Bent Endpin ?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by CaseyVancouver, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    Kinda surprised to see these members of the LA Phil here using a bent endpin while standing. The exception is principle Chris Hanulik, with a straight endpin.

    Any thoughts of using a bent endpin? Why do all these great players go for the bent endpin?

    I sit to practice with both feet on the floor, and stand when performing or rehearsing and use the German bow. Wondering if I need to explore the bent endpin thing now.

  2. I know David Allen Moore and a couple of other LA Phil players have all studied with Rabbath at some point. And since Moore teaches at USC, there's a bit of a group of younger players in the classical scene in LA that are also starting to adopt a bent endpin. Also this is a really cool piece! The LA Phil has been commissioning and programming some really daring pieces the last couple years. They're really working on becoming a 21st century orchestra.
    oliebrice and CaseyVancouver like this.
  3. Tyler L

    Tyler L

    Aug 16, 2017
    Urbana, OH
    After having some shoulder/arm issues, I tried out the Robpin and loved the way that it felt. It really shifts the weight of the bass in a way that makes standing and playing more comfortable. It's not without its faults, mind you, but when I tried returning to the straight end pin, I quickly made up my mind that I preferred the Robpin. Obviously that's just my opinion. My principal tested it out one time and said he was also pleasantly surprised. He never went out and bought one, though, so take that review with a grain of salt.
  4. The principle is that it changes the centre of balance so that the bass can lean back a bit more without loading up the body (no more than in a more vertical stance). You get closer to a sitting relationship with the bass.

    The eureka moment though is that this really helps apply natural arm weight to the bow/ string because gravity is at work on a more inclined surface. I have had one for about 5 years now . I have a fully adjustable arm type that I slotted into the existing end pin rather than a Christian Laborie type (which is a fixed angle and requires a luthier to drill into the end block - so an irreversible step). It took a while to find the best angle but its second nature and opened up a lot of sound on my bass. But many bassists do an incredible job with the good old fashioned straight end pin just fine!
    Froth, CaseyVancouver and Tyler L like this.
  5. LaFaro01


    Aug 27, 2018
    For exploration... the Robpin seems to me the ideal solution.. you get an idea of the changed handling, you can vary some elements and you don't have to modify your bass...:) I did so... and I still use the Robpin on one instrument and it feels really nice...
    in the video it seems to me, that at least David uses a Lamarre
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
  6. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    I think if you have the money to try one out, you owe it to yourself to explore it as an option. It would be interesting study to find out if anyone who ever committed to a bent endpin returned to using a straight one. Whatever you buy, you can always recover most of your money when you resell it used. I would say it helps a bit to have someone whose familiar with using them guide you in the positioning, but it's not necessary. I just kept tweaking until I had the most comfortable position with the bass where I could reach to the nut and end of the fingerboard and work the bow.
    james condino and CaseyVancouver like this.
  7. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'd thought about going with a bent endpin for a while, and chose to order a RobPin not too long after hearing Ira Gold talk about his view on and experience using a bent endpin on a way older episode of Jason Heath's podcast. I was having issues with staying relaxed while standing while playing my jazz bass (3/4 Benedikt Lang shop hybrid), and wound up with a sore upper back from time to time. The RobPin helped with playing more freely/more relaxed big time, and now that small 3/4 bass feels even lighter/smaller. When ordering, I went ahead with a different endpin shank that would also work with my 7/8 Penning bass (Thomas Kennedy model, broader shoulders), and holy cow, does it make a huge difference. I don't have a *ton* of experience playing with the bent endpin and haven't transitioned from sitting completely, but what I love about using a bent endpin is how much it frees your body up while playing. Plus, the angle of the strings is still ideal in terms of (easily) getting that relaxed bow arm weight in the string.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
    LaFaro01, Tyler L and John Chambliss like this.
  8. LaFaro01


    Aug 27, 2018
    Forget about this..:nailbiting: my first look to the video wasn't very precise and I wanted to delete these words, but obviously forgot about....:jawdrop:;)
  9. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    Well, I have a ton of respect for Mario. His Lammax endpin is an fine alternative to the Laborie. So thanks for reminding me about him.
  10. Co.


    Sep 10, 2006
    Also check out the Ergonpin from Brazil. It is a very clever solution for trying out this idea without drilling.
    Not expensive at all.
    mikewalker and bengreen like this.
  11. LaFaro01


    Aug 27, 2018
    You're welcome ;) but you might have to change your end utton, if I remember correct..:p
    for me this was the main reason not to go for the Lammax, because I didn't want to "loose" my Bender end button..:)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
    bengreen likes this.
  12. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    When I bought my travel bass the maker put an angled end pin on without me having asked for it. I was a bit taken aback, tried it and didn't find a big difference. I would've left it, but the actual endpin kept slipping (I have a bad habit of leaning too much weight on to the bass I think, especially when flying around on full-on free jazz gigs) and when I got a better endpin installed my luthier said he could put it straight if I prefered, so I decided to do that. The main reason was to have a more similar setup between my main and travel bass, I didn't hate the angled pin but didn't prefer it either

    That video is great! Love the music and fantastic playing
  13. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
  14. bengreen


    Jan 26, 2016
    San Diego
    Is a bent endpin of any benefit to a seated bassist, playing wise?

    As I shrink with age, or at least become more bent myself, I’ve been retracting the endpin more and more until it’s either at first notch or fully retracted when I play. But the latter sometimes has the back plate awful close to the floor. So put another bumper there or bent endpin to protect the edge?

    Any issues with using a Bass Buggy with a bent endpin?

    Lastly, I have a Pöllman, which has a separate peg to secure the tailpiece. The endpin fitting is strictly a friction fit. Would rotational torque from an articulating bent pin be a big issue?
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  15. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    I don't think I can answer your questions definitively but, I can tell you that I use my straight endpin when I sit. But that's mostly because I don't want to change the settings on the endpin.

    I usually remove my bent endpin when I use my Bass Buggy. But giving that some thought, that might be because of the way I want the bass oriented on the buggy, than the endpin itself. I'll have to check that out.

    Some bent endpins may be different. I have the Lammax which I'm very happy with.
    bengreen likes this.
  16. bengreen


    Jan 26, 2016
    San Diego
    I guess I was editing last question, adding rotation, while you were answering.

    Lammax does look interesting. I checked out his web site. Definitely non traditional thinking. So I see he has a slotted endpin fitting and I assume he slots the block as well and uses a key to prevent rotation. The old question, just how strong is the block (usually spruce) and could it be subject to splitting? Have to think about that one.
  17. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Yes, Mario recommends using a short round-headed wood screw and just leaving the head prone. I used a piece of metal dowel instead - what I had on hand - and drilled a hole just deep enough, first. Hard for me to imagine that it could crack the block with so little leverage but, never say never.
  18. LaFaro01


    Aug 27, 2018
    That was the second reason to go for the Robpin, because it's the only bend pin with a support to minimize leverage forces.. as far as I know..
    robobass and Phil Rowan like this.
  19. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Fortunately we have an embarrassment of good choices! And the internet to guide us to the first or none at all!