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arco/technique modifications for eub

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by D.A.R.K., Jan 27, 2005.

  1. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    I have found that in order to get the best and most sound from my ns cr5m I have had to develop a bit different technique for my arco playing.
    This has alot to do with the lack of a thumb-stop...and no doghouse....
    I position the instrument a bit taller(seated or standing)and angled a few more degrees horizontal so that i can take better advantage of the available range, moving my thumb to the side of the fretboard or on top only above the first octave.
    To then get the most out of the bow, I have switched from german
    to a french style, taken more from a cellist- approach bending the arm a bit at the elbow. With the instrument slightly elevated as such, the sweet spot is too high for a straight arm. I miss the power of the german grip a little but the overhand has alot more articulation and dynamic control.
    I'd love to hear about anyone's experience in having to modify their technique and approach to get the most out of the eub.
  2. I like the idea of trying French bow. I have found that even with pizz, it really helps to have a stronger angle. So hard to keep the bass in place compared to upright.
  3. allthumbs


    Dec 30, 2004
    South Devon, UK
    When I had the NS strings on my NS DB, I found I had to be careful not to "dig in" too much, to prevent lots of rattling - since I put actual double bass strings on it (old set of Spirocores from my upright) and raised the action this is less of an issue.

    Overall you have to bear in mind the scale length is a little shorter than a DB and be prepared to "tickle" it a bit rather than playing with the same energy you would with an upright.

    The biggest pain is having to flick switches to play arco. I find the "combination" pick up setting not so good for pizz so I've somewhat resigned myself to this. I've never used the magnetic pick ups in anger.

    I would say that whilst the playing experience is similar, the modifications in DB technique mean the NS is probably best suited to BG players looking for a way into the upright world, rather than those looking for an easily amplified, portable doghouse. As I've now realised I fall into the latter category, I'm seriously toying with getting something like an Eminence - when I can afford it! :cool: