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"Behind the nut" vibratos by pushing/pulling headstock. Bad for every bass?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Drop-D, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Drop-D


    Mar 23, 2009
    Kansas City
    Alright, tried a search and can't seem to get an answer to put my curiosity to rest. It it always going to be damaging to your neck to push or pull your headstock to get a vibrato. Tried it a couple times, but didn't experiment much 'cause it just felt so unnatural.

    Good example is Wojtek Pilichowski. He uses the technique effectively.

    Good one just before 0:50
  2. HaVIC5


    Aug 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NYC
    I've always done it for effect. As long as you don't push too hard and do it sparingly (as a specific effect like in that video) I don't see how bad it could affect the bass.
  3. on one of my basses, i go much farther than that. i do it alot on that bass. on my 5 string it doesnt seem to work to well, necks pretty wide. and on my other bass i dont rly like to do it.
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    It's unlikely you'll do any damage, and obviously others do it. I've never heard of a neck snapping off from the body or the headstock cracking from too much tugging for effect.

    One thing you might consider is that it could pull the strings out-of-tune a little.
  5. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    I knew a guitarist who broke the neck on his Les Paul doing that. He played metal and went kind of extreme with it, though. Personally, I would never do it.
  6. stoo


    Nov 10, 2003
    That nearly happened to me too. I thought it actually had broken until I picked it up from the floor and noticed that just the strap button had come off, and everything else was OK. :D
  7. I just bend the strings above the nut. Although it doesn't give you the same effect, it does sound nice and it easy to do.

  8. EADG mx

    EADG mx

    Jul 4, 2005
    My thing is: why go there?

    Opinions ahead:

    It's not worth a risk of damaging your bass or putting yourself out of tune, for what ends up being a practically useless effect anyway. All in my humble opinion.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've done it, but I stopped when I heard my bass make a cracking sound. It WILL take its toll.
  10. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I sometimes shake the bass, holding the body and waving the neck back and forth. Not as dramatic, but not as damaging either.
  11. Watch Billy Sheehan! He punishes those Attitudes of his...on my cheapo Attitude I can bend the neck down at least a full step. That neck joint on the Yamaha Attitude is amazing...try that out.
  12. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    I have a whammy bar for doing that.:ninja:

    Seriously, I've done it a few times, not worth the damage it'll eventually do, IMHO. Re: Billy Sheehan, he has to reset his necks often because of damage from doing it.
  13. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Probably because he asked...

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