Tag Archives: how to practice

How to Play a “French” Double Bass Bow (Part 1)

Double Bass players use either a “French” or “German” bow to produce an arco sound.

Here are a few tips and exercises I use with my students about practicing with a French Bow:

1. Keep your fingers gently curved over the bow

2. The thumb is positioned at a 45 degree angle

3. Keep an equal grip with all five fingers

Exercise 1: Three Fingers Method

With a slow bow speed, play long tones with the “3” methods below, while keeping a relaxed grip with only 3 fingers.


Hold the bow with only…

  • Thumb, Index & Middle fingers
  • Thumb, Index & Ring fingers
  • Thumb, Index & Pinky fingers

Outcome = Better Control of Tip #3 and Dexterity

Continue reading How to Play a “French” Double Bass Bow (Part 1)