Long Bow Exercises

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by B. Graham, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    I was told that a good way to improve intonation if to perform slow long bow exercises? I can assume, but I'd rather ask; what exactly are these exercises?

  2. I think most any scales or exercises that you do, would benefit from slow long bows. My teacher has me doing these. It helps contribute not only to good intonation but to achieving more consistent tone quality. He has me doing some of the exercises in the Simandl book with long slow bows, including scales and exercises, such as the thirds and fourths exercises (meaning exercises based on the intervals of a third and a fourth, etc.).

    There's also a video by Jeff Bradetich (available online through Lemur and probably others) that uses long-bow scale exercises to illustrate this. He just uses a basic G major scale, starting with low G on the E string. Using long slow bows, he does G (down bow) - G (up bow) - A (down bow) - A (up bow) etc., working up two octaves to the high G on the G string, then coming back down, equally slowly, maintaining a down bow and an up bow on each tone.

    I'll be curious to hear what others have to say about this.
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    The whole point is not to play an "excercise," because that has you thinking about other things, shifting, fingering, etc. rather than the pure sound. Scales are the simplest way to take your left hand out of the picture. Concentrate on the effect of tiny adjustments of the right arm, bow weight, angle, speed, distance from the bridge, etc.
    Ironically, long slow scales will contribute to left hand strength.
  4. SleeperMan2000


    Jul 31, 2002
    Cary NC
    Robbie Link lives in near Durham and is an excellent teacher and bassist. Let me know if you want his #. I can't recommend him enough.

    He'll show you those long bow exercises!
  5. These are what the English demonstrated to the French at Agincourt right?
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Hehe...I was wondering if someone was gonna come up with that one:D

    Actually, my long bow exercises are even more lethal than the ones at Agincourt...at least my cats think so.