The Double Bass Book

400 years of low notes – The double bass: It’s history, important makers, and bassists in classical music and jazz.
Written by Jonas Lohse.

About this book

Hardcover, 240 pages, four-color printing throughout. The many photos and illustrations allow for a deep look into the world of the double bass and transform this book into a captivating and entertaining lecture for every bassist and music lover.

English Version translated by Martin Wind.

ISBN 978-3-9822602-1-1 

Download cover (JPG) for press and advertising


The Double Bass Book is available at all German booksellers as well as at a growing number of international booksellers and online stores.
If you do not find the book in your local bookstore, pls order directly from the publisher.

Music and book retail stores can order from the following German wholesalers and distributors:
Grahl & Nicklas
KNV Zeitfracht 

Gary Karr:

“It’s a brilliantly done book and should be a part of every serious bassist’s library. What surprised me most that even with my deep involvement in the bass history during the past 70 plus years I found that each page of Lohse’s book had information that was completely new to me! I am soooo thankful for such an enlightening book.
Very BASSed wishes, Gary

Ron Carter:

“Jonas, this book, THE DOUBLE BASS BOOK, is the most complete book on the bass that I've ever read, and I cannot thank you enough for sharing this information.
Hugzzz, Ron Carter

Mr. Lohse’s The Double Bass Book is a fantastic and most impressive labor of love with articulate precision. It will be a beautiful addition to any library. Thank you.“
Rufus Reid (jazz bassist/composer)

With regard to my enthusiasm for this comprehensive historic reference book about the double bass, covering 400 years of its development from its classical roots to jazz and amplification, I am very much in agreement with Rufus Reid, who wrote in the forward: 'Mr. Lohse's The Double Bass Book is a fantastic and most impressive labor of love with articulate precision. It will be a beautiful addition to any library.‘ The book is sweeping in scope and includes brilliant photos and illustrations as well as stories about great bassists and luthiers. Jonas Lohse did a masterful job in writing about instrument makers, design, the latest technology and important innovations. The book has helpful information regarded setup and sound optimization, information and history about strings and rosin, and even recommendations to contemplate when purchasing an instrument. This reference book is an absolute must for the serious or casual bassist. Originally published in German in 2018, the book was translated in English by bass virtuoso and teacher, Martin Wind.“ 
Gary Karr (bass virtuoso)

“The Double Bass Book provides the complete story of the Double Bass in jazz and classical music. Hundreds of photos, stories about the great players and luthiers, and in-depth research make this book a must-have for all bass players and music fans.”
John Goldsby (bassist Cologne Radio Big Band, author)

“A very nicely done hardcover book, printed on good paper and haptically, visually, graphically and in terms of content a pleasure, if you are interested in the great instrument with the low notes. (...) Many photos, illustrations and graphics give a detailed insight into the subject, and here even long-time professionals can certainly learn a lot about their instrument and its history. I had not expected that the topic offers so much.(...) Brilliant!”
Lothar Trampert (Gitarre & Bass Magazine, volume 1-2019)

“Jonas Lohse's carefully researched book is a real treasure trove, not only but especially for double bassists. The richly illustrated book is easy and fluent to read, even for non-specialists, and provides context without straying too far from the actual topic. Lohse explains without lecturing, and many of the photos encourage to listen to classical as well as current recordings, to focus on this deepest sound of the band as well as the orchestra, which drives, grounds, unfolds harmonic as well as rhythmic effects and always retains something dance-like.”
Wolfram Knauer (Jazzinstitut Darmstadt/Germany)

“This book is not just a technical book. It is much more than that and is written in such an exciting way that you will hardly want to put it down. At the same time, the most complicated procedures are simply explained and presented in a way that is easy to understand, even for a non-professional, with first-class photos and graphics. There is nothing comparable on the market about the double bass and Jonas Lohse has made a respectable masterpiece with this work.”
Giorgio Pianzola (bass luthier; Bern/Switzerland)

“In the double bass scene Jonas Lohse is a well-known personality. Now Jonas brings out a comprehensive overview of the double bass in a 220-page book. From the history of the double bass to details about construction and setup to info about important bassists, including nice anecdotes - every page is entertaining and offers a lot of new things even for experienced professionals. By the way, the fact that the graphic design has been realized extremely carefully and tastefully contributes significantly to the reading pleasure. The amazing selection of photos and historical images is also a testament to meticulous research work. This book is simply fun!”
Hervé Jeanne (Bass Professor Magazine, volume 5-2018)

“The composition of the individual topics is particularly successful, as there is actually something for everyone. Starting with a short introduction to the history of the instrument with its different tunings, shapes and sizes, one learns a lot of interesting facts about double bass construction and material. In addition, Lohse has made the book interesting for both amateurs and professionals as well as for classical and jazz players. In addition to an overview of the most important classical and jazz double basses, the book also contains information on the correct setup and sound improvement. A graphically appealing, informative work for all lovers of the double bass.”
Uli Schneider (European String Teachers Association’s magazine, volume 81/March 2019)

“Jonas Lohse, the bassist and bass maker from Frankfurt, brings his 30 years of experience around basses into this neat and captivating book, which has just been made available in an English edition. It is a charming cornucopia of fascinating gems from the world of low notes.
The first few pages of the book display a very interesting timeline charting musical styles from the Renaissance to jazz, interspersed with relevant facts about composers, makers, design and technology developments up to the invention of the first electric upright bass by Rickenbacker in 1936. We’re taken on a fascinating journey incorporating the history of the double bass, the craft of making the instrument, important bassists, the role of the bass in jazz, amplification, set-up and optimisation, through to practical advice on choosing a double bass.
As an instrument maker myself I have always looked upon the bass world as some strange hinterland, and it’s true to say the array of different models and tunings is at first quite baffling. But Lohse explains all the different concepts, giving interesting explanations where he can. I can’t think of any other instrument that has been subjected to so much experimentation of form, construction and variety of materials as the bass. This makes a refreshing change, coming from the conservative land of violins. The history of instrument making in Germany is well described: in the second half of the 18th century a number of dealers such as Neener and Hornsteiner specialised in the distribution of instruments from various makers, selling them all over the world. This business model developed and soon makers were specialising in particular areas such as neck making, scroll cutting or rib construction and selling these to the wholesalers who would dictate prices. This manner of working only died out completely in recent years. It was also fascinating to see a copy-milling machine (think early CNC) being used in Schönbach for the carving of bass backs in the first quarter of the 19th century. Indeed, the book is full of fascinating imagery: of instruments, engravings, what looks like a photo of Dragonetti, excerpts from advertising materials, and manufacturers’ trade catalogues, including photos of historic German workshops.
It’s a feast for the eyes. This book crams so much into its 240 pages I simply can’t do it justice. We can be thankful that lockdown gave translator Martin Wind the time to bring us this English edition. Bravo Martin, and well done to Jonas Lohse for shining such a glowing light on 400 years of the bass.”
Philip Brown (The Strad Magazine)

… fast forward

Double Bass Fingerboard Chart & Cheat Sheet

More than just a fingerboard chart.

This fold-out fingerboard chart in A4 size not only offers an overview of the position of the notes on the double bass fingerboard, but also other handy charts:

  • a glossary with important double bass terms in the four languages English, German, French and Italian
  • an overview of chord structure and nomenclature of chord symbol notation
  • a table of tone frequencies in Hertz
  • an overview of measurements and sizes of the double bass (1/8 to 4/4)

DIN A4, 6 pages, full color printing, English, ISMN 979-0-000-00221-0, price 7,50 €
Fingerboard Chart

Fingerboard Chart

The complete overview on the fingerboard


Double Bass terms in English, German, French and Italian language

Sizes and Measurements

Double bass sizes from 1/8 to 4/4

Chords and Symbols

chord names, intervals, structure and symbols

Parts and Names

Frequencies and Tunings

Double Bass Poster

Double Bass Fingerboard & Timeline Chart

This poster is a great resource for every bassist: it shows the notes on the fingerboard, the notation and positions in original 1:1 scale. It also features an illustrated timeline of the double bass’ history, with important bassists and makers from the 16th to 20th century.

size: DIN A1 long (42 cm width, 119 cm length), high-quality printing on 250g/m2 paper, with glossy UV varnish. Shipping as a tube (without folds) in a small parcel from