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hard to play in upper register unless sitting down

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by xdanxx, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. xdanxx


    Mar 12, 2008
    Does anyone else experience it impossible to play certain things in the upper frets unless you are sitting down? Chiefly using my pinky is impossible, I think its the angle at which the bass is.
  2. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    How low is your bass?
  3. I recently raised my bass so that it's in the same position strapped and standing as when sitting. I wonder why I didn't do that sooner?

    Try it.
  4. xdanxx


    Mar 12, 2008
    ive always kept my bass at the same height that is when im sitting. Im convinced its just the angle is different, I feel like the bass gets bent towards my body more while standing if that makes sense.
  5. EssJay


    Dec 23, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    I play an Epiphone Thunderbird IV and because of the build of it the higher frets are a little bit difficult to play standing up without having to bend my wrists into very uncomfortable angles.
    On the plus side, I don't have to play the intro to For Whom The Bell Tolls very often in jams, or if they keep insisting it gives me a nice little opportunity for a bit of a sit down (I take lazy playing to a whole new level :D). It doesn't really bother me though, when I'm jamming and get into a solo I will rarely go above the 12th fret of any string.
  6. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    If you're a righty and you play your bass sitting down, I suspect it is sitting on your right lap. That gives it an angle where the body of the bass is close to your gut and the neck is going a little forward like a 40 degree almost. Also, we have tendency to arch our back a little like we are over the bass a little. That position facilitate the access to all the area n the neck with a lot of ease. When you're playing standing up, can you relate to that sitting position? If not, there is the reason and you will have to adjust to get to the same position with your bass when standing up to when sitting down.
  7. Ezmar


    Jul 8, 2010
    I've always worn my bass nice and high. Feels good, looks good, and no problems playing anything. If it sits at the end same place, I don't see why it wouldn't be easier to get the proper angle while standing.

    There's a run in Rush's Time Stand Still in the second chorus that is pretty up there, and I can do it most easily by flipping the bass up almost vertically. Pretty hard to do that sitting down.

    Try not to put too much stock in what people tell you, though. It's really up to you.
  8. xdanxx


    Mar 12, 2008
    yeah this is exactly what im talking about. Guess I just have to play around with it
  9. hotsauce n eggs

    hotsauce n eggs

    Jan 20, 2013
    Are you a metal bassist? I've seen some of those guys and I swear they hang their damn instruments down below their knees(I'm looking at you Robbie Merrill :D ), heck I'd like to know where in the heck they can find a guitar strap so long.

    You could shorten your strap to be at the same height standing as when you are sitting, it's a perfectly viable option. Another possible solution is that you you could just keep it at the same length and practice a lot while standing(if your fingers are long enough), and keep stretching those tendons. I practice standing up myself and it's to the point where I am actually more comfortable playing that way.

    Recently I decided to learn Hey Man Nice Shot, and I swear I've never seen a song with so much hammering before. I play it with a five string bass so I'm hammering on as far up as the fifteenth fret on the B string and it's taken me a few days to actually get through the whole song.

    I find that bass playing is very much a physical activity, almost athletic really, it requires strength, stamina, and dexterity.