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Low Rider

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Stangg, Jan 20, 2001.

  1. Stangg

    Stangg Guest

    I was watching some band play on tv (i think cypress hill), and the bassist had a gibson thunderbird. normally, this would be very, very, cool in my eye, i love those basses. But the bass was down to his ankles...literally. He was hunched over really far to play it. it looked really stupid, IMO. Then i got to thinking. I wear it pretty low, too. the bottom side is at the top of my kneecap. But i can't play as good with it any higher. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Where do you adjust your strap/wear your bass?
  2. It all depends on your phisique. Arm lenght, height, finger length, etc make the difference. Personally, I'm 5'9" and i have my bass 2/3 down my thigh.
  3. I wear mine ri'ch'ere:


    And I disagree with relman, you shouldn't wear your bass that low, it really places your left hand in a bad situation. It forces you to put a very serious bend in your wrist, which COULD lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Typically, you should have as little bend in your left wrist as possible, but keeping it completely straight is virtually impossible.
  4. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    same here (well, thats were the bottom of the bass reaches). Any lower, and I can't play high on the neck, any higher, and I can't reach the lower notes with amount of comfort...
  5. I wear mine in the same way Gard does. My left wrist doesn't bend as far as some people's, so I need my bass on the higher side.

    Dan's MP3 site; have a listen :)
  6. I used to play with my instrument as low as possible. I'm pretty tall (6'4"), so I thought I wouldn't look so gangley with it like that onstage.

    I saw a friend of mine around my height play with his bass higher, and thought I would give it a try. Wow - I could play so much better! That was 12 years ago, been doin' it ever since
  7. Hmmm...the highest my fat leather strap goes places the top of my bass about an inch above my belly button. Of course, if I were taller, then it'd be higher. But at a measly 5'6" (or thereabouts), that's as high as I can get it to go. But it's comfortable for me, so I'm not complaining about it not going higher. :)
  8. oo0o00o0oo


    Apr 30, 2000
    I place my bass in a way that my right hand feels most comfortable, which usually puts the pups about halfway down my thigh.
  9. What i meant was that the bottom of my bass was at that height. the thing with me is that i have awesome wrists (from 6 years of field Hockey) and i have incredible flexibility, so there.
  10. Laker


    Mar 23, 2000
    When I started playing bass back in the 60's I had the bass hangin' around mid thigh thinking it was the cool thing to do. Then I noticed that all the pro players played with a more "correct" postion and tried it. Speed and technique suddenly became much easier.
    I find that a good example of this is: holding your left hand in a playing postion at chest height around ninth fret postion on a neck (right handed player), wiggle your fingers. Now do the same thing with your left hand with your imaginary bass neck hanging a foot lower, or at a steeper angle across your body. You should feel the difference in the muscles in the back of the hand/wrist.
  11. relman -

    Wrist flexibility has nothing to do with getting CTS. It's all about the angle you're holding your left wrist at and the way the tendons go through the carpal tunnel. The more of a bend in your wrist, the more pressure and wear and tear on the tendons that run from the muscles in your forearm to your fingers. This is just basic human anatomy and ergonomics. CTS is caused by an inflammation of the tendons in the carpal tunnel, and it AIN'T FUN. I've got it (from a non-bassplaying source) in my right hand. You don't want it, trust me.

    The most advantageous place for your bass to hang, and this applies to every person I've ever dealt with as a teacher, is for the bottom of the body (on a typical Fender-ish sized bass) to be at about your waist. This allows you to keep BOTH wrists relatively straight and free from damage. If that's uncomfortable or unworkable for you, then don't do it. But remember humans are pretty adaptable creatures, and if you give it a chance, you'll find yourself pretty happy with it down the road...unless you're just worried about looking cool now, as opposed to being able to play at all when you're 40+ ;).
  12. "I've got it (from a non-bassplaying source) in my right hand"

    Whatever would the nonbassplaying source of a wrist injury in your right hand be, Gard? :) Hope ya didnt sprain or break anything else doing it.
  13. Imove a lot around on stage, so i really nedd for my bass to be lower. i'll post up a pic to show height.
  14. Ever hear of "projecting"? :p Just because you may have injured your hand that way don't mean anyone else has! ;)

    I actually did it in my part-time day gig as a window tinter. Quit that job the minute the diagnosis of CTS came in.
  15. So maybe you think I am a statue onstage? :confused:

    I move around quite a bit, actually. Matter of fact, once I was playing a frat party at Tulane Univ. in New Orleans (this was just over a year ago), and I BROKE the stage we were playing on. The band I was with was doing some heavier stuff, and a bit of 80's hard rock, I believe the song that did the stage in was "Killing In The Name Of" by Rage Against The Machine. I was jumping and stomping around, really getting into it, and the stage just went "CRUNCH!!" under my feet. Oh yeah, and my bass was hanging right where it is in the picture you see posted above. :p

    So far, relman, you've given two "non-reasons" for where you wear your bass. It's cool, if you just want to do something for appearances, then do so. But remember it could have some negative consequences, that's all.
  16. I have tried playing with my bass up there, and it really limits my jumping/dancing abilities. It's just a matter of taste...
  17. Gard gets my vote for bass height for a couple of reasons
    1. my wrist did hurt a lot when i played with my bass lower
    2. after i let my wrist heel and raised my bass i could play much faster, and cleaner
    3. to quote derek small's "it helps the girls see the armadillo i have in my pants"

    try to do any of that bent over on stage. never mind your wrist what about your back.
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    gp is right - back injury is the most common reason for time off work in the UK (don't know about US but I'm sure it's similar). It's also the most debilitating - when your back goes into spasm, you just cannot move or do anything - I had this for four solid days and night - no sleep!

    Basically if you are playing an instrument for long periods with your back bent over then this is going to cause back aches and eventually damage to the discs and ligaments between them. You have to be standing with your back straight when playing or risk major injury by the time you're 35. Ask any physiotherapist - the one I saw was treating several bass players!!
  19. Jay


    Oct 19, 2000
    Bidwell, OH
    Alright ya'll...after reading this thread (lurking), I decided to give that higher bass thing a try. Not only was my playing less stressful, it was also better and easier to do. Just like mentioned...it was great. Don't think I'll go back to "low-riding" anytime soon. :)

  20. Dragen


    Aug 31, 2000
    I'm kind of scared right now. Is it possible to get permanent illness? What is this CTS? Does it last forever? I don't want to stop playing bass!! I'm scared out of my mind of a life without it. I can't think of anymore awful than losing the ability to play bass...........please........some positive words of wisdom!!

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