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Do you think the current right wrist position is ergonomic?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by freatles, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Yes, it is fine!

    14 vote(s)
  2. No, I don't think so!

    17 vote(s)
  3. I don't know, unsure.

    2 vote(s)
  4. Other, please specify

    3 vote(s)
  1. freatles


    Jan 9, 2014
    Do you think the position and angle for the right hand strumming (or whatever) the strings is ergonomic?

    I'm looking at all these hundreds of videos with bass players with their right wrists in almost an right angle (~80-90 degrees), and keep thinking that can't be good! Even catch myself doing that sometimes.

    Seems to me that the electric bass body shape is incorrect for ergonomics? Or will keeping the wrist in an angle be ok, and not cause problems? Help me figure this out.
  2. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Lots of gigs and playing. No problems.

    FWIW---- I wear my BG very high to keep my left wrist straight.
  3. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Everything's a compromise, and everyone's different.

    I can't play mine when the top of the body is above the belt line.
    I've tried it just to see, and it's a huge no go.
    It's awkward and my right shoulder starts to hurt terribly from my right arm being held up at an angle.

    As far as the 90 degree right wrist style, again no go at all.
    I can go maybe 2 minutes tops before my arm cramps up really badly.

    I've never had an issue with my left wrist cramping or becoming sore, so it's really down to what works for each person.
    I've been playing that way daily since 1979, the longest single gig was just over 6 hours play time all told excluding breaks (fortunately that was a one time thing!).

    There's no right or wrong way.
  4. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    56 yo and still no problem.
  5. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    I use a pick...so no problem! :)
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    My wrist are straight when I play so no issue.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No angle in my right wrist. I wear it fairly low, though.
  8. MrTaff


    Jan 20, 2014
    I keep my wrist straight, sitting or standing, so it's not an issue for me but I keep seeing the same thing, bass really high & right wrist bent 90 degrees, looks really uncomfortable to me.
  9. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Just about 28 years of playing with a bent wrist and no problem yet. You're probably right that a straight wrist would be healthier - better for circulation, range of motion, etc... - but I can't say that I feel the "broken" wrist position has held me back in any way.
  10. Remus_Redbone


    Dec 27, 2010
    Western AR
    What is the current right wrist position? Replys so far indicate it's all over the place.
  11. SnappyFerret

    SnappyFerret What it is, what it is Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    I have carpal tunnel syndrome, so I make a point to keep both left and right wrists straight, or else my fingers go numb. The straight right wrist has the added advantage of letting you play a lot of different body sizes and styles in a bass that are otherwise uncomfortable to play with your right wrist at a 90 degree angle.
  12. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    IME, the wrist angle doesn't matter if you play with a soft touch.
  13. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Exactly. It's a bad question. The same bass can be played ergonomically or unergonomically, depending on strap length and player technique.
  14. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    The more you use your plucking hand, the more important it is to give those muscles and ligaments a straight path. Only the fingers and thumb of my plucking hand touch the bass.....it takes some adjustment at first, but it makes you a stronger better player, if that's any concern of yours, I know it's one for me.


    The reason you're getting so many different opinions is because most guys who do it don't play very intricate stuff. And if they do, they won't be for long!
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  15. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    moved to technique
  16. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    My wrist has never complained.
  17. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Endorsing Artist: Regenerate Guitar Works, Honey Badger Pickups, Westone Audio
    I generally use more of a floating thumb technique, and I generally play 5 or 6 string basses, so my right hand wrist can't sit on the edge of the body all bent over like that. Absolutely no problem.

    Also us a pick and sometimes slap a little. Do a lot of palm muting. Also no problem.
  18. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
  19. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    The correct wrist position is straight...always will be.
    The wrist is not always bent because of the hand.....it can be bent because of the elbow's position.

    See the wrists angle position as through the wrist, not from the wrist.

    Most playing positions are about a blend of elbow and hand, with an elbow position away from the body to create the best straight line position.
    See it as from the elbow, (point A) through the wrist (point B) to the fingers (point C).
    If you will, point B is affect by both the positions of point A + C....not point B affecting the positions of points A or C

    Height can have an effect, but again the elbow can help take out any excesive bending and help maintain a straighter line elbow through to wrist.
    Bass height is a personal thing, as is the angle of the bass played, so what works for anyone person may not work for another, so i offer no comment on it other than make sure it is functional for your needs.

    Bass designs are not so much an issue, as again, the straighter the lines created the better the use.
    Any bass that does not offer this becomes 'not an option' to choose in my opinion.
    If a player does choose such a bass as an option, then the issue is not with the technique as the technique has become the function of that bass, but with the player in making a bad choice of instrument.
    It can be easliy put right by changing the bass for one that allows a better technique use.

    So see the combination of the bass you choose, and its ability to allow the straightest of line from the elbow through the forearm through the wrist to the fingers.....do not see it as to the wrist, or from the wrist ,but through the wrist and all will be as good as it can be technique wise. :)
  20. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I've played like that forever.
    At 54 years old it's been an issue for maybe 5 or so years.

    If I'm where I'm used to being, at some point in the evening my fingers will start to go numb. It doesn't take much of an angle change to alleviate it but, it's there for sure.