french bow aching thumb

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by JC Mags, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. JC Mags

    JC Mags

    Jan 2, 2002
    hi guys,

    Do you guys have problems with your thumb after you play arco for a while with a frech bow?

    I get this aching thumb problem after playing.
    Before I started with the double bass, i was a cello player (well, I still am). I use a frech bow coz i figured that with my experience in cello playing, i would get accustomed with that type of bow.

    Does holding a Double Bass Frech Bow differ from how you hold a cello bow? Do you guys have any illustrations / pics on the proper grip for a double bass frech bow.

    Thanks for your help.

    JC :)
  2. dragonetti11


    Jun 20, 2002
    well i know that your not suppose to hold the bow hard. the pressure should be coming from the arm and shoulder not the hand. i think
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    You'll get used to it. Bass bows weigh quite a bit more than cello bows, and the only thing that counteracts the tip from dipping is pressure from the thumb. As you get more comfortable with the hold, you'll learn to loosen up the right hand generally and distribute the weight more evenly amongst the other fingers.

    If it's seriously bugging you, you can put a piece of rubber surgical tubing on the stick where the tip of your thumb butts up against the frog. This will involve removing the frog, though, so if you're worried about screwing up your bow, see a specialist for this procedure.
  4. Quizzo


    Aug 10, 2002
    Upstate SC
    i had that same problem when i started. first of all anytime you are playing and it starts to hurt STOP! it doesn't matter where. it is better to stop and be a little humiliated then to run the risk of hurting your hand permanently. Anyways, to keep from aching make sure to stretch your hand, i found that it worked for me to massage my hand in hot water before playing. Make sure the pressure comes from your arm and keep your thumb slightly bent. A good bass player can hold his bow as loose as possible and still play a Bottesini concerto. Don't try to kill the string it is better to get a "focused" sound than am opposed to a loud sound.