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Slappable or bowable?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Youngspanion, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Do different upright basses have different fingerboard radiuses? Are some basses easier to bow then others? If so, what questions are asked when seeking a bowable bass compared to one thats easier to slap?
  2. There is no special pizz vs. arco fingerboard, but some pizz players prefer a flatter fingerboard whereas arco players usually need a more curved fingerboard. The limit is the bowing angle (string to string or string to rib touch). This is mostly important for basses with more than four strings.

    Usually there is more room for the outer strings until the bow touches the rib. Some four (or three) string arco players might be happier with less curvature than possible to avoid huge arm movements to get from the highest string to the lowest.

    It is a very personal thing with practical limits. Don't forget that weight on the string let them sink down making the bowing angle smaller which happens to a larger degree with lower tension strings.

    Sometimes the fingerboard gets more curvature after the initial building to adapt to the needs of the player.

    Basically there exists a setup of curvature that suits pizz and arco playing, at least on the standard 4-string.
    DC Bass likes this.

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