6 String or Heavy Bass Players Inside

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bobbykokinos, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. I'm not sure if this is the right sub-forum to ask this or not.. But, Ive noticed when I play my Modulus 6 at gigs, my back is KILLING me afterwards. Bad backs are pretty heriditary in my family. I find I play my SX Jazz 4 a bit more because its lighter.

    Those of you with heavy basses, what kind of strap do you use?? I'm looking for options to help make playing more comfortable.
  2. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    O man, My friend has the SWEETEST strap, its really soft, like it has a Gel insert, and its made of Neoprene (Sp?) So its stretchy and takes off ALL of the bass weight....

    I cant recal the name But SOMEONE here has to know it.
  3. Tony


    Feb 16, 2004
    Southern California
    I've been using a 4" Moody leather strap for almost a year now, and it's made a tremondous difference in not only back pain, but also left shoulder pain. Quite possibly any very wide (4"+) strap would work equally well ...

    Hope it helps,
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
  5. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    I just picked up a Planet Waves comfort strap. It is nice and wide and really helps ease the aches and pains. My only concern is the stiff seam along the edge that rubs against my neck if I don't have a collared shirt.
  6. Andre_gt7


    Jan 4, 2005
    Atlanta - GA
    I use a REALLY WIDE carvin strap...feels great...
  7. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
  8. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Well -- where does your back hurt? If it's your lower back, or spine or whatever, it doesn't matter how wide or padded the strap is. All the weight is still on your back. Wide / padded straps are a lot nicer on the shoulder.

    There are a couple straps which go over both shoulders which might help out in the back pain area, as it evens the load out and reduces the torque on your back.

    Also, how would you rate your posture? The more curve in the spine, the more effect extra weight on the shoulders will have on it. And/or if you're lopsided or leaning forward, the more the muscles on one side or your back have to compensate. (I'm not suggesting that you should have a perfectly straight spine - that's not natural).
  9. Its funny, I've never considered my playing posture.. I do play the bass up high but as far as my back, I'm not sure.

    I know I lean forward a bit once I start getting into the music.. Dunno why.. Kinda like I'm "diggin in".

    I had a bright, cheap idea though. I was at Meijer and picked up the big gel insert pad that you put on your shoulder harness for your seat belt. I'm going to try slapping that on my strap around my shoulder and see how it works out.

    I'm not sure how much my Modulus Q6 weights but it seems like the older I get, the more it weights. Damn, and I'm only 24.

    But, like I said, back problems are heriditary in my family. Its been a huge problem before where my back has locked up and I've been stuck and cant even move. I've been stuck in the bath tub (embarassing having someone help you out), stuck in the car, stuck on the floor, stuck in a chair in the resturant.

    I'm still on the search for a night, light amplifier.. The trace 2x10 cabs, although they sound good, are just too heavy to lug around.
  10. Funky Doctor

    Funky Doctor

    Aug 28, 2003
    I don't get how your back hurts... My shoulder hurts when I play my six string for too long (try 3 hours) and I use a wide and padded neoprene strap. Kills necks dive, but doesn't save my shoulder. But mind you it is getting better the more I play it.
  11. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    I know how you feel, I've been steadily downsizing because of my back too. I agree with Geshel that playing-posture plays a HUGE role for back pain. Try using a wider stance while you're playing (feet wider than shoulder-width apart). That should help take some of the strain off your lower back. Stretching (including the hamstrings!) is helpful too. I try to lean back and stretch out the muscles every so often during the set. I also make sure I take time to stretch out before and after loading equipment, and also right before the show.

    There are quite a few light weight amps. GK, Thunderfunk, and Aguilar (and others) make solid powerful amps in the 15lb range. The ultra-light weight amps are made by Acoustic Image (5 lbs) and Walter Woods (7 lbs). Lightweight cabs utilizing neodynium magnets are becoming increasingly easier to find, so keep trying! :bassist:
  12. I agree w/ James Hayes & Tritone- I've played heavy basses that balanced well(little or no pain) & ones that were slightly less piglike but seriously neck heavy(pain in left shoulder). I've tried wide straps, but if you're not wide yourself, this may not fix the prob- I'm skinny, & it didn't for me. W/your back's history, you may really have to think outside the box. It's never been too bad for me except w/a wide-neck Warwick Thumb 5(the serious neck-diver mentioned above). My main bass now is a semi-hollow 6 string- great balance, & lighter than my(fairly light as well) Jazz 5. There's a belt-mount thing out there- don't know the name. Check the back of bassplayer mag's.
  13. To alleviate my heavy-warwick problem i've got this thick country-style Gibson strap thats got literally a half inch to 3/4 of an inch of puffy padding inside the leather. Truly glorious. Got it at the Gibson factory.
  14. get a basslab bass, the six strings only weigh ~7 pounds
  15. I know everyone has shied away from suggesting this but I really feel that you should get yourself a lighter bass.

    You only have one back which has to last you a life time and protecting it must be priority number (1). There are a variety of basses nowadays which don't weigh a ton. I am not suggesting you sell your bass as you can alway use it for recordings or played seated, but I think you should get yourself a lighter bass for long standing gigs.

    With regards to the stap, a wider strap will reduce shoulder pain but will not do much for lower back pain. I also agree with the comments about posture. I see two problems with your posture. Your leaning forward when playing puts the load directly on your lumbar muscles, possibly for extended period. You should attempt to keep straight with a wide stance. Moreover, you mentioned that you keep your bass fairly high. A bass sitting high will excerbarate the problem, particularly if you're leaning forward.

    Take care of your back man.
  16. Light bass good, bad back bad. Wadge, your info on posture is interesting. I guess I would have assumed a high-strapped bass would be better w/regard to load bearing because it is generally perceived(if I'm not mistaken) as less 'cool'. But thinking from a leverage-on-the-lower back perspective, it makes perfect sense. On a perhaps related note, I have recently had to share some stage real estate w/a fairly large(physically & personality-wise)guitarist. As I stiffly hold my limited ground(he bumps into me regularly, & I've given up on avoiding him), I notice I'm developing back pain. Not persistant, hurting for days stuff- more like, I think I'll play sitting down-ahh that's better level. I think I'll star to push back- I need the exercise.
  17. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I think the two good suggestions here are to get a really good strap or a lighter bass, since nothing else I have ever tried has worked.

    My funk band plays very long sets (2+ hours, sometimes over 3 hours :help: ) and the bass gets crazy heavy. I've tried lighter bodies basses, but nothing has worked for me. I've always played a fender-style shaped bass and they are all 10+ pounds. The wider straps will really help .... I know it's tough looking at the price of the Moody straps, but they are well worth the money. I have also found that strapping the bass slightly higher up helps me, in addition to being a near necessity for playing a 6 string.
  18. Johnny Fila

    Johnny Fila Formerly "The Crusader"

    Nov 21, 2004
    Elmont, NY (near NYC)
    Wide comfortable and mushy.
    My basses are around 11lbs on average. A good strap is a necessity.
  19. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    My back has been killing me for years, starting when I took the current job I have, where I sit in front of a computer all day..

    Playing standing up with a strap just kills my back, even after just 1/2 hour!

    I am afraid there is not much you can do, short of switching to upright bass, or going with a real small and light bass, like a fender mustang..all you can do is go to a Dr.

    Are you stiff when you stand up after sitting?