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German and French: What's the difference?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Steve Killingsworth, Dec 22, 2002.

  1. I am thinking about buying a bow to experiment with. I read about Germans and French--what is the difference?

  2. scott reed

    scott reed Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2002
    The difference is primarily in the shape of the frog.
    French bow frogs are similar in shape to violin/viola/
    cello ones with their rectangular shape. German or
    Butler frogs are wider with a reverse C-shape to them. The bow stick is usually carved differently;
    the bow tip seems to be larger on many French
    bows I've seen compared with the more slender tip
    style on German bows I've owned. The playing
    grip is usually hand over the stick on French and under the stick on German although I've seen some players do the opposite on both style bows.
    There are advantages and disadvantages in using either style bow. All can be addressed with a good
    teacher, a good bow and practice. I guess the bow
    that feels best to you is the best bow - especially
    if it makes you want to use it more often!
  3. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Just a suggestion,

    You'd benefit from a teacher. Here's one way to hook yourself up: Call up the Musician's Association in your town, or close by, and get the number of some of the bassists in the Orchestra from them. Ask specifically about who in the bass section teaches. Interview a couple of them on the phone if you can, and set up some lessons.

    Whichever bow your teacher plays is the one for you. Then later you can experiment with the other style at some point. If you want to bow the bass, you really want some good lessons right off the bat.

    One man's opinion. . .
    LM Bass