Bass Highness

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Marc Decho, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. Hey All, something i'm constantly experimenting with is the height of my endpin....2 out of 3 teacher's i've had tell me to crank it right up there which is fine, I just don't find it very comfy and altough it's theoretically easier to hop up and down the neck as well as play real close to the end of the fingerboard I still find it uncomfy to maintain a good solid balance, I realize this is something that every player must decide upon and find your preferred center of gravity and easability to get the most out of your instrument....i'm always looking at other players and how high the nut is compared to their heads, something I noticed this morning was looking at a few Mingus shots, his bass don't look so high to me ? just wanted to know what some thoughts were on the subject is all...personally i've got some long arms so I like it pretty much nut at forehead territory I feel I can dig in much more last teacher was the only one who advocated showing me different ways of doing things and letting me have the choice......other two said that's the way it is chum !
  2. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    My teacher showed me several ways to hold the bass while standing...and I've tried them all, including the straight vs. bent endpin options.

    My favorite is the Rabbath bent endpin and standing in open position, but with the bass I'm using now I can't alter it right now. Using a straight endpin (extended all the way out for me), I go between a standing close to a closed position (where my knee could touch the back of the bass if I just brought the bass upright a little more) to standing open position for thumb-position stuff (the neck rests on my shoulder). I usually have to move my body and feet around a little when going back and forth so the bass will lean back and lay on my shoulder or return upright.

    I'll probably keep experimenting as I keep exploring.

    I got to see Edgar Meyer express displeasure at the promotion and enforcement of these rigid standing-while-playing systems (e.g., Rabbath, Karr). To him, it's a non-issue altogether as long as the music jams and bodies and basses do not complain.
  3. yeah, i've wanted to try Rabbath's bent endpin thang, do you feel it's value holds more to arco or is it a good setup for you pizz as well ? a good point too is stance and height need to be adjusted depending on the type of gig/style/scenario your playing, my bass is a very large 3/4, all the players and prof's i've had and seen have all played smaller basses then mine, so when my endpin is cranked way up there it's even more akward to play then it already is... if only I could go back in time and buy my first bass again! :crying:
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Another thing to consider is I'd also look at where your RH fingers are likely to strike the strings. For myself, I like playing toward the end of the FB, so having it a little higher is good. Too low and I can't reach down there and play comfortably. Higher also made it easier for me to cover the strings all the way down to the bridge for arco. I use a german bow.

    I played with the nut at eyebrow level for the longest time. I tried going up higher to make that RH reach a little better but I started getting CTS symptoms in my LH so I went back to nut-at-eyebrow and sacrificing the total "arco"-bility of my bass.

    My stance is changing all the time. Most of the time I'm trying to balance the weight on both feet, and I like the idea of not having a static stance. Sometimes it's good for you body to keep moving around and adjust as neccessary.
  5. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    It works great for both.

    Validation of anything is done in the music that's made. If you wanna hear a great player who uses a bent endpin and gets around quite well with the bow and pizz, listen to Renaud Garcia-Fons.

    You wanna hear a straight-endpin player who does both well, listen to Edgar Meyer.

    My favorite bassist will probably always be Gary Karr, but I love them all. None of them will tell you getting to their level didn't take some level of experimentation to find "themselves" as the bassists they hoped to become.