More than any other string instrument, the double bass is associated with pizzicato. In jazz, plucking is the normal way to play the instrument. This has led to a vast range of nuances available to the bass player. Corin Long describes the main sounds then demonstrates others as follows:

Normal - piano

pizz (piano)

Normal - forte

pizz (forte)


Snap pizzicato

snap pizz


Finger techniques

Flesh, tip (hammered), different fingers :

Various techniques

2 or 3 fingers. Using the thumb. Strumming. Jazz v. orchestral techniques:


Sustained pizzicato

Pizzicato sustained:










The Orchestra: A User's Manual is a free resource and will remain so. It still receives between 8,000 and 16,000 unique visits per month from all over the world. See the testimonials. Thanks to all the donations, I have been able to create this responsive re-design. But the movies and sound clips recorded in 2004 do show their age. I would really like to re-record everything and add many more techniques, especially for solo and ensemble writing. I estimate this will cost around £30,000. If you know a source of such funds, please contact me: a.hugill [at]