Pain in the neck

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by VBassRookie, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    I just started playing bass just recently. Since then I've acquired that pulled neck muscle feeling you get when you think you've slept wrong and can't turn your head a certain way. I have a cheap strap. My bass is adjusted so when I sit my strap is still holding the guitar. I do a lot of my practicing sitting down. Is a cheap narrow strap potentially the cause of this? I've been playing "thin strings" for 30 years and have never gotten a stiff neck or shoulders from my guitar. Obviously my bass has a little more weight than I'm used to. Would a good thick width and padded strap potentially cure my pains and strains? I'm 6 foot 230 lbs so it's not like my bass is making me tip over :D
  2. HereIGoAgain


    Oct 16, 2011
    Has your neck pain become a chronic or everyday thing? If so, a doctor might help you more than a better strap would.

    That being said, a good strap is always a good idea. Check out Italia Leather Straps. They are expensive, but they usually do a "buy one, get one free" thing. I have a 2" model for my jazz bass.
  3. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    It's probably more to do with my posture when I'm playing around with my bass. I'm playing a few songs and then checking for any new posts on TB in between, with my bass still attached at my recording console, hehe. Just curious if a nice strap is worth it. I am just using a thin fender nylon strap currently.
  4. HereIGoAgain


    Oct 16, 2011
    I bought the Italias after my nylon off-brand strap broke.
  5. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    Wow, some of the prices of these straps makes me want to just deal with the neck kink and buy another bass with the money I saved not buying a boutique strap. Ha Ha
  6. HereIGoAgain


    Oct 16, 2011
    Remeber that with the Italias, it's buy one, get one free, which puts each strap in the 30-40 dollar range.

    But yes, there are straps in the 160 dollar range that are just "showing off."
  7. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    This is twice in one night I've had to play the health-professional card. Is it something in the air this week? :meh:

    First off, you don't necessarily need an expensive strap, just a decently padded/wide one to take the edge off the constant pressure.
    I have a Planet Waves bass strap that works nicely. It took a little trial-and-error adjusting to find the "sweet spot" for maximum comfort, but once I got it, it was just fine. (By the way, check out the "Clearance Sale" link. It's good for in-store and online for another day or so)

    Secondly, what you're subjecting yourself to is classic "repetitive stress" and is exactly what I'd be "professionally-getting-on-your-case" about. I'll spare you the list of problems that could arise from that amount of constant pressure on your neck/shoulder junction AND the ways the body winds itself up compensating for that pain.

    The prescription is a little common sense.

    …that, and maybe more cowbell. :bag:

    1. If you're practicing while sitting down, don't strap on your bass. If you must "strap on" while you practice, keep a stand nearby so you can put it down while you web-surf. This way, you can…

    2. Give your shoulders and neck an occasional breather. You're no less dedicated to practicing if you give your body a break, especially since…

    3. You're not going to be inclined to play, gigging or practicing, if you're in constant pain.

    There may be some other tips I could give, but I don't know the nuts-and-bolts details of how you play. There are tons of factors involved;

    How high up on your body do you keep your axe?
    What kind of chair you sit on while playing/surfing?
    What other forms of repetitive stress affects you on a daily basis?
    Other medical issues?

    The list goes on and on.

    Anyway, beyond the "common-sense-stuff", there's a lot of friendly advice I'm more than willing to pass on. Please don't hesitate to ask, and that goes for everybody who reads this post. Chronic pain sucks, but there are ways to avoid and/or deal with it.

    Good luck!
    -Malak the Mad
  8. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    …that, and maybe more cowbell. :bag:

    +1 I'm gonna go with this one!
  9. gene beauchamp

    gene beauchamp Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2012
    Listen carefully. Comfort strapp 3" wide. They sell them on ebay for like 35.00 to your door. I just bought my second one.
  10. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    A better strap will help somewhat, but it doesn't hurt to hit the gym and build some muscle. Strong muscles lead to better posture, they don't tire as fast, and they make the bass feel a lot lighter.