The double bass is the largest and lowest pitched bowed string instrument. It stands 1.80 meters from scroll to endpin. Normally it has four strings but we can also find with three or five.
The double bass is played either with a bow or by plucking the strings (pizzicato). It is necessary to apply resin to the bow hair so it grips the string and makes it vibrate.
The shoulders are typically sloped, the back is often angled.
An important distinction between the double bass and other members of the violin family is the construction of the pegbox. While the violin, viola, and cello all use friction pegs for fine tuning adjustments, the double bass has metal machine heads.
Regarding wood, it is typically constructed with Spruce for the top and Maple for the back, neck and ribs. The fingerboard and the tailpiece are made with Ebony. The bow is made with Pernambuco.
The double bass is generally regarded as a modern descendant of the string family of instruments that originated in Europe in the 15th century, and as such has been described a as bass violin. The exterior may resemble to the viola da gamba and the internal construction of the double bass is nearly identical to the instruments in the violin family.