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upbow/downbow staccato info

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by kurt muroki, May 7, 2004.

  1. if anyone is interested... here is an easy way to practice upbow/downbow staccato. for upbow staccato, play fast sixteenths at the tip (with your hand and fingers providing the motion)then while doing that (not actually having your fincers and hand at the tip), do an upbow with your arm at the same time. you should be relaxed in your arm and hand while practicing this. for downbow staccato do fast sixteenths at the frog etc. hope this helps someone.
  2. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Cool. I'd like to ask some questions:

    Are you using a French bow or German bow to do this?
    What role does the wrist play in moving the bow back and forth?
    Do you intend the dynamics to remain static, or instead leverage the tip and frog for natural volume changes?


    Oops, I think that Sankey talked about staccato as playing short notes consecutively with one bow in his Simandl book. Is that what you mean too?
  3. haven't looked at the sankey book (i should!!! hehe)... I play french bow, but it is similar on german bow. I posted this as a recommended practice technique for upbow or downbow staccato and so the dynamics should remain neutral throughout the bow in practice (mp or mf) do what you usually do to keep the dynamics neutral in a regular "full bow" frog to tip or tip to frog. 16ths (or tremolo) should be "in the string" not spicatto. and you should not have a "death grip" on the bow. There should be a little flexibility in your wrist but not too much. the same flexibility as in playing fast spicatto. In 4/4 I play 2 beats straight 16ths and 2 beats upbow or downbow spicatto. my best advice is Always experiment in finding what works for you in this or any other technique since no 2 people play exactly the same. if anything feels uncomfortable, start slow (eighth notes or quarter notes instead of sixteenths).
  4. Kurt - sorry to be a bit thick about this - bowing is not my strong point, but have I understood you correctly and you are sugesting holding the bow at the wrong end and pointing in the wrong direction for up-bow practise??

    Many thanks - BTW - great CV - would love to hear you - hope you carry on to post tips even if you can put up with ignorant questions like this.
  5. no prob... hold the bow the right way. this is just for practicing upbow and downbow stacatto which is where you play a bunch of short notes consecutively in one bow (upbow or downbow).. it's a flashy technique for advanced soloists to play in a violinistic manner as in such pieces i.e. zigeunerweisen or paganini 24 caprices. I have heard bassists use it in the last mvmt of the bottesini concerto # 2. one more example of where it can be used is if (in a solo piece) you see a run of fast notes with a slur over them with stacatto markings on every note. Hope this answers your question. If you want to do upbow stacatto, you start with temolo or 16ths at the tip then while doing the trem or 16ths, you move the bow as if you were doing an upbow (while still playing the 16ths or trem).
  6. Kurt - thanks a lot - just twigged I think - now I don't mind being flash but I only get advanced on fantasy island. I've just bought myself a nice new bow with which I'm very pleased, and I'm going to have to give this a try tonight. BTW it was the word tremelo that gave it away for me - I then realised that you meant the small back and forth movements needed to make the 16ths but whilst doing this move the whole arm. If this is wrong I hope you correct it before more idiots try it out!

    Thanks again! :hyper:
  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    For those of you who don't know Kurt yet, he's one of the best exports from our little island of Maui (he's in NY now). The rest of us DBers stuck in this horrible hellhole are all very proud of what he's accomplished. He's the real deal.

    E Komo Mai, brah...don't be a stranger.
  8. Thanks for the kind words Marcus, you are one of the most amazing bassists I have ever heard and I was always so inspired by hearing you play and I have always looked up to you! and I do miss Maui! I always thought there should be a gathering of bassists in maui.

    I miss da poi and lomilomi
  9. absolutely correct. you need to have good bow contact on the string while doing this as well. have fun. oh and when I meant advanced, I meant that the technique is advanced, but anyone can do it with relatively easy practice.
  10. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    So what?! No mo' poi in da City?!