Differences between strings

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by cheesesilk, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. I am seeking guidance. I am new to bowing, and I can get a decent tone with a relaxed bow arm/hand on the G, A, and D strings, but on the E string it just slides along unless I really press hard. The action on the E string side seems lower, could that be the problem? Or should I just keep putting rosin on my bow. Any thoughts?
  2. Rosin is a good thing, but if you put too much on it actually decreases your control rather than increases. To get a good sound you need not so much to press hard as to use your armweight to grab the string. It may also be a problem of possitioning or grip; which type of bow do you use and do you keep it straight, do you drop your shoulder etc? One thing that helped me a lot was praticing a lot of extreamly staccato notes, as in just the attack, both staying on the string (stopping the bow but not leaving the string) or off. When you learn to use the weight of your arm, with a pop in the wrists, and a relaxed motion, you realize that you don't have to dig in at all even to be very loud. I would suggest you look at your arm when you play the other strings and try and to use the same motion on the E string. You might need to lean the bass away from you so you can have the same access as you would on the other three strings.
    Oh, and no, the action wouldn't have anything do do with it sound wise, but it may make it harder to use the correct technique because you have to move even further way from your natural state while holding the bass.
  3. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    The E string generally needs to be bowed closer to the fingerboard. HTH.
  4. I have found that the E string is always somewhat harder to get started with the bow. However you actually apply the pressure, the E and sometimes the A will always require a bit more than the D and G to get started cleanly.

    If you are really sliding over the E instead of grabing, it really sounds like you either need to try more rosin or a stickier rosin. Some rosins are very hard and powdery. I am not advocating the really soft sticky stuff like POP's (I hate the stuff, though many like it), but you may be using a old or very hard rosin.

    Yes, there really are strings that respond to the bow more easily, making starting that E less of a problem. I have been using Heliocore Orchestras, and they start easily.
  5. thankyou for all of your tips. I am using pops (when i bought it I didn't know there were so many differences between rosin) I only have a lesson every other week, so I wanted to see if you guys could help without bothering my teacher. basszen it definitely helped to analyze what I'd need to do in order to attack the E string in the same way as I did those other strings, and closer to the finger board helped too - I'm already getting a nicer tone out of it. Thanks a bunch I dont know what i'd do without you guys.