Neck pain, from bad playing posture?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Hookus, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I have just recently started playing seriously again, after about a year of hiatus. I used to play rock exclusively, and did not have to look at what I was doing much. Now, I am playing blues, jazz, country, and find I am plying much more complicated bass lines, that I have to watch what I'm doing more. I have started getting a little bit of pain on the right side of my neck in the back, and think it may be due to craning my neck while playing?

  2. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Just check your strap, you want at least a 3 inch wide strap, and it beeds to sit towards the outer part of the shoulder over the bone, not in by your neck where the soft tissue is. If you have a problem with having to look you are getting into the habit of watching rather than listening. Yor developing a dependence on your eyes not your ears.
    This habit will be broken with more confidence in not looking. So for the next couple of weeks if possible practice at night in the dark, and i mean the dark. So dark you cannot see, this will develop your ears and with it the confidence not to look but listen. You will feel for the intervals and the hand positions, and learn to trust your ears. A blindfold is good as well but there is something about doing it in the dark, it seems to heighten the hearing.
    Also do some stretches to your shoulders and neck before and after playing. A good basic one is interlock your fingers together in front of you, turn your hands so the palms face down and push down to stretch your arms fully for 10 seconds, then raise them slowly out in front of you till above your head and stretch for 10 seconds, while still interlocked all the time.
    Have fun and take care and i'm sure more good advice will follow this.
  3. I have developed serious recurring neck problems by practicing while sitting in a sort of cramped bendover position looking at my fingerboard. I get pain in exactly the location you describe, and after a while also numbness in my righthand.
    I can never play sitting down anymore, I have to stand or else I will have to schedule an appointment with my backdoctor within a day.

    Don't let it get this far.
    My advice: Always play in a healthy position, preferably standing. If you need to sit down, be sure to sit straight and not stress your neck.

    Take care,
  4. bubinga5


    Jun 6, 2006
    I get this pain in my neck...I used to play a TRB6 sat down in a hunched position and that was a killer after a while...

    I like to sit down on a stool but standing up is best...or when playing in the Reggae band i lie back in a studio chair...Lovely!

    Your body/neck is telling you something..listen to it..
  5. Hookus


    Oct 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Thanks guys, that's what I figured. I'm only looking now because I am plying over chord structures I don't know that well, but the strap thing makes sense as well, IIRC, Timmy C uses a huge strap.
  6. Thanks,

    I also have had neck problem and stopped playing for months. I think I'll try the above.
  7. Asat77


    Apr 29, 2015
    You can also try to study your bass part first by head, on your mind. Or/and try to study while looking in a mirror so you can see what you do.
  8. HandsFree


    Dec 23, 2015
    There are advantages to not having to look at the neck (of the bass). But neck pain should have nothing to do with that.
    pain in the neck suggest tension in neck and/or shoulders, so the obvious remedy is to relax neck and shoulders when you are playing.
    It's perfectly possible to look at the neck while in a relaxed position, so no need to make it more complicated than that.

    When you play stuff that you think is complex it's natural that you get strain in wrists and shoulders, so I'd focus on keeping body relaxed while playing, wether it's easy or complex music.

    It can help your musicianship if you are able to play without looking at the neck, but it's also (more I'd say) benificial to be able to watch the neck and play without strain.