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Does playing height affect cramps?


thabottomend

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I have noticed over the last three months I am getting more frequent and more fierce wrist/arm cramps when I play. I have had the neck at the same height for about three years now. Is there any hard proof of the correlation of playing height to cramps? Or is there any way to know whether raising or lowering the bass would be better?

 

Or am I just getting older?

Do not be deceived by, nor take lightly, this particular bit of musicianship one simply describes as "bass". - Lowell George

 

"The music moves me, it just moves me ugly." William H. Macy in "Wild Hogs"

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Check your posture as well. Do you hunch your shoulders down to get that "cool bass dude" look? I had big problems a few years ago but I saw a physio and he addressed things like flat feet, posture and relaxation techniques when playing. When you start to feel a cramp coming on try to visualise yourself being overly relaxed. Drop your shoulders. Imagine weights hanging off your elbows. Get a mental image of yourself playing relaxed and take a few big deep breathes. Also try practising with your amp turned up louder than normal and try to play as quiet as possible. You will develop a lighter touch and you wont be gripping the neck so tightly on the gig.

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I need more info. Which hand/wrist is giving you problems? Is there anything different about your bass like higher action or heavier gage strings? Are you bending the wrist that gets cramped quite a bit? Are you warming up before shows? Are you going for periods of time without playing your bass?

 

From what I've heard and experienced, a change in bass height can cause physical problems but it's mostly due to bad habbits developed by the change in height.

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