Jump to content
Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

issues with bass height


josh a

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 28
  • Created
  • Last Reply

That is lower than I hold my bass. For a while I had mine slung low and when I switched my back hurt and was sore and my arm got tired and started to feel hot and I would have to drop it down after and hour or 2. I played through it and built up those muscles and after a few weeks it was easy. Like when you start playing bass your fingers cant stretch worth crap, but with practice those small muscles you never used get stronger.

Best of luck, jonathan

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Something isn't right if you're experiencing aches. If that's you in the pic, I'd say start by dropping your upper arm. It looks like you're unnecessarily holding your arm away from your body, and that would explain the ache you've described. And overall, be sure to relax.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the bass neck is low and almost horizonal, just look at how your wrist must bend to get your fingers up on the fretboard. With the neck high, at about a 45 degree angle, (like the Guitar player in your link), look how natural his wrist is. I know a low slung bass looks cool but I have never, personally seen a great player that can play with it that low. just my opinion.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Raise it a little higher so that you can rest your right forearm on the body of the bass and lift the neck a bit higher like the gentlemen said to avoid carpal tunnel and whatnot.

 

We'll have you playing Jaco before you know it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is where I wear my bass.

http://static.flickr.com/62/217644029_e321a5fdef.jpg?v=0

Believe it or not, it's quite comfortable for me.

 

Now, I'd never claim to be the world's best bassist, but I play with my bass like this night after night for weeks on end, and I have never hurt my wrists. However, I also primarily use a pick, and, again, I don't play anything particularly complicated.

 

But I think a big part of the reason this geometry works for me is because I'm pretty relaxed when I play, so none of my joints lock up, and I don't stress my wrists or arms.

\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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, did the same height as sitting thing and it still ached, but not when I'm sitting down. Pah...

 

I also heard it's bad to have you right wrist bent or something because you get something in it when your older?

 

And it's not me in the picture, it's the old bassist from Saves The Day, wrote some great lines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Phil W:

Really, the best approach is to adjust your strap so that the way you play in seted position (provided you're doing that right) is the same as in standing position.

Anything else is fashion!

Avoid any position that contorts your wrist, you'll regret it.

Agreed. That's what I tell my students as well.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not so sure about having your bass as high on a strap as when playing seated. In my experience most basses sit horizontally when seated but tilt at about 30 degrees when on a short-ish strap, therefore it makes sense to have the bass body slightly lower when standing so that the neck remains in a similar position when standing or seated. It's only a couple of inches of strap length but it just seems to work better for me.

 

Alex

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you learn to play bass with the instrument at your knees, I am sure anything else seems strange. If you learned to play with it behind your back, I am sure you could play fairly well that way. What I hope we are talking about here is not how cool you look but what affords the best hand and finger dexterity. Jerry Lee Lewis played piano fairly well with his foot but sounded much better when using his hands. For the young players, look and copy the pros. I'm not talking about the Rock Star that is entertaing 30,000 screaming kids. But the studio musicians, the Big Band Bassists. There you will find the answer.

:idea:

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by josh a:

I also heard it's bad to have you right wrist bent or something because you get something in it when your older?

 

Yes you do, it's called talent.

;)

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by C. Alexander Claber:

A good example of a seriously rocking bassist that's not afraid to get that bass up high:

 

http://gallery.mail2fans.com/gallery/zoom/6035.jpg

 

Note wrist angles, hand position, and plucking technique. Bad mofo.

 

Alex

Now I'd say his left wrist is bent a bit???

That's how I had mine and got the arm ache, should I just get used to it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by davio:

Raise it a little higher so that you can rest your right forearm on the body of the bass and lift the neck a bit higher like the gentlemen said to avoid carpal tunnel and whatnot.

 

We'll have you playing Jaco before you know it!

That's the thing I meant you get, is that only in the left hand?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

Something isn't right if you're experiencing aches. If that's you in the pic, I'd say start by dropping your upper arm. It looks like you're unnecessarily holding your arm away from your body, and that would explain the ache you've described. And overall, be sure to relax.

By upper arm did you mean the right arm?

Because I was talking about the right arm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can get carpal tunnel syndrome in either arm from playing bass improperly, typing too much with bad hand/arm posture and many other activities.

 

Typically, the left wrist of a bassplayer is bent slightly. It should not be bent too much as it can cause CTS over an extended period of time and with a perfectly straight wrist it can br hard to reach the low strings (at least if you're playing lines that move a lot). Fingerstyle players commonly rest their right forearm on the body of the bass. Some rest it more on the edge of the bass causing a more drastic angle of the right wrist and some do the opposite extreme resting the "butt" of their hand or bottom of the wrist on the front of the bass and arching their hand to reach the strings. Either extreme can be detrimental.

 

I have found it most helpful to practise sitting down with the bass with a strap and standing up in the middle of playing to see if my posture, hand position, bass position on my body or it's angle to the floor change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The picture that zeronyne posted is, in my opinion, a good example of how a neck high position relieves the left wrist of bending up to get to the fretboard. This just looks comfortable to me and should not cause any muscle strain. The bass body is at a height that I think is about right.

The picture that Alex posted does show what I would consider a good example of the right hand position. I like the plucking fingers to hang down so that a good hammer stoke can be done.

Again this is only my opinion I sure there are many that will not agree. But you asked for opinions.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by josh a:

Originally posted by RicBassGuy:

Something isn't right if you're experiencing aches. If that's you in the pic, I'd say start by dropping your upper arm. It looks like you're unnecessarily holding your arm away from your body, and that would explain the ache you've described. And overall, be sure to relax.

By upper arm did you mean the right arm?

Because I was talking about the right arm.

Yes, I meant the right arm, too. Like Davio, I find it comfortable to rest my right forearm on the top of my bass. That way the upper arm has no reason to tense up and ache.

 

If you looked at the older thread I linked to, you can see a picture of me with my upper arms at my sides. It's kind of hard to see, but my right arm is resting on the bass.

 

It's a little hard to troubleshoot your problem over the 'net, especially without a pic of you in action. Your best bet is to be evaluated by a knowledgeable private bass instructor in person.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I am going to be getting a bass tutor at somepoint.

The bass has stayed high, when I try it low my wrist bends a lot, as I am now using a different technique (thumb on the bass of neck) before it was like grabbing the neck with thumb sort of over the top.

I am finding my wrist is mostly straight but bends some on root-fifth movements, on the E, occaisionally.

And thanks for all the help, I'm sure my standing playing has improved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Rocky3840:

When the bass neck is low and almost horizonal, just look at how your wrist must bend to get your fingers up on the fretboard. With the neck high, at about a 45 degree angle, (like the Guitar player in your link), look how natural his wrist is. I know a low slung bass looks cool but I have never, personally seen a great player that can play with it that low. just my opinion.

Rocky

In general I would agree. I do know of one exception though (and boy is he an exception): Robert Trujillo. He has the bass hanging down at his knees and he can rip through both fingerstyle and slap with the greatest of ease. He is, however, the exception.

 

I wear mine about like the pic that 09 posted. I like to angle the neck up a bit so that I don't have to bend my left or right wrist, and particularly after I started 4-finger picking, I keep my right wrist pretty straight so my pinky and ring fingers can reach the strings without stretching (I can more easily reach with my index finger than I can with my ring and pinky).

 

I find that, as I get older and more egg-shaped, raising my bass helps playability. Nowadays, I have to get it on top of my six-pack-turned-2-liter, or I can't even see the strings. :freak: Seriously though, you want to play in a position that (most importantly) keeps your wrists out of contorted positions. That is absolutely begging for a short bassplaying career due to carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and various other repetitive motion injuries. These things won't bother you when you're young, but they sure will when you get some age on ya. Turning up your amp and playing lightly helps with this too.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by josh a:

I am now using a different technique (thumb on the bass of neck) before it was like grabbing the neck with thumb sort of over the top.

.

I think you will find this style will work best for you. Do not put too much pressure on your thumb, That can cause stress pain also. The thumb is more for anchoring the hand so that the fingers have a wide range of reach and motion. The thumb needs to be able to slide up and down the neck.

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...