Is there a product to change angle of bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jwmallett, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. jwmallett


    Dec 24, 2010
    Im looking to change the angle of my bass so the bottom is propped out a few inches, that way the top of the bass is at a better angle for my plucking hand. I have fairly short arms and the edge of my bass has some contour but it's not enough. I can almost get it comfortable if I put my strap over the edge, but that doesn't hold well or look good. Do they make something that you attach to the bottom of the bass to prop the bottom out so my arm rests better there. The slight pressure was no big deal at first but over time I notice during long periods it is starting to get a slightly tingling/burning sensation. Please don't offer any DIY solutions such as, "Use a pillow and some ducttape" , or smartassness like "Eat lots of fast food and grow your belly" :spit: Of course discreet unobtrusive solutions would be a plus, and easy on off so I can quickly put the bass back in the case.
  2. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Maybe I'm misreading, but this kind of sounds like it might be a technique issue that could be remedied by lifting your elbow and straightening your wrist.

    I don't think there are any commercial products specifically for this issue, so the only options that come to mind are either a stand to put the bass on, or a bass with a contoured body, like a Spector or Warwick.
  3. IMO, This problem only occurs when the player has a poor arm/hand position.
  4. mrbell321


    Mar 26, 2012
    N. Colorado
    I'm just learning and I certainly don't have the best technique, but I'd rather have a bass that points somewhat downwards so my left hand can fret easier.
    But I'm also a programmer, which means I spend a lot of time on the computer and RSI(Repetitive Stress Injury) can be a problem. If you're getting burning or tingling I'd definitely change something...
  5. hxcJORDAN


    Jan 16, 2012
    Northwest Ohio
    Adjust the length of your strap.

    Don't pull a Mark Hoppus and play at your knee if you've got short arms. Raise it up a bit and bend your arm.
  6. king rew

    king rew

    Feb 18, 2009
    New Hampshire
  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Beer belly. Does the trick for me anyway.
  8. No, there is not a product, but you could try running the strap (at the end pin) over the front of the bass body, to tilt the bass body towards you more. IIRC there are pix of Phil Lesh doing this.... This will decrease wrist angle a lot, especially if your plucking hand is positioned with a high arch over the strings (palm almost over the strings). However, this will also increase the fretting hand's wrist angle, so you may be trading one problem for another.
    In spite of the comments here, this can be a problem for some players - especially when raising the bass up high causes too much of a bend at the wrist. I had a small body bass once that I could not get comfortable with. I used the strap over the front idea for a while, until I gave up and got a bass that had a body that fit my playing ergonomics better.
    I'd suggest this: stand up, with no bass, and imagine you are playing. look at yourself in a mirror. Note how your right and left hands and arms are positioned. Are they comfortable and relaxed? Note where you like to pluck the strings- closer to the neck or the bridge. Your neck hand should be about in the range of the first five frets, if you held a bass neck in your hands. Now see if your bass fits that. You may have to find a bass with a different body or upper body own length so the bass "hangs" right on you and you feel comfortable playing. Personally, I don't like small body basses - I prefer the Fender type bodies, but to each his own....
  9. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    I can't imagine why on earth anyone would need or want something that puts the strings all at different angles relative to your right hand, makes zero sense. But, if you have to have something, velcro a small pillow the back of the bottom side of your bass...
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I think playing the bass at different heights may reveal a solution.
  11. Just curious, is the problem when standing and playing or when sitting. My strap comes over the edge and pushes the top of the bass body towards me. Where on you body would you say the center of the body is? At what angle is the bass neck.) Like 45 deg. or 90 deg.) Is your wrist (plucking hand) fairly straight of bent?
  12. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    lol -- I'm trying to figure out if this is all just spontaneous-but-highly-efficient f'ing with OP:

    My question would be where are you feeling the pressure? In your wrist, your elbow, forearm? I can't quite get a sense of what's up:

    "the edge of my bass has some contour but it's not enough" -- so is it the edge of the bass digging into your forearm? If so, raise your wrist so your forearm doesn't touch the bass.
    "to prop the bottom out so my arm rests better there" -- where?? I'm assuming the top edge again, but your comment isn't explicit on the point.
    "over is starting to get a slightly tingling/burning sensation" -- where is the tingling?? Your problem might have nothing to do with the edge of your bass, and everything to do with your wrist postion.

    So, see Pilgrim, Rocky, azure, etc....most of the posts have good direction -- let go of the body angle idea for a while and try the ideas the folks above have posted. Repetitive stress trauma can stem from one thing, but cause symptoms elsewhere -- the location of the symptom is not necessarily the location of the trauma.

    Search for "carpal tunnel bass playing" on google, or just "carpal tunnel" here on TB.

    Good luck, man!
  13. Garey

    Garey Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2003
    Northern California
    Artist Relations/Product Specialist: Mesa Boogie
    I'm going to go ahead and recommend this book to everyone who suffers issues with discomfort while playing: Randall Kertz, D.C. The Bassist's Guide to Injury Management, Prevention and Better Health

    Randy is a good friend of mine...he's a great bass player, chiropractor and acupuncturist, and he's got some seriously good pointers when it comes to getting yourself into a comfortable well as what to do when you are feeling pain/discomfort. Its a great book, and helped me out a lot with my CP and arthritis issues!
  14. Batmensch


    Jul 4, 2010
    Media, PA.
    Same here. I suspect that's why I don't experience neck dive like everyone else. The vast expanse of my belly generates a lot of friction and keeps the neck up where it's supposed to be.
  15. Steveaux

    Steveaux Safe-Guardian of the Stoopid Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    The Wilds of NW Pa.
    Hot chick in the front row.

  16. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Not so much spontaneous as provoked by the somewhat impolite tone of the op; there's no use in asking to not get DIY solutions and silly answers. This forum is all about humor and sarcasm; its a conversation and its gonna happen.

    My suggestion is grow belly AND duct tape a pillow on the bass.

    But for real, try playing at different heights in relation to your body like Pilgrim says. Just seems to me that more experience and practice will solve the problem.
  17. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    This, Nice!
  18. Low Main

    Low Main Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    The size of the belly contour cut on the back of the bass body helps govern how far the bottom edge of the body kicks out.

    A bass with a bigger or deeper belly contour cut (like a Peavey Millenium) will kick out more and be easier for you to get your plucking arm over.

    Velcro-ing a pad on the back is a good idea.

    If you have a popular bass like a P bass, you can always buy an unfinished replacement body and reshape it to suit your needs. Reduce the width of bass side of the lower bout and increase the amount of arm contour shaping there as well.
  19. This may help you. Lower the rear strap button about 2" I think this would cause the top of body to naturally lean towards you instead of away from your body.
  20. jwmallett


    Dec 24, 2010
    "This forum is all about humor and sarcasm; its a conversation and its gonna happen."

    Exactly. I can see where it came across that I was uptight about it. It is text and hard to clarify what my actual tone may have been. I actually find the smartass comments humorous and what good is a helpful site if it is full of serious, dull, monotone, by the book responses all the time! I also appreciate all of the suggestions! I would hate to have to change my bass, I love it. But yea, with the short arms it is pretty big and the first fret is far out there, but I can't see playing a ukelele sized bass! I decided to try a couple of the suggestions. First, I might try raising the bass up until it just starts to choke my neck OR if that don't work I'll take my two strap pins and screw one to the front of the body right above the bridge p'up and another one at the very top of the neck, right into the dot of the 9th fret, that way I can reach the first few frets easier, I know, I know, I'll have issues with the strap coming off, no worries, I have tie straps and duct tape. Anway, thanks a million guys!!! This site rocks!!!

    Seriously, lots of good suggestions, thanks a bunch!

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