Established 1982 Tel: 020 7249 9398

What Size Double Bass Do I Need?

Double Bass Size Guide and bow options

Whether you want to play classical or jazz music, finding the right size double bass is essential for happy playing.

The double bass is the largest instrument of the string family, and is still accessible to those of all ages, Bridgewood and Neitzert offer many different sizes.

If you are hiring a Double Bass from Bridgewood and Neitzert, for yourself or your child, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right size.

The following chart provides a guide to selecting an appropriate double bass size.

Instrument sizes may vary slightly within their specified fractional size; our guide applies to Bridgewood and Neitzert’ range of instruments, it is aimed to be as thorough as possible.

Teacher Recommendation

If you already have a teacher then they will be best placed to advise which size is right, so ask them first. Your teacher will measure you or your child and note which double bass size is required. You should always go with the size recommended by the teacher.

If you do not have a teacher to advise you then we’re here to help.


Age is usually the best indicator to determine which size double bass is required, although there will be some exceptions to the rule.

In the table below you will find the size of double bass recommended by the age of the player.

To ensure you get the ideal size double bass we also recommend that you measure the height of the player.


Measuring the height of the player is a simple way to determine which size double bass you’ll need.

Measure the height of the player standing upright and with good posture. Once you have the measurement consult the table below to find out which size double bass to hire.

Double Bass size
3’6″ and under 1/16 5 and under
3’6″-4′ 1/8 5-7
4′-4’6″ 1/4 7-9
4’6″-5′ 1/2 9-13
5’+ 3/4 13+/Average Size Adult
5’9″+ 4/4 Large Adult

It is worth bearing in mind that even at full height most adults play a 3/4 double bass as standard. It is best to choose the double bass that you are most likely to be comfortable playing.

If you already have a double bass

If you already have a double bass you can check the size as follows; with the player and bass both standing upright the bridge should be about the same height as the player’s right hand and the fingerboard top nut should be opposite the forehead near eye level. The student should be able to reach the end of the fingerboard easily.

Still Unsure?

If you have followed all the steps above and are still unsure of what size double bass you require email us or call 020 7249 9398 to speak to one of our experienced team who will be able to assist you.

Double bass bows

Bass bows come in one of two patterns: French or German. From the pictures below you can see that each has its own shape and is held differently. The French bow is held like a cello bow or other orchestral string instruments, the German bow is held with an underhand grip. If you do not know what type of bow to get, please ask your teacher.

This is what a French bow looks like
This is what a German bow looks like

French bow hold

German bow hold