Bowing electric?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by whiteshadow, Jul 28, 2001.

  1. whiteshadow

    whiteshadow Guest

    Jul 3, 2001
    Is it possible to bow an electric bass? I was thinking about stealing my sister's violin bow that she no longer uses and trying it out. I figured I'd run it past you guys (and gals) first. Thanks
  2. bassheavy

    bassheavy banned

    works much better on Flatwounds that round.

    I have my Hofner strung with Pyramid flats and i use a bow on it at times. sounds AWESOME!

    TRWOTEB Guest

    Jul 20, 2001
    be sure to remove all the rosin ( as possible) before bowing the string
  4. 1) If you remove the rosin from the bow, it's not going to work as well as if the rosin were left on the bow (it might not even work at all).

    2) Violin bows are much smaller and lighter than those used for a double-bass. That's not to say that it wouldn't work - it just wouldn't work as well as it would if you were using a double-bass bow.

    3) The bridge/fingerboard/nut are almost flat on an electric-bass, which means that the only strings easily accessible, would be the "E" and the "G" string, and even those might be difficult depending on the shape of the body of the bass.

    4) If you really want to get a "bowed" sound, why not just get a double-bass? ;>

    - Wil
  5. bassheavy

    bassheavy banned

    the white shadow is correct on all points.

    you can kinda adjust the string heights, but i usually am just running up on the G down on the E. i have to keep an eye that im not rubbing the side opf the bass as im playing as well.

    i use an old cheapy violin bow, but i have looked for something in the middle of that and an acoustic bass bow (cello bow) cuz i find it a bit small.

    the hofner gets an amazingly double bass like tone when bowed
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook Sheet Music Manager
    If you just want to play around with a different sound then you put a bow to your electric bass. If you want to create some serious music with a bow, you'll need a electric upright and the ability to play one, in what I'm assuming is a high volume environment.
  7. Zonplayer

    Zonplayer Guest

    Nov 24, 2000
    Madison / Milwaukee
  8. gweimer

    gweimer Guest

    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    You can use a bow on a bass, but Zonplayer has the best alternative. Here are the problems with bowing an electric bass:
    1. No arched bridge. This makes it difficult to get sounds out of anything but the G or E strings.
    2. Use a cello bow, or bass bow. The violin bow is too light.
    3. It works better with rosin, but the rosin does stay on your strings a bit.

    That being said, it does sound really cool when it works. I used one for a while, and even did a little solo with it. I figured that if Jimmy Page could do it, why not a bass player!