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learning to slap and pop, but neck is too heavy?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by xucaen, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. xucaen


    Jan 26, 2013
    I started practicing slap and pop tonight, and the problem is when I pop, I have to raise my forearm off of the bass body. When I do that, my neck heavy bass slides and I have to hold it up with my left hand. This happens in both the sitting and standing positions. Needless to say this makes playing very difficult.

    Normally when playing with two fingers, my right forearm holds the bass steady so I don't have this problem otherwise. It's only when I try to pop. Does this happen to anyone else and what should I do about it?

    EDIT: Is the solution simply to learn to pop without lifting my forearm off the bass? Probably. Any recommendations for how exactly to perform the technique of popping with my arm resting on the bass?
  2. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    You need to find a way to fix the balance of your bass. Padded strap, move the bridge side strap pin, lightweight tuners, etc...
  3. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist Bassist for Michael "Epic Mic" Rowe

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I guess I'm not getting the visual here...you're saying that you are playing bass WITHOUT your left hand supporting the neck? Most basses have neck dive to some degree, and there are ways to alleviate it but nothings perfect unless its boutique lol
  4. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    I think you can have a perfectly balancing bass without a boutique price tag.

    I recommended 3 methods. One is free, but modifies the bass. One is relatively cheap, and one is moderately pricy.. a set of Hipshot Ultralite tuners.

    If xucaen pursues all three of these and he/she doesn't have a bass that has balance issues by design (thinking of some Gibson designs without an upper horn here...), I think all balance concerns will likely be gone or nearly so.

    I like playing without having to hold the neck up at all. :)
  5. xucaen


    Jan 26, 2013
    I'm going to try to stay away from any more mods to this bass. I think part of my problem is that the chair I sit on is too low. yesterday even my wife said I look all hunched over when I practice. So today I bought an inexpensive 30" bar stool to sit on.

    I also want to get a new strap. Right now I have the cheapest of the cheap nylon straps. I like the idea of a sturdy, heavy padded strap. I was thinking something like this. http://www.zzounds.com/item--PTWPADCM

    he or she? :eek:
    I have to fix my profile. :D
  6. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Loss the bass, no need for an imbalanced Instrument. You will change it at some point, so may as well do it now. There is no need to tolerate an un-balanced bass in a modern world.:D
  7. xucaen


    Jan 26, 2013

    I just bought the bass last week. :bawl:

    I took another picture of it. I think they called it pearl burst.

    Ok, have to go practice now.

    Attached Files:

  8. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Yeah, that's the one I have. I have schaller locks on it and I'm pretty satisfied.

    My back is bad. Which is why my bass is light. But it does have a bit of a pull on the neck. Not enough to bother me much. I can usually manage to keep the body pinned down even when I slap. Between right arm and left hand I find I can keep it in optimal position pretty easily.
  9. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    No feature of a cheap bass will hold you back more than extreme neck dive. Just get a new one, your wrists will thank you, and thus your technique. Alternatively, you can put on some lightweight tuners or a nice strap.
  10. xucaen


    Jan 26, 2013
    It's a fender '92 jazz bass plus. Not a cheep bass and not getting rid of it.
  11. nirvana1410


    Jun 29, 2012
    I think a strap that grips around your shoulder well should do the trick. Wide leather straps usually grab ahold of you better. There's no reason to get rid of that bass.
  12. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    You are doing something wrong in terms of holding the bass and/or positioning it on your body. Find a qualified teacher or at least someone experienced in playing this style to emulate. Your problems have nothing to do with the bass you have. I owned the same model a million years ago and it was just fine for slap in every regard.

    First thing : while playing slap style, your elbow and the lower portion of your arm from elbow to shoulder should clamp the bass to your upper body. This eliminates any concern of neck dive. The forearm can come up and move around, as long as the upper portion of your arm above the elbow is holding the bass in place.
  13. xucaen


    Jan 26, 2013
    Problem is all fixed now. I bought a 30" bar stool to sit on while I practice. I knew it was the low chair! Thanks everyone for your responses.
  14. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Point taken, but trust me, when you do change it, you will wonder why you did not do it sooner. Experience has taught me, and it will teach you, there are many things that determine the bass we use (and equipment). What we want from it now will not be the same thing in years to come.

    If you start to develop neck and shoudler issues because the instrument is un-balanced you will see that as the new critera.
    You bass is neck diving because that weight is looking to return to ground, so gravity is the main force dictating its action.
    What ever you do to correct this means that force is being transmited somewhere else, it has not gone it has been re-distributed.
    Point is, if re-distributing the load of this bass makes it lighter and easy to play, then imagine the same distribution being used on a balanced bass?

    Fender, Warwick, Vigier etc, it makes no difference of the brand or the cost (cheap can refer to build quality characteristics).....a badly balanced bass is still a badly balanced bass regardless of cost....actually the more it costs the ore i expect from build quality.

    As i said, in these days or materials and design there is not need to suffer a badly balanced bass.....player using violn basses do so because it is iconic, not because of its sound or playability.:cool:
  15. Savage_Dreams


    Jan 8, 2007
    i'm still curious, balanced bass or not, where is your left hand going that its not holding the neck?
  16. xucaen


    Jan 26, 2013

    left hand should never hold the guitar up. The left hand needs to be free to move around the fret board.
  17. Freestyler


    Mar 5, 2010
    Wide leather strap is not the answer when it come to neck dive.
    If a thin strap slide over your shirt, then a wide strap will stay in place on your shirt, but then your shirt will slide in its place.
    A balanced bass is the only answer to neck dive problem.

    Attaching a balloon full of helium at the head of your bass might do the trick ;)
  18. xucaen


    Jan 26, 2013
    I completely disagree. If you read my earlier response, you'd see this is no longer an issue. I solved the problem by getting a taller seat. No need to keep trying to convince me to get rid of my new bass. jelly much? :D

    Now go troll someone else. :bag:
  19. xucaen


    Jan 26, 2013
    Thank you for the tip!
  20. SaintMez

    SaintMez Commercial User

    Jan 3, 2010
    Meridian, idaho
    Blood Brothers Guitars - Luthier, Porter Guitars - Contractor
    Does the neck still dive when standing? I'm sure the low chair didn't help but also look at your technique. If your lifting your forearm off the body you're using too much force. Slapping and popping doesn't require a lot of movement. You will be more efficient if you move less. Rotating your wrist slightly is really all that's required. Watch some YouTube videos of Alain Caron. He doesn't move his arm around very much and is able to generate a lot of notes. That's just my $.02 I hope it can help.