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Re: French vs. German

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Posted by Stefan Willems on November 19, 2001 at 02:07:31:

In Reply to: Re: French vs. German posted by Armenta on November 16, 2001 at 20:07:29:

: : I'm working on a research paper that includes a discussion on the benefits of the German vs. the French bow design. Anyone got an opinion?

: I was told that the German bow evolved out of necessity because of the old string technology, and the smaller French bow can now get the volume and nuances with the new string technology.

Well, German style bowing, is coming from the Viola Da Gamba playing technique. The Gamba family has something particular wrt Violin family : the bowing has to be done in reverse made : this means, when you would play the same music on the e.g. violin and the gamba, upbowing on the violin would be down-bowing on the gamba and vice-versa. This means that upbowing has slightly more potential on applying pressure on the bow than , just like down-bowing on violin .
As the double bass is in fact a directly member of the Gamba family, this tradition has been conserved. Like previous mail said, with modern strings, there is even a pro for french bowing because of the ability to play fast enough even on the E or C string (5string Bass).
Try to use German bowing style on the lowest strings on the bass and you will understand what I mean. On the other hand , on the upper strings, you can have slightly more power .
Hope this helps.

(sorry for my english)

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