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Double Bass Stool height

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by MichiBass, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Yea no poo.
  2. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I've never heard of a teacher who starts a student other than standing.
    I've never seen a teaching room where the teacher had a stool available.
  3. I'm gonna get a 29" stool and play standing :)
  4. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    A 29" stool would have me standing for a while, methinks. Sorry, couldn't resist.
    DuncanStan likes this.
  5. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Yet another casualty of the dreaded "dutch oven"...

    More seriously, while I generally play standing, the cheesy stool I (occasionally) use is about 33" high, but then, I am a pituitary freak, at 6'-6." As Drurb suggests, stool height sort of has to relate to the player's height/inseam.
  6. Sorry, but what is the inseam? My english is not that good... :(
  7. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Your English is fine, its a weird word. "Inseam" is the measurement of the inner seam of your trouser leg, from the crotch to where the pant leg ends at the ankle.
  8. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    My guess is that you will find a stool between 30 and 32 inches to be most comfortable.
  9. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    Is this related to the Viagra thread??
  10. MAsbury


    Oct 21, 2010
    I wonder if we go at it from the wrong end: Seems to me that a french bow player could sit a couple of inches higher than a german bow player, for the fbp's fingers are extended toward the floor (giving a lower hair-string contact point), while the gbp's are horizontal to it, underneath the bow. I have a 34-inch inseam, and like the feel of sitting at 32, but I do a much better bow-angle job on the upper strings if I sit at 30.
  11. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    They sell two different styles of natural finished stools at my walmart. A tall one and a short one.

    Im relatively tall at 6'2 (or so they tell me.) and frankly i like the shorter stool, and sit in more of a cello position.

    Much easier on my ass.
  12. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    So adjust the end pin.
  13. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I find that most players 5'10" and under are happy with a standard 29" stool and guys that are taller feel more comfortable with a taller stool but that is just a general observation. I like a stool that is around 31" or 32" but I just want my right foot to rest easily on the floor with a comfortable bend in the knee. I also prefer to sit firmly on the stool as opposed to being perched on the edge of the stool. My only problem with the standard Wal-mart stool is that the rungs are not in a good spot for me. I used to have a stool with three rungs instead of two and this put my left foot at a far more comfortable height.

    My biggest want in a stool is a swivel top. I carry a wooden stool with a swivel top but prefer the expensive "conductor" type chairs that our symphony provides. For me the swivel makes it easier to get to all five strings and allows me to "readjust" if you will, without having to stand up or squirm too much. I also carved a bit of a "butt contour" into my swivel top and really made the stool far more comfortable for long rehearsals and concerts. Before I contoured the edges I had a problem with my leg going to sleep below edge of the seat. I believe the more square edge was pressing in and cutting off circulation to my left leg. I would be surprised if I was the only person to have this issue.
  14. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Not if you intend to perform sitting. 95% percent of the orchestral players that I play with prefer to play with a stool. While I think that this has a lot to do with sitting through 3 hour long rehearsals, for me I have better power and projection with the bow, as well as being more comfortable in the lower register. When playing solos a lot of the same players will choose to stand. I always feel more comfortable sitting.

    I sometimes play jazz gigs without a stool as I feel only a small difference while playing pitz. On the other hand I have limited facility with the bow when standing. I find that the very vast majority of jazz players play standing up unless they have an orchestral background as well. I wonder if this is a due more to the convenience of carrying fewer things to a gig.
  15. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    My first teacher was a sitter and always had new students do the stool thing to begin with. To his credit though, if it didn't take, which it didn't with me, he didn't push it.
  16. I haven't played with a stool yet, but with a 3/4 size my left hand is well above my head. I am going to try a 1/2 size, but thinking a stool might be the answer.

    My concern is that if I have to have both feet flat on the floor, that may not work either. My feet don't reach the floor in chairs, let alone stools. When I sing in a chair I either sit criss-cross style on top of the seat of the chair or put a lot of books under my feet.

    Can a stool be extremely low and still work?

    Do my feet really have to be on the floor? If so, think books would work under my feet? hehe, that will be fun to carry into an orchestra concert.
  17. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    How tall are you? If you're taller than 5'1", I would think a 3/4 bass would not be too tall.

    I sit on a stool at 24" with both feet are on the floor. There are many kinds of stools, high and low. If you use one that is higher, with a bottom rung, you could put both feet on that. Some people put one foot up on a rung, and the other on the floor. I like having both feet at the same level.

    You will have to experiment and find what works with your body!
  18. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    I've seen David Friesen using a drum stool with a tether going from endpin to stool to keep the bass from slipping away.
  19. SeaMist_au


    Aug 28, 2012
    Drum throne and a Xeros endpin anchor work perfectly. I'm 5' 7" with short legs.
    The trick is to get the height of the seat, the endpin height, the angle of the bass, both vertically and side on angles just right, to give you full access to the fingerboard, the right height for the bow, the right angle for the bow so that your arm is not too extended on the G string and the right height and angle for your left hand.
    Once you think you might have found 'the position' you measure your endpin extension, set the endpin anchor up and with the drum throne height the same each time a perfect position is guaranteed everytime. *cough*
    All you have to do is find 'that' position. Or maybe consider surgery lol.

    Seriously, you do get a consistent seating position and your bass can't escape away from you. 'That' position however takes quite a bit of experimentation. And it changes as you develop......
    Like standing with a bass, if you are sitting get an experienced, preferably orchestral, player to check out what you doing.
  20. I am close, 5'3/4", but not five one. I tried a 3/4, with the endpin all the way down when I bow, I hit about 2 inches into the fingerboard and my hand is above my forehead to play. With a 5/8 it it a little better, but I still bow too high and my left hand is still too high. A 1/2 makes me do a sad face (with the dots on the fingerboard on where to play like I am 9 years old lol), but I can put the endpin out about an inch.

    I am going to play a 1/2 size for a while, but was thinking that a stool would maybe be a better option to allow me to play a 3/4 without either having my hand well over my head or bowing so high on the fingerboard. I tend to actually raise the end pin on the 3/4 if I want a better bowing sound, but that does toss my hand way up.

    Just not sure on stool height exactly. When I am playing the piano if I sit on the edge of a piano bench I can play normally and pedal, etc. That is a half decent height for that. For playing double bass I assume I would be sitting up much taller with less bend in my knees. I mean, it's not a cello!

    If putting one's feet on the rung is acceptable I would do that. I haven't ever tried a stool yet; I just play standing right now. I started my lessons about 9 months ago. My teacher played orchestral in college but in his professional life since then he does not. I would like to be able to do a little of everything, but I don't think he has played on a stool ever. I will stick with him, but I can consult with some friends who do play. It's a no no to do that in the vocal world, as it would mess you up pretty badly, but I don't think it would hurt in this case. Basically I wanted some advice so that I am not dragging 5 stools with me to my lesson if I don't have to.

    Maybe the drum seat. I really hate those, so wobbly that I have found, hate putting stuff together, and pinch myself a lot when I do it. Plus.. they are sticky and slippy to sit on in the summer! I don't know how drummers deal with it. Once I find a temporary or permanent good height I was going to seek out some local Amish and have them make me something very pretty to sit on.

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