Art of the Bow Question

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Bob Lubecker, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. How useful is the DVD Art of the Bow for german bow users? I'm afraid that it is geared toward french.
  2. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I have not watched the DVD, but, after spending a few days at a bass conference in classes with Francois Rabbath, I can say that he does not care for the German bow at all, encourages his students to change to French, and would encourage anyone to change to the French bow.

    I think this has to do with his angled endpin and the way he positions the bass in an angled way, how this affects playing ergonomically, thus it making more natural to play with a French bow. I believe he would say that having to bend the wrist a little to play a German bow is most unnatural

    I use the German bow, but also have the angled Carbon FIber endpin and it is really starting to make more sense to play with a French bow. I'm in no hurry to make a switch, just that, with his style of playing, the French bow seems a better fit IMHO. I decided not to get the DVD for the reason that I play with a German bow.
  3. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    With the French bow you can reach a little farther down than with a German bow, and so the bass doesn't have to be elevated as high to reach the bridge. With an angled endpin, you've got to raise the bass even higher using a German bow...and that screws with his (nut height = eyebrow) equation.

    But no matter the bow I was taught that a flexible wrist is essential always for good bowing
  4. This is helping, I feel that the DVD would have some beneficial things to say regardless of it being french. Does Rabbath go over his stance as well?
  5. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Just my experience, but with the angled endpin and German bow, I have not had to raise the strings. I was taught and practice the Rabbath technique of placing the neck on my shoulder when playing in thumb position and feeling free to lbend forward a little as well. Seemeds very awkward at first, but now its a natural.

    A suggestion I am making is to first get Ray Brown Presents The Art of Playing the Bass Featuring Francois Rabbath in the Ray Brown Presents series. This would be a good introduction to Rabbath's techniques. Its $20.00 from and many other places.
  6. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I'm talking about French vs. German. Of course your bass will be the same height with or without the angled endpin, as that is just a means of displacing the weight of the bass forward to ease pressure on the left hand thumb.
  7. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Right! Sorry, misunderstood, or didn't read correctly your post. You are talking about height not string distance.

    Reminds me too, that easing pressure on the left hand hand was a major reason to go with the new tilted endpin. Was starting to have problems with the thumb, but no problems now.
  8. Has anybody actually seen this video, and is it worth the $79.00?
  9. MKoby


    Jul 14, 2004
    MD/Metro DC
    Yes I have one.
    It is certainly worthwhile.
  10. What do you like or not like about it?
  11. Hans Sturm

    Hans Sturm

    Dec 11, 2005
    My Dear Bass Playing Colleagues,
    My name is Hans Sturm and I am the director and producer of the Art of the Bow DVD. I left a rather lengthy post in the Techniques area responding to a post made concerning favorite videos. I would be very happy to respond to any questions that you have but ask that you would contact me via email from the web site and be a little patient since I am involved in so many projects. If you surf around the you may find many of your questions answered. There are a number of detailed reviews in PDF format, there are several video clips, the entire chapter index is published there and much about the process. French bow players will benefit primarily since it is the Art of the Bow with François Rabbath and he plays French bow. That being said there is much for everyone including 45 minutes of interviews about all kinds of subjects and wonderful live performance clips from a performance with the Lyrique Orchestra of Paris in Lille France.
    Regarding comments about Rabbath "hating" German bow etc., there are many rampant misunderstandings about Rabbath. What he actually feels is that bassists with short arms should not play German bow -- since the bow is held underhand you do not have the ability to use as long a length of bow as you would playing the French bow. Alas, there are also many who feel that his technique is for virtuosos only -- but he only arrived to play virtuosically through great fundamentals and that is what this DVD is trying to share - the crucial fundamentals to allow you to play with complete flexibilty and no tension. As to the value of the DVD, well, what is about 4 hours with one of the world's master players worth to you? It is a university product and they usually sell speciality DVDs for libraries and other institutions at over $200. To get them to agree to sell this DVD under $100 was a task, especially since they spent a fortune to make it. To travel to see Rabbath in Paris would cost you a bundle in airfare and hotel and he charges $100/hour for a lesson. Even if you video taped these lessons you would not 4 selectable camera angles, biomechanics animations, live concert footage and 45 mintes of interviews. I believe it is a tremendous value and creates a new level of pedagogical materials, but then I am the producer - what else would you expect me to say?
    Dr. Hans Sturm
    Associate Professor of Double Bass
    Chair, String Area
    Ball State University
    President-Elect, International Society of Bassists
  12. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Great video. Some of the footage is unclear, and parts of the concerts have audio/timing issues, but that's being really picky. Awesome video, I want to learn that stuff so bad. I'll post more soon....we should talk, Mr. Sturm. I'm a grad student, and soon I'll be auditioning at Carnegie Mellon, where Dave Pellow, a student of Rabbath's, and my mentor when I was very young, teaches.
  13. Wow! What a coincidence! I went to Duquesne with Dave when I was an Undergrad, we both were studying with Mr. Leininger.
    He was pretty much my mentor back then, too. Did he take Mr. Bianco's spot at CMU?
  14. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    No, Jeff Turner has taken over Mr. Bianco's spot. Dave is the Director of Jazz Studies at CMU--but he's one hell of a classical player too. He wants me to be his grad assistant, but I don't think I did well on the audition. I have very little experience with classical, and CMU is a classical school for sure, even if Dave Pellow is a great jazz teacher and player. Not to mention that even if I do get in based on DP's recommendation, it would still cost about $30K a year, which would rack up some serious debt. I'm not sure what to do about that, but I haven't even heard back from CMU yet. Any suggestions?
  15. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Oh, I viewed your profile.... I studied with Jeff Mangone for a year too!!! I'm a bit younger than you, but that's cool. So will I see you at the Rabbath bootcamp in August? (at Georgetown Univ)
  16. jfv


    May 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I bought a copy of this finally and it arrived this afternoon.
    I've just watched about half of it tonight. Its truely inspiring.

    This is what beautiful tone and grace on the bass means,
    it brings tears to my eyes.

    To capture 3 hours of a world master like this, its a pearl
    of great price, go buy it if you havent :)

    Now I need to think about changing my endpin :cool: