Re: Bowed Acoustic Bass Guitar

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Posted by Bob Gollihur on August 10, 2001 at 07:50:45:

In Reply to: Re: Bowed Acoustic Bass Guitar posted by TobyChen on August 10, 2001 at 06:40:42:

: : : With regard to the message I posted a few weeks ago about the acoustic bass guitar/double bass hybrid, I have finally worked out how to show people pictures. If you're interested please click on the following link.
: : : Again, any form of response would be greatly appreciated.

: : VERY nice! How is the acoustic volume in comparison to other acoustic bass guitars?

: Acoustically, it can certainly hold its own against an acoustic bass guitar when plucked, (adding frets to the fingerboard would certainly clarify the tone but for this instrumnet at least, would detract from the effect I was trying to achieve).
: When bowed it is significantly louder, probably the same(ish) sort of volume as a bowed 'cello. Obviously compared to the double bass the depth of tone and length of sustain (decay?) is closer to that of the acoustic bass guitar but this certainly does not lead to an 'empty' sound, especially in the upper register.
: At the moment it is strung with flatwound electric bass strings of poor quality which certainly doesn't help matters, but the flatwound are essential for arco work. I'm still looking for the ideal string. Any suggestions?

I think I'd try Thomastik Jazz Flats; I am building a 34" scale EUB (have already built a 42" scale EUB) and plan to use them. I tried bowing a set on one of my bass guitars and they seemed to react well to arco. They do have a slightly rough surface, as the outside windings are not perfectly adjacent to each other, but I still would put them up as the first choice. They are a round core string, very flexible, unlike most other flats. A second candidate could be D'Addario Chromes, which also have a nice finish, though are more taut and stiff than the Thoms and are not as "musical" and rich with overtones as the Thomastiks IMHO.

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