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Am I Doing Something Wrong?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Georgia Watt, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. Georgia Watt

    Georgia Watt Guest

    Mar 2, 2002
    Ok, I have a 3/4 student bass that came with a white haired French bow. I have put Spirocores strings on and using Nymans professional rosin


    The majority of the time I use the bow i get what could best be described as 'whistling' and harmonics. If i apply more pressure, the odds of getting the 'real' note are greater, however its then obviously scratchy because of the pressure.

    I know Ive got the grip correct, and from what Im aware of, my technique isnt too shocking, from successful previous violin and cello playing.

    Any ideas?
  2. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    I think that Spirocores tend to be a little scratchy to begin with.

    Secondly, what kind of bow are you using? Is it low-level student, pernambuco....?
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Hoagy's Girl:
    Two things:
    White hair tends to be smoother than black, which is a way of saying black hair will get the string vibrating quicker and easier than white. White hair users tend to like the smoothness of its sound.
    Spirocores are one of the most difficult strings to play arco. The consensus is that they're screechy. Yes, some great players may use them for arco, but VERY few do.
    Don't beat yourself up over this. It's the strings and the bow hair.
  4. Georgia Watt

    Georgia Watt Guest

    Mar 2, 2002
    Looking at it, Im guessing its a brazilwood round french bow. Something cheap, but *should* make a sound with the right rosin.

    Q: If you run a bow over an open string without any pressure, shouldn't it make a core sound - as opposed to the harmonics Im constantly getting?
  5. Georgia Watt

    Georgia Watt Guest

    Mar 2, 2002
    Wow - two responses in less than 5 minutes of posting. YOU GUYS ARE GREAT!!!

    Many thanks - wont beat myself up. I was warned about the spiros but didnt think I'd have this much problem with them.

    Might try some black hair on them. Ooo another question: using a german bow, would one be automatically using slightly more pressure from the grip/techique as opposed to French?
  6. Well, does your teacher have any ideas? You do have a teacher... don't you?

    Learning bowing over the InterNet is like... is like learning how to fly-fish by taking a correspondence course...

    Seriously - get a GOOD teacher! Without a GOOD teacher, you'll waste much time with those pitfalls a GOOD teacher will help you avoid...

    - Wil
  7. A lot of people have a hard time getting a decent arco sound with Spirocores, especially when they are new (first few weeks after putting them on.)
  8. Georgia Watt

    Georgia Watt Guest

    Mar 2, 2002
    Would love to have a teacher, but cant afford it. In the mean time, trying to work things out alone (and not doing too badly if I may say myself!) - just cant get the damn bow to work :)

    Will let y'all know how the black haired german bow goes.

    Thanks again
  9. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I would second that strings do make a difference. I struggled trying to get good sound out of a set of Helicore Hybrids and then played an electric upright with a set of Thomastic Spiracores and couldn't believe how much easier it was to get the string to vibrate. I put them, the Spiracores, on my Kay and have been a happy camper ever since.
  10. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Nyman's isn't very sticky and so it may take a little time both to accumulate a sufficient amount of rosin on the hair. It also takes time to warm up during each session, so you'll have to play for a few minutes to get optimal tone.

    Also, don't overtighten the bow hair, or you'll just skate. The hair needs a bit of give to grip the string properly. Bow speed needs to be considerably slower than violin or cello, too, particularly on the A and E strings.
  11. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Georgia 1 joule per second:
    In your situation, the strings are the greater culprit. Black bow hair alone won't cure it.
    Bottom line is, you can overcome the problem if your technique is good enough. (Teacher, experience, ...etc.)
  12. Georgia Watt

    Georgia Watt Guest

    Mar 2, 2002
    thanks so much for all your help.

    of course, i understand theres a long road ahead - and a lonely one for the meantime!

    don't know how i'd survive without this website!

    keep swingin'
  13. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    Do you clean the rosin off the strings? If you don't you should. I use a copper chore boy pad wont hurt steel strings one bit.


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