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Is my bow TOO loose?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by PJEBassist, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. PJEBassist


    Aug 3, 2004
    Paducah, KY
    Hey there guys,

    I play a French bow (I want to play with a German so bad) and Pops Rosin. The Pops works well in my opinion, but it used to be horrible. I let melt a couple of time in that container, and now it's really sticks and grabs better, and I never see any residue, but I do clean my bass right after I finish playing. But I do play with my bow REALLY loose it seems. I let the hair touch the stick when I'm right on the middle, but I always play close to the frog, becuase Cello and Bass in my opinion are frog instruments. It seems to grab better and let's me relax a bit more, is this bad?

  2. You should be able to play with the entire bow.It is best to practice logbow excercises-long sustained notes,bowing from frog to tip,and back.Concentrating on producing a consistant sound,and keeping the bow in the same place-between the top of the fingerboard and the bridge.
    The bow should be tightened just enough that the hairs do'nt touch the stick.
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I like the sound of the bow in the middle of the stick, articulation-wise. I use this on average, and then I have the ends of the stick which will give you stronger and smoother attacks easily when you want them. If you need a 'big breath' you then have to either have the right end of the stick or use a little extra gravy to get a desired articulation at the 'wrong' end of the bow.
  4. PJEBassist


    Aug 3, 2004
    Paducah, KY
    I do practice longbow stuff, we all need to do that. But I'd say I'd use the frog in the most. Thanks alot about the bow tightness, I've got it just a little away from the stick but not touching. Of course I try to draw the entire bow for scales and then I'll do some scales slurred half notes, I've got to, you know? But when you draw the bow out that far, lots of time you'll put too much pressure in your bow hand (if you have a really loose bow hold like me, I'll drop my bow if I take it off the string) so I try to refrain from the doing long stuff. Thanks alot though guys. My teacher keeps on getting mad at me for having the bow too tight or too loose. My friend lesson he told me I had it way too tight, then the next it was way too loose. That'll be a good reference, thanks guys.

    By the way, what do you prefer, German or French bows?

  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Didn't we agree to use Alsation and Freedom?
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    For either bow you have to find and use the balance of the bow. If you're preferring the frog then it sounds to me like you're replying on hand pressure to do the work. For me, each end has its own awkwardness and the middle of the bow feels nice and comfortable, and the frog area is my least favorite part of the bow.
  7. I don't understand how you can talk about which part of the bow you prefer to use, as if were you start is all about personal choice.

    Controlling the use of the bow is is like breath control to a singer. It is, to a great extent, about the ability to maintain smooth and consistent tone and volume for the required note lengths.

    In orchestral music at least, often the bowing are written in or the conductor dictates.

    My point is that where you start and where you end is to a very great extent dictated by the needs of the musical phrase. The length and combination of the notes in the phrase, the loudness required, the type of articulation. All this effects how you must use the bow, even if nothing was actually marked in the music.
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    True, but this also depends on the length of the note (or phrase) and the articulation desired.

    It's tougher to get a house-top at the tip, tougher to sneak in on a note at the frog, and the mid-third of the bow offers me many articulations without having to run to one end of the bow or the other, given that the duration of the stroke doesn't need more bow than I have left. Add to that the differences between and up and down bow.

    It's always the right tool for the job.
  9. Yes Ray, that was one of my points, the length of note matters a great deal.

    I too feel most comfortable in the center two thirds of the bow - the two extremes are never as easy to control for me.

    I just feel that so often one doesn't really have a whole lot of choice, you play where you need to. It could be that when I have been playing longer and have a mastery of the bow, I will be more likely to get the quality and/or the effect needed at almost any point on the bow.
  10. This is either a good joke or something scary.

    Seriously, i have tried to play with a German bow, and I ended up hurting myself, probably because different muscles are sollicited. I also found it hard to play on the E string. Are we supposed to pull the bass to access that string, as they did with the Viola da gamba ??

    The French bow is way easier to use.
  11. You're kind of talking about apples and oranges with Ray because he's jazz player. He doesn't have to worry so much about bow markings and such as he's improvising. Unlike people having to read and blend with other players, in my opinion, he's more concerned with color and making quick decisions with his ear.
    My2 cents
  12. This is a good joke and something scary!! (welcome to TBDB)