money on, or you can get something on the cheap like I did. My stool is a bamboo rattan one and the nice thing about it is that it is very light, which my body appreciates when I have to carry it any distance.
If you are crossing over from bass guitar or any fretted instrument as you are starting out it is helpful to have a visual reference on the fingerboard as to where certain notes and intervals are located. Often you will see beginner string players with tape on the fingerboard. I didn’t want to be that obvious, so I opted for some discrete dots on the side of the fingerboard which only I can see when I am playing. I used “white out”, which can be easily removed, to make some small dots along the side of the fingerboard that is closest to me to mark what on the bass guitar would be the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th and 24th frets.
Heavy Duty Binder Clip
This is a great idea for hanging your bow on. Also good for securing music, or keeping a worn out music stand from shrinking. Look for them at an office supply store.
Use it to put all your little things in. Like music, tuner, rosin, cloth, etc. A bag like this one works really well. The shoulder strap comes in handy when your hands are full.
A music stand
Unless you want to tape your music to the wall, it’s a must. I have a folding stand made by On-Stage that is very sturdy when set up and a cinch to fold up.
A music stand light
For those dark winter days when you have nothing to do but practice get a light you can clip on your stand such as the Manhasset 1000 School Music Stand Light Lamp. Also, get a battery operated LED light to keep in your bag in case you are at a gig and it is too dark to see like this Mighty Bright Duet Music Stand Light.