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lowlandtrees

Bowing silver slap strings

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Recently started bowing lessons. At present I don’t want to change the strings as I still pluck and slap and secondly can’t justify the expense. My question to you bowers is firstly, is there anyone who bows similar strings successfully and secondly, is there anything I can do to improve the quality of the sound eg different bow hair. I have lightly sanded the strings to remove the slip and improve the grip and use soft resin but the low E still feels weak. I have a carbon fibre bow that is a bit light but generally happy with.

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I have tried Silver Slaps. Good for pizz & slap---not very good on the bow. I currently have a set of Evah Pirazzi Weich on my bass---a good all round string for pizz / bow / slap. Suit me.

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Sorry to be late to reply - but I've only just seen this thread.

There have been other, similar threads, or at least similar answers in the past, to this very question
I'm not really a bower either. I have tried, but my first experience of bowing was with Silver Slaps, and it sounded dreadful (which probably contributed partly, to putting me off)
I found the strings seemed to roll quite a lot, and the bow just ended up "screeching" quite a bit too.

I thought it was partly due to the low tension nature of the Silver Slaps, But other BC'ers mentioned lightly sanding / roughening the strings over the area where the bow would be in contact with the strings
They said this improved bowing quite a bit. I didn't try this though - I did fear damaging the strings, or the bow hairs.... or both. Perhaps someone who has actually done this may care to comment?

Innovation also do a set called "honeys" which have a metallic outer coating, and are slightly higher tension than the Silver and Gold Slaps
oddly enough, I did once have these strings on a bass I bought, but never tried bowing them at the time. Again, don't know if anyone on here has tried Bowing Innovation Honeys? - would be good to hear your thoughts

On another note, re your bow; I was chatting to a pro DB player just the other night. He was telling me that a lot of Bow players like to use heavy bows, and if they have a lightweight bow,
they tend to add lead weights to each end - which he said improves "contact". This may also be worth experimenting with? - Just a thought....

Let us know how you get on. I found Bowing much harder than it looks :)

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DON'T whatever you do add weight to the ends of your bow. No pro player I know would recommend that, it will just make the bow completely unmanageable. Weigh it. If it weighs less than about 130 grams its a wee bit light, more than about 150 is heavy. Either way, it's not the problem. The problem is the strings. If you want strings that are good for slap, they will be rubbish for arco. Just the way it is. Part of it is setup, too, but mainly strings. Make your choice, live with it. Sorry, but that's the way it is. Bowing IS much harder than it looks, and using the wrong strings won't help.

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New Dutch Bass School - trendy modern playing technique that recommends (demands?) such things as, both feet on the floor, tuning in fifths, HEAVY or WEIGHTED bows.  Extreme classical players;  don't go there unless intending to play cello concertos and violin sonatas on a bass.  Though makes for some interesting reading.

There is a bit of technique in getting the sound to start. More force on the string to start it sounding, the less to keep it going. Most people only get a screach or harmonics when first learning. Sticky rosin (Neumann) and proper horse hair on the bow ( some cheap composite bows have synthetic hair, which is too slippery) both help, some people rub a bit of rosin on the string too.  Really good players use very little rosin but have very soft grippy "bowing specific" strings.

I found Jazz specific strings (great sustain in pizz) hard to bow with any subtelty and had to switch to hybrids to play in an orchestra.  But they weren't impossible.  Persevere for a bit, and when money allows trade the strings for something a bit less specialised?

 

 

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Silver Slaps are wire wound iirc, so tend to grab the bow hair. Not ideal, but if you don't want to change strings for now you'll just have to put up with this while you get your chops together.

Honeys bow nicely enough; a good general purpose set. Flatwound, as are the majority of dB strings.

Going to higher tension, stiffer steel cores tends to be a bit harder to control Arco but quite doable. More harmonic content, so sometimes easier to scratch or whistle.

Conversely, full-on orchestral strings are pretty amazing Arco but much harder work for pizza sustain.

Worth keeping your eyes open on here for part-used sets so as to experiment on a better budget.

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Ah the joys of autocorrect.  I too have trouble sustainng my pizza , had to switch to lasagne. 🙂

  • Haha 2

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I use Superior Bassworks Deluxe strings.  They are easy to bow and are excellent for slapping and plucking.  Also they are quite inexpensive.  They sell direct from their web site and Amazon.  In the UK, you can get them at www.bassbags.co.uk. 

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1 hour ago, NickA said:

Ah the joys of autocorrect.  I too have trouble sustainng my pizza , had to switch to lasagne. 🙂

Haha, I'm leaving that up!

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I changed the strings to Evah hybrids that I bought from a basschatter. Not sure of the type of string. They are very smooth and shiny. Except for the E string they bow well and pizz also nicely but lack volume. I took the fingerboard pickup and taped it to the body ...looks stinky poo but very pleased with the amplified sound. The E will need to be changed as it needs a higher tension string. No idea what to try. The silver slap E certainly doesn’t fit in.

 

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