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Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by GiveUpTheFunk, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. Help me!!! im pretty much a bass guitarist that found love in the upright bass. ive gotten used to playing with my fingers, but i have no idea how to use a bow. whats the difference between a french bow and the german bow? and how do u hold them? thanks for wasting your time fully and completely. :D
  2. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Give up the idea: get the feel, get a teacher. (& stop being sorry)
  3. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    If you don't have a teacher yet try getting an instruction video from Lemur, entertain yourself with the Edgar Meyer Appalacian Waltz DVD, and/or surf through Bob Gollihur's basslinks. Then find a teacher and let him/her tell you which type of bow you're going to need for your lessons.
  4. GiveUpTheFunk -- for what it's worth, to get back to your question of how you hold the two types of bows, best we can do here is to tell you that you hold a French bow with an overhand grip, and a German bow with an underhand grip (if you're used to baseball terms).

    Some folks are more comforable with one type, some are more comfortable with the other. I think we have a number of bassists here who have played both types.

    I can't imagine trying to learn using a bow without a teacher, although I imagine some have done it. But the others are right, findimg a teacher is your best bet.
  5. Don't try to teach yourself to use a bow. Actually, don't teach yourself to play at all! At best all you'll do is get frustrated and develop some bad, hard to break habits. At worst, you'll end up hurting yourself and making it that much harder to learn to play the right way. The best advice is to get a good teacher; the style of bow doesn't matter that much, and you can always learn both or switch down the line. But IMO, it's not possible to teach yourself how do do it even with a book or video.