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standing up vs sitting down


bassarama19

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I come from a rock shooling so I wear my bass low. Obviously because of this, my fretting hand mobility is somewhat limited vs sitting down as the thumb is almost over the top of the neck. So anyhoo, I was wondering how much you think your playing is hampered by standing up and playing vs sitting down. Id say 35% of your skill is lost when standing up and playing what do you think?
THE ace of bass
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In lessons, I stress to students the importance of their strap position. This may seem rather trivial, yet, consider the points you brought up: wearing a bass strapped low severely limits left hand mobility. To play music well, which means to have the skill, grace, dexterity, knowledge and mobility to react and interact with the other musicians and sounds being played, why would one purposely limit the mobility of your fretting hand?

And, I would like to point out that a low-slung bass puts undo stress on the fretting hand wrist, bending it at a rather acute angle, which can (and in most cases will) lead to some problems with tendonitis. (this is also true of a bass strapped too high, except the stress in placed on the right wrist).

 

And, a rather important point, most people do practice sitting down; learning parts, playing scales and excercises. In a normal sitting position the bass in in a comfort area, where no too much stress is placed on either hand, and in the process of practicing much "muscle memory" occurs.

When the player then stands, and straps on their bass slung below their waist, all the muscle memory and practice is tossed away, as the bass, the players arms, hands and fingers are all placed at different angles/positions (I have had a number students wonder why they "had it down" at home yet somehow blew it so completely on a gig).

 

I am not sure where the concept of a gtr/bass slung low denoting a certain coolness came from. Perhaps it is from 60s and 70s rock players with charismatic personalities, magininal talent and bad technique, yet the whole cool, "rock look" is really quite subjective and totally arbitrary. The point about where one straps their bass should be addressed from a more practical point: where does it aid the efficiency of playing?

 

As to sitting: I sometimes sit for solo gigs; it is comfortable. Yet, one must be aware of the "entertainment factor" of presenting a performance to an audience. Sitting or standing is usually, for me, decided by the venue and audience (a folding stool is also part of my setup); sometimes sitting (with one foot raised on a fottstoll a'la Anthony Jackson) creates an air of seriousness, or can also subdue a perfromance is my playing is not the "main" attraction, such as at a restaurant or gallery.

Standing draws attention to the performance and creates a visual focus for the audience. In the case of standing, I nfeel it good to move around (if my performance is to be the focus, then give them something to watch as well as hear!)

In either case, my strap is set so that my bass(es) are in the same position whether standing or sitting.

 

Max

...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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I don't think sitting or standing is the point. The point is how high or low your bass is. I believe the general rule of thumb is that your bass should be the same not matter what. Mine sits in basically the same height at all times, sitting or standing.

 

There is nothing gained and many things lost when you sling it down past your waist as some players do. It's bad. Bad for your health and bad for your technique.

 

I do not let my students compromise good health and techniqyue to look cool.

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I am not sure where the concept of a gtr/bass slung low denoting a certain coolness came from.

Maybe it came from the whole early/mid 90s style of wearing baggier and lower pants. As waistlines got lower and pants baggier, it got cooler to wear your bass/guitar lower and lower. This trend happened about the same time as the rise of nü-metal, and you see it most apparent in that genere.

 

All that being said, I wear my bass at about the same height sitting or standing....

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Well, if we're comparing sitting down with a bass in an appropriate playing position, vs. standing up with a bass slung so low your thumb is over the top of the neck, then yes, I'd expect a skill reduction of at least 35% when standing. (Not that I have any idea what such a number means, mind you.)

 

However, with proper posture & position, it should all be the same, sitting and standing.

 

Or did you want to compare apples to oranges?

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No one knows why things are considered cool some years and uncool other years.

Jimmy Page had his guitar down low in the early 70's.

And Slash had his the same way in the late 80's.

 

Put your strap on while you are sitting down. Adjust it so it fits securely. Then stand up. The bass will still be in the same place.

 

Don't be a follower of styles, be a leader.

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Originally posted by Yogi:

It's nice to see guys who are "cool" wearing their guitars high again. Tom Morello comes to mind. He's got his instrument right up under his chin! :D

Pettrucci and Myung from Dream Theatre also wear their axes pretty high.

 

I agree that the length of one's strap should not jeopardize one's health, but I don't like to see my belt and gut when I stand. If it doesn't hide that, I'd rather go back to keyboards. ;)

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Originally posted by bassarama19:

I come from a rock shooling

"Shooling"? I'm not hip to that. Please enlighten me.

 

Originally posted by bassarama19:

so I wear my bass low. Obviously because of this, my fretting hand mobility is somewhat limited vs sitting down as the thumb is almost over the top of the neck.

If you're intelligent enough to make this observation, why is it that you continue to wear it that low?

 

Originally posted by bassarama19:

So anyhoo,

:cry:

 

Originally posted by bassarama19:

I was wondering how much you think your playing is hampered by standing up and playing vs sitting down. Id say 35% of your skill is lost when standing up and playing what do you think?

Unless I'm playing above the 15th fret or so, I play the same sitting down or standing up. My legs start to get in the way of my left arm when I'm sitting and playing high on the neck.

 

Don't be a fool. Raise your bass up to a level where it is roughly the same height as when you are sitting. Not only will your playing improve, you will avoid causing injury to yourself by using bad technique.

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Originally posted by Bumpcity:

Originally posted by bassarama19:

I come from a rock shooling

"Shooling"? I'm not hip to that. Please enlighten me.
It's a derivative of "shule" (also, "schule"), which means "school." Does that help?

 

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

Originally posted by bassarama19:

So anyhoo,

:cry:
Be strong, my brother!

 

Originally posted by Bumpcity:

Raise your bass up to a level where it is roughly the same height as when you are sitting. Not only will your playing improve, you will avoid causing injury to yourself by using bad technique.

This is sage advice. You wrists, shoulders, and back will thank you in the long run.

 

Peace.

--Dub $$

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Nothing in my reply will surprise you as I am merely supporting what others here have already said. I started playing bass when I was in highschool and at that time image and the look was much more important than playability. Whenever I had something difficult to play I would sit down, because I couldn't play as well with my bass low. Needless to say, I wised up a while back and pulled my bass up to a comforable level. I got to the point where I would rather sound cool than look cool. Wearing my bass low has even quit looking cool to me. Try playing the bass up high and see how it feels. If it feels good then play for the blind or get over other people's idea of what is cool. :thu:

Let your speech be better than silence, or be silent.

 

For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, none will suffice.

 

"Rindase!"

"Rendirme? Que se rinda su abuela, *#@!^$"

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I came from the whole rock school too. But when I developed tendinitis late last year from bad technique I had to re-examine my approach. One of the most important changes was, yeah you guessed it, adjusting my strap. My bass is no longer a cod piece and I'll be damned if my playing hasn't developed tons. In any case, I found moving the strap height is a good cure for getting out of a rut.
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Didn't we ponder this particular issue in a previous thread?

 

In some particular rock "shools", wearing the bass so the horn is in your crotch isn't that bad if one is hammering an open "E"'s all night long, especially since the neck must be near vertical to do anything.

 

Hey, this is like, playing an upright?

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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When im performing, the songs im playing dont demand anywhere near my full playing ability, so im able to get away with a low slung bass. As to why I think low slung = cool, I dont know. There just seems to be somthing feminime about a bass players right hand when its hanging at almost a 90 degree angle over the bass.
THE ace of bass
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Originally posted by bassarama19:

As to why I think low slung = cool, I dont know. There just seems to be somthing feminime about a bass players right hand when its hanging at almost a 90 degree angle over the bass.

... as opposed to developing CTS, RMD or Tendonist due to crap technique to the point of not being able to MOVE the hand as being a masculine thing :freak:

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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Well, I play from a moderately low-slung position (see picture, at left) and I've never had any trouble with either hand.

 

That said, I have been considering moving the bass up a bit higher lately, as I find when I play sitting and the bass is "higher" up I can more easily play complicated runs.

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"When im performing, the songs im playing dont demand anywhere near my full playing ability"

 

May I point out now that WHENEVER you play it demands your complete attention and all of your capabilities (and abilities).....ALWAYS! If you are not focusing 100% on the music, giving it all of your attention and playing with all of your ability, skill and knowledge (even if the part is but a single note), you have no business playing at all.

All music, even the most simplistic, demands the complete abilities of the musicians playing it. It is that focus and discipline which brings sound to life; without it you are merely making noise.

 

Max

...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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Originally posted by bassarama19:

When im performing, the songs im playing dont demand anywhere near my full playing ability, so im able to get away with a low slung bass. As to why I think low slung = cool, I dont know. There just seems to be somthing feminime about a bass players right hand when its hanging at almost a 90 degree angle over the bass.

I really don't know why people choose to have their bass down so low, and I'm talking about people i know whose is almost lower then the belt. I like playing with a 90 degree angle>< It is just comfortable to me and I can play so much better with my strap higher. And like others have said, I'd rather be playing really good and for many years, then to have less ability and develop medical problems.
Life like jazz is best improvised
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yea too low is no good, but as for me i would say that indeed my bass is at a different level when i stand then when i sit

 

when i sit i am holding the bass at more of the 90 (flat) degree angle type dealie

 

but when i am standing up, i have the bass a little bit lower (not too low mind you, not ridicuolously) because when i stand i am i dont know, tilting or holding or whatever the bass in more of a 45 degree angle dealie

 

i just play how it feels comfortably, i mean i took lessons and hold the bass properly when im sitting but i was never really told how to hold it standing up, i feel that if its comfortable to me tho its probably a good position for me to be in

 

btw disregard those angles and just try to get a feel for what im saying, sorry i have no protractor handy :P:freak:

 

so, am i doing it wrong, like is it bad for me? i dont know, its prolly a hard call via just text describing it

 

hmmm

 

pieces :thu:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

steppin in a rhythm to a kurtis blow/who needs a beat when your feet just go

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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Originally posted by Max Valentino:

"

May I point out now that WHENEVER you play it demands your complete attention and all of your capabilities (and abilities).....ALWAYS! If you are not focusing 100% on the music, giving it all of your attention and playing with all of your ability, skill and knowledge (even if the part is but a single note), you have no business playing at all.

All music, even the most simplistic, demands the complete abilities of the musicians playing it. It is that focus and discipline which brings sound to life; without it you are merely making noise.

 

Max

By full ability I mean I dont have to be making diminished 32nd note runs or anything like that, and may I also point out that I was asking how much skill you lose in your own personal opinion when you stand up and play, not how much attention I pay to my instrument when performing live.
THE ace of bass
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I think standing and wearing your bass high promotes the best technique...

 

When you wear your bass high it's obviously easier to keep your thumb behind the neck where it should be. When I sit to play, I find I tend to get a little lazy and spend more timing using my eyes to find my postion on the neck. When I sit I also end up hunching over the neck a lot more often.

 

When I stand I have better posture, and I seem to look at the fingerboard a whole lot less.

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Even back in the late '80s - early '90s, I remember my me and my peers heckling players that wore their instruments low. Just like big, blond hair and spandex. They were NEVER cool. I believe the term was "poser".

 

Now, a high top fade... :D

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Yo Thomas/tnb: You ever sport a "Gumby"? :)

 

Nice pic, ED.

 

Somebody got a pic of one of those fellahs who wears his bass like a bowtie?

 

Or, better yet, a bunny wearing a bass up high like a bowtie?

 

Or, perhaps, the Governator slinging a bass down low?

 

Peace.

--s-dub

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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