French or German for URB

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by TheGeneral, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. I am new to the URB and am mostly an electric bass guitarist. So far I have been playing pizzicato, but I want to get into playing with a bow. Can anyone recommend a bow under $200? My bass is the Azola bugbass.
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Glasser fiberglass bows with REAL hair are about $50, German or French style; they are so cheap that it's cheaper to buy a new one than rehair an old one. They also make synthetic hair ones for only a few dollars less, those are not worth it...get real hair.

    Bow prices shoot up rapidly from there. Not sure if any wood bow under $200 is really a significant improvement over the Glasser. The Lemur Music catalog for example, offers Glasser ($48.75) an unnamed Brazilwood bow ($199) and then jumps to over $400!!! SW strings has one Brazilwood bow at $113 and then jumps to $298.

    Which style to use is somewhat religious; the standard line is German alows more power, French allows more finesse but there are many exceptions. I find German more comfortable, my daughter prefers French. Some guys play both!
  3. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I haven't been able to describe the difference between the two bows until I read your response, brianrost. That's exactly my impression. I like using my german bow most often and trying to mimic what I've been able to get away with on my french bow, especially the hopping on and off the strings to get that short note effect (isn't that what spiccato means?).

    My teacher started off on cello when he was learning the alphabet, so french is his style and he doesn't even imagine holding a bow with an underhanded grip.

    I watched two bass players on opposite sides of the stage performing St. Andrew's Passion during a concert I attended 2 years ago. The one on the left was standing and using a french bow, the other using a german bow and sitting. During this time I was shopping for my bass, so I watched those guys intensely and decided a german bow would be more intuitive for me to grasp...and it was, despite my efforts to mimic the way my teacher plays the bass.
  4. Thanks for the information. I'll check out lemur music.