Big sound=?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by kawaeegirl, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. I constantly hear that I need a bigger sound...
    What kind of bows should I look for that can help me?
    Does heavier mean bigger sound? cause the bow I have is like the lightest one because my weak wrists..
    Any advice on getting a bigger sound via bow would be GREATLY appreciated!!! :)
  2. jfv


    May 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    No it definitely doesnt mean heavier. I have a brazilwood student
    quality German that I got from BobG, last weekend my teacher
    hauled out some old bow he has that weighed like twice as much.
    He wanted to demonstrate a bow with bad balance, and also
    assure me that mine was fine for where i am at now. The big
    heavy bow actually made the bass have less sound.

    Seems to me the sound is in you, takes time and practice to
    bring it out. If you are getting this comment from a teacher
    then why dont you ask her/him about what they think you
    should do?
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    How do you preceive your sound filling the room when you play? For instance, try this excercise:

    With the music stand in front of you in a large room, like the orchestra room at a school, play your bass and try to fill every square inch of that music stand with your sound. Then, look to the far wall and do the same thing. Don't play louder or harder, but rather just try to fill every nook and cranny in that wall with your sound. Then go back and fill the music stand again.

    Do this every day for a few days and you (and your critics) should notice a big difference. Given that everything else is in good shape.
  4. Rob Sleeper

    Rob Sleeper

    Oct 13, 2005
    YA I agree with Ray and also make sure that if you want to fill the big room up with your sound, bow closer to the bridge.
  5. A few pointers I’ve learned with sound: My bass has very thick wood, and is naturally mute and melodic sounding. My friend's bass is a different type and has thinner wood, his sounds a lot louder but a lot more choppy, which is fine to him, but I like melodic (being a violist with a huge viola :p).

    If you can pluck loudly it could be that you are bowing in the wrong place. I have a Cheap set up, in total my bass, bag, bow, strings and bridge costed (correct word?) only the equiv. of 900 American Dollars. I can get a very loud sound out of it, but I couldn’t when I first got it, I asked my friend and he told me I was bowing in the wrong place. Try bowing closer to the bridge, bringing your endpin out might help (depending on whether it is out far or not already) also, dig into the string. I’ve only managed to break a viola string by playing to hard, (Fortississississmo) never a bass string. Also point your bow towards you when you play, (with viola you point the bow away from yourself :p)

    Sorry if you already do this, I have no other suggestions. This helped double, in some cases even triple my sound :)

  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    In my experience, many light bows force you to press when you play and over work your wrist, hand and arm to get a bigger sound including altering your grip some.

    This breeds bad habits. I looked in your profile and didn't see anything about the Bass you use but I will stick with the Bow.

    I have 3 bows I use now. My Main bow from the last few years is now my practice bow. It is 152 grams. It was replaced by a 140 gram bow. Still not light but it is a better bow. Recently I had a visitor trying one of my Basses and brought his bow as well. When he played his bow over my better one, the sound was even louder than mine. Now these are very expensive bows but even within them, the sound difference was obvious.

    When you have a better playing and sounding bow, your sound will be bigger and with much less effort. This allows you to concentrate on the music and not the physical aspect of the bow.

    I have no idea about your Bass or bow but a better bow usually helps. Playing closer to the bridge is not the answer. I play over the FB, in the middle, near the bridge, etc. depending on the dynamics of the music and what the piece calls for.

    When I started back playing after a 15 year rest, I told a long time friend/luthier, "I wanna be able to play easy and be heard without effort". This wish of mine has not been easy or cheap but it is a goal. I like the Bass and Bow to do the work. The music is hard enough as it is when you play in an orchestra. Fighting the equiptment is not my idea of playing music...
  7. Anon2962


    Aug 4, 2004
    I think you should look for a bow that is suited to your body, if you're looking for a starting point. If you have light arms you should get a bow that is similar. I've heard this from the Lucchi website. Lucchi bows are fantastic, certainly one of the best. check out the website for general info on bows, and it has some testimonials from pattitucci and karr...
  8. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I don't really know, but the way you write this gives me the impression that you play too timidly (delicately?). If this is the case, then a different bow won't make a lot of difference...because you're gonna pull back whatever it would give anyway.

    I've seen some girls, young petite "delicate wrist" girls, just belt out on the bass and sound like ravenous monsters. Pretend you're one of these ravenous monsters and see what happens!


    then whenever the music calls for delicate small sounds you've already got that mastered and can tell everyone their sound is too big

    a roar of a different kind