The double bass is the largest and lowest-tuned member of the family of stringed musical instruments also including the violin, viola, and cello. Approximately 1.8 (??)) metres in height, and played by resting a foot attached to the base of the instrument and bowing or plucking the strings either seated or standing next to the upright instrument. Modern instruments are usually tuned E-A-D-G, but a variety of tunings, and numbers of strings were used on a variety of confusingly-named instruments through the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries, when the four-stringed tuning above became almost universal.
The double bass is used extensively in classical music as a standard member of the string section of symphony orchestras and smaller string ensembles. However, it has perhaps achieved more prominence in jazz and early rock and roll where it is usually played with amplification and exclusively by plucking the strings rather than bowing. Some recent variations of the double bass have been fitted with pickups like an electric guitar's and are designed exclusively for use with electric amplification.