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Posted by Rich Laird (220.127.116.11) on September 18, 2002 at 20:30:19:
In Reply to: New Bass Care tips, and bow posted by Jeff Utter on September 16, 2002 at 17:47:54:
: Hey, i just purchased my first upright bass. It was rather pricey, and i'm going to school for music education so it's gotta last :-D ... the highschool i was in had trash for instruments and i was never taught how to properly take care of them. So, how can i keep my bass in good condition? I'm mostly referring to ambient conditions... what's a good temperature, should i get a humidifier/dehumidifier ect.... Also is there any special kind of cloth i should get for cleaning the bass, and g
etting rosin off the strings?
: Additionally, the bass didnt' come with a bow, but i will need to purchase one soon, before college audition.So, i was wondering what are some good "name brands" to look for on bows? i've seen some floating around on ebay in the $90 price range, are those quality (they say handmade wood, and horse hair)?
: Also, any tips for a kid who is begenning in the professional world of bass, would be greatly appreciated.
: Jeff Utter
Others might not agree, but I always understood that temperature isn't what's important - humidity is. When the temperature drops or rises suddenly - either from a major change in the weather - or from going outdoors or back indorrs, that's likely to be accompanied by a sudden change in humidity - and that's where you want to be careful. Gradual changes aren't so bad, but you should keep your bass out of extremely dry environments.
You want humidity above 40% - and pretty stable. If the environment you're keeping your bass in doesn't offer that, a humidifier might be a good idea. Dampits (use two) can help - but a lot of people don't like them 'cause they can allow water to drip inside your bass, which is DEFINITELY not good. Make sure they're not too wet when you put them inside the instrument - be really careful if you use dampits.
For a cloth, just use something clean and absorbant - cotton is good. Don't use anything with any kind of chemical treatment or anything. Wipe your bass off regularly - ALWAYS before you put the cover on it - or whenever it gets any moisture, rosin dust, or anything on it. The main purpose of wiping your instrument off is minimizing moisture.
As far as getting rosin off the strings...the best thing is not letting it build up in the first place. Most good players wipe the rosin off the strings after maybe 20-30 minutes of bowing - always have a cloth with you. If it does build up, "00" to "0000" grade steel wool gets it off steel strings.
Bows - there's lots out there. For what's it's worth, I got a Jan Dvorak bow on eBay for about $110 that's really OK. But your money is best spent on something that works well for your particular instrument. Try them out if you can - if you don't think you have the experience to select a good bow for your own bass, maybe your teacher or another player can help. It's realy a good idea to play them with your own axe and find a good match.
Hope that helps - Good Luck!
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