The video shows Shay McEvoy 5th Class 2013-2014 interviewed and performing in Senior Orchestra in the programme “Meet The Orchestra” recorded in May 2013 and aired on RTE Junior in September 2013

The double bass (pronounced like ‘base”) is the largest member of the string family. Other names for this instrument include the string bass, bass viol, the stand-up bass or frequently simply the bass. Like the other string instruments, sound is produced by drawing a bow across the strings or by plucking the strings. Since the bass is the largest of the string instruments, it is also the lowest.

Like other string instruments the double bass comes in just two pieces, the instrument and the bow. The bow uses horsehair or a synthetic material to vibrate the strings as it is drawn over the instrument. The double bass has four strings normally tuned to E, A, D and G. The strings on a double bass are tuned in fourths which makes it different from all other modern string instruments.The tuning in fourths makes the double bass different from all other modern string ins
The double bass is played in an upright position with the left hand resting on the back of the neck and the right either plucks the strings or holds the bow.

The bass is a very old instrument. It has been basically unchanged for hundreds of years. A popular new version of the string bass is the electric bass guitar. A bass guitar is tuned the same and has a similar sound to a plucked string bass. The electric guitar sound is amplified electronically rather than from the body of the instrument. Many players of the string bass also double on the electric bass for some occasions.

The double bass comes in various sizes. The correct size for each student depends on the overall size of the student. Students are measured by our double bass teachers to determine the correct size of instrument for them as individuals.

The double bass is not as popular as a violin for beginners. This means that a good double bass player will always be a very valuable member of the orchestra since the number of double bass players is so small. However, the double bass is still used in virtually all styles of music throughout the world. It is well known for its use in symphony orchestras as well as rock and roll, country and bluegrass bands and other popular groups. Most jazz groups include a string bass or at the very least an electric bass guitar.

St Canice’s double bassists perform in the Senior orchestra, Junior orchestra and Jazz band and may also get together with fellow string or woodwind players to form smaller performing groups.