About the International Society of Bassists

The ISB was founded by the world-renowned virtuoso Gary Karr in 1967. With some 3,000 members in over 40 countries, the ISB is an organization for those who teach, study, play, repair, build and enjoy the double bass. The ISB is a forum for communication among bassists throughout the world and across a wide variety of musical styles. Members receive our journal, Bass World, three times per year and are the first to receive email communications regarding upcoming events, bass news, and more. Every two years the ISB holds an international convention and double bass competition, a composition contest, and now, a makers competition. If you love the double bass, become a member of the International Society of Bassists today!

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For Sale:
The Ham-Karr Bass

Photo of Gary Karr with the Ham-Karr Bass

This is an exceptional opportunity to purchase the Jim Ham bass known as "Miss Ham," commissioned and played by Gary Karr for nearly 30 years. For serious inquiries, Gary is offering a night's lodging in his home in Victoria, British Columbia to potential buyers so they may spend an entire day in Gary's studio getting acquainted with the instrument. Half of the $50,000 sales price will go to the ISB Harmon Lewis Collaborative Keyboard Artist Grant Program, and half will fund the creation of the future Gary Karr Library.

Click the link below for more information.

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ISB 2025 Convention

Florida State University Logo

ISB is headed to Florida State University College of Music in Tallahassee, Florida for the ISB 2025 Convention, taking place June 2-7, 2025. Make plans now to join us for all the performances, lectures, masterclasses, exhibits, and a week-long program for young bassists for ages 18 and under.

Store / Rental Library

ISB / Gary Karr Rental Library

The ISB Online Store has relaunched on the Shopify platform, with a sharp new look and improved mobile functionality. Browse through hundreds of products offered by ISB members - music scores, methods, books, recordings and of course, The Gary Karr Store.

Harmon Lewis Grant

Photo of Harmon Lewis

ISB has created the ISB / Harmon Lewis Collaborative Keyboard Artist Grants program. These grants of up to $1,000 will help double bassists hire collaborative keyboard artists for their own public performances and recording projects.

To apply for a grant, make a donation honoring Harmon and his remarkable life and career, or just learn more, click the button below.

President's Corner

Photo of Gaelen McCormick

I can hardly believe it has been more than a half year since we were all together in Ann Arbor, enjoying the late evening sunlight, and digging into new ideas and fantastic playing every day. As we endure the long, dark winter days where I live in upstate New York . . . .

Call for Site Proposals

ISB 2025 Convention

Have you attended ISB conventions in the past and wondered how the ISB selects its convention sites?

We are seeking invitations from potential host colleges and universities!



As an ISB member, you are helping to build a worldwide double bass community that connects people, music and ideas every day, in new and often unexpected ways. Member benefits include . . .

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Bass World

Bass World cover

Members receive Bass World magazine three times a year in the mail, as a digital flipbook, or both!

Read the latest issue of Bass World, Volume 46 Number 2, as Rufus Read Turns 80.

Make a Donation

Make a Donation

If you love the double bass and benefit from the many ways the ISB brings the worldwide double bass community together, then we need your support!


Teachers Directory

Members can be listed in our Teacher, Luthier, or Rent-a-Bass directories. Looking for an instructor? Looking for a studio or shop that does repairs or sells instruments and accessories? Traveling and need to rent a bass? Search for teachers, luthiers, or basses to rent by name or location.

Bass Insurance

Anderson Insurance

ISB members in good standing are eligible for a group rate on instrument insurance from Anderson Musical Instrument Insurance Solutions, LLC.

Resource Library

George Vance Online Resource Library

ISB Members may browse through 40+ years of publications and learn more about the double bass's history and future in the George Vance Online Resource Library.