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Another German bow question!

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by DBplayer68, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. DBplayer68


    Feb 25, 2006
    Lancaster, CA
    I started playing DB about 8 months ago. I played only a few weeks with a French bow which made my hand cramp so I switch to German.(Partially because the guy in the store played German). I'm a husky guy and am having trouble playing the E string.(My body gets in the way). The guy in the store said he turns the bass out away from his body so that he can make that cut. I feel like the bass is out of control when I do this. Any suggestions?
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    For everybody, but especially husky guys (like us) playing the bass is a bit of a dance. I play the bass quite high on the pin and leaning toward me and balanced so that it falls forward and toward me if I let go of it completely. I'd have to see what you're doing exactly to be more specific.
  3. Especially with the bow, playing bass requires that you be fluid and elastic. You can't play from one fixed position. Yes, german bow requires some turning outward.
    Yes. Find a teacher.
    Don't risk ingraining bad habits as you learn to cope.
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    With the German bow you are going to have to do some extra movement with the bass, your body or both to play on the E string at the frog. A good teacher should help you through this. In what part of the world do you live? I'm sure that someone here can point you to a teacher.
  5. Check out some pictures I have posted on my website:


    I'm not a big guy, which may help, but I'm able to play German Bow on all strings of my 5-string without rotating the bass. I screwed around for about a month when I first got the 5-string until I found the right position.
  6. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    How about at the frog on the low string? That's where the problem lies.
  7. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Boy, my lower back would be screaming :crying: if I sat like that for any length of time, not to mention my behind (that seat looks hard), but I guess that works for some people. I can't sit on a stool for very long while playing double bass, probably due to my poor posture and scoliosis. BTW Bill, I've always loved your website, from the sheet music and Simandl piano parts to the wonderful Hall of Fame. Thanks for providing such an interesting site :) .

    As far as the German bow goes, IME the position of the frog doesn't change when playing the low string, but the angle of the wrist does. You can't have the bass turned towards you too much, or playing the low string can be awkward.

    - Steve

    My web page
  8. That's exactl what I do. I keep the hair flat on the string. Only the angle of the wrist changes.