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How High Do You Wear You Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Martin Risso, Sep 18, 2019.


  1. Martin Risso

    Martin Risso

    Jun 30, 2007
    I once did an experiment. I sat down with my bass, made up a bass line with a lot of octave work that was challenging to play. Then stood up with a strap and adjusted height until I could play the bass line at the same tempo. Turns out, it was quite high. Kind of looks "nerdy" but if you look at old Beatles video, they used to wear their instruments quite high.

    So I argue the "dumbing down" of bass lines that happened after the mid to late 60's classic rock era is partly due to bass players wearing their bass way to low to "look cool" at the expense of playability.
     
  2. I wear mine so that it's the same height whether standing or seated.
     
  3. jd56hawk

    jd56hawk

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    A little higher than Dee Dee...
    [​IMG]
    ...but a little lower than Karl.
    [​IMG]
    Not sure what dumbing down you're talking about, though. I can think of quite a few post-'60s bassists that don't pedal their way through their music.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  4. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Playing style is so subjective - there is no real one-size-fits-all. For whatever music one plays, there is an optimal way the bass will be played, high or low or anywhere in between. As Killed_by_Death stated - "the same seated and standing" is considered "standard", but whatever works to allow continued playing enjoyment - so be it.
     
    GregC, Dunyet, TolerancEJ and 2 others like this.
  5. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    Jersey (New)
    One more go-around on this carousel, yes?...
     
    GregC, pellomoco14, IamGroot and 4 others like this.
  6. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    Jersey (New)
    Dee Dee doesn’t look like he’s having much trouble
     
    Fresh Eddie and MTN.bass72 like this.
  7. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    Jersey (New)
    I’ve found that my plucking/chugging arm needs to be fully extended or I get some serious tendinitis in my elbow... course playing that low makes my lower back hurt so
    Compromise, or something
     
    Telemagic, bpmben and jfh2112 like this.
  8. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    Jersey (New)
    He looks like he’s sighting a rifle
     
  9. dmt

    dmt

    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    I wear mine level with my collar bone
     
  10. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Supporting Member

    o_O Always!
     
  11. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I need to be able to lick the upper horn without stretching, that's how high I wear it.
     
    Dunyet, Paulabass, B-Mac and 10 others like this.
  12. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I wear mine relatively low and manage to let off a riff now and then. FB_IMG_1565693216039. FB_IMG_1560734344136.
     
    GregC, Dunyet, bassobrutto and 14 others like this.
  13. Odinbass

    Odinbass

    Dec 6, 2006
    Cleveland, OH
    Slightly low. Enough to look cool but still comfortable to play.

    "Music is 90% looking cool. It might actually even be 93%." - Tom Delonge

    And I strongly disagree with the idea that bass parts dumbed down after the late 60s. The 70s and 80s are a treasure trove of technical bass work.
     
    GregC, Dunyet, bpmben and 8 others like this.
  14. TheReceder

    TheReceder

    Jul 12, 2010
    Mn.
    red peavey.

    My guess is that this is close to average... good thing is I have enough padding to avoid belt buckle rash...
     
  15. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Definitely not a technician- but not needed for the music.
     
    dr doofie likes this.
  16. Ezmar

    Ezmar

    Jul 8, 2010
    I hold mine just above belt level, and often couple it with a pretty high neck angle, so that the first few frets are around eye level. I started on cello, so this is pretty comfortable for me, and it allows me to play pretty much any style with fairly straight wrists. Slap is no problem, and I don't have to use the Mark King carpal tunnel position when playing fingerstyle.

    I've never seen low slung instruments as "cool", though I was listening to how rock music sounded long before I thought about what it looked like. I never had that "image" in my head.

    I do agree that it looks a little dorky when it's way up high, but I don't care as long as you can play.
     
    Dunyet, retslock and Alevine1nc like this.
  17. It's been getting slightly higher over the years.
    From virtually having to bend over to play around my knees as a spotty yoof to covering my gentleman parts now. I only play with a pick and rarely venture past fret 12 so I can still wear the bass in a relatively low slung rock n roll stylee.
     
    RoaDan likes this.
  18. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    A few inches lower than if I were sitting, but nothing extreme that makes reaching for notes or picking/fingering more difficult.
     
    rollie 55 and JIO like this.
  19. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    Jersey (New)
    That’s what... oh never mind...
     
    IamGroot, Basehead and Nashrakh like this.
  20. F49F04EB-ABA1-4177-B74F-3DB66884FD11.
    The strings must be exactly level with the point of windmill slash contact.
     
    GregC, Dunyet, bassobrutto and 10 others like this.

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