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Thread: Help a composer out: slowly drag the bow?

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    Senior Member chee_zee's Avatar
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    Default Help a composer out: slowly drag the bow?

    This applies to any member of the strings family whether it be double bass, viola de gamba, or violin. I was wondering about the effects of very very very slowly dragging the bow across any of the strings. I wanted to see if this could perhaps result in a creaking sound like a door opening, especially on the lower strings? or what effect would it produce, any different sound than a normal bow speed? How about dynamics, would the pressure necessary to obtain a creaking sound always have to be about mp or quieter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chee_zee View Post
    This applies to any member of the strings family whether it be double bass, viola de gamba, or violin. I was wondering about the effects of very very very slowly dragging the bow across any of the strings. I wanted to see if this could perhaps result in a creaking sound like a door opening, especially on the lower strings? or what effect would it produce, any different sound than a normal bow speed? How about dynamics, would the pressure necessary to obtain a creaking sound always have to be about mp or quieter?
    *violist reporting in*

    The "normal" way to produce door-creaking is to play behind the bridge, all strings through, slowly (a hint from... painful... experience: never do this during orchestra rehearsal! People will kill you ).

    I guess if you play sul ponticello (on the bridge) with lots of pressure and minimal bow, you'll be able to produce a similar sound. I can't test it atm, because my family wants to sleep...


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    Junior Member TRendfrey's Avatar
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    If the bow is dragged at a moderate slowness across the normal playing position (between bow and fingerboard) it will produce a sort of creaking sound at a low frequency, behind the bridge will make a horrible screeching sound that is kind of like opening a very rusted gate or something rather quickly, and closer to the fingerboard makes a quieter version of the first example. Oh, and dynamically other than changing where the bow is played its rather hard to control the dynamics at all.

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    Senior Member chee_zee's Avatar
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    would this behind the bridge screech work on cellos and double basses?

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    Junior Member TRendfrey's Avatar
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    Cellos, yes I'm pretty sure, and I think its less profound but existent on contrabasses.

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