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Garbo's and the bow

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by jmceachern36, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. jmceachern36

    jmceachern36 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Cambridge MA
    I've been reading here posts saying that Garbos are not bow friendly. I'm not sure if people mean that they don't like the way they sound bowed, like people say about spiros. Or that they mean they are unbowable, like you can't get them to make any sound. I actually used to own a bass strung with Garbos but I don't remember if I even tried to bow them. I don't bow much but I'd Ike to be able to. I'd appreciate any help. Thanks.
  2. DB Slidefunk

    DB Slidefunk

    Jul 16, 2013
    I have garbos on my bass. It's ok if you only do a bit of simple arco. The G sounds pretty scratchy but if you have a gut G it sounds great. I just play a few long notes mostly on the low strings and I think it sounds ok.
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    That's good to read. I'm never sure what to make of "unbowable" comments. There are some strings, like nylon wrapped strings that I believe to be truly unbowable, but I think that the term gets used broadly sometimes to me "not easy/pleasing/a good choice for pit...".
  4. jmceachern36

    jmceachern36 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2005
    Cambridge MA

    I think the G might actually be nylon. I emailed Velvet with the same question a while back but they didn't respond. I've got a brand new bass strung with spiros and while bowing is always great practice it would be especially good now to break the bass in. I'd hate to restring it and find out it's truly "unbowable".
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  6. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    Honestly no string is actually unbowable... HOWEVER, for most of us, the amount of work/practice it takes to bow a particular string varies widely. And there are plenty of strings that will never be acceptable in orchestra/classical settings.
    I've never bowed Garbos but I'm starting to get a good sound out of the gut strings on my bass. I've also had others with excellent arco skills bow on my bass and the sound was stunning.
  7. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Garbos on top of gut is a nice pairing that I've sampled on a few basses strung that way. I like bowed gut for my purposes and knowing that Garbo E and A might function similarly is good info.

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