The largest instrument with the lowest voice of the violin family, the bass provides a foundation for any ensemble. Its rich, impossibly deep sound is both substantial and intriguing.  While even basic bass skills can get you playing with a band, the potential of this instrument even as a solo voice is surprisingly vast. All of the orchestral string courses include note reading, ear-training, theory, technique, and ensemble playing.  A year of piano instruction is recommended (but not required) before undertaking an un-fretted instrument, as stringed instruments require a rudimentary understanding of pitch for daily tuning and successful finger placement.