Starting as a jazz player, I always used to play bass standing up, then I splurged and bought a wooden stool. It's been great and I can play a lot longer without getting tired. The thing is that when I play the part of my neck wear it connects with my right shoulder starts to hurt pretty bad after a while. Is this common? I am wondering if there is a specific form for sitting that varies from standing that I am not doing and therefore am hurting myself.
Thanks a heap.
Folks, I'm wondering what subforum this should be in. Jazz technique? Accesories?
(And I'll reinterate: I wish there was a general Technique subforum).
My advice is to get a mirror and check that you are not leaning to one side or the other as you play. Also if you are reading try and do that with your head balanced looking straight and not to one side ( as I tend to do lol).
Also consider getting a bit of physio to identify the areas of stress.
And get a teacher to check your sitting technique.
Hope you find something that works for you :-)
+1 on not leaning or unevenly distributing weight between the shoulders and lower back:
1. Use a stool that's low enough to allow your right foot to be flat on the floor with no pressure from the stool seat against the back of your right thigh.
2. Evenly distribute your weight on both buns (or cheeks or glutes, or whatever you prefer to call them) as much as possible.
3. Modify the stool rungs if necessary to allow your left foot to rest comfortably without your knee getting jacked up too high (which creates circulation problems). In other words, be sure the rung you rest your foot upon is low enough. (A player I know from my college days has always used a guitar player's footstool for this purpose.)
Hope this helps!
I have had neck to shoulder problems for a while now. I sit for most of my gigs these days. I now use a low enough stool to have both feet on the floor. I think that is helpful. I also try and concentrate on relaxing while playing.
I did a couple of months of physical therapy to work out the tight muscles that were causing some pretty bad shoulder pain.
This is a very complex area of the body. I regularly stretch neck and shoulder muscles and also do self massage. A theracane helps with this. Clare Davies' "Trigger Point Therapy Workbook" has been very helpful for me.
I <B Theracane.
Get a metal one. The plastic ones aren't as good.
Are your shoulders loose, or are you shrugging them (esp. the right side)? Is your bass at the correct height?
Ditto the have-someone-verify-your-posture idea.
All I would add is to do non-bass-related physical activities with your shoulders that make you move and stretch differently than playing bass. It doesn't matter if it is shoveling, stacking, reaching, tree-trimming, tire-changing, mowing or even throwing a baseball/football, just do something else and make it 1) a habit 2) a length of time consistent with the amount of time you sit to play DB.
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