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Fred Zimmerman's Contemporary Concept of Bowing?

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by damonsmith, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Is anyone else working out of this? I am going through Rabbath's art of the bow and revisiting his method and also consulting this great text. I have had the book for years and worked out of it sporadically. I am really reading it now instead of putting it on the stand and blowing through it.
    19 years into dounle bass and still studying the bow!
  2. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    I worked a bit with the Zimmerman book back in school, primarily when exploring on-and off-the-string bowings/string crossings.
    It is a great example of the concept of "bilateral transfer" learning - that is, if your right-hand (and associated brain hemisphere), has mastered the task, the left-hand ( and associated brain hemisphere) learning curve will be accelerated ( or vice versa). The brain hemispheres apparently "share" both positive AND negative information/tension, so simply practicing a difficult passage over and over without isolating the separate (left/right) challenges can be detrimental as well as inefficient. ( This is, of course, a simplified explanation).
    Cellist Don Reinfeld ( formerly Buffalo Phil., and Rochester Phil.,) pointed this out to me in the 1 lesson I took with him, as an approach to practicing difficult passages by isolating each "hand" (hemisphere). It was a real brain-opener. My bass teacher at the time recommended the Zimmerman book around that time, stating "...a monkey could learn the notes"(!), referring to the Bow as the most difficult and ethereal area of bass playing (and teaching).
    (Also, Dave Holland mentioned that he used parts of the Zimmerman book for isolating "pizzicato"/RH fingering challenges).
    The first 20 pages of that book will leave "bootprints"...
    Thanks for your time and interest.
  3. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    It is going well, just a few pages in and I and seeing strong results from both my students and I.
  4. bassfox


    Jun 22, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    I have been using Zimmerman for years. Great for warming up the right arm. Have all my students both upright and electric use it as well. Great tool for teaching rakes on electric.
  5. John Goldsby

    John Goldsby Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Bassist @ WDR Big Band Cologne, Regular Contributor to Bass Player Magazine
    I've used the book for years, both arco and pizz. Dave Holland had me working out of it back in the early '80s.

    What Don points out about isolating the left and right hands is important. I never heard the expression "bilateral transfer" before, but that sounds like the way I often break things down. Thanks for the info, Don and Damon!

    Noble, indeed.
  6. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    Does anyone have any sound clip / videos on how these "should" sound / look like? I have searched the net without much luck ... Do you also start at the suggested speed, seems a little fast to me?
  7. Dimmik


    Apr 16, 2012
    Yes, I also study out of it.
  8. Ant_C


    Jul 25, 2012
    Tamarac, FL
    Great book; I use it as an exercise for both arco (mainly with a detache stroke, but I'm working on spiccato too) and pizz (in the perpendicular to the string approach like Eddie Gomez, as well as the traditional parallel to the fingerboard approach), and I've seen huge improvements in my chops due to it.
  9. Blakewdm


    Jun 17, 2008
    I use this book fairly regularly, but more so, the method it indicates for separating right arm from left in orchestral play, this book shows how important the right hand is( it's very easy in a tough passage to assume the left hand is failing, when the right is the culprit)