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Much Ado About Nothing

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks. I'm just jumping in at the very beginning of Simandl and working on my own for now. Sid King, who loaned me a wonderful old bow of his, will look in from time to time and help me out with physical stuff. Right now it's just something to do when I'm too brain dead to practice any serious improv stuff (usually at about 11 -12 PM), but who knows where it could lead....
  2. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine

    I knew it was just a matter of time. I gotta think that box of yours roars under the bow.

    Welcome to the club of those that suck with a bow. We meet privately every Weds nite at 1am in a back alley. Currently taking applications for "tortured cat".
  3. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Ol' Franz is going to do his best to make you hate the bow. The Rabbath book has more "contemporary-friendly" licks in it, and that crazy Zimmerman book (the one where all of the exercises are presented on the A on the D string and the E on the G string) really lets you focus on the nitty gritty of the right hand. Another great way to get into it is through Gary Karr's three "Double Bass Books"--he starts with the bow only, on harmonics, for the entire first book, which really eases you into the bow thing gently and nips the bad habits in the bud. (It seems like a kids' book, but that's really just because of Karr's light-hearted goofiness.)

    I'm sure Sid will steer you in the right direction, Chris! Have fun...
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Thanks for the encouragement fellas, but I'm really just screwing around at this point. I'm working way, WAY too much at my day gig and ending up exhausted at the end of the day too tired to do any serious creative or technical practicing that involves my brain at all, so I figured this would be a good time to whip out the stick and follow the dots in Simandl. The new rosin helped a lot, but I still sound like wild buffalo mating at this point.:help: Thank god my wife loves me, or I'd be out of the house by now. :D
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    There are some wonderful advances in sound deadening materials being made.:bag:

    Welcome to the Cat Torturer's Club.... when it starts to click, you will dig it.
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Exactly how many ballads are planning on playing?
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    None, actually. :D Believe it or not, I have this notion that it would be nice to play melodies of "new standard" type material (pop/rock/folk/whateverthe****youcallthatcontroversialinclusionofcurrent/neocurrent populartunesintojazzgigsthang) with the stick. I've got some Radiohead and Sting lifts that would sound great that way if, say, Sid King were to be playing the heads. Whether I'll ever be able to pull that off is another story altogether...
  8. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    - Ol' Franz Made me love the bow, since you end up being pretty solid at bowing by the end.
    As far as bowing tips I have:
    * Try to set the string in motion then let the string's vibration pull the bow across, each note has it's own natural speed based on it's vibration.
    * Try to feel the vibration of the stick in your fingers, you will get some information through that.
    * Try to find all the crazy sounds you can, knowing how a sound is produced makes it much easier to get rid of it when you don't want it.

    You will get it sooner than you think and I am sure you will have a great time with it.
  9. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Let me be the first to predict that FitzBowHead will end up being a convert to the benefits of arco practice. :p It's only a matter of time fellas before he realizes what he's been missing out on.

    Chris, welcome to the Club of Masochistic Music with Sticks of Hair. May you have joyous left-hand cramps and intonation frustrations. :D
  10. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Loooooooooooooooooonggggggg tones, man, with a metronome.
  11. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    +1 And not just open strings, every register, If you want a good tone at the end of the fingerboard, you have to play longtones up there.
  12. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    +1 and long tones with double stops while lifting off a string every half beat. On... offf... . on.... off.... on... off... I can feel my hand cramping already! :p
  13. relacey


    Sep 18, 2004
    Sign me up! :D
  14. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Hey...that must be why we follically impaired guys do it! It's our last connection to long hair..........
  15. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    "Arco" (n.) -- Italian for "last note of ballad"

    Way to go, Chris.
  16. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    I am teaching a primarily jazz player privately right now. I am NOT a jazzer, by any strech of the imagination. :eek:

    He came to me because he wanted to improve his technique, as he is a convert from slab. The first couple of weeks he looked like Frankenbow. (Holds arm straight with out moving the wrist) But now, after a few months, he is bowing and making a really good tone. His jazz ensemble class (at the arts HS) is playing a Vivaldi concerto right now and he played it for me at his last lesson. Wow- what an improvement.

    The bow really helps clear up your intonation, and he is looking like an arco player from way back.

    Chris, I know you will get the hang of it. Long tones and string crossing excercises to loosen up- then tackle the Simandl.

  17. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    Something I found helpful that is not in Simandl are these facts:
    1. The thicker the string, the more weight you need to apply with the bow. Therefore you need to really muscle the E string compared to the G.
    2. Keeping the bow as level with the bridge instead of letting it get angled towards the floor is crucial to avoid scratching and overall bad sounds. Also keep as much of the hair on the strings as possible.
    3. The higher your left hand goes up the neck, the higher the bow must go towards the bridge. In other words, if you're playing an A on the G string in 1st position, the bow should be about an inch from the end of the fingerboard. If you're playing an F on the G string just short of thumb position, the bow should be 3-4 inches from the end of the fingerboard.
    4. Try not to keep the bow hair too tight; if you squeeze the hair in the middle of the stick it should give but not actually touch the stick.
    5. The higher the note, the faster you need to move the bow.
    The lower the note, the slower you need to move it.

    Hope any of these help.
  18. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I have found it much more successful to teach beginning bow users to bow close to the fingerboard on the E string. I save the idea of weight for later. Relaxation is the key to a good bow sound and muscle just adds tension. I learned this from one of John Schaefer's students and it really opened up the world of bowing for me.
  19. dfp


    Sep 28, 2004
    :) i say this with a smiley, b/c i want you to know i ain't mad at 'cha, but i do wanna bust your chops about your attitude...:eyebrow:

    chris, if you're gonna be this nonchalant :eek: about learning something many of us have bothered to use lots of time and mental energy to get good (at least not terrible) at, why should anyone bother to pay attention? :scowl:

    i actually suspect you're not quite as cavalier about this as you come across, i know self-protective rhetoric when i see it :ninja: , but you've exposed an attitude of disdain for the mental and creative energies that go into the art of playing the bass with a bow.:spit: you don't really think it's for braindead dot connectors, do you? :bawl: if so, i'll have very little curiosity to find the answer to your question "who knows where this could lead?":oops:

    thanks in advance for being a good sport, i think very well of you, or else i wouldn't have said anything :cool:
  20. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Dave, we disagree.

    Even though I choose to take this endeavor very seriously, I think it's OK for people to goof around and have fun with music. For me, that's playing guitar -- I blow, man.

    In fact, I think it's OK for people to try new things and give themselves permission to TOTALLY SUCK at them. Rediscovering what being a beginner is like is a healthy part of a healthy growth process.

    Over & out.

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