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New Bow

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by kewleb, Jun 2, 2005.


  1. kewleb

    kewleb

    May 18, 2005
    Liverpool, England
    Hello all

    Just got a new bow, but it doesn't seem to wanna take the rosin. Do I need to "pre-treat" the hair in some way? At this point, it just feels way too slippy and the rosin just won't adhere to the hair, it seems. i'm not very experienced with bows and rosin, as you can imagine :bag:
     
  2. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    did you get the bow from a bowmaker ? A bowmaker will usually prime the hair with powdered rosin.

    Take a piece of rosin and crush it to dust, then take something like an empty thread bobin, mash it around in the powdered rosin and apply to the hair with the bottom of the bobin.
     
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Please answer these Qs so I and otheres can help.

    1) What kind of bow?
    2) Is the hair new or old?
    3) What kind of Bass do you have?
    4) what kind of strings are on the Bass?
    5) how old are the strings?
    6) what kind of rosin are you using?
    7) how old is your rosin?
    8) how long have you been playing Double Bass?
    9) do you study with a professional orchestra bassist?

    Any, some or all of these factors can be the source of your problem.
     
  4. kewleb

    kewleb

    May 18, 2005
    Liverpool, England
    Hi Ken

    1 The bow is a brazilwood bow, German style. Not expensive, but looks ok and well made
    2 Brand new hair
    3 NS electric upright bass
    4 The stock strings that came with the bass, which I believe are d'Addario helicores
    5 Strings are about two and a half years old
    6 Have been using a non-bass specific rosin, Hidersine violin rosin
    7 Rosin is reasonably old, more than five years
    8 Been playing the electric upright for two and a half years
    9 I do not study with a professional orchestra bassist

    So, as you can see, I'm not a REAL double bassist as such but I can play with a bow, when it works properly.
    Over to you Ken......
     
  5. Ben Joella

    Ben Joella

    May 31, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL
    kewleb,

    It sounds like you just have clean, un-rosined hair and bad rosin. Get a fresh cake of Bass rosin (Pops, Nyman, Carlson) and apply as needed. It'll work in with about an hour of playing. Since it sounds like this is your first bow...never touch the hair with yours fingers. The oils in your hand will get on the hair and prevent the rosin and/or the string from grabbing.
     
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    1&2- ok..
    3)The bow response on an EUB is completly different than real Basses. Each Bass has its own quirkes as well so lets move on..
    4) are these Orchestra Strings, Hybrids or Pizz?
    5)style more important unless they have visible wear or have been on and off the Bass alot.
    6)Yuck... BINGO... Try some "Pops".. You can't drive a truck with car shocks and tires.. Get BASS Rosin..
    7)N/A.. 100% the wrong stuff. Age means nothing if its the wrong Rosin.
    8&9) Get a good bowing teacher. It will make the WORLD of difference to do it the right way.. You are hunting in the dark shooting blanks! Even Pros study to get better.. Try it

    Main problem is the lack of Bass rosin.. Then get tuned with a good Teacher... Best of luck.. report back in a year or so.. You will be a new man then... 6 months if you get anxious..lol
     
  7. kewleb

    kewleb

    May 18, 2005
    Liverpool, England
    Hello Ken/Ben

    Thanks for the advice. Can i just mention though, that i am not new to the world of bowing. Before i got my EUB, I had been playing violin for about seven years and still am to this day. Yeah, I think that because the bow is brand new, the hair is too "dry" ie. needs rosin desperately - also, I DID have some POPS bass rosin, but have lost it. :rolleyes:

    Before buying this new bow, I was using a really cheap and nasty bass bow, with violin rosin and was getting good results. The problem was, the hair was all uneven on that bow and I was getting annoying squeaks in the middle of fluid lines and sometimes complete drop-outs in the sound. Hence I decided to get a better bow, which this one definitely is. I just need to get the correct rosin. Thanks everybody for your hints and tips.

    Oh and Ken....nice basses, by the way ;)
     
  8. kewleb

    kewleb

    May 18, 2005
    Liverpool, England
    Ok, so I've got some Pops rosin and it has done the trick.

    Excellent :D
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    I bought some Pirastro Bass rosin to use with my NSCR5 and it seems very hard and unyielding....:confused:

    Where did you get your Pops (mail order in England?) and what sort of consistency is it?
     
  10. kewleb

    kewleb

    May 18, 2005
    Liverpool, England
    Hi Bruce

    I got my Pops rosin on mail order at www.stringersmusic.co.uk
    It's a company based in Edinburgh.

    The Pops is really quite soft and will go even softer on hot days. Goes onto the bow no problem.
     
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Thanks for that - I'll give it a try!
     
  12. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Bruce, think of slightly congealed honey and you've got a good idea of what Pop's is like... I hate the stuff.
     
  13. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I just got a cake from Arnold and am loving it.. I Got one from CSC ages ago and it worked ok. Must be the better Basses and Bows that helps out. I don't Rosin up as often with the Pops as I did with any of the Kolsteins Rosins.
     
  14. If you order from here, you get the freshest Pops you can get. I did this and the date on the bottom was 1 week old. My previous batch, bought from a reputable store, was already over 6 months old when I got it.

    http://www.bassrosin.com/
     
  15. kewleb

    kewleb

    May 18, 2005
    Liverpool, England
    Thanks for that, Mark. I've just looked at my cake and it's about 9 months old. Still, it's working ok, but I know where i'll be ordering from next time ;)
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    But the Pirastro Rosin I got, is almost completely solid and dry, which seems like the worse option - although as has been mentioned it may be different for EUBs - but I am finding this whole question very confusing - i.e. what's the best "consistency" for Rosin? :confused:
     
  17. kewleb

    kewleb

    May 18, 2005
    Liverpool, England
    Hi Bruce. I don't think it really matters whether it's a DB or EUB. What I mean is, I know whether my bow is grabbing properly on my EUB's strings BEFORE I've even plugged the bass in. Bow on string seems to be the issue; whether that string is on an acoustic bass or an electric one doesn't really matter.

    One satisfying thing about POPS is that you know that the bow gets a good coating of rosin, due to the softness of the rosin. Whether soft or hard rosin is actually better all round, I can't really answer that one :meh:
     
  18. Bruce,

    I play almost exclusively with the bow, orchestral music.

    The problem I found with Pops was that it was tricky to apply smoothly and evenly, especially in hot weather. I also found that the tone I was able to get with Pops was not as pleasing as the tone I get with a slightly harder rosin.

    In addition to Pops, I have tried Carlsons, Kolsteins Soft and Kolsteins All Weather, and so far the All Weather is my favorite. It is easy to control the ammount applied, and therefore the grab required, it eaves very little residue on the strings, and it allows a smooth tone (all else being equal).