hang bass high or low

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by MCBTunes, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I always try to make sure that the middle area of my bass' 22nd fret matches the end of my sternum. My playing angle is like 25 degrees from horizontal.
  2. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Whoah --I'm not very good at anatomy, but you're talking really high, right? I love high for my fretting, but like I said earlier; how does your plucking hand work then? Am I picturing this wrong, or at that height do you have to hang your elbow down in front of the bass body like a.. well - one of those gee-tar-playin' cowboys?

  3. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Well, this is not a great picture, but I think it's clear. When I'm teaching my approach to bass positioning, I always say something like: "Rest the middle part of your forearm over the bass' body. Then relax your wrist and let your hand hang forming an angle with your forearm. You should look (specially from a side point of view) as a person with poliomyelitis". Crude comparison, but works most of the times.

    Attached Files:

  4. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I hang the bass so the body is at my waist. About the same position relative to my torso as if I didn't have a strap and were sitting down and playing.
  5. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    If I have to play anything hard, I notice I play with it higher on my body, as that seems to allow me to have better control and feel when it comes to playing... but if I'm playing something I either know very well and is sorta hard, or just plain easy, I play a bit lower (though the lowest I go is with the lower horn at just under my waits).

  6. Hmmm.

    Reading this I think a lot of people need to try some yoga. :)
  7. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Ok, ok - I don't have the bass with me now, but I'll be interested to see how that feels. It FEELS to me like I keep my bass pretty high, but as I put a recent pic of me next to the one you posted, I comparably look look like a punk-rocker, with the 22nd fret at about my belly-button.

    I should quit putting-off getting a good teacher/coach.


  8. Skit1

    Skit1 Guest

    Jul 2, 2004
    I have mine at weighst (SP?) height.

    I feel really uncomfortable having it high :meh:
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think this thread has sort of been "hijacked" - so as you can see, the original poster was asking what the benefits are of each ...

    Whereas, most people ae not answering this question but are simply replying as if the question was "what do you do?" - it's not!! :meh:

    I pointed out in my post that lower back pain can be a problem if your bass is hung too low and you have to bend forward - that was the sort of thing that I thought this thread should be about - not just a list of who has it high and who, low - that doesn't help anybody!! :rolleyes:
  10. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    You're right, Bruce. Good point to notice.

    In my case, there are several reasons I wear the bass that high, being the most important that my slap style works by hitting the strings with the thumb parallel to them, not perpendicular ala Flea. At that height I feel that the neck becomes kind of an extension of my forearm and don't have to bend my wrist to slap the strings comfortably. Besides, I think it's much easier to keep a correct left hand position without angling the bass that much, not only for regular fretting, but for tapping also.

    I opted for this because that's how Stu Hamm wears his Kubicki in his "Slap, Pop And Tap For The Bass" video (my biggest influence). After seeing him playing with Joe Satriani I noticed that he doesn't wear the bass that high. Mark King is the perfect example of a pro with my approach and the perfect example of the opposite is Stone Temple Pilots' Robert DeLeo. I don't know how that guy can play like that.
  11. ERIC31


    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    It really depends on what style of music I'm playing. For more melodic quiet stuff, I tend to have it higher. If I'm playing metal or punk rock I drop it low. It just seems to get me into the proper "attitude" for the music. High or low? Whatever works for YOU!
  12. Well, imho the ideal position is the same as you get when sitting with the bass in a classical guitar position (on left leg), to adjust the strap for the correct length i would adjust it until the bass stays in approximately the same position when standing up (Often I use standing up and placing my left foot on a box or something as reference)
  13. This point may be already mentioned in this thread over even another one and I know its a little off topic but I feel someone may benefit from it. I read in a Billy Sheehan article that once you find a comfortable position for your bass you should keep it at that position and not change it because every time you do you have to adapt to another position and you then are changing the angles of the bones in your fingers. Again, I know this is off topic but felt it may be worthy of mentioning.
  14. I've found that wearing my bass at mid height and tilting the neck up a lot allows me to keep both wrists very straight. I feel that anything else is asking for an injury. I always cringe when I see a hand bent ninety degrees over the edge of the bass.

    EDIT: Actually, it's exactly where I put my guitar when I play classical.
  15. Said so... :smug:
  16. mashed potatoes

    mashed potatoes

    Nov 11, 2003
    i used to have it with the middle of the body just below the bass, but lately i've found that it's easier for me to slap with it just a bit high. it's steadily creeping up there.
  17. Funky-Wunky


    Jun 15, 2004
    It is hard to do the "finger for each fret" technique with your bass low. I can't see any benefit with a low slung bass, unless it is gettin you the chicks. ;)
  18. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    i find that the easiest way is to just keep it at the same level standing up and sitting down. this way it doesnt change when you stand or sit. it feels most comfortable for me.
  19. bongo499


    Jan 10, 2005
    change up how high the strap goes until your comfertable. .. I hand my guitar as high as the strap can go and i actually broguth the strap into the tailor to get it hemmed down to make it shorter. :confused: :bawl: :bag: :rolleyes:
  20. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Yeah...I raised my bass two strap notches this weekend and started playing closer over the bridge area. Much more comfortable for both right and left hand placement. I'd say I only moved it up about two inches though.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 22, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.