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strap soreness


squeennyzim

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ok, after playing for 20 minutes or so, i have to take the bass off and stretch a little bit. i do karate, which means my shoulders and neck are often sore, but i'm wondering if this is something else. would a different strap help me stay comfortable for longer? or is it the weight of the bass that's causing the trouble and i'll just have to get my endurance up?

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Well, it depends on two things...

 

1.) What kind of bass is it? If it's a really heavy bass, that'll have something to do with it.

 

2.) What kind of strap is it? Is it wide? Thin? Thick? Padded? This also has something to do with it.

 

If you've got a really heavy bass, and a really thin, unpadded strap, it's going to hurt more. This is because there is less area covered by the strap on your shoulder, and it will cut in. A really fat, padded, super wide strap will help a lot. I just got a new strap for Xmas, a really wide strap...leather, with thick felt on the inside.

 

Hope this helps.

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My MM seems to weigh a ton, especially if I'm on a cramped stage and can't really move. On nights like those, the strap (It was leather - 3" wide) would pinch in on a nerve in my shoulder. Besides stretching between sets (which was a temp fix), I made an effort to find a bass/strap position change that didn't interfere with what I was used to. Besides what's already been mentioned, experiment with bass position and posture. If you're 3/4 through the night and you get a cramp or spasm, you'll always remember that night as a bad experience no matter how well you played.

Good luck

JBFLA

Jim

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Yeah, what he said. You can get cramps, especially in a crowded space, and stretching is definitely a temporary solution. I find that the weight of the bass doesn't affect me as much when I keep it up high. My fat little strap helps, too. The last strap I had was basically seat belt material...lemme tell ya, the only time that thing was comfortable was when I was sitting.
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I am really fond of the Comfort Strapp I picked up a couple years ago. I had gotten some fancy wide leather straps that are curved, as so designed to help distribute the weight, and while they are nice, they don't beat the Comfort Strapp- aptly named. I don't see them around much, and have been tempted to try to find the mfr. and sell them myself. Here's a link to one seller: http://www.bass-guitar.biz/store/product.asp?sku=EM.CSPBL&nav=m

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Well, this may seem counter-intuitive, but I'm not sure padding and the width of the strap makes a whole lot of difference. If you have pain from the strap really digging into your shoulder, that may indeed be the problem. But, if you just have a sore shoulder at the end of the night, I have never found a strap that really will change that. I have a comfort strap, but I also have regular straps on my other basses, and I can't tell much of a difference, over all. I remember when I first started gigging five to six nights a week I had shoulder pain, but it eventually went away, so maybe it's just you're body adjusting. One thing I did find really helpful was to be conscious of my posture while on stage and changed my stance slightly from set to set to mix things up.
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Yes, the Comfort Strapp is probably your answer.

 

It looks a little geeky compared to a big Levy's leather strap or something...but they are so comfortable I really don't care. It's true, they make heavy basses feel light, because the weight distribution is so much lighter.

 

Nobody really pays attention all that much what your strap looks like, anyway.

 

I saw Kai Eckhardt playing with two straps on his bass, going over both shoulders, distributing the weight of the bass evenly between both. This might be an option for you as well.

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Yeah the one MM I've played weighed a tonne!

 

About the shoulder problem? Well since you practice karate I can't see how a bass could add much damage, especially after 20 minutes....you're not playing an URB horizontally are ya?

 

I think it's a posture thing, go see a doctor. This may be a small discomfort now, but if left untreated you could do some lasting damage.

 

CupMcMali...this monkey's gone to heaven :freak:

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excellent, thanks for the ideas. i think my posture prolly isn't that good, and because i do vocals too, i'm prolly leaning into the mike, which doesn't help. i'll prolly end up getting one of those comfort straps, see if that helps.

As I was going up the stairs

I met a man who wasn't there

He wasn't there again today

I wish, I wish he'd go away

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Originally posted by squeennyzim:

excellent, thanks for the ideas. i think my posture prolly isn't that good, and because i do vocals too, i'm prolly leaning into the mike, which doesn't help. i'll prolly end up getting one of those comfort straps, see if that helps.

I think I read in BP once that Norwood Fisher of Fishbone had some accidental good fortune when his mike was set up higher than he was used to. He recalled the "accident" as forcing him to play better without looking at his hands. I would think that if it's a posture issue, setting up the mike higher would also force you to stand taller and probably be better for your posture.

 

I've heard great things about the Comfort Strapp. Another place you can find them is here . I might buy one for my EB MM 5.

 

Peace.

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Try a planet waves strap... the one with the ratchet locks. It has a wide sliding pad that's quite comfy, and will stick to your shoulder wherever you put it, while the actual strap moves freely. So when you move your bass around during playing, you don't get all the rubbing action going straight to your shoulder. I found that it helped alot with the stress on my upper back and shoulders....

planet waves

They have a 'bass strap' but it just looks to me like any other wide padded strap... I like the slider better.

DX

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Originally posted by surfmonkey:

Well, this may seem counter-intuitive, but I'm not sure padding and the width of the strap makes a whole lot of difference. If you have pain from the strap really digging into your shoulder, that may indeed be the problem. But, if you just have a sore shoulder at the end of the night, I have never found a strap that really will change that. I have a comfort strap, but I also have regular straps on my other basses, and I can't tell much of a difference, over all. I remember when I first started gigging five to six nights a week I had shoulder pain, but it eventually went away, so maybe it's just you're body adjusting. One thing I did find really helpful was to be conscious of my posture while on stage and changed my stance slightly from set to set to mix things up.

Generally, this is what I do as well. I do add one thing to my regimen: some exercise. :)

 

That's right, I do specific workouts on my shoulders that allow me to handle even the heaviest of basses. I did try using my dad's padded strap (he uses one for his Gibson Les Paul Studio), and it did help, but I found that good posture is as important, if not more so.

 

Also, the other areas I work out when I do my weightlifting routine help a lot, especially when I do my lower body workouts (squats, calves). I suppose that's why I feel I play lightly on the bass, because of the weights + the practice I put in on the bass at least four times a week.

 

If you haven't done this in a while, you may want to talk to your local village doc first for advice. You don't necessarily have to do what I do, but it works for me, no question. In fact, even brisk walking a few miles a week will make some difference. Wally Malone can chime in on this some more. He has a more intensive workout than mine, but has some good tips too.

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The worst physical problem I ever had from a strap came from the strap rubbing against my neck and giving me a "strap hickey."

 

Other than that... well... my shoulders hardly ever hurt from playing, and my Les Paul weighs a ton. So does my P-bass. I use regular old straps -- I think they're Ernie Ball straps. Nothing special. I guess I'm just lucky.

 

BTW, having your mic kinda high is good for your voice and looks cool, too.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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This question reminded me of something that happened to me a long time ago. I was working a society gig with my Les Paul recording (in the 1970's), and I had this small strap. Well, the strap happened to be pressing on a pressure point on the neck, and I was starting to get dizzy. I leaned on the pillar that was on stage to keep from falling down, and the drummer looked a me and said "Go sit down, your face is white!". The stap had cut off the blood to my head and I almost passed out. I still have to laugh when I think about that one :eek: . Needless to say, I bought a wider strap and that helped.

 

I need to look into that comfort strap. I broke my collarbone and have a hard time playing that heavy Les Paul recording for the whole night. I tried that strap from the back of BassPlayer, with the 2 straps that is supposed to redistribute th weight, but I couldn't angle the neck up enought, it wanted to point horizontally.

 

Thanks for this post.....

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How about using a boom mic stand? If you're leaning in too much, this will make it easier. I always hate having a straight stand in front of me. I used to carry my own boom just in case. Also, you may have the bass too high and the soreness is from holding your arm at the extreme angle or you may have the bass slung too low and the soreness stems from reaching way down to find the strings.

 

With my Stingray, I use a 2 in Dimarzio Clip Lok and I don't have any problems, even after 2 or 3 hours without taking it off. Now, I also have a really strong upper body and huge shoulders, so that could be a reason I don't have the soreness.

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heh, i'm looking at my strap right now and it's really thin and twisted up where i wear it, so it's more like a rope than a strap. i see a chiropractor because of karate, so i'll ask him for some exercises too.

 

danymal, which of those planetwaves straps is the one with the ratchet locks? i couldn't seem to find it.

 

thanks again, all!

As I was going up the stairs

I met a man who wasn't there

He wasn't there again today

I wish, I wish he'd go away

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I think it's just the 44mm straps that can come with the ratchet lock... thats what I have, anyways.

I bought it at Guitar Center for around $20... musiciansfriend.com has several different models, just do a search for planet waves and weed through their listings. They're anywhere from $20 to $25 there.

The ratchet part has a nice rubber pad where it contacts your guitar, too, so it won't scratch the finish.

Aerodyne Jazz Deluxe

Pod X3 Live

Roland Bolt-60 (modified)

Genz Benz GBE250-C 2x10

Acoustic 2x12 cab

 

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