What makes a good double bass bow?

There are several materials which are utilized in making a violin bow: Brazilwood, Carbon fiber, Pernambuco, and synthetic materials. Compared to the other three, carbon fiber makes double bass bows more robust. On the other hand, Pernambuco and Brazilwood are typically lightweight.

Do you use a bow with a double bass?

The double bass is played with a bow (arco), or by plucking the strings (pizzicato), or via a variety of extended techniques. In orchestral repertoire and tango music, both arco and pizzicato are employed.

What should I look for in a bass bow?

Purchasing a Bass / Bow

  • Go for all plywood. It’s sturdy and impervious to weather changes.
  • As thick an endpin as possible.
  • Ebony (NOT “ebonized”) fittings – nut, fingerboard, tailpiece, endpin collar. Rosewood tailpiece and fingerboard are fine for a second choice.
  • A good curvature (radius) to the fingerboard.

What are the two types of bass bows?

If you are a bass player, or have watched many orchestral bassists, you may have noticed that there are two different styles of bows: The French Bow and The German Bow. The French Bow looks similar to bows used for the violin, viola, and cello.

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How much does a good bass bow cost?

Upright Bass Bows

Bow Material French Price
Brazilwood with the new Ebontek™ frog! X $150
Brazilwood X $250
Carbon Fiber X $355
Pernambuco with German Silver X $775


Can you play a bass guitar with a bow?

Yes, you can bow an electric bass. I have actually done this on stage (I used a French grip bass bow ). That is not to say it works anywhere near as well as bowing a double bass. You can bow on the outer strings if you bow up on the neck (where the bow will clear the body).

Why do they call it a double bass?

The double bass is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra. The origin of the name of the double bass stems from the fact that its initial function was to double the bass line of large ensembles.

What is a 3/4 double bass?

3/4 size is recognized as a regular size bass. There are also double basses that have 5 strings with a low C to make it easier for the player to play notes lower than the low E.

Is there a single bass?

There is no single bass. The cello was the primary bass instrument, and the double bass is called that because it’s about twice the size (though it’s actual shape takes cues from both the violin and viol families). Even when tuned the same its range is about an octave below the cello.

How long is a 3/4 bass bow?

A Brazilwood stick with black horsehair, a fully lined ebony French or German/Butler frog. Our Brazilwood bows now have black horsehair, and are considered 3/4 size (there are no strict rules on sizing). The French bow is 27¼ inches end to end, with about a 20¾ inch hair length.

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What size bass bow do I need?

About the fractional sizes bass bows: Unless your teacher specifically requires a specific size, it’s been our experience here that for students playing a 1/4 bass, a 1/2 size bow matches the student and bass better. (So, if your student plays a 1/4 size bass, we recommend a 1/2 bow.

What is the difference between a bass and a double bass?

The difference between a bass guitar and a double bass is that the bass guitar is smaller, it’s held perpendicular to the player’s body, it’s often amplified via a bass amplifier, and it’s played with fingers or a pick. Double basses are larger, they’re stood upright, and they can be played with a bow.

What are two other names for the string bass?

Double bass, also called contrabass, string bass, bass, bass viol, bass fiddle, or bull fiddle, French contrebasse, German Kontrabass, stringed musical instrument, the lowest-pitched member of the violin family, sounding an octave lower than the cello.

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