bowed electric bass

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by nil, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. I've been starting to use a double bass bow with my Rickenbacker through a multitude of FX to great effect.

    Anyone else out there do similar, and if so, care to share their approach?

    I was considering installing a re-profiled cello bridge in place of the standard saddles on my Rickenbacker in order to gain access to my A and D strings.

    If the string contact point is at the same place as the normal bridge, would the radiused bridge cause a real intonation nightmare?
  2. MonkForHire


    Oct 5, 2003
    I tried doing that, but to no avail. I think you have the rigt idea about using a cello bridge. That would definately make it a lot easier. Although, thinking back, I had the bow, but I never had the thing you slid across it (don't know what it's called) the powder thing... perhaps that's where my misfortunes fell
  3. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
  4. seems like it would, although if you adjusted each string individually, it also seems like you could compensate for this...your thoughts?
  5. fallon


    Jul 6, 2003
    I once used a metal worker's centre punch(the serrated grip area)against the g string over a three chord progression live.A dramatic screeching sound was obtained along with much jaw on the floor disbelief.Ok for effects but you will keep the string manufacturers in steak dinners.Stay cool,Scotland's slap bassist,"Fallon".
  6. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I use an eBow does that count?
  7. Well, unless the cello bridge was already compensated (or was mounted on a slant) the contact point would be at the same position for each string.

    I'm expecting a little strange intonation, but that shouldn't affect things too much. I guess not many people have thought of or done it! :D

    I've often wondered about an eBow, but I didn't think they put out enough oompf to get bass strings a-hummin'?

    With a huge amount of rosin on the bow, I can get some good control using roundwounds, but obviously i'm limited to the E and G strings, and screeches from behind the bridge and from deliberate mis-bowing. Put the whole thing through distortion, phaser and delay, and it's nice. One song we did, you'd swear we had a cellist + others in the mix.
  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I wouldn't use one if they didn't
  9. touche.
  10. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    the easiest thing to do with a bow would be simple chords, not individual notes, except for on the E and G strings. But hey, all of the notes can be got on the E and G strings if you really wanted to.
  11. I bow my bass occasionally, and I have no trouble with getting to the D and A strings, WITHOUT ajusting my action. I use my ring, or middle finger to fret the note, while the other 4 fingers muted the strings. It's also important to know where you position your bow, so the horse hairs can grip onto the strings with ease.
    I've found my bow very useful for making Whale Calls with my bass whammy.
  12. I bow much like I do on my upright - just in front of the bridge (although there are some lovely big swells to be had right over the neck pickup).

    I find I can bow octaves and doublestops OK, but sometimes a screech sneaks in from harmonics or light bow action on the muted strings. I'm figuring a radiused bridge would allow me more control, and a more defined sound (i'm not trying to just make noise here :D ).