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German or not ?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by davegr8house, Sep 20, 2001.

  1. Hello All,
    I have been shopping for a German Bow. I`ve found one on EBAY and all is good....NOT. I send the seller a few questions about the bow...how long...the maker...etc. Well the letter states that it is not a German Bow but a French Bow with a high frog...........OK folks, this is a new one on me. I`m new to the URB" less than a year" but I have never heard of a French high frog bow. Can anyone explain what I`ve gotten myself into here. Are these Bows common? Thank you for your time.

    If the world didn`t suck we would all fall off
  2. moerman


    Sep 21, 2001
    I know of french bows which are converted into german bows by changing the frog. It can work out great. The balance might be different with a bit more weight in the tip. That can be to your liking or not.

  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I wouldn't buy a bow on eBay. Why take a chance?
  4. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hell, I wouldn't buy a bow that I couldn't try on my bass with my strings.

  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
  6. Hi guys,
    Well the reason I`m considering buying from EBAY is because I`m just starting lessons. To be honest I dont know a good one from a bad one. I have a French Bow that came with my bass but I want to try a German. So, I not knowing nothing about bowing I`m looking for an cheap bow try out to see what direction I want to go in. My teacher suggest a Glasser composit"think i spelled it right", but I dont want to spend a few hundred bucks on something I may not even want after I try it. My teacher that is also a luither has real cheap student German bow I messed around with a little but he said it was so poor not to judge it. All well, I put an AD in the Wanted Forum for a cheaper student bow but did not get a response. Thank you for your input, I need all the help I can get.
    P.S. I just got back from standing 4 hours to give blood. I challenge all you guys to do the same. God Bless the USA

    If the world didn`t suck we would all fall off
  7. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    Just get a cheap fiberglass bow and try it for a while, it takes sometime to find out what it's right for you, I wouldn't spend a lot of money right now on it, keep working on both bows for maybe a year and you'll have a better idea of what this is all about, hope it helps.
  8. What does your teacher recommend?

    - Wil
  9. Hi Guys,
    Well I ended up buying off Ebay and got lucky. The German Bow I got is brazilwood with ebony frog, real horsehair. I ended up getting it for 50 bucks. I went to my lesson and told my teacher what I did and got that "you dumb-ass" look from him. When the bow come in I showed it to him "gulp" and he took it in his hand, messed with it a little, said he`ll be back and left the room. About 10 min. later he come back and said he had to set- it up a little" didn`t know you set-up bows" and said he thought I got a good deal. He wants to put black hair on it. He asked who I bought it from and I think he may get a few to sell as student bows in his shop. He didn`t come out and say just implied. Well I found out quick that playing a German is much easier on the wrist than French. It seems to be easier to produce a useable tone also. Said all that to say this, I know very little about bows and arco so this MY ideas on the subject. No I do not think that my Ebay bow is the way for someone to go it just happen for me. I have found that standing more behind the bass playing arco is more comfortable but I`m having problems balancing the bass. It wants to roll to my left. That seems to be a bigger problem than producing a tone at this time. Take into consideration I`m only bowing open strings now. Thankyou all for your input. Like I said before I need all the help I can get.
    P.S. Do any of you find the use of F flat and E sharp and C flat and B sharp confusing in the Samindl book 1 ?

    If the world didn`t suck we would all fall off;)
  10. :rolleyes: I ment Simandl. I can not spell worth a poot !
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    No problem...neither can I, especially when it comes to weird words like "Simandl". And yes, the enharmonic spellings in some of the Simandl exercises ARE weird, but I think they are just there to provide you with some preparation for the same type of weirdness which you'll encounter in the bass parts of much of the repertoire...especially Brahms.

    A suggestion: you can edit spelling mistakes in a previous post by clicking on the edit/delete icon and fixing whatever goofs you find. I do it all the time. We used to have a spell checker on the board, but it seemed to fall by the wayside at the last up date. Also, you seem to have your personal messaging system turned off. Is this on purpose? (I would have PM'd you this last paragraph, but couldn't).
  12. Thanks Chris. I fixed my profile so now I can now get PM`s. I didn`t have it off on purpose. As we say in the south....." You have a good-n".
  13. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    I have used both kinds of bow -- I can't tell a diffrence if you practice enough. What I do know is that if the section leader uses a German bow I use a German bow if the section leader uses a French bow I use a french bow. I have also been told, but have never seen, that the conductor calling for a certain bow. That might be true because if you watch orchestras on the TV the bass players most always all use the same type of bow. I do find the French bow to be faster and the German bow to be louder. Also, I have been told by one teacher that all good bass players use only German bows. I think it should you should use what ever you like the best and don't be suprised if your prefrence changes from time to time as mine does.

    good strokes to you
  14. mryle


    Nov 9, 2001
    North Eastham, MA
    All good bass players use German bows? Hmm ... I wonder what Edgar Meyer thinks about that.
  15. Dave, I have not seen the Simandl book, but I imagine the reason for the E sharps and C flats are the enharmonic spellings in certain keys...for example the C# scale is spelled C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#. Hence the E# (F) and B# (C). C flat comes into play if you work the cycle of 5ths in flats.
  16. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Last year, I was doing a Strauss piece that had 2 sections, one about 65 bars, in the key of Cb.
  17. J the D

    J the D

    Mar 22, 2002
    Bradenton, FL

    Put your left hand in your pocket and spend lots of hours playing with the bow with the instrument leaning against you WITHOUT holding the instrument with the left hand. Once you learn how to balance it with your body and naturally compensate for the pulling of the bow you will find it fees up the left hand. Might also try a stool.

    J the D
  18. i think that you should try both then decide which to use then only use that one.

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