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Comfortable neck angle

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassteban, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. I've read a lot on neck angles, & haven't yet seen this question addressed: How does neck angle affect playability & comfort (for left hand specifically) on BG? DB? I understand the required relationship of string path & bridge height, but I'm building from scratch (including wooden bridge), so form will follow function.
  2. Anyone?
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Since the angle is actually the relationship between the body and the neck, I think of it more as the body angle - since, when holding the bass, the neck is going to always end up where it is needed for playing, then the angle is really controlling the way the body lays against your body.
  4. Yeah, you can look at it that way, but consider this. Strap on a bass. Hold your hands up. Where is the neck- particularly the 1st 2 or 3 frets? Now do the same with a different bass- different answer? I know body shape, horn length & many other factors come into play, this is just the question of the day (or week) for me. Thanks for the input!
  5. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Because of some physical disability issues, I play with what many would consider a very steep playing angle, about 1 o'clock when standing. Seated, I just position the bass a bit further to the right. I don't really care where a bass balances stock now, I just move the strap pins to where I need them to get the bass to balance correctly for my body, but it does make it harder to try out other people's instuments, or at the shop. Now I can play for extended periods in first position comfortably, whereas before in about five minutes the pain in my wrist or shoulder was too severe. This playing position also allows a far more 'natural' position for both hands, imo as both wrists are at a comfortable angle.
  6. What I'm referring to is the angle of the neck to the body of the bass guitar (or electric upright bass), & how this relates to anyone's comfort when playing- not so much the angle at which the bass is held while playing. That being said, I saw in Bassplayer (magazine) a guy playing with (I believe) Blood, Sweat & Tears, who attached a strap button to the LOWER horn of his Jazz bass, & played it in a much more upright position- perhaps somewhat like you, Dharmabass? Thanks.
  7. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    Neck angle IMO is very important in making the bass comfortable.
    When I pick up a bass that the neck is straight to the bridge it feels like I'm reaching in front of me to get to the 1st position.
  8. So, Cliff, what is a typical angle on one of your lovely basses? I understand that custom made instruments can vary widely, I'm just trying to pick as many experienced brains as possible.
  9. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    2 degrees is what I use.
    It is easier to build a bass with no angle.
    But the feel that you get when the neck
    just sits in your hand without reaching for
    it a great thing! :bassist: :bassist:
  10. Yeah, I want to put on the bass, close my eyes, reach out & grab it (without searching). Thanks again, CB