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Two ?'s: One About Slapping, The Other About Bowing

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by mattzink, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. mattzink


    Jun 21, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Hello All:
    If these have been answered elsewhere, feel free just to point me in the right direction.

    Question #1:
    Can anyone recommend a good ("Good" meaning clear, interactive, with many closeups) DVD for learning how to do rockabilly style slap bass? I'm a complete beginner on upright, by the way. My initial search finds that the one by Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats seems to be a popular one. Anyone have any experience with this DVD?

    Question #2:
    Now to open a real can of worms - What are the pros and cons of both French-style bowing and German style bowing? I was recently given a French bow, and have found it difficult and painful. I'm sure that's for several reasons: bad technique, need to get used to it. But I find myself wondering what German style is like in terms of comfort. I take it there's not a huge difference in sound - is this right?
  2. There are plenty of threads that cover question #2, I think. You're probably right in assuming that french bow is more uncomfortable at first, but you get used to it. I'd just use whatever bow your teacher can teach you to use.
  3. I have that Lee Rocker Video. It's not bad.

    I would recommend it for someone new to rockabilly slap urb. He explains things very clearly.

    Be advised, he advises a few thing in there that a lot of people would disagree with.

    For example, he suggests metal strings and specifically advises no gut strings. That's just his preference.

    Also, he demonstrates left hand technique that most people cant really reach- i.e. spreading your fingers to cover a half step for every finger, even down near the nut.

    So, I guess I'm saying the video is good for right hand slap technique.

    There's also this website http://scotthinds.tripod.com/
  4. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    "The Ungentle Art of Slap Bass" is a great video, imho. You get to see/hear the diference between gut and steel. And be sure to check out www.rockabillybass.com
  5. well german and french almost comes down to preference. i find that i can more easily get a sound out of a german bow, but cant play nearly as fast as with french. its probably my lack of german tecnique. you really sh ould just invest in one of those crappy glasser 48 dollar bows to figure out what you like better. that and an instructional book or teacher. There are huge arguments about the subject. ultimately it is up to you.

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