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Bass strap question for bad back

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by kevbassman, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Hey Gang,
    I need suggestions. I'm 51 and was just diagnosed with severe arthritis in my back. Having my Nordy hang on my neck, shoulders for 3 hrs a night isn't helping. I currently use a Moody & Levy strap...........and their good stuff............but the pain in my shoulder & back is not going away at the end of the night.

    I was looking at the Gruv Gear straps........the Neo & leather double strap if you will...........has anyone used these?

    Any suggestions? I really don't want to play from a bar stool every gig.

  2. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I would also be considering a light weight bass. Like you mention, the Moody and some of the Levy's straps are nice, wide and soft, so there are limits to what a strap can do.
  3. Kikegg


    Mar 3, 2011
    Madrid, Spain
    A female bassist friend of mine's solution is using two straps, one per shoulder on the front and both attached to the back strap button. I think her straps are 5 or 6cm wide (1.97-2.36 inches).
    She explained me that this way her 4,5Kg Precision hangs really well balanced and her back pain stopped.

    I think is a very easy and cheap mod.
  4. leroy diamond

    leroy diamond Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2005
    Hey Man,
    I was in a very similar position to you recently when I attempted to switch from my really light Sadowsky (just over 7 lbs) to a lovely Fender Custom shop (Just 9 lbs). Nothing wrong with the Sadowsky, just fancied a change.
    Within a couple of weeks my old shoulder injury started to kick in. Tried Mono, Comfort and Gruv Gear Duo strap but nothing worked for me. The Duo Strap is an interesting piece of kit but it felt really strange having a strap on my right shoulder--just could not get used of it.
    Eventually went back to my Sadowsky and a good old fashioned wide quality Strap and all is fine.
    My suggestion is that if at all possible, you should consider getting as light a bass as possible. With your condition you really need to take every precaution. hope all works out
  5. I bought a Neotech Mega Bass Strap and the difference in comfort compared to my (fairly wide) levy's strap is remarkable.

    You should also consider solutions that are not technological. Make sure you warm up properly before a gig, work on strengthening your muscles and your core with some exercise (where possible, given your arthritis), make sure you are standing with good posture, take regular breaks where possible---maybe use the bar stool for a few numbers here and there instead of a whole set. Just remember that your health is more important than a gig!

    Good luck!
  6. I really like this idea. I've never had real back problems (then again, I'm young), but sometimes my left should (right-handed player) really hurts after a gig, especially a double-header. I tried Planet Waves' double-shoulder trap, but the little button thing didn't really have enough traction. Somehow, just using 2 damned straps didn't occur to me. I'm so trying this, thanks for sharing.

    Also, I really like Comfort Strapps. A like a nice wide leather strap for guitar, but I didn't like them as much for bass, Comfort Strapps have been great.
  7. I've got the Duostrap Neo, and I gotta say it works.

    I've had six different surgeries on my back since 2008, so I'm really sensitive to the weight of my instrument. The Duostrap really helps with distributing the weight.
  8. bassman10096


    Jul 30, 2004
    I love the idea of using two separate straps. Never thought of that one.

    Generally speaking, anything that distributes weight more widely and/or away from uncomfortable areas seems to help. I'm lucky not to have any really painful back conditions (most of the time), but I realized a long time ago that I tended to play heavy basses. Since then, I haven't used any strap less than 4" wide. Moody's, Italia, it doesn't matter. But you can't beat the basic physics of laying off weight over 4" instead of 3" or 2.5".
  9. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Having chronic neck pain for years I came up with a somewhat similar solution using 2 straps. One strap used the conventinal way. The other strap with one end attached to the top horn right over the first strap, slung over the right shoulder crisscrossing on your back, and using the strap looped around your belt, positioning it left of your pants belt loop (left of your left back pocket) to keep it from moving. By adjusting both straps separately you can dial in what works for you. Hope that explanation makes sense.

    Tried it for the first time at last Friday's gig with good results. Plus, my neck felt better than it has in months the rest of the weekend.

    On the road now but can supply pics this weekend if anyone is interested.
  10. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    I use the Comfort Strap which helps alleviate so discomfort. There used to be a strap that went around your waist and around the shoulder. You had to install a recessed strap button like Ken Smith uses but underneath the bass. That is where it attached to the waist strap. I am not sure if this is the one as I thought the original was leather. http://slingerstraps.com/

  11. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I just bought one of those straps that goes over your shoulder like a regular one but also has another strap to go around your waist. I have only used it a little at home as we are in a lull in our gigging schedule at the moment, but so far I like it. On top of having a chronic issue with my upper back, I broke two vertebrae a couple years ago and sometimes I am suffering for days after a gig. I am interested to see how this works out.
  12. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Levis, Quebec, Canada
    Neotech straps are good, but try it before you buy (if you can).

    I light bass would be a must.

    15 years ago, a friend of mine gotba Y-Strap.


    I'm not sure if it's appropriate for you and if it's still available.
  13. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    This is the company I was going to recommend. It is The Slinger Strap, not Comfort Strap. They now have three straps, The Slinger Strap, which is waist strap only and you must drill one hole in your instrument to attach it (least weight on the back); Sling Strap, which is combo waist and shoulder strap (I use this one and can be seen in a video on the site playing my Alembic); and the brand new Harness Strap which has two shoulder straps and a waist strap. I believe having a waist strap is key, whichever strap you choose. It takes a lot of the weight off your back and neck, like hiker backpacks do. http://slingerstraps.com/
  14. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    The neotech neoprene gives the impression that the bass is substantially lighter. The strap itself is featherweight and grippy so it also helps counteract neckdive
  15. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Tom, at Slinger Straps, is super customer friendly and is an absolute gem to deal with. Although the Sling strap didn't work for me (individual comfort and playing styles are subjective) Tom offered great suggestions and was more than happy to answer any questions.
    One of the 3 options offered by Slinger Straps should work for about 90% of the players out there.
  16. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    Absolutely true! I have had email exchanges with Tom and he is very helpful and friendly. One of his straps should work for you. Best of luck to you!
  17. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    I'd try and find one of those Yamaha RBX4 basses they had a few years back. They were really light.
  18. The dual straps work if it's the uneven weight on your shoulders. All a strap can do is distribute the weight better. A bass doesn't actually get lighter.
  19. Chromer


    Nov 28, 2012
    Stool. No, it's not rock and roll. Well, not unless you're Robert Fripp.
  20. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Yes the one I have is this one:


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