Methods of keeping the neck still.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by BehindTheMoon, Sep 7, 2001.

  1. OK, this is my first post here. Hello and all that.

    I'm a reformed guitar player. I've been playing bass now for a while, about a year. I still have trouble sometimes with right hand technique, ever since I switched over from using a pick (cos it sounds so much more... bass, when I use my fingers). The main trouble I have is that when I play fingerstyle, the neck tends to drop and I have to support it with my left hand.

    What I find when I try and fix this is that I have to push my elbow in against the body of the bass, which keeps the neck nice and steady. The problem then is that the freedom of my right hand is compromised.

    So... which is the 'correct' way? How do you stabilise the neck? Or perhaps I have a problem with the balance of my bass? It is a Fender P-Bass Lyte (pawn shop special model ;) ), and the body might be a bit on the wimpy side.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    The neckdive is a problem of the bass.
    A rough and wide strap (3inch) might help to minimize it.
  3. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Hello and all that stuff

    I have never played a P bass lyte but own two neck heavy basses. Always play with a strap, even when sitting down. I find that a Comfort Strapp (this is correct if Xavier G and the spelling police are watching) helps (if you have no idea what I am talking about see the post arrrrrrrrrrrrgh).

    And yes I have heard of Perth and I have a great uncle HS who lives in Melbourne(not been though)
  4. fleetwood


    Aug 29, 2001
    Swansea UK
    Hmm, I'm a sit down player - gave up standing years ago. I find my problem is that the bass body tends to slide down my lap when I'm playing. I don't get any trouble with the neck.
  5. maybe wear the bass a little higher, this helped me a little, and was a lot more comfortable to play.
  6. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    A P Bass Lyte should not do that. My friend has one, and I don't recall him having this problem.

    Your right arm should not be used to stabilize the bass - it should be free to play the instrument. Don't compromise your right hand mobility for anything - you may end up with long-term problems and bad technique.

    Adjust your strap - it's either too low or too thin.
  7. So, I should be able to take both hands off the bass (not something I find myself doing that often) and have it remain perfectly steady? Even when sitting down?

    I'll muck around with straps and the position of the bass, chair, arm etc.

    Thanks guys.
  8. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    With a strap on yes without no. Thats a general rule, some basses suffer more than others. And if I helped, you are welcome.
  9. I've exactly the same problem with a Squier Affinity P. I tried all the usual stuff. Then I moved the strap button from the butt of the bass to the pickguard screw position just above the pup.

    Hey presto. The bass is now just slightly body heavy and balances really quite well with the neck pointing towards my left shoulder. Now, with a wide strap made of a rough material it grips my clothes, the headstock doesn't dive at the floor. The alternative to that is to keep the strap button at the butt but affix a weight (about 2 Kgs in my case) to the butt end of the strap. But I thought the bass was heavy enough as it was!!

    The way the bass hangs is somewhat different with the button moved because the two strap anchor points are closer together: it tends to swing about a bit more. But it took little time for me to adapt. I just saved the screw removed from the pickguard so I could put it back as it was, if needed.