Friday, April 06, 2007

warning: geeky shop talk ahead

I just wrote an e-mail to Kolstein's Music (a well-respected bass shop in New York) asking this question, so I thought I would ask my blog readers as well. Does anyone know of a bow case on the market which will fit one German bow and one French bow? (Shown here is Kolstein's case for two German bows.) I am planning to buy a French bow, now that I'll be joining a section of French players. I'm not going to switch, but I would like to have a better understanding of what my colleagues are doing technically - and if I plan to do much teaching, it's especially important to get a handle on both styles of bow.

What I'm finding, in experimenting with the French bow, is that it actually gives me some insights into my own technical approach. So many things I might do without much thought on a German bow - but approximating those things on a French bow takes all my concentration. I have to rethink everything involved, the angles, placement, weight, speed, flexibility... I suddenly have a new appreciation for all the cool things I can do with a German bow, and want to take full advantage of all those colors and articulations which are still a distant possibility with French. And the French bow gives me ideas for new colors and articulations, sounds I might never have thought of finding with a German bow.

Just as important, maybe, practicing on French bow gives me an opportunity to embarrass myself completely. That might not sound like a good thing, but lately I've been seeking out these kinds of opportunities - those risky, unfamiliar situations where I might either fall on my face or discover something completely unexpected - and hopefully those with no danger of any permanent damage. I figure those are the situations where you learn the most.

Which brings me back to the bow case question. I really don't want to carry two bow cases around with me, and it seems like there should be a bow case for people who swing both ways. I wonder what to call these people - Hybrid bow users? Franco-Prussians? Double bow double bassists? Whoever you are, please let me know if you have found a case to hold your equipment!


Adam said...

should do the trick.

Paul said...

Hi Matt,

I also recently bought a french bow. It seems to fit fine in my double German...I put a little bubble wrap in there between the frogs. Not as tailored, but practical.

oceanskies79 said...

I remember that Lemur Music used to carry a bow case that will fit one German bow and one French Bow. But when I checked it out today, there was no mention of such a bow case.

Anonymous said...

If you were to purchase a double German bow case that would fit the French bow just fine.

Joe Lewis said...

I am impressed you're taking the time to explore the alternative. The whole time I studied with Palma, I stayed on French bow, because that is what feels natural to me.

Congrats on the gig!

oceanskies79 said...

My friend points me to this: Double Bass Bow Cases (fro two bows). Scroll to the bottom of the page.