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"New" bass player, I have a few questions.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by J0nathanSIN, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. J0nathanSIN


    Oct 7, 2013
    So, first off, I'll say hello, glad to be here. I'm new to the forums, but no stranger to music or instruments. Name's Jonathan.

    So, I'll keep it short as possible, I've been in a band for a long time now. Our bass player quit. Now, I'm 2 things, a singer, and a guitarist, I had only dabbled on bass before. But now, I'm picking up the slack, and picking up the bass for my band, in addition to singing.

    Now, here's my issue. I have pretty bad neck, shoulder, and left arm issues. Basically, they are rather weak due to nerve damage. While it's not reversible, strength building exercises would definitely help. So, this bass I'm playing, is for me, a 135 pound guy, pretty heavy. And it hurts all of the previously listed body parts. Anyone else have any experience with this? Any tips on exercises or techniques I could try out to improve the strength in my neck, shoulder, and arm?
  2. First, welcome.

    Second, I'm not sure on the exercises, others can chime in there. But get yourself a wide, leather strap and a good set of strap-locks. The bass may be heavy but a 4" strap will help distribute the weight more evenly and put less pressure on a specific spot. That may help.

    I use this one.


    Don't let the price shock you. I got mine at Guitar Center for 39.95. It is well worth every penny. I can play full gigs without pain or pressure. Now my hips and knees... they are a different story!
  3. J0nathanSIN


    Oct 7, 2013
    Thanks for the quick response! Never thought of a strap as the answer, but it makes sense. I'm just so used to guitar that It never really bothered me, I always stuck to lighter guitars, but that's not really an option on bass.
  4. No worries, welcome to "the brotherhood".
  5. I'm not sure how advisable weight training is for your problem areas if there is nerve damagebut if you want strengthening exercises then I guess that would be the way to go. Shrugs would be good for your traps and then various other shoulder raises etc. Try pilates too.
    I had terrible shoulder pain when I first got my 75 Jazz reissue and I was doing 6-7 sets per night. I eventually tried out a few different straps and settled on one by neotech http://neotechstraps.com/mega-strap.html
    They are a little springy which is not to everyone's taste but they have a lot of padding and distribute the weight quite well. Mine helped a lot.
  6. Go and see a physio instead of listening to advice here, seriously.
    They will know what you can do get you in better shape without hurting yourself, unlike TB.

    Edit: the wide strap is a good tip, by the way. Also, you can find light weight basses that sound good. May be worth looking around. They are more likely to suffer from "neck dive", depending on the design, but there are good ones out there at 8lbs or so.
    Oh, and welcome to bass! Good move :thumbup::D
  7. Then there is always the electric stand up bass.
  8. Ironbar


    Aug 24, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Being a very new bass player myself, I couldn't really offer any guidance on the bass itself other than echo the sentiments about a wide strap.

    But exercise, you bet I can. These days you're going to hear pro trainers repeating the same line, "Strengthen your 'core'." Pro trainers like to use a whole bunch of what I refer to as bouncy-ball-b.s training. I prefer plain old fashioned weight training. Anything you can do to work out your upper body, specifically focusing on trapezius, back, and shoulders will help you with endurance. Also, one of the most neglected areas of training that will also help (although it doesn't sound like it would) is your abs. Having very strong abs will help in ways you never thought it would. Now I'm not talking about six-pack leanness. I do not have a six pack unless it's in my fridge. But I do have very strong abs, and I train them every time I go to the gym. Good luck, and get working out!
  9. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    If you PM me some of your details i can help you work out a programme to build up/maintain your abilities. I have a lot of experience, some of it personal, on your condition and the problems you will/may experience. :)

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