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Bending the neck back, will it hurt?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Ninja>Pirate, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. I own a highway 1 fender pbass and I like to bend the neck back slightly so that the strings bang against the fretboard to make this cool growly wah sort of sound. Does anyone else do this, and will it hurt my bass if I do it enough? I think I can get a similar sound by bending the string and playing the note really hard, but I just like bending the neck, it give me cool stage pressence, I just don't want to hurt my bass. Will it hurt the truss rod or bend the neck wood permenantly if I keep doing this?
  2. superfly


    Aug 4, 2004
    Sounds like you should have learned how to play lead guitar instead.
    I'm sure over time it might have a negative effect.
  3. Are you putting ALOT of force back on the neck? If so, realise the neck is a stressed member with an internal compensation method for that tension. Also remember the neckis made of wood. You could overtime compromise the integrity of the neck's wood, and cause a fracture or split.

    I bend the neck back "slightly" when I'm adjusting the trussrod. Common practice. IF this is about all you're doing, shouldn't be *too* terrible for the neck. I guess I'd have to see how forceful you were being to be sure.

    Just be careful, or cut down on the stage theatrics...then again, it's only a tool, and necks can be replaced if something dire happens. Do what "makes" the performance for YOU.
  4. Thanks guys, my bass seems tougher than that, but from what I've seen truss rods can do crazy things. About that lead guitar thing, it's kind of wierd... I kind of play lead bass some songs, it's hard to explain.
  5. Dkerwood


    Aug 5, 2005
    My experience is that bass necks can take more bending (bending further) than guitar necks without peril. Just try not to bend it too far. I assume that you're not bending far enough to affect pitch...? On my J-Bass, I used to bend it the other way, to "detune" the string. I found I could take it a half step down without much effort or bending.

    Neck bending is a nice, easy way to do a tremelo effect. I don't do it much anymore, but that's mainly because my 5 banger has a set neck and isn't as "bendable".

    Just don't bend too far, and you'll be fine. Otherwise, look into a bass whammy bar... ;)
  6. jake_tim


    Jun 28, 2005
    North Carolina
    umm, if you arent putting alot of force in to it then it still could hurt it in the long run possbly, i dont think its much of a good idea saying that your neck is already under alot of force, and some people dont relize that, but dont most bass stings and a force of about give or take 50 punds of pressure each in standard tuning? but besides that, im with dkerwood, look into a bass tremblo, and from the looks of it you might like it.

  7. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    Back in the day (in Santa Cruz) a local bassist by the name of Willi Durbin (R.I.P. bro) would bend the neck on his jazz basses, to simulate a whammy bar. Although it's not good for the neck, Willi made sure that his neck was warmed up.....Another local bassist was so impressed by Willi's neck dives, that he went home and tried it out on his bass, w/out warming up the neck; $250 later he was back in the game.
  8. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    Billy Sheehan does neck work like that. Be careful when bending the neck so harshly. If you have a Fender P than a replacement neck will be quite cheap. If it really gets the crowd going, it's a small price to pay.

    I have to say, though, that getting that mwah clank from the strings is quite easy to get when the action is very low to begin with. The lower it is, the easier it is to bend it the way you want. Hardly any force would be needed.