Shoulder Pain Lots and Lots of Terrible Pain!
Everytime i stand up to play now i get horrible pain in my left shoulder, where the strap hangs, after a song or two at max! I mean really in less than 10 minutes i need to sit down or shift the strap or something to finish the second tune and find a corner to sit down and play through the rest of the rehearsal!
I quit my main gigging band and luckily the couple of gigs i got through the last month were the sit down types supporting an acoustic guitar singer songwriter! So i dont know what am going to do when i get back to regular gigs from next week on! Btw i remember getting slight pain and discomfort about 45minutes into our 90 minute set with my previous band but i could deal with that somehow this is BAD!
Its the bass bass and same strap all along through the last three and half years am only facing this NOW! :confused:
The bass (old japanese geddy lee) is on slightly heavier side, infact its heavier than most basses i've got my hand on, along with the 3.5" levy strap which actually came along with the bass only!
I dont know what to do anymore really! :atoz:
Getting a lighter bass is not an option right now as i bought two sort of cheaper basses through the last few years thinking ill mod and upgrade them but they just dont play, sound or feel that great and are all almost as heavy as the main jazz!
BTW once i try to stand for a couple of tunes and stand through the pain, it does not go away immediately soon as i take off the bass or sit down to play! Infact a milder "residual" sort of pain lingers on for another 20-30 minutes afterwards! But i dont feel any pain for the rest of the day unless i stand up and play again! Carrying the bass in its gig bag on both the shoulders for short distances does not give me the same shoulder pain though.. Its starting to scare the sh*t out of me for the fact that if i dont gig, do i start over or what!?
So any ideas into what could be causing all this sudden pain? Something with the nerves which i have no clue about? Should i look into some exercises, then which ones!? Every day i already do stretch and relax my neck, shoulders, upper and lower back by doing some basic stretching and yoga, neck rolls etc..
I am 23 btw and i got to keep on rocking out mmkay!? :bassist:
so yeah help!? Ideas!? What to do here! :help:
edit: i get this pain mostly right where the strap sits, slight bit towards the neck rather!
This is the approximate height/position i mostly play my bass in, if that matters! In Fact it is as low as it gets in the first picture as this strap used to get a little stretched up with its funny typical leather strap length adjustment loop design occasionally! Now i just give it a tug before a gig and reset so it does not stretch even a little tiny bit!
I'm sure you'll get lots of advice, but to my knowledge, there aren't many doctors on this board. I'm 39 and I've been dealing with back problems since my early 20s. Best thing to do is get yourself checked out.
I got myself a Hofner Beatle Bass for days that the pain isn't manageable. Good luck!
I'm sorry to hear about your shoulder pain, especially at such a young age (I'm 57).
Unless you find a TB'er who is also a doctor, my advice to you would be to ask your doctor those medical-related questions.
Until then, I suggest you sit while playing until you can find a lighter bass.
IMO, your health takes priority over anything else in life.
This company makes a couple different straps that shift all or most of the weight of the bass to your hips:
Might be worth a try.
Have you tried playing it a little lower? It looks like you lean forward a bit, and all the weight is on your left shoulder.
Hanging it lower only makes me suck at playing even more!
Definitely play lower. You are pulling your shoulder back playing that high. It shouldn't hurt to play. You have nothing to lose.
Will give it a shot!
The idea is to keep the bass at a height where it is the same whether sitting or standing up
See a doctor first if possible.
Explore alternate strap options: wider - 4"+ for better weight distribution, with more/better padding. Rig it with extra foam, gel pad, etc. if necessary. Check out some of the atypical strap systems others have suggested.
Look into a lighter bass, your shoulder (and body) health is more important.
If on a gig, mount your right foot on a monitor, amp, milk crate, etc. at times Maiden-style to take the load off. Or, suck it up and sit down for a while. Everyone else will just have to deal with it, right? :bassist:
Have you thought about using something like an Mbrace stand or a Gracie stand? I also got quite a bit of relief by using the neotech Mega bass strap.....
I wear mine on a belly band type strap. My shoulder was hurting so bad I almost had to quit playing. I play a G&L ASAT semi hollow body w/f hole. It's not as light ad I would like but strap takes weight off shoulder and also supports my back. I've had two back surgeries.
I struggle with mild shoulder pain. Not as bad as you describe it. I used to hold my bass as high as you do. When I got used to playing lower, I felt some relief. Of course, that's when my wrists started to hurt......
A good chiropractor might be able to recalibrate your posture and help you.
I can't play more than a few songs either before my left shoulder and the neck muscles on that side complain. I've solved this partly by sitting down on a bar stool type chair for some songs, and partly by using a weight lifter type belt that hooks onto an extra strap lock button on the back of the bass. This way I have almost all the weight on the hip belt and almost none on the shoulder strap. That and some Ibuprofen before a long gig.
If you have to contort your body to get into playing position, you need to rethink your technique. Your right shoulder is in a very unnatural position. Either drop the bass or bring your arm around front a bit more so your shoulder can hang naturally.
Hit up a chiropractor for a massage and adjustment to your spine and shoulder/neck region. You look seriously out of whack.
Dude if you keep playing in that position.. In time shoulder pain will be the least of your issues.. I see massive wrist problems in your future.
Your position looks super uncomfortable, I wouldn't be surprised if you're pinching a nerve
Aim for a position where your bass is at the same height whether you're standing or sitting.
I'm no expert but... Bass little lower, your back more straight and shoulders more level.
See a physiotherapist about your pain.
I agree with the choir. Go see a physio or an ostiopath. Take your bass with you and show the doctor how you perform and what you're doing when the pain kicks in. Hopefully they will be able to help. It won't matter if the doctor isn't a musician, if there's a posture issue they should be able to identify it.
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