Newbie needs bow advice

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Zemaitis, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. Zemaitis


    Jan 7, 2004
    New Paltz NY
    I am scheduled to take delivery on a new BSX half note acoustic/electric Upright within the next few months (maybe sooner) I am looking for advice on what kind of a bow to look for.
    I understand that there are German and French style bows as well as 3/4 , 4/4 etc sizes. I'll probably go with a German but I wanted to know if I need to take any special considerations for a bass this size and if there are any specific things to look out for as this is an EUB. The bass will have spirocore strings on it and Bartolini pickups.
    Ive read a few threads and have found that Yes it is a matter of personal preference but where do I start?
    Any help/suggestions on size, brands,materials, places to find decent bows for a reasonable price, etc will be greatly appreciated.
    thanks in advance
  2. All of this is in previous threads and you have probably read some of it, so that is a good place to start.

    A lot depends on how much you have to spend, so figure that out first because advice on a cheap bow will be different than for an expensive one. Also it depends on how much you are going to use it. If you can try both French and German first, do that before settling on either. My hand is more relaxed with the German bow. Also, bowing doesn't come natural to most folks, so a teacher is a big plus.

    My experience: I didn't have any clue whether or not I would even like to use a bow at first, so I found a teacher and he recommended the least expensive fiberglass one with horse hair as a starter bow. The feel is very inferior to wood, but for a while, you probably won't know that. I used it up in a year (the frog broke) and I really liked bowing so I replaced it with a better one made from Brazilwood and supplied by Bob Gollihur. These are quite popular it seems because of the quality/price ratio. Great medium quality bow for the bucks. These are full size and have good weight. If you want to spend considerably more, then there are lots of personal preferences to consider. Pernambuco bows are considered the best. Fully lined frogs are also considered better. Black hair is preferred by some, some split the difference and most use light horse hair. More people use French than German, but I think many teachers using french bows and teaching bass, but not specializing in bass might be more responsible for that than any other factor.

    You will also need some rosin, so read through some of those threads too. Ray Parker bows on Spiracores and posts frequently here. He also plays an EUB on occaision so you might search for his posts on this forum to find out what his bow/rosin combination is. Also look at the EUB threads. I hope that helps and best of luck. :)
  3. Zemaitis


    Jan 7, 2004
    New Paltz NY
    thanks for your input SilverSorcerer. I figure I'll start looking for a decent fiberglass bow for now until I figure out my preferences and I'll find out if my teacher uses French or German and go from there.
    As far as size goes, do different sized bows directly correlate to the scale/size of the instrument or is that also a matter of preference?
    Finally I dont want to blindly spend cash as Im just getting started nor do I plan to buy the cheapest bow I can find. I'd like to keep it below $200, so with that in mind any advice on fiberglass bows in that price range?
    Once again thanks
  4. Bob G. makes a pretty good bow brazilwood bow. I have it as a backup bow, no where near as good as my nice bow, but I payed a lot more than 150 for it, which is what Bobs bows cost. Great bang for the buck, sure beets a fiberglass bow.
  5. For Bob's Brazil wood bows....
    fiberglass bows don't have a sound. About $150.
    You can't beat them.
  6. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    God, you guys sound like a commercial. Looks like everybody is hoping for some more 5 string basses. :)

    We all love Bob's bows. I have a French one and buying a used German one so I can figure out what I like better.
  7. Zemaitis


    Jan 7, 2004
    New Paltz NY
    Well I think my minds made up! No selling any of my basses (or kidneys) necessary, I'll grab a german bow from Mr. Golihur.
    I've heard nothing but good things about his bows and why take a gamble on a carbon fiber for much more.
    Thanks for all your help guys, I'm sure that a bow from Bob is my best bet for beginning.
    (actual testimony of perspective buyer!) hahaha

    Now back to working on my intonation on the fretless.
  8. Oh owe me another BASS sticker..... :hyper: