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Tremolo Bowing

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Tyler_W, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. Tyler_W


    Jun 15, 2005
    Woodbridge, VA

    I volunteered to be the string bass player for my theater's production of The Chronicles of Narnia: The lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. Alot of the music has tremolo bowings. Being the wind ensemble bass player, I do not know how to tremolo bow.

    So.. how do you achieve a good tremolo bowing sound using a French bow?

  2. I'm going to quote myself from an older thread that asked the same question.

    The dynamic determines what part of the bow you use. The louder it is, the closer to the frog. If it's really soft, you'll be able to just use your wrist and play at the tip. If it's any louder, then your whole arm gets involved. I'm not saying to push back and forth as if you're wearing a cast, but to move all joints.

    The important thing is that you not use a lot of bow. When it comes to tremolos, the best thing to do is to only use and an inch of hair and adjust volume with bow placement and pressure.
  3. Wolzly


    Oct 16, 2005
    I'm not a professional by any means, but I've done about a dozen musicals, and my advice to your tremolo question would be: 'slowly'.

    If it's a high note (anything on the D or G string) you could probably do it relatively fast (and this will probably be quiet in most cases depending on what's going on on stage), if it's a low note (A or E string) go slooooow. Think of it more as unmeasured 16th notes rather than a true "tremolo". The cellist will be shaking like a leaf but in order to produce any amount of volume in low levels (and you usually want to be loud when doing tremolo on a low note) you need to make sure your grabbing the string with every stroke, so take your time and really pull out your sound.

    That's what I do anyways ;)

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