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  #21  
Old 08-18-2007, 10:11 PM
Johnny Layton Johnny Layton is offline
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Hey I found some guys playing Take 5 (well, as part of a medley of sorts). Haven't tried to ape it yet and don't quite know which key they're playing in, but thought you guys might like to see it and compare notes. Just scroll down the page till you get to the Bass Gang and click.

http://www.xbass.org/Eng/index.php
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  #22  
Old 08-19-2007, 03:01 PM
Mark Mazurek Mark Mazurek is offline
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WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!!!







...deep breath...









You know how women think?

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I've bowed for a long time (longer than I've understood verbs or how women think) and probably...
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  #23  
Old 08-19-2007, 03:11 PM
Mark Mazurek Mark Mazurek is offline
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I'm new to bowing. So I can't contribute to the discussion, so I will try to entertain between the helpful posts.

(Although as a 'new guy', I enjoy black hair on my bow.)


I would be afraid to bow near the bridge as I'd be worried about something like this happening...



I mean, what if I couldn't swim?
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  #24  
Old 08-19-2007, 06:02 PM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Thanks for the bass gang clip Johnny.
I've watched them before, they're fantastic!
I noted how he bowed the B section but I will have to watch it a few more times.

Mark, bow near the bridge and feel the sizzle! I think you need to spend less time thinking about women and more time practising with your bow... or is it the other way round? Women always get me a bit confused.

Last edited by Richard Prowse; 08-19-2007 at 06:48 PM.
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  #25  
Old 08-19-2007, 09:50 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Arrow Bow Near Bridge..

I have seen most DB customers on the higher end purchase range test the Bass by Bowing down by the Bridge. Back in the early-mis '70s when I studied with Lew Norton (NY Phil) he had me get this Book called 'Gradus Ad Parrnassium Book II written by Simandl and edited by Zimmermann (Fred?).

The exercise he assigned to me was #21 on page 14 to be played at 60bpm, 1 note per click (Lew's handwritten instructions still in my book) with 8 notes (2 groups of 16ths) per Bow. His written instructions also say 'play as close to the Bridge as possible'.

Also, he assigned me to play #23 with the exact same instructions (2 Bows per bar as this one is in 6/8) with the exception 'play as close to the Bridge as comfortable'.

I don't know if he meant the same thing between possible and comfortable but those of you that have this book, chime in with your war stories!

I don't know where Lew got his interpretation from on this exercise but his teacher was Keith Robinson in Texas who is the father of Hal Robinson, current Principal Bass of the Philly Orch and former Prin. of the National Symp. as well. Maybe if I call Lew up and ask him he might remember. He is about 70ish I think by now and retired only 9 months ago from the Philharmonic.

Now, if the title of this thread is about the Art of Bowing and not just how to play Take 5, then maybe some of you 'warriors' would like some serious material to shed with. Here I have just giving you an inside lesson that is not written in any method book. Buying a book is one thing but knowing a few tricks about using it can almost draw blood from a stone!

Try doing this exercise or anything similar and see how much better your tone improves.
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  #26  
Old 08-19-2007, 11:18 PM
Charles Federle Charles Federle is offline
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My thought for bow placement is mostly determined by the tone color I want for the music. In orchestra I usually need a warmer and rounder sound so I play closer to the fingerboard, this is also because my bass is a bit on the bright side. For solo work I tend to play much closer to the bridge since I want a more focused and projecting sound. As for practice I tend to work with my technical work (scales and such) close to the bridge since it is harder to play and I need to practice the hard stuff
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  #27  
Old 08-20-2007, 02:46 PM
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Default closeness counts

OK, so this is one of those "how close" is close to the bridge and "how close" is close to the fingerboard questions? I've put it on the calendar (the only way I can stay on track) to get that book, Ken, and I certainly appreciate a helpful passed on tutorial, but just how close is close? Is this like horseshoes (closer than the rest) or calculus (approaches but never gets there);- how close is as close as possible (calculus?) and how close is as close as comfortable (college roommates)? Reasonable estimates accepted in fractions of distance between FB and bridge, inches, or centimeters .....
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  #28  
Old 08-20-2007, 02:55 PM
Nick Hart Nick Hart is offline
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Playing close to the bridge and close to the fingerboard has its purposes. It also plays into styles of playing. For example, Boston has a fantastic hall that is very resonant, so they often play shorter than most other sections. When it comes to playing close to the bridge or fingerboard, it all has the do with the instrument, so I prefer Paul Ellison's outlook on this. Do what sounds best. If you get the sound you need playing close to the bridge, do it, if not try something else. Of course, as far as exercises, we should always practice bowing sul tasto, sul ponticello, and in various parts of the string so that we can be flexible musicians. This will also help to learn the different tone colors you can produce in different places on the string and for anybody pursuing orchestral careers. Flexibility with the bow is the top of bow technique. The best players can produce any sound they are told to produce on the spot, with very little fussing around to find it.
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  #29  
Old 08-20-2007, 03:29 PM
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Lightbulb How close..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Powell View Post
OK, so this is one of those "how close" is close to the bridge and "how close" is close to the fingerboard questions? I've put it on the calendar (the only way I can stay on track) to get that book, Ken, and I certainly appreciate a helpful passed on tutorial, but just how close is close? Is this like horseshoes (closer than the rest) or calculus (approaches but never gets there);- how close is as close as possible (calculus?) and how close is as close as comfortable (college roommates)? Reasonable estimates accepted in fractions of distance between FB and bridge, inches, or centimeters .....
About an Inch or less with the lower part of the hair almost touching the bridge area. This is meant only as an exercise and not a style of playing. true, sometimes you play at the bridge but the lesson/drill I showed about is a Lesson, not a Style.
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  #30  
Old 08-20-2007, 03:44 PM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
About an Inch or less with the lower part of the hair almost touching the bridge area. This is meant only as an exercise and not a style of playing. true, sometimes you play at the bridge but the lesson/drill I showed about is a Lesson, not a Style.
Alright already! (That's what yankees always say on TV)
Ken, if I find a copy of Gradus Ad Parrnassium Book II, will it contain articulation exercises as well as bowing control exercises. I'd really like to do some work on bowing patterns. I hope that makes sense, I'm doing school work as I write and my mind is on two things - hard for any man!
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  #31  
Old 08-20-2007, 04:18 PM
Charles Federle Charles Federle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Prowse View Post
Alright already! (That's what yankees always say on TV)
Ken, if I find a copy of Gradus Ad Parrnassium Book II, will it contain articulation exercises as well as bowing control exercises. I'd really like to do some work on bowing patterns. I hope that makes sense, I'm doing school work as I write and my mind is on two things - hard for any man!

One of the nice things about practicing bowing patterns is that you don't really need a book, just alot of imagination. Though I have gotten a few handouts that have inspired me and helped out. http://www.box.net/public/static/1ukqpfuhg3.pdf has a copy of the Simandl, at least part of it, along with alot of great technique. http://www.box.net/public/static/icmmgjiz3g.pdf seems to have quite a bit for the bow as well.

As for the how close to the bridge and fingerboard, I agree with Nick. For practice push yourself to the limits, and always try to expand them. In performance though use what sounds best (on my bass about an inch or two for normal orchestra work). Whenever I find myself having played a big work either solo or in an orchestra I can tell that the bow has been all since most of the time you need a wide palate to choose from.
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  #32  
Old 08-20-2007, 04:52 PM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Charles, that stuff looks good.
Thanks.
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  #33  
Old 08-20-2007, 05:56 PM
Johnny Layton Johnny Layton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
About an Inch or less with the lower part of the hair almost touching the bridge area. This is meant only as an exercise and not a style of playing. true, sometimes you play at the bridge but the lesson/drill I showed about is a Lesson, not a Style.
Along with the Fred Zimmerman bowing book and the Simandl Etudes, doing slow bows as close to the bridge as I could (20-30 sec between bow changes) was David Neubert's "bowing primer" for me.

I'm with you Ken I think the slow-bow exercises (using any scheme to get one started) is the way to go if you want to get the basics down on a good bow sound...learning to do a good draw up or down bow is the foundation.
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  #34  
Old 08-21-2007, 03:24 PM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Federle View Post
One of the nice things about practicing bowing patterns is that you don't really need a book, just alot of imagination.
Very true. I think that this is the way I will go with my articulation practice.
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  #35  
Old 08-23-2007, 03:16 PM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Default Could this be the meaning of life?

Following on from Charles' "imagination" idea:
Last night, while fooling with different bowing patterns, I decided to start the B section of Take Five on an up bow. (Ages ago on a bass site in another galaxy, someone had suggested that I try swung eigth notes starting on an up bow but I never actually got round to working on it.)
Instant gratification followed! It seemed to put all the accents in the right places! I still need to go through and change some of my original bowings but I think this could be the answer. Think "week strong week strong"...
Life is looking good,
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  #36  
Old 08-24-2007, 07:01 PM
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I never realized how little attention I was paying to where I bow. Not that I'm all over the place, but it seems I have developed a subconscious preference depending on what I'm doing. I don't tend to get too close to the bridge unless I'm in thumb position on the D and G strings. It seems the lower the notes, the closer the the FB I play and the higher, the closer to the bridge up to about an inch. I'm trying to pay more attention to it now, but really I think if I am getting the tone I want to hear that this is more important than where the bow is. I do understand the exercise part of the discussion and am working out some of that. Thanks for the tips.
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  #37  
Old 11-10-2007, 04:33 PM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Default Irrevelant piece of information to do with bowing:

I'm playing in a gypsy jazz band which is turning out to be quite a bit of fun. When I get to solo, one guitarist continues to play "la pompe". I like playing over this, but sometimes he gets a little loud for my pizz. I normally (not always) play arco solos. When I play in the top half of my range, people in the audience often say that it sounds like a violin (okay, they're probably not thinking too much and mean 'something similar to a cello or violin'). This is a fun way to play and is quite liberating! It's like having two instruments! The double bass certainly is the king of instruments!
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  #38  
Old 11-17-2007, 07:36 PM
Richard Prowse Richard Prowse is offline
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Default Bowing Prelude from 1st cello suite (Bach).

I know that this is probably a silly (or well worn) topic but I'd really be interested on how people bow this 1st prelude. I learnt it 8 notes to the bow (I'm talking about the first half really for this bowing) and know that 'slur two 6 single' is probably popular. I tend to work a bit in isolation on these things and wondered if there was a sort of 'standard way' of bowing the prelude that lots of players use.
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