#1
I read in my composing book that you can call for an electric bass to play arco (with a bow). I thought this was cool, because I'm always looking for a new way to get a sound out of my bass.

So after checking with one of my former music teachers that it wouldn't hurt my bow, I decided to try it. As I was playing I was getting a muddy sound from it, because it was vibrating more than the one string.

So in order to play arco on an electric bass I'm assuming you would either use a violin or an viola bow? And maybe I shouldn't apply rosin before I use the bow on the electric?
#2
it ****s up the pickups, I heard. and it would be hard playing arco without a muddy sound, unless you have piccolo strings or tenor strings.

cool idea.
#3
You could use it. It will definently work. However, according to rule #89 in Bumpers Official Rules of Guitar Handbook (copyright 1997) "Playing guitar with a bow does not make you look like Jimmy Page. It does however make you look like a jackass."


Keep that in mind when you want to bust out the bow at your next gig.
#4
I haved played with one before, I was with my schools winter drumline, and I got bored so I started playing with a bow I found. (we were in the orchestra room) It takes some getting used too. I don't think I would want to use it in a show though.
“There’s only two ways to sum up music; either it’s good or it’s bad. If it’s good you don’t mess about it, you just enjoy it.” - Louie Armstrong
#5
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Quote by Bumper
"Playing guitar with a bow does not make you look like Jimmy Page. It does however make you look like a jackass."

Heh, I was just thinking of using it for an effect or something. If I needed anything performed bowed I would always use the upright.

ibanezkam- *lol* I've gotten bored with our drumline before (they threw me in percussion class during marching band because I was in pit)... we didn't have the upright then, so I used my friends drumstick. Quite an eerie sound I made.
#6
if i get a cello soon (which i should..) i'll see how the bow sounds on my bass

soundclips included

you can hold me to that one as long as i actually get the cello
#7
You'll need to have a curved bridge and fretboard to make it work very well. Jimmy Page had a custom made Les Paul made with these specs.
#8
Quote by bluesybassist
I read in my composing book that you can call for an electric bass to play arco (with a bow). I thought this was cool, because I'm always looking for a new way to get a sound out of my bass.

So after checking with one of my former music teachers that it wouldn't hurt my bow, I decided to try it. As I was playing I was getting a muddy sound from it, because it was vibrating more than the one string.

So in order to play arco on an electric bass I'm assuming you would either use a violin or an viola bow? And maybe I shouldn't apply rosin before I use the bow on the electric?


You would definetly need rosin, and i think a Double Bass bow would be the best because it's the shortest and widest thus giving the most friction. The way i'd get round playing all the string at once is to lower the action on your E and G strings and raise it as high as you can on A and D, it should give you enough difference to play each string separately.
Gear:
Washburn RB2500 (5 String)
Yamaha BB400 Fretless (1981)
Carlo Giordano 3/4 Upright (White)
Cort Action 4 (Stereo-fied)
Orange Bass Terror 500
Orange 1x15 Cab
Boss GT-6 Bass Multi-effects
#9
Quote by Double Basser
You would definetly need rosin, and i think a Double Bass bow would be the best because it's the shortest and widest thus giving the most friction. The way i'd get round playing all the string at once is to lower the action on your E and G strings and raise it as high as you can on A and D, it should give you enough difference to play each string separately.


1) wouldnt rosin be bad for an electric instrument? as in wouldnt it mess up the strings? (and ive heard about it messin up the pups)

2) even if you do raise/lower the action, once you fret the note, it kinda negates the action a lot.


you can do it, obviously, its just a matter of if it would be practical, and how good you can get it to sound.
#10
^true but rosin is there to provide friction, so it would not work without rosin, as far as p/ups i'd be wipin it down as much as possible

i see your second point but as long as you kept down in the lower regions of A and D i reckon you'd be fine
Gear:
Washburn RB2500 (5 String)
Yamaha BB400 Fretless (1981)
Carlo Giordano 3/4 Upright (White)
Cort Action 4 (Stereo-fied)
Orange Bass Terror 500
Orange 1x15 Cab
Boss GT-6 Bass Multi-effects
Last edited by Double Basser at Jun 20, 2006,
#11
Quote by bluesybassist

ibanezkam- *lol* I've gotten bored with our drumline before (they threw me in percussion class during marching band because I was in pit)... we didn't have the upright then, so I used my friends drumstick. Quite an eerie sound I made.


ha, I've used a drumstick many-a-time too. It's like a slide.
“There’s only two ways to sum up music; either it’s good or it’s bad. If it’s good you don’t mess about it, you just enjoy it.” - Louie Armstrong
#12
yeah i use a drumstick on double bass sometimes, it makes a real cool sound, the only released song i can think of with it in it is Hello by the John Butler Trio.
Gear:
Washburn RB2500 (5 String)
Yamaha BB400 Fretless (1981)
Carlo Giordano 3/4 Upright (White)
Cort Action 4 (Stereo-fied)
Orange Bass Terror 500
Orange 1x15 Cab
Boss GT-6 Bass Multi-effects
#13
The only strings you'll be able to play with any proficiancy would be your high and low (E and G). The A and D strings would be next to impossible to play, because there is no curve to the fretboard.

You could always get an E-bow, they are ment for this sort of thing.
#14
Quote by elemenohpee
The only strings you'll be able to play with any proficiancy would be your high and low (E and G). The A and D strings would be next to impossible to play, because there is no curve to the fretboard.

You could always get an E-bow, they are ment for this sort of thing.

E-bows are built to be used on guitars, not basses. Granted, that never stopped Michael Manring.
#15
^Or Jean Baudin. Have you considered using rosin, but covering your pickups with seran wrap? I'm kind of interested to see if this could turn out good now.
#16
I'd be afraid to use a bow with roundwound strings. I'd think some of the hairs of the bow would get ripped off.
Computer programmers are loopy.
- That's one of my own!
#17
That would be cool to get a bridge like that on one of my basses.

I've always used rosin (I use Carlsson) whenever I've played with my bow. Even when I was doing this "experiment".

I've used wrap before over my pickups, but it was only to try and protect my bass (that and put a garbage bag over the amp and something else...) because it looked like it was going to rain during a football game (and halftime show must be performed with all members )

I used it on roundwound strings and it didn't hurt my bow. That could have also been another problems, using roundwound strings... oh where did I put my flatwounds?
#18
Ive tried this before, it didnt work out so well for me, it all just sounded really muddy and sloppy. But if you are going to try it, i suggest using flatwound strings and a LOT of rosin. Also it didn't damage my bow at all.
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