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Dumb Questions From A Newbie!

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by tplyons, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Can't find answers in the search, maybe I'm phrasing wrong...but here goes?

    How often do you need rosin? I just started playing bass with the school orchestra three weeks ago, twice a week and haven't applied rosin to my bow since joining. Noone else uses my bow or bass, so I know noone else is doing it, but it still sounds pretty good. Do I need to soon?

    How do you apply rosin :p

    And I'm looking at getting a bass for Christmas, an Englehardt EM-1, and will most likely order the bow from Bob Gollihur as well. I play with a French bow at school, so I figure it's best not to play something different at home since I'm still a beginner. How are Bob's Brazilwood Bass Bows?
  2. how often to rosin depends on what kind of rosin you use, how often you play, and like that. I use carlson, and I play every day. I like to apply a little bit fairly frequently, rather than a whole bunch less often. I'll usually warm up a little bit and then give it a few swipes, and then maybe a couple more swipes after an hour of playing or so. I think it's important to play a little bit before rosining; maybe it softens up the rosin that's on there so it will mix with the new stuff, or maybe it's just in my head but it seems to work better.
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I believe it warms up the bow hairs so the rosin comes on a little easier.
    Pile-ons: Draw the bow across the rosin in one direction only - from frog to tip. How often and how much you need varies, and only you can know. I use only as much as is needed to get the string moving immediately. Your technique will help determine that. Too much rosin is often a crutch for weak technique. I find less rosin means warmer sound.
  4. I find it depends on what kind of music you're playing, too. If you're working on excerpts from a mahler symphony you'll probably want to use more rosin than if you're doing solo work. I think in general french bow players use more rosin than german players, simply to make up for the lack of pressure. I could be wrong on that, but it seems to be what I've noticed...
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I'm going to be using two setups...one belonging to the school for orchestra, and mine at home for solo work (i.e. jazz) both with French bows. German bow coming soon once I learn how to handle a Frenchie. Thanks for all the replies, but you guys still keep missing the last two questions...
  6. I can't comment on Bob's bows, but I will say that I don't think buying any bow without playing it first is a good idea. I also don't think buying an inepensive bow to 'learn on' is a great idea; you'd be doing yourself a big favor to just save up, shop around and get the best bow you can. (pernambuco) It can't hurt, and it will make learning to play easier and more fun. Plus you can't lose money on it, if anything a good bow might go up in value if you hang onto it whereas a cheap one will only lose you money in the long run.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yeah, I've done a bit of looking, and it doesn't seem like Bob's bows are cheap at $180. Anything is better than the plastic bow I'm playing at school.
  8. $180? wow. I knew I wasn't in the loop with low end stuff particularly, but I really didn't know you could buy a bow other than fiberglass for that little.
  9. I agree. definitely shop around. 180 may not seem cheap, but it is... (pricewise)
  10. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    It's usual for beginners to underestimate the importance of a good bow, good response/elasticity and a pleasing tone. I advise them to save and get as a good bow as they can, something like 5k$ is really worth every peny. And get some help from someone that knows to distinguish a bow from a BSO.
  11. I agree. an extra thousand dollars is going to make a lot more difference spent on a good bow than on a bass, and a bad bow is just plain frustrating. A good bow makes playing more fun.
  12. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I'd go for a much less expensive bow and use the difference for lessons, myself.
  13. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Yeah, my post was to advocate for something a little bit better than an entry level bows, say in the 500$ (or€) range instead of those 180$ ones (although sometimes you can get lucky and find a good cheap chinese one, but don't dream too much). Of course, wth an extra thousand you start to get in the real good bow section. Can't say much about these, I haven't been there myself ! I duno if Toman is serious. Must live in another world :meh: :confused: :meh:
  14. Yes, I'm serious. If you're a serious musican, why not make a small investment in a good bow? It will do nothing but help your playing, and it won't depreciate in value. In my opinion you can't get a decent bow for less than about 600, and to find a truly fine bow for under 1k is a lucky find. I always get a chuckle out of people I meet who play an instrument worth 10 or 15 grand, and then think it's crazy to spend a thousand or more on a bow. If I had to go out and start over, buying a bass and bow on a budget, I'd buy the best bow I could find for a reasonable price, and then spend the rest of the budget on the bass. The bow is every bit as much an instrument as the bass; I don't understand why people feel the need to be cheap... :rolleyes:
  15. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Well, it seems some of you want me to spend a lot of money on a bow, but I don't have a lot of money. Honestly, the bass is going to be my christmas gift, and I have to pay for the bow and everything else. Guess what, money's tight, I don't have a job, I need a car in March and of course I need to keep my electrics strung and working. I can only afford a $180 bow by pinching every penny and driving two hours to avoid shipping. My question wasn't should I spend $1000 on a bow, but rather are Bob Gollihur's bows good for the price?
  16. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Our answer is PROBABLY NOT, unless you just need it for the last bar of a ballad.

    For an unskilled player it's even tougher to evaluate a bow than to evaluate a bass. And you'll find a high degree a variability within a set of bows made by the same guy the same day! Take someone that knows with you, your teacher is your best bet if he is a classical DB player. Read carefully: There's an unbelievably high number of bow-shaped-objects on the loose out there which are just not working in a way a bow should work! Better to wait than to waist... Toman and I seem to agree that it's difficult to find a bow bellow 500-600$, our advice is to save until you get that sum. In the meantime, use the one from your school since noone needs it!
  17. heheh... sorry for the tangent there. I don't know what you should spend on a bow. I just want you to be aware of what bows cost, and what you're getting in the price range you're looking at. I don't think Bob sells junk, so I'd say his cheap bows are probably just as good if not better than the next guy's. Just be aware that a bow that cheap isn't going to be much fun to play, because you'll be spending more time trying to wring a decent tone out with it than you will making music. And making music is the goal of all this, right? Anyway, good luck! ;)
  18. I think the tendency to be cheap is simply because its possible. Im not advocating it though. I just switched from a glasser fiberglass, to a french pernambuco leomar in the 700 range, and Im lovin it.
  19. DjangoPastorius


    Nov 24, 2003
    Hi, I am new to the site and a bowing newbie as well. I have been playing professionally on guitar and electric bass for over 30 years, and recently decided to study double bass formally with a great instructor (a symphony player and university instructor).

    I was just looking at a double bass catalog (Lemur) and noticed the prices ran from $50 to $4000. So....

    1) Why does the bow make such a big difference?

    2) Why do good bows cost so much?

    3) Brazilwood vs. Pernambuco vs. carbon fiber?

    Your post was very timely - XMAS is coming up.
  20. Hey Django, welcome to the site. Good questions, but if you use the search feature and check out the newbie links at the top of each forum you should be able to find a lot of info on all of those topics. :D

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