left shoulder pains

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jan-D, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. I'm a right hand player, so my left hand works the fretboard. I've been playing for quite some time but since about a year I keep getting pain in my left shoulder, neckbone area. More pain after I palyed then when playing itself, that is if I dont play for hours and hours. It keeps coming back and sometimes when I wake up in the morning my whole shoulder is just stuck. Does anyone reckognise this problem or has useful suggestions on this, I'll keep pushing through it, cause I'm in love with bass, but it seems to me as being not very healthy, so that bothers me. Loads of thanks allready for any reply!
    Jan :help:
  2. Most likely is that you're lifting or tensing your left shoulder a little. It doesn't take much. Make sure you're letting your shoulder hang. You'll be pulling back a little, but you never need to lift up.
  3. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    What kind of strap are you using? The normal 2" strap doesn't cut it even for a light weight bass. I have the same problem...minimized by a 3" padded strap. I'm short, so I find that I put strain on my neck area due to pulling the headstock closer in to reach the lowest notes. Also, you might try looking at yourself in the mirror in playing position to see if you are contorting in some strange position that could be corrected by playing angle, strap length, etc.
  4. Yep I had that exact problem a few years ago
    I think it maybe your strap esp. if its not a padded or thick leather strap if not see your local chriopractor ( sorry for my spelling suxs )
  5. CJK84


    Jan 22, 2004
    Maria Stein, OH
    I never had the "hours later" problem, but I would get left shoulder pain after playing for as little and 45 minutes.

    Focusing on better technique and relaxing helped a lot. Now shoulder pain is rarely a problem.
  6. Steve Brooks

    Steve Brooks

    Jan 6, 2005
    upstate ny
    It sounds to me like you may be playing with your BG hanging too low. Try to raise the bass, forcing the majority of the weight off of your shoulder and distributing it more evenly along your back and shoulder. It may not look as cool as some would like, but raising the bass could possibly correct current and future problems.
  7. I will give these tips a try, thanks a lot! It helps a lot already that now at least I know it's not a strange problem that knows no sollutions except for quiting handicapt and confused and asking the rest of my life what I did to deserve this! So thanks!
  8. Kevjmyers


    Dec 10, 2004
    Boulder. CO
    I 've never experienced shoulder pain before but I do get tennis (bass?) elbow after a marathon practice or jam. Sometimes it takes like 2 hours to go away and it hurts. Thankfully its not always a problem or I might have given up a long time ago.
  9. Ive never had bass elbow or whatever, but I do have a pretty bad case of bassist shoulder, which sadly tends to throw my balance off. I've never had good balance at all, but when i got bassist shoulder and my hips hadn't adjusted, i was prone to just falling over. Which is weird, my hips have adjusted now tho... but I was ugly enough already, but now with my slanted shoulders makes me look like some kind of butler to dracula.
  10. jackcc


    Jun 7, 2000
    I just went through physical therapy a month or so ago for a similar problem, I got to the point a lot of times that I would have to put my bass on my right shoulder due to the pain. One thing that has helped that the therapist said, make sure and keep your shoulders back it was a tendency for me to slump them forward. I also do shoulder and neck stretches and theraband excercises everyday.
  11. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward

    I agree with everything that people have recommended so far...using correct posture will help out, plus a wider strap to distribute the weight of your bass evenly...remember that a bass can be a very heavy instrument, kinda like straping a weighted barbell on your shoulder for several hours, it is very much like a workout for your shoulder, and playing real tense with your fretting hand can worsen the condition...this might sound kinda geeky, but I would recommend strecthing your shoulders (yup both of them) before and after you play, just like you would do when you go to the gym to do some weight training...if the problem persists, or worsens, definantly seek medical advice though, there could be another underlying condition that needs attention...
  12. Barfly


    Dec 27, 2000
    GTA, Canada

  13. I noticed you play a Warwick...I'm not real familiar with that specific model, but if it's anything like my Thumb that's a friggin' heavy bass! I have the same problem when I play my Thumb and I use a wide cushiony strap. I'm also pretty thin though too, so bulking up in the shoulder area would probably help like people are saying.