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down bows on a german bow

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by travatron4000, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. travatron4000


    Dec 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    i'm playing a piece that involves doing succesive down bows rather quickly. i'm having trouble keeping my bow from bouncing. bounce always seems to be a problem with the german bow. i was wondering if anyone had any tips on reducing or preventing bow bounce. also, i'm in the market for a new bow and wondered if anyone had any suggestion.

  2. I have the same problem when I use a German bow. How long have you been playing arco and using a German bow?
  3. Klimbim


    Mar 3, 2001
    hmm a possibility is an overly tense wrist and stiff right shoulder. Try to loosen up, but this comes with time.

    Also, watch your posture when you bow, try not to hunch too forward to get "comfortable" and a stronger tone...instead of pushing on the strings with applied weight, try to use more of the natural arm weight, this helps to relax your arm too. But using arm weight seems a little easier when you sit - I don't usually stand to play.

    These are just possibilities...I actually play French, but bouncy bows might come from stiffness, no matter the style. Hope others can help you out too.

    What piece are you playing that requires quick successive down bows? Is it orchestral? I wonder if there's a musical reason for doing that, and how quick the bowing needs to be. If the downbows are to accent each note, then try to to dig in just a little to start off the string. Then retake the bow to play close to the frog again - it might help to reduce the bouncing. Cos If you keep doing down bows and stopping the bow after every note, and you keep moving up towards the tip of the bow with each successive note, while using the same pressure, it'll probably bounce. You've got to compensate different pressures for different regions of the bow. Hope you understand what I'm going on about.

  4. What string(s) are these successive downbows on? If you're talking about the E, be aware that a lot of players use ups in that situation, regardless. It takes a truly pedantic conductor to complain.
  5. Be sure each bow draw starts FROM THE STRING, not from a glancing blow nor a "bounce" from above the string. That will be the solution to excessive bounce.

    The German bow bounces readily, indeed, but starting stokes "From The String" will help control with either bow type.

    Practice tip: try starting the same notes in succesive Upbows at the same speed. There is where you'll REALLY see the need for starting FROM THE STRING!
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Pedantic? What in the tar-blazes is that?
  7. pe·dan·tic (p-dntk)
    Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules: a pedantic attention to details
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    A tight-ass, then.
  9. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    I been fooling around with how tight I have the bow hair. In the past I all ways adjusted the bow on the tight side. A week or so ago I wondered what it would sound like with a little less tension. Much to my liking the sound changed to be a little darker and the bow was a little easier to control. You might try loosening the bow just a little and see if it still bounces so much-- JUST A LITTE looser

  10. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    make sure you're bow is on the string before you start the note...this can be difficult if the bows come quickly but will come with practice
  11. What's the tempo, note (quarter/eighth/sixteenth...), and string?

    I want to practice it too?



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