1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)


Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by lobster_boy, Dec 30, 2001.

  1. I have sorta told my band teacher that I would be happy to play DB in his band. I've only played a DB 3 times in my life, but I've been playing EB for 4 years. I will be the only string instrument in the band and I'm going to be considered the "string tuba". SO, I've been practicing w/ a bow and it sounds and feels like I'm killing a firepole w/ hack-saw! Do you trusted and superior DBists have any tips for me on bowing? I pretty much have my left hand on control from all the time playing a fretless 6-string bass. I will not be able to get a teacher for 2 months because of my teenage salary. ANY info would be very much appreciated.
    BTW: I will be playing with them in a week!
  2. skip the country till the whole thing blows over
  3. Umm.
    Click your heals together and keep saying there's no place like home.
  4. Close your eyes and think of England!!!
  5. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    ...or...you COULD just be up-front with your teacher and let him know that you're a beginner. And make no mistake about it...an experienced EB player who picks up DB is just that...a beginner. It's a different instrument.

    Maybe he knows that already and is giving you the opportunity to get started.
  6. rablack


    Mar 9, 2000
    Houston, Texas
    The magic words are of course "get a teacher", but you know that already. Bowing is basically impossible to teach online. "hold your wrist like this... no, less tension in the hand ... you're not bowing from the shoulder... " Get the idea.

    There are few links on (All Hail) Bob Gollihur's website with pictures and explanations but nothing will take the place of a human being in the same room who can watch, listen and analyze.

    Also, if this is a school bass, chances are the strings are old and shot and the bow needs rehairing.
  7. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Once again, rablack speaks the truth. What's going to happen is, you are going to play with whatever limitations and improper technique you have. Eventually, you will go to a teacher. You will have to learn how to break all your bad habits. This can take a long time. That's the risk of playing without instruction. It's up to you.
  8. I've been to Bob Gollihur's website and it was very helpful and I've talked to him about an aluminum upright bass before and he was very considerate. I've got to keep the school's bass over the holidays and I've barely gotten steady bowing down but I'm positive theres MANY things I'm doing wrong. The teacher said I can officially begin instruction in 3 weeks not 4. My trumpet player friend is going to be practiceing with me tommorow to go over a few songs we will be playing so maybe I'll be able to struggle through 4 songs. And if it doesn't work out after all I could always pluck through the songs.;)
  9. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I remember struggling with arco during my own self-taught days, and even afterwards to some extent.

    I know now what got in my way -- old/unsuitable strings (usually Thomastiks), crummy rosin, and ancient hair on my bow. Fixing all three was a revelation. You can finally let the bow do the work instead of trying to force the sound out of the bass.

    That said, while I played tuba in the marching band in HS (faint recollection in the distant past) I usually played double bass in the concert band and had an absolute ball doing so. I still remember sawing my way through the 1812 Overture during a concert, and the immersion and joy of the experience -- 36+ years later. Bad tone and all.

    Enjoy it. The typically horrible clarinet section will cover up any squawks.
  10. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    Come on guys this newbee wants help.
    Basic bow technique is:

    1 use rosin
    2 make sure the bow is 90 degrees to string
    3 bow about 1 to 1 1/2 inches below finger board
    4 get a basic string bass book and read about bowing.

    the 90 degrees is probably most critical
  11. viking_456


    Jan 14, 2002
    Irvine, CA
    I don't know if this thread has gone stale or not, but a couple of other things would be:

    1) don't use to much rosin.
    2) don't use too much pressure. In other words, don't jam the bow down on the string. Having made the transition from primarily a pizzicato player to an acceptable arco player, this was one of the hardest things to get past - and again, instruction helped me here.

Share This Page