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Getting old sucks

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by JimmyM, Dec 15, 2006.


  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I never thought I'd say this, but getting old sucks. I have been struggling with shoulder problems with my basses for a couple years now. I finally bought a Beatle bass to combat the intense pain I felt after a 4 hour gig holding my Fender across my shoulder blade. I've tried every strap in existence that's supposed to be comfortable. The only one I can use with my Fender that doesn't hurt that much is the Slapstrap, but it still hurts after a half hour or so.

    I like to wear my bass fairly low, not ridiculously low, but certainly not up into my armpit like Vic Wooten or Will Lee. Unfortunately, last night I discovered that my shoulder doesn't hurt if I wear it up so high it goes into my armpit. Wearing it up that high holds it out from my actual shoulder blade and doesn't bother me at all. Unfortunately, I find wearing it that high really dorky looking. Maybe if all I did was play jazz I'd wear it that high, but not when I'm trying to play rock and roll.

    I really want to play the Fender again, so does anyone know if exercise will help to strengthen my shoulder blade muscles to where I can stand using my Fender at an appropriate height? Can anyone recommend any good exercises for it?
     
  2. BrandonBass

    BrandonBass

    May 29, 2006
    no idea man, maybe u should consult a doctor.

    u can make up for wearing ur bass high by having good fashion sense loL ryan martinie, pete wentz and the guy from the used wears their bass high and they look pretty cool. and yeah, they play rock too
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Unfortunately, in the bands I play in, I either wear cheesy bowling shirts that match everyone, black dress shirt with black pants (or as I call it, "the universal band uniform"), or a tux. So my fashion options are quite limited. However, I'm real cute, so maybe I can play off that.
    :rolleyes:
     
  4. I used to sling my bass "metal low", but since I've been learning to play bass actoss mutliple styles and learning the proper way to play, I've found my preferred height is creeping upwards bit by bit as time goes on.

    And Ryan Martinie...is that "Ryknow" from Mudvayne? I can't recall. But either way, the Mudvayne bass player wears his bass relatively high, and I don't think it looks uncool at all.

    I was going to post a pic of him I snapped from the Big Day Out, but when I try to upload it I'm getting an IE error.
     
  5. What about those bass straps that actually go around your waist rather than over your shoulder? Sounds like that would be much better for you.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wouldn't you need your butt to hold them up? I've got to lose 20 more pounds before I get my nice round butt back ;)
     
  7. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
  8. onemorebass

    onemorebass Supporting Member

    [/QUOTE]I really want to play the Fender again, so does anyone know if exercise will help to strengthen my shoulder blade muscles to where I can stand using my Fender at an appropriate height? Can anyone recommend any good exercises for it?[/QUOTE]

    I would recommend looking for a good physical therapist.. A couple (or more) of good therapy sessions with a PT could really help, and they'll usually teach you several exercises to do at home to strengthen the weak area as well as increasing your flexibility, range of motion and your endurance.

    Following bad advice good do more damage than good.
     
  9. fcleff

    fcleff

    Apr 22, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Try contacting Don Higdon over in the DB forums. He teaches the Alexander Technique and could probably recommend a teacher in your area. You could also try some yoga classes. These are both low impact techniques that could really help your shoulder.

    :bassist:
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I think this post illustrates what's wrong with the internet. People just assume whatever they want to assume based on the way they feel about a subject. In this case, this person is assuming that not wanting to wear my bass up high is being stubborn, despite my being very uncomfortable wearing it up that high.

    So what have we learned here? Not a damn thing.
     
  11. ryco

    ryco

    Apr 24, 2005
    97465
    You might want to consider going to a sports doctor and have one of them take a look. Those guys are great at joint issues. Usually can recommend light exercise routines.

    Not to be preachy but not getting it checked out you might be injuring it more and not be aware of it.

    But yeah, gettin' old sux
     
  12. Audiophage

    Audiophage

    Jan 9, 2005
    You didn't say that you were uncomfortable wearing you bass up high, you said that it was too dorky looking for Rock 'n Roll.

    Chill out, you got some decent responses.
     
  13. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    Kai does this:

    Kai%20at%20Big%20Wu2.

    I'm not sure why he does it for sure, but it look like it might work.

    Joe
     
  14. If you put a strap on both sides it's alot easier on your back muscles because they balance out making your spine take most of the weight insted of the small muscles on the right side of it
     
  15. Bassist4Life

    Bassist4Life

    Dec 17, 2004
    Buffalo, NY
    That was my guess, but I wasn't absolutely sure. Looks like a possible solution for JimmyM.

    Joe
     
  16. gkbass13

    gkbass13 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2006
    New York
    i play rock for the most part and wear my basses fairly high. i love the control it gives me over the bass compared ot wearing it lower, makes it more liek playign sittign down in my opinion. the only problem i have sometimes is with multi string basses and playign i the first position...the left hand cramps from time to time, especially if i havnt warme dup and stretched much.
     
  17. Vileem

    Vileem

    Dec 16, 2006
    Tallinn, Estonia
    I think the problem might be that your back is not straight and is too tense when you're playing low and so it tires your shoulders when playing for longer times.
    But i wouldn't know, I play relatively high for better control.
     
  18. K2000

    K2000

    Nov 16, 2005
    Brooklyn
    Are you doing any kind of exercising? I would highly recommend some weight training, especially for the older guys. You don't need to go all gung-ho, just do it as a sensible maintenance routine. It's great for improving your energy levels, for maintaining/losing bodyweight, and soon the simple tasks that used to tire you out will seem easier.

    The good news is that weight training is beneficial no matter what age you start doing it. Even the elderly can reap benefits.
     
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Excuse me, but YOU chill out. If I feel dorky looking, then I am uncomfortable.

    To the rest of you, thank you for the responses. For the past 10 years, I have been dreadfully out of shape, with a recent weight gain that has made me miserable. But now, thanks to finally eating a proper diet, I've lost 20 lbs., so yeah, I'm sure a regular exercise program would help, and I've started one. Unfortunately I've got 30 lbs to go, so my exercise capability is somewhat limited.

    That's quite an unusual strap config Kai's got there, huh? But it looks like it would probably work out. I might try to jury-rig something like that and see how it works for me.
     
  20. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    JimmyM. see a doctor, but I really think lifting weights will give you increased strength that willl allow you to hold your bass more easily. Work your overall body, not just you shoulders. You will see a difference within a month.
     

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