Double Bass Care Tips

How to Clean Double Bass

Be good to your bass and she’ll be good to you. Follow these tips to keep it in good form for years to come:

  • Store the bow under the E string but never the F hole – it eats the bow hairs.
  • Place the bass in a secure position and location when not in use so that it does not fall over.
  • Do not over-rosin and tighten the bow strings to produce big sound – that sound is false and can damage your bow and instrument. Excess rosin also leads to more bass cleaning.
  • Loosen the bow end and screws when you’re done playing.
  • When necessary, use your thumb to push down on the front edge of the bridge to loosen the strings a little, but not too much. You don’t want the soundpost to drop.
  • Cap the end pins with crutch or cane tips that have washer inserts that will not poke through.
  • Use 000 gage steel wool to clean rosin (carefully) off the strings and then wipe away the excess with a clean, damp cloth.
  • If rosin has become sticky on the surface of the fingerboards and the bass is not varnished spruce or maple, you can very, very carefully and lightly use the 000 fine steel wool and a cloth dampened with a tiny bit of isopropyl alcohol to take the rosin off the fingerboards.
  • Never clean any other part of the bass (excepting the strings and then only carefully) with alcohol, and do not use sopping water or furniture polish either.
  • In the winter, or in dry climates, use a dampit to provide humidity. Do not over-wet it.
  • Store the bass in an area with moderate and consistent temperature and humidity levels.
  • Take your bass to a professional for a periodic checkup to make sure everything is in working order and your bass is in prime condition for the season.