Why Would A Jazz Bassist NOT Want to Use A Bow?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Johnny L, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Alright how about yet another thread hailing bowed bass jazz?

  2. Adam Booker

    Adam Booker Supporting Member

    May 3, 2007
    Boone, NC
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario Strings, Remic Microphones
    Thanks Johnny, that made me happy. I love attempting arco in Jazz and it should happen more often!
  3. Sharkabilly


    Sep 26, 2007
    Ray Brown is a bad, bad man.
  4. RD


    Jun 17, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Because it's an art in itself and it's as hard to master as Jazz. Also, many have had great success without it and most players have more modest goals.
    That said, I struggle with the stick of pain, and Jazz in general. But I'll never be anywhere near Ray.
  5. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    I went to see the Midnight Serenaders last Saturday (a lot of '20s and '30s Hot Jazz, with a 2 beat swing feel). On one of the songs the bassist (Pete Lampe) played a lazy 2 beat jazz/blues number arco (playing a 2-beat bass line), and I have to say, it was my favorite bass playing of the night.

    The slower attack of the arco really made the song swing lazy-like. And while I normally expected arco for more solo-stuff, I was surprised how well it worked outside of that narrow context.
  6. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Yeah I probably should have made the title of the thread less antagonistic towards people who don't do bow and don't want to do bow in jazz.

    I mean, it is jazz after all... :)

    Too bad Jimmy Blanton passed before he could get put on Youtube doing his magic with the bow. I would have loved to see that! :bassist:
  7. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Not to pour gasoline on the fire or anything...but it's kinda like a trombone player not using a plunger, or a violinist not using his pipes, or a trumpeter not using his instrument like a baton, something like that to me...

  8. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    o.k. here's something

  9. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    this is a good question. because im never asked to bow i guess it gets pushed back in my practice schedule.

    i would encourage every bass player to explore what the instrument can do.

    <- well worth the watch

    id take this gig any day of the week
  10. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Thanks J-- for that one. The lefty hammer on trick he uses while he's bowing is pretty nifty!
  11. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    For me, it's just a matter of gathering up the courage to try it on a gig. I've been shedding with the bow for a few months, since my kids started violin and cello lessons.
  12. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    The cello is awesome!

    Anyway, check out pre-Rabbath Rufus Reid and post-Streicher Michael Moore one more time...awesome duo indeed:
  13. Rockman


    Mar 2, 2006
    I never realized how awesome his arco tone is. Wow.
  14. Is it me or does the the pre-Rabbath sound better than the post? Check the Bruce Gerz duo in the sidebar..
  15. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Rufus Reid seems to have liked the change. That's all I know.
  16. Yeah, I know I think it is really cool for a guy at that level to change everything and go back to studying. That part is really inspiring and humbling.
    I really love his work, and Rabbath's as well. I was just making an observation.
  17. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    How 'bout a bow+?

  18. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    Why Would A Jazz Bassist NOT Want to Use A Bow?

    My answer: I don't want to use one until I become much better at it. I need to add it to my practice program. I know enough to know I shouldn't be using a bow... ...at least now and the near future anyways... Otherwise it would be great to use one if I was reasonably competent at it.
  19. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    "..if you don't make mistakes you're not really trying".

    -Coleman Hawkins
  20. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Here are the only ones I know of on You Tube. Apologies to those who've seen/heard them before:

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    Primary TB Assistant

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