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Arco technique

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Trevor Murphy, Nov 5, 2013.


  1. Trevor Murphy

    Trevor Murphy

    Oct 15, 2013
    Concord, CA
    Ive been playing jazz doubling on acoustic and electric bass for about four years now. But I'm just starting to play classical in the college philharmonic. I've used the bow before but never seriously started to develop bowing technique until the past two months or so. I read all about bowing in Rufus Reid's 'The evolving Bassist' so I know you're suppose to relax your arm and all that jazz. But I still feel like I'm not developing proper technique. How do I know when my arm is relaxed enough? And if I'm letting the bow flow across the strings correctly? There are tons of little things I could use tips on, like string crossing, thumb position, intonation, volume, string buzz, arm tension/relaxation, bow position, vibrato. And also, how to keep the right balance when bowing the G string so that the bow doesn't touch the body of the bass.
    It is a very complex instrument and there's a lot to cover, but I'd appreciate any tips on this from more experienced bassists.
     
  2. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    you are asking too much in one post. I never make this remark and don't like the 'teacher remark' because people say it all the time. Even when it is not necessary. But for these basic questions it is best to see a teacher. He or she can see what you do and react immediately and prevent you from learning wrong things. These things are hard to explain on a forum.
     
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  4. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    How about a video of your playing?
     
  5. Trevor,

    I highly recommend watching Andy Anderson's instructional videos on Jason Heath's YouTube channel. Start with part two of his series:



    And then continue through the rest. I've never met Andy, but he and I both studied under the same teacher, and I'm really impressed with Andy's own instructional technique. His videos make me want to take lessons from him!

    All the best!
     
  6. Jeremy Darrow

    Jeremy Darrow

    Apr 6, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Genz-Benz Amplifiers, Fishman Transducers
    There's a lot of good information on the internet, but it sounds like you need to get together with a qualified teacher who can watch you play and listen to the sound you're producing. I'm not trying to sound snarky, but you need instruction, not tips.

    Using the bow is not just a right hand undertaking, your whole approach to the bass might need to change before things begin to sound good. We can get away with a lot only playing pizz, the bow exposes all of it.
     
  7. +1 on the above advice to find a teacher. Video instruction is a good introduction, but has definite limitations. No substitute for being with a teacher who can observe your playing and diagnose/remedy problems.
     
  8. When you get a great sound and it doesn't hurt if you play for an extended amount of time.

    I've spent all of my adult life (and thousands of dollars in education) trying to answer your questions for myself. The strongest conclusion I can make is that using a bow is kind of hard.
     
  9. True story
     
  10. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    It isn't hard with the right teacher. You need to find someone who teaches the Vance Method. They will fix all of your problems in weeks. There will be no struggle. just Enjoyment.
     
  11. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    What is so different with the Vance method when it comes to the bow? Hope you can explain that.
     
  12. Trevor Murphy

    Trevor Murphy

    Oct 15, 2013
    Concord, CA
    Yeah, I suppose I was caught up in the heat of the moment when I posted that. There are a lot if things to work on and I'm considering lessons if I can find affordable ones
     
  13. Trevor Murphy

    Trevor Murphy

    Oct 15, 2013
    Concord, CA
    Thanks for that video by the way, that guy knows what he's talking about
     
  14. Trevor Murphy

    Trevor Murphy

    Oct 15, 2013
    Concord, CA
    Where can I find the Vance method?
     
  15. Search for "George Vance, Progressive Repertoire"

    You should understand, however, that the books won't help much without a good teacher to guide you through them. You've already invested in the instrument and bow, right? Why not invest in learning how to use the damn things?
     
  16. All of your problems in weeks? Like 350 weeks? If you run out of problems in just a few weeks, you really just aren't being critical enough.
     
  17. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    +100
     
  18. what the pluck

    what the pluck

    Oct 13, 2010
    Australia
    I've got vol 1 on eBay at the moment. pM me if u like.
     
  19. Jeremy Darrow

    Jeremy Darrow

    Apr 6, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Genz-Benz Amplifiers, Fishman Transducers
    Yes! The books give you material to work on, but you need instruction to go along with it. The method book won't tell you, for example, how much of the bow to use in a given section, or how to manage the cross-string slurs.
     
  20. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Yes solving all your problems in a few weeks seems a little overstated. Still curious what makes the Vance method so different or better than other methods when it comes to the bow. No one here is telling that....
     



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