Posted by Don on May 08, 2000 at 15:44:59:
In Reply to: bow-rosin posted by Dario on May 08, 2000 at 05:05:07:
: I am a relatively recent upright jazz bassist, and I just bought a bow to improve my intonation. I do not have a regular teacher, but I follow a few books, all of which give valuable advise on how to bow, but none on how and when to use the rosin, or on how to deal with the tension of the bow.
: I would be grateful for any advise regarding the care I should have to the instrument and to the bow, and especially how to apply the rosin on the bow and how to clean it off the strings after playing. Thank you
I commend your concern for intonation, and using the bow is the best way to refine it. Your average uninformed music store probably sells Petz rosin. It's really low end. The best are the Swedish rosins; Nyman's or Carlsson's are equally superior, but more costly. Lemur sells them. Apply it by running the bow ONLY in a downstroke (from frog to tip)across the rosin. You'll learn how much by trial and error. The warmer the temperature, the stickier the rosin gets. If you have too much, simply draw the bow across a clean cloth. Newer players tend to use too much, for the quick bite, but that makes the sound scratchy. Clean rosin build-up from the strings with a dry cloth. No need to be a fanatic about total removal, unless you get rosin in the pizzicato area of the string. Rosin wil rip your fingers.
Newer players tend to use too much tension on the bow, for the reason that the straighter hair tolerates a greater margin of error in the angle of the bow before you end up hitting 2 strings at once. You'll get a better sound with less tension, and by allowing the string to sink into the bowhair, you'll get a bit of "wrap" on the string. However, your bow angle must be dead-on. If you experiment with a looser bow, don't let it be so slack that the stick presses on the string.
I really don't believe in self-teaching from books and forums. If you can, I urge you to find a teacher. Good luck.
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