1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Bass is too heavy, hurts my shoulder

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Paperjoe, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Paperjoe


    Oct 29, 2010
    Hello! Long-time browser of this site, first-time poster.

    I have a problem with this Geddy Lee Fender Jazz Bass I bought it a while ago, and love it. It weighs about 9+ pounds and is much heavier than my old fender p-bass. I'm not the biggest guy, I'm about 5'8 and 155 pounds.

    After a couple of months of using this bass, my shoulder started getting sore so I bought a wide leather strap, and that help for a while. Now it's getting worse and i think i tweaked a nerve the other day. My shoulder had sharp pains and i could barely lift my arm without it hurting.

    I usually have to sit on a stool during band practice and it kinda sucks. I heard that Comfort straps are nice but at this point, I don't know if it's going to be enough.


    Can anyone recommend a light bass that's good for funk/rock?
    Or if you had any suggestions about what I should do, I'm all ears!
  2. Andrew311


    Aug 13, 2009
    Hutchinson, MN
    21 lbs? I have a 5 string Warwick and it's only like 12 lbs....:confused:
  3. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Suede backed straps bother me. Maybe that's your problem too?

    I find it hard to believe that your GL weighs 21 pounds though.
  4. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Welcome...I SERIOUSLY doubt your bass weighs anywhere near 21 lbs! Get a Comfort Strapp first. If it's not enough, those Ibanez Soundgears always seem light.
  5. Paperjoe


    Oct 29, 2010
    my mistake. it was 15 lbs. Got the wrong info on the internet! my bad. Way to screw up my first post haha.
  6. Classickbass


    Aug 15, 2010
    Kingston, TN
    15 is still hard to believe, Paperjoe. Weigh the bass yourself. Even a bathroom scale will work. I just bought a R.A.L. which weighs just over 11 pounds and it is the heaviest bass I have ever played.
  7. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    My 75RI, also MIJ like your Geddy come in around 9 lbs ... Dump that anchor and get something reasonable ...
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    15 lbs...two tons...doesn't matter. Sell it and buy something tolerable. The TB classifieds are by far the best source for primo used gear.

  9. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    15 lbs is probably the "shipping weight".
  10. Paperjoe


    Oct 29, 2010
    yeah i got the info from amazon, the shipping weight was even more. I guess i'd have to weight it myself to really know :/

    Checked some talksbass forums. It's at least 9 pounds. :p
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Yeah it shouldn't be anywhere near 15 pounds, but whatever it is it's still obviously too heavy for you.

    Time to sell it and replace it with something that weighs less and balances better. Keep in mind it was designed in the 50's and things have changed a lot since then.

    Check out an MTD Saratoga which is a better design and is made of basswood so it's lighter.
  12. Mr.Docfunk


    Jun 8, 2010
    go get yourself a double strap
    so that the weigh is on your 2 shoulders, and not only on one
  13. i find that neoprene straps really take the weight out of my heavy basses. maybe try one of those?

    bongo's are light, as are status graphite streamlines and stealths.

    sounds silly but do you do any shoulder warm ups like stretches and such? it used to help me back when i still used leather or nylon straps. or you could try talking a nice young lady into giving you a back rub :ninja: even just for the sake of it!

    adjusting your strap height may also relieve some pressure from your shoulder and upper arm if you have the bass high, or if its a knee guard then you really should raise it :ninja:
  14. rbbrchkn


    Feb 25, 2009
    Denver, CO
    I'm 5' 8", 145lbs and have tendonitis in both shoulders (not from bass but from violin) and I've found that it's more important to have good posture and be conscious about how you're holding the bass than to have a light weight instrument. Nine or so pounds is not excessive for a Fender bass, and even a lighter weight instrument will cause injury over time if you're not careful about supporting the weight correctly.

    I actually had better results going from a 3" wide 'comfort' strap down to a 2.5" leather strap because the width and flexibility of the comfort strap caused the weight of the bass to ride up on my neck and make trouble. You might try to rearrange things posture-wise before you go and trade a good instrument for one that weighs less. However, instrument/body fit issues are about as subjective as anything out there, so remember my opinion is worth what ya paid for it. ;)
  15. Virgil

    Virgil She's My Inspiration Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2005
    Dresher, Pa.
    I feel your pain. I have a Skjold bass; weighs just under 8 pounds. It sounds great and you are not in pain after the gig. If you can sit during the gig, the weight doesn't matter. According to Anthony Jacskson, you should play the bass sitting down anyway.
  16. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    I would first get the physical pain situation cleared up with a physical therapist. Maybe bring your bass and let him guide you with advice on the ergonomy of playing, warm up, exercises and so on. Then I would possibly be looking for a new bass, maybe almost the same type just lighter.
  17. baileyboy


    Aug 12, 2010
    Use trigger point therapy for your shoulder/back pain. You can administer this to yourself. All you need is the manual and a theracane. For the cost of less than $50 I can still use my 10.5 lb Fender P if I so choose.
  18. Osprey


    Jun 20, 2005
    Yes, I'd bet too that you can do a lot of good by considering posture. I have a long-term bad back from sports injuries..I have a lot of trouble finding a car I can sit in comfortably for more than an hour or two, but have no trouble with my P-bass, which is the heaviest I have. Your strap needs to be wide enough not to dig into the shoulder, but experiment with how high you wear the instrument, as well as the angle. Standing up to play some of the time will let you vary your position: maybe you are hunching while sitting.
  19. i said the same thing when i got the geddy lee! pacman replied, "go do some pushups! :p
  20. When I was a young teenager and first started playing bass, my shoulder also hurt. However, as I grew up and started working out a lot, it went away. I hardly even notice it on my shoulder now.

    My point is, if you work your upper body and build a good layer of muscle on your shoulders, the muscle will pad the nerves and the pain will fade away. In the mean time, stay away from leather straps. Also, if you have the strap to close to the neck or shoulder, it can cause unneccessary pain and discomfort. You want the strap to lay in between in the collar bone area. From time to time, lift the wieght off and stretch the arm around in the shoulder socket.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.