Neck Bending on a Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LanOsb133, Nov 6, 2012.


  1. LanOsb133

    LanOsb133

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    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    So I was learning to play Rosette Stoned by Tool and got side tracked and ended up listening to Right In Two by Tool. If you heard the song you know there are a lot of effects on the bass (tremolo, Pitch Shifter, Chorus.) Since I still don't have all the pedals I want, I was thinking how could I replicate these sounds. First thing that came to mind was a neck bend. While it doesn't give me the exact tone, I still love how it sounds and I think it looks bad ass if it were to be played on stage!

    So what I want to know, Is it bad to neck bend? I'm doing it on my Fender American Deluxe P bass (2002 with the 5 bolt neck) Form reserch (on google) It supposed to only be bad for Gibsons (When I neck bend with my thunderbird it feels like I'm about to snap my neck. Felt that once never tried it again on that bass.) So is it bad? Why?

    Link to song:
  2. Kmonk

    Kmonk

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I wouldn't do it. The more you bend it, the more stress you are putting on it. Eventually, something will happen such as loosening of the neck joint, damage to the truss rod or in the worst case you could break the neck. I would save some money and buy effects pedals.
  3. Duke21

    Duke21

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    Nov 14, 2010
    Location:
    Narvik, Norway
    I'll keep to vibrato on the strings, no neck bending. On open sting notes you can press the strings pass the nut in order to create vibrato effect.
  4. thedudebrah

    thedudebrah Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Philly suburbs
    I do it on my P Basses. Don't know if it's bad for it or not though :/
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  6. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

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    I'm pretty sure most necks can take it - provided it's a gentle flex and not serious pressure - which is never a good idea.


    If you do it pretty hard you may loose tuning, but if the neck has structural issues you may ruin it or at least make it worse.
    The song is awesome, I'm pretty sure a neck bend may look the part on stage once or twice, but to do that for a whole song (or half of it when the song is near 10 min long) seems excessive. It's your bass though, but I'd be worried about my wrists as much as my bass in a gig scenario.
  7. LanOsb133

    LanOsb133

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    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Thanks guys for all the answers, I only do the neck bends for the first harmonics. SO its only for the first 2 minutes or so.

    I just don't want to neck to snap over the years as I love this bass to death and I know these 5 bolt necks are going to be near impossible to find in the next 10-20 years as they are pretty hard to find right now...

    Here is the picture that is selling me over though.

    http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y183/guitarfish/Guitars/Other/StandingonFenderNeck.jpg

    However does it matter weather it be a forward or backward bend? I usually pull back (Just enough to bring the strings right next to the frets) Obviously I don't pull it too far, but again I'm just worried about the next being damaged in the long term as they are a very hard to find neck (Especially Maples) and can be quite expensive. ($600)
  8. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

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    The pic is interesting, but as I understand it those original necks without the truss rod all warped with humidity eventually, that and the original necks were mature wood you can't cut down these days. . . That could be all wrong of course, I'm no expert. I'd pass on treating a precious bass or neck like that - if only because it could make existing flaws much worse, needing an expensive remedy or replacement. I'd get a cheap effect pedal and forgo the on stage theatrics - at least doing them on a bass I cared about.
  9. LanOsb133

    LanOsb133

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    Orange County, CA
    I do plan on getting more effects pedals but some things pedals just can't replicate :D But yeah I should probably be a bit more careful until I buy a replacement neck! Or a True Gig Bass.
  10. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002

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    A used Whammy pedal really isn't very expensive, and it'll be far cheaper than a new neck :D
  11. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

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    I think the best bet is to use good gear that's hardy, and treat it very well. Simple things like straplocks and a good case make a huge difference.
  12. LanOsb133

    LanOsb133

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Wouldn't leave the house without strap locks! At my bands gig on saturday, my guitarists strap came off twice. After the gig, I wen't over to him, shook my head, laughed and said "two reasons to get strap locks" But yes, I agree! The small things make the biggest difference!

    And to Bryan.

    Yes they are! But when It comes to me and pedals I am VERY very picky. And to be quite honest the only Whammy pedal that I like (From what I've heard) is the Digitech Bass Whammy... Which we all know goes for $500+ But I will get one soon. I think thats the first thing I buy when I get my job, that and my guitarists some strap locks :p
  13. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

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    LOL at least the strap locks won't break the bank!
  14. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Billy Sheehan has been doing it for years with no problems.
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002

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    Don't bother with the Bass Whammy- definitely not worth what they're selling for. I've owned one (and a Whammy IV, and a Pitchfactor, an Eclipse, Axe FX, and probably five other pitch shifters), and you can spend a lot less for the same quality. You can probably find an old Whammy Wah XP-100 for a hundred bucks that does all the same shifts.

    The necks on his Yamahas are also crazy thick. Probably not a good thing to practice if you don't have a spare bass laying around :D
  16. PlungerModerno

    PlungerModerno

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    Yup I've even seen jaco do it on some pretty precious instruments - but those needed pretty extensive refurbishment after he was done gigging them. If I had a bass I wanted to maintain I'd avoid doing regular and extensive neck bends, especially if I couldn't replace the neck readily or at short notice. Wood is a funny thing, and the neck could have flaws that appear without much warning. I'd be OK with somebody doing it to a workhorse occasionally, but doing it a few hundred times a week will add up real quickly.

    That said the neck would probably take it and a lot more. I'd make do with the simple harmonic or get an effect on the case. Or get a bass with a more easily replaced neck and do it with that. Billy Sheehan also plays his instruments pretty hard. Not a bad thing but not for those on a tight budget or with a rare instrument IMO.
  17. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    I think some caution and gentleness would be in store if anyone wanted to try it.

    I think it goes without saying you don't want to bend it over your knee. :bag:
  18. Duke21

    Duke21

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    Billy is endorsing Yamaha basses, if he breaks one he probably gets an other.... :)
    Btw the neck on the Billy sig is massive and there are 5 or 6 bolts to connect the neck to the body. Really impressive stuff.
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    Jan 29, 2008
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    Colorado
    Neck Bending on a bass ...

    Billy Sheehan is a fan of this. He would often throw his old Fender p-bass out of whack by doing that. They redesigned his Yamaha sig bass to handle that kind of use/abuse. For many years I played a 1968 Rickenbacker neck through bass and the neck was easy to bend. I would gently pull band when I wanted more fret buzz.

    For me neck bending is not a technique that I normally use.
  20. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    He's been using the same green one forever.

    I have one, it's awesome. There are 4 bolts on the LTD-II's and 6 on the LTD-III's.
  21. Bassbubble11

    Bassbubble11 Supporting Member

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    West Babylon, New York
    I do it often on my Jazz. No worries.

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