French Vs. German Stance

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Perplexer, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Perplexer


    Sep 2, 2003
    Tried a German bow for the first time this weekend, and noticed the same problem I had in my experiments with a german hold on my frenchie:

    When bowing the E string, my right leg seems to get in the way. Does the German require a little more of a behind the bass stance?
  2. A little more behind the bass, yes, but at least for me it was a bit more inolved than that. It basically just took a little experimentation and re-adjustment of my whole stance. One thing you might try is putting the bass in a more vertical postion and maybe a bit lower. Check out some pictures of Gary Karr to see what I mean. Also, try to sort of weight you hand, and let it drop toward the floor. That way you can get the bow closer to the bridge while still keeping it straight. That will also help you get a nice smooth, straight pull if you articulate the wrist. One of the best things you can do if you're having trouble with it is to have someone who knows (i.e. your teacher) watch you play, and manually adjust your body into the right position. That way you can actually feel what you should be doing, rather than try to translate it from words into motion. Good luck...
  3. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    You can try standing in open position (Rabbath). I don't care for it so much because my arm's not long enough to bring the bow down where I want it, but it will likely solve your problem.
  4. The trick for playing with a German rather than French bow is to use your left leg. When playing on the E strings push the bass slightly away from your body with your left knee, this makes it so that your bow is in the same place it would have been when you were playing on the A string. As you move up to the higher strings you can let the bass back into its origional possition.