Best basses for playing while seated?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by n1as, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. n1as

    n1as Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    I suspect most of us play while standing. Recently I've been sitting and have some observations.

    1. The lower bout on a Jazz bass makes it a paint (EDIT: a bit awkward) to play while seated.

    2. The small waist area on Fender basses makes them not so great to play when seated (EDIT: small opening doesn't fit normal size thighs).

    3. The small / stubby lower horn on the Lakland Skyline 55-01 makes it not so comfortable to play while seated (EDIT as it tends to want to slide off the thigh).

    4. The wide, rounded waist on the Carvin SB5000 makes it very comfortable to play while seated (EDIT as it fits / cradles the thigh nicely).

    Also - I'm not looking for any solutions, just sharing some observations about this aspect of bass guitars and wondering what all y'all have observed / learned...
    Remyd likes this.
  2. msact


    Jan 8, 2013
    Somewhere in NJ
    I can't play seated at all. Never could. It feels too awkward regardless of which type of bass I play. After so many years of playing my arms are used to being in a certain position and seated I feel too scrunched.
  3. I play seated about 70% of the time because I'm currently not gigging and I'm lazy. You have a tall order; most of the criteria you name, I have trouble agreeing with or understanding.

    1) If the lower bout of a Jazz is resting on something you're sitting on (like a couch cushion), switch to a chair. Like a dining room or office chair.

    2) The waist on most basses is there for thigh balancing. It would more uncomfortable with no waistline.

    3) The stubby horn shouldn't be a problem unless you are sticking it directly into the center of your thigh or playing with your legs together. Open them a little.

    4) The Carvin SB4000/5000 series reminds me of a Jazz with the exception of the Tiesco-esque upper cutaways.

    The Ibanez Grooveline is designed to be comfortable no matter what. The body line screams thigh shape.

    My other suggestion was gonna be take up drums because they're made to be played while seated, but that's just mean. ;)

    Good luck with your quest!
  4. hsech

    hsech I'm not old, I'm just seasoned. Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    My Gibson SG Reissue Short Scale is the most comfortable playing while sitting down. My G&L ASAT Bass is the least comfortable/Stable for playing sitting down.
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I only play seated these days. Haven't played out in years.

    I find my Fender Jazz perfectly comfortable to play while seated, as well as Precisions, Stingrays, Soundgears. Pretty much everything except pointy basses and hollowbodies I find pretty comfortable to play while seated.
  6. highway


    Aug 20, 2008
    i only play seated, might change once my swamp ash is finished . . . much lighter than my heavy-ass alder
  7. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    Anthony Jackson Contrabass:


    I also have it on good authority that it is also the best bass for metal.
    gebass6 likes this.
  8. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama

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    saltydude and Bob_Ross like this.
  9. I would disagree about Fender or Fender style basses being uncomfortable, I find them very comfy as long as I use a strap, especially with my rather large belly.
  10. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    If you don't like fender basses for sitting, your body may be better shaped for this:

    zortation and Rezdog like this.
  11. I'm yet to find a bass that I can play sitting without having a limp wristed right hand.
  12. It sounds like you're resting your bass on your right leg (if you're right-handed; left leg if you're left-handed). If that's the case, try having sitting with your bass in classical position wlook that up if you don't know what it is). In my experience, no bass is uncomfortable to playiing sitting down when you use that position, unless it's one of those silly pointy things of course. Otherwise, any neck-dive the bass has will be exacerbated, and basses with shorter lower horns won't sit in place for long.

    You'll also find that playing in that position works well with symmetrical Precision-style bodies, and asymmetrical Jazz-style bodies.
    Bob_Ross and gebass6 like this.
  13. IGotGas

    IGotGas Cajun Rocker Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2011
    Baton Rouge, LA
    If you're playing right legged, the Ibanez Grooveline is just about the best there is, and still be taken seriously if you gig. It's also very comfortable standing up. It's not your typical $500 Ibanez, mind you.

    Also, check out the latest Roscoes. I played one a few weeks ago sitting down and found it to be very comfortable.

    I think it might help if we knew more about your body shape. Tall? Long or short upper body? Gut no gut? Any handicaps?

    I'm a big tall dude with a tall upper body, a gut the size of Wisconsin, and big arms that are long like a gorilla. However, I have bad nerve damage in my right arm/shoulder from my military days, so fit will be different for me than you.
  14. It's an individual thing, just like comfort and balance when standing with your preference of strap length and your physical dimensions.

    Personally I find all the basses I deal with to be comfortable when sitting, but that might be due to luck or skill in choosing.

    No Flying Vs so far, but I'm looking for a deal on an Explorer shaped bass.
    Ever tried to play a Steinberger or clone with a missing thigh bar?

    If you play seated a lot, that needs to be part of your bass test-drive procedure. It's a valid criteria for rejecting many popular models if they give YOU problems.
  15. Bass 45

    Bass 45 Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2011
    Tempe, Arizona
    My most comfortable sitting bass is an Ampeg ASB-1. It is a rare and odd beast, but it sure is comfortable to sit with.

    Also, any common type bass in classical guitar position with the strap tightened a bit is good.
  16. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
  17. n1as

    n1as Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013

  18. n1as

    n1as Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    I edited my original post to make it more clear.

    FYI - I'm not looking for any solutions, just trying to discuss / learn.

    BTW, I'm thin, right handed, and rest the bass on my right thigh when seated. I don't use a strap when seated either since the whole purpose of sitting down is to take the load off my back & shoulders.
  19. n1as

    n1as Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
  20. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    My Bromberg 5 string is on the brown truck due to arrive on Tues., so at that point I may be able to report how it performs on the leg while seated. B2 himself describes/demonstrates how it balances while seated here:

    With my existing herd, the most comfortable to play seated at the moment is my L2K. It actually falls a bit backwards on the leg due to its 900,000 lb Ash body, but is positioned pretty much perfectly.

    My MP jazz bass isn't too bad, but still works pretty well especially when sitting in a chair.

    My Carvin Bunnies, ironically, are the worst of all when seated, but are still ok. They balance, but the lower cutaway is a little further back than I find comfortable. So I have to use a pad on the lower horn to get it hiked up where I want it and not crunch up my left wrist (you can see it on the attached photo, velcroed to my 6 string).


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