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Don't Get Up

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by wishface, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. wishface


    Jan 27, 2012
    Maybe I'm too used to practising sitting down, but when i play with the bass relying on the strap to hold the instrument (ie when you're standing up, or have the bass resting as if you were) i find it much more awkward. Is this my bad habits, or perhaps an unwiedly poorly weighted instrument (tbh, both are very likely true).
  2. I used to find that... then again I also used to use a 2" strap to hold my bass, which strained my shoulder so bad it seized :meh: then I bought a 3", and it is significantly better. Use the 2" for my guitar now, where it belongs. I'd say give it a little time, practice with your strap and get used to playing this way. It'll strengthen your shoulders up too :D

  3. Bass Mentor

    Bass Mentor

    Apr 30, 2012
    Nashville Tennessee
    endorsing artist: Lava Cable, E&O Mari, Rupert Neve Designs
    Be sure also that the angle and position of the bass in relationship to your body is the same standing up......if this is not properly addressed--- your joints, shoulders, and angle of your hands are different..not only will this cause some fingering and playing problems, it will cause physical harm long term....
  4. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    I saw an interview with Billy Sheehan about this. You have 34 joints between your shoulder and fingertips (17 per arm) that shift between playing sitting down and standing up depending on how you strap your bass. Ideally your bass should be in the same position sitting down or standing up. If you look at a Fender style bass you'll notice the back is cut to go into your ribcage. That's why I'm one of those geeky looking dudes who wears his bass up around his lower chest (granted I have a beard and dreadlocks).

    Stay Brown,
    Rev J
  5. What works for me is to have the neck plate directly over my belly button, like Geddy in this picture. That way your wrists are nice and straight, with no strain on either one of them, and if you sit down the bass should remain in the same position.


    Oh, and he's singing the first verse of Hemispheres:prelude here! :D
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    What bass you are playing a big factor, is the bass was poorly designed and has big time neck dive problems you will be holding the bass instead of playing it when using a strap. Certain basses are famous for this problem.

    As others have said, set your strap so that your bass is pretty much in the same position whether sitting or standing.
  7. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I practice standing up. I figure that's how I play, so I should practice how I play.
  8. wishface


    Jan 27, 2012
    the weight on my bass feels like it's in the wrong place. If i have the body over my own (it's slung fairly high, but not wrist breakingly high) then the neck feels too far to the left if that makes any sense (i'm RHanded), yet it's as if the body should be there because otherwise the weight is off my body and lopsided.

    I don't know what the specific make of my bass is, it's a spector but a really cheap one I think.
  9. GeoffT


    Aug 1, 2011
    This is some of the best advice I got from my first teacher many years ago.
  10. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada
    being more comfortable sitting down is pretty normal ...don't be concerned about it ...as others have pointed out, set your strap height so that when you stand, it's a simliar effect ....start playing some tunes at home standing up, then go to a jam with some buddies, get in a band ...then you'll be standing more than you're sitting and things will fall into place .....it's just what we are used to....

    i've been playing guitar for 25 years but i rarely play acoustic live on a gig ....it's all electric ...i had to play some acoustic this week backing up local Idol contestants and my first instinct was to sit down for the acoustic tunes ....cause that's what i do when i'm home!
  11. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I wear mine about where Geddy does in that pic (not because I'm a fan, though). Seems to be a good compromise. One problem I'm having, though, is a pinched nerve in my shoulder that may be getting worse. It's been that way for decades. I don't think playing guitar or bass caused it, but it sure isn't making it any better. I may have to end up sitting all the time before too long (I'm already 62).
  12. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    I use a medium height stool rather than a chair while practicing, and always use a strap. For me, this keeps the playing position essentially the same as it is while standing, as my bass isn't resting on my leg.
  13. najko


    Aug 7, 2012
    I like learning the songs sat down, so I can fully focus on the song, comfortably. Then I get up and I play it with the feeling it deserves.

    I think you should spend some time messing with your strap until you play without hurting your back or shoulders. Don't look for the badass bass-on-your-knees, set it wherever it feels best, and leave it there.
  14. temmrich


    Jan 29, 2012
    Dayton, Ohio
    Why don't you just gig with a chair? If the music is the focal point (which we all pretend it is), then why not be as comfy as possible? Drummers (and many keyboardists) get to sit all night, you might as well too. It's not like you're a guitarist or singer or something people pay attention to. This is said with all seriousness btw.
    I've seen many blues guitarists sit while they play. Why has the bass been designated as a "standing" instrument at live performances?
  15. hernameisrio


    Sep 27, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Man...I'm the opposite...I can't seem to sit comfortably and play. I find it much easier to stand. My teacher always has me sit and it drives me crazy because I just can't get used to it!
  16. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    Or you could just pull an Anthony Jackson:

    Stay Brown,
    Rev J

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