playing bass... standing up??!?!?!!??!?????!!!??

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by lo-end, Oct 10, 2001.

  1. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Well I can play bass very well sitting down, but I have little to no experience playing standing up. I do it for a few minutes every day, but Im always so uncomfortable that I just go back to sitting down again. I cant seem to play as well as I can sitting down, and I see all kinds of live concerts on tv with bass players standing up and playing fast, so why cant I do it? :confused:

    I have my strap relitively(sp) low, by the way, but not that low. my bass is just below my stomach. I also want to know if there are any secrets to moving around a lot when you play, because right now I am limited to standing still and straining my wrist to hit notes. :(

    Any tips? Or is it just good old fashioned practice that I need?? I know you guys know about this problem... you must have had it some time...
  2. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    You should set the length of the strap the most comfortable for your playing, and that makes you look cool........ I just hate how you look with a bass hanging at your chest level....kinda silly...
    I use it 3/4 of the total length. At first it was really hard, but with A LOT of practice you get used to it.
  3. Freakapotamus9


    Jun 20, 2001
    -make sure you have a comfortable strap
    -make sure YOU are comfortable
    -dont wear your bass super low ( the higher you play the more its going to feel like it does when youre sitting, not to mention it looks really stupid down around your ankles )
    -play standing more often ( get used to it )
    -dont feel like you have to do some flea-like jumping unless you want to of course
    :) :D
    -work on your caluses ( i found that its a lot easier to play standing when you have really nice caluses, i carry a string clipping around with me and i rub my fingers on it constantly .... )

    well thats all i can think of right now .....
  4. Dude, just practice.
    I usually practice standing up.
    This is because it is easy to play sitting down, and If I learn something sitting down, it will be more difficult when standing up.
  5. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    heh... well I definately dont have my bass anywhere near my ankles. like I said, its below my stomach around my waist. Whats the trick to jumping around though? I really want to be able to do that because I saw a video of me playing the bass and I looked really awkward because I was standing like a statue and not moving at all. I want to be able to move around a bit, maybe not as much as Flea does, but still move around when I play.

    Thanks for the advice so far :)
  6. if you want to do a show, you cant just stand there and play, or you will get no attention. although, most people care about the lead guitar or singer, if you want them to notice you as the bassist, you gotta do some moving. the key is starting basic. dont do any insane jumping around or anything. just do basic things, arch your back more as you go up the fretboard, do jumps INTO riffs from rests, then you wont screw up what you were already playing, and practise practise practise. make is so you can play the songs with out a thought and its natural, then you can do what you want with your body, as long as part of you is focusing on the song.

    but, about standup playing, just raise the guitar a tiny bit. not to your chest, just around stomach. then its not much of a step from sitting, and doesnt make you look like a fool. then practise, and as you get better, drop it down to where you like it.
  7. Freakapotamus9


    Jun 20, 2001
    ok ..... i exaggerated a little ..... :rolleyes: :D
  8. yeah practice, but it's funny, i play better standing up, i don't know why... i play sitting about 10 % and i'm not good at it at all compared to standing, i just do it when i'm watching TV or something, just sit there unplugged and strum around, other then that i stand all the time.
  9. raise the bass. below the waist is still too low.
    zontar likes this.
  10. I agree with the above. If you are going to sit and play adjust your strap so the bass hangs like you are standing. I had the same problem until I stuck a pole up my arse and could not sit.
  11. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    wear your bass up high with pride!!!
  12. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin

    I'm much better, faster and more comfortable when I am standing than when I am sitting.
  13. the reason why you cannot play standing up, is cause your bass is too low for you. You obvoiusly cannot play with it that low, so raise it up. Set it to the exact level sitting down as standing up. See if you can handle that. Then, lower it a bit. can you still handle it? Obvoiusly you dont want the bass at your neck, so you can lower it until comfortable.

    As for moving around? Get VERY hyper befor going on. It's worked for me before. Just watch out for the fallowing

    Drum kit-symbol stands are a real hazord

    Cables- you'll trip and fall on your bass

    edge of the stage- you'll be surprized what you can do when you're goofing off too much

    Other memebers of teh band, just cause the crowd is moshing with eachother, doesnt mean you have to do it with the memebers in yoru band

    just try to have fun. FEEL the music you're making
  14. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Absolutely correct.

    A lot of bassists try to copy the guitarists who have their guitars hanging over their knees - they think this is "cool". Forget cool - it's not how you look, it's what you play. Wear the bass as high as you think it's comfortable.
  15. Hmmm...
    I have my bass hanging at around the same level, but that's because it's as short as my strap will go.
    I'm just short. :p

    But I divide my practice time to about 50/50 sitting/standing, so I get plenty of practice that way. :D
    Plus, since I'm still growing, the bass will progressively get higher and higher when I play standing.
    I hope. :p
  16. There are two extremes of left hand position.

    One is the 'classical', thumb behind the neck, fingers-pointing-at-the-sky position. This is the technically 'correct' position. It is sometimes quite hard to do standing up unless your bass is very high.

    The other is the thumb on top of the neck, use mainly the first and third fingers, use shifts to get where you're going. Like Hendrix played guitar. The only possible advantage to this that I can see is that it is easy to play standing up, and your hands don't seem to get fatigued as quickly. The disadvantage is that there's lots of stuff you can't play.

    You gotta know both, and some stuff inbetween.
  17. HELL YEAH :cool:
  18. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I certainly feel that putting emotion into your playing is important, but for the life of me I can't understand why so many bassists are preoccupied with how much they move around on stage, as if having a 12" vertical will help you be a better bassist, or at least fool people into thinking you are a better bassist. I understand you just want to get past "being a statue" (trust me, we've all been there :) ); that's fine. It just seems to me that people who can't play a major scale need to spend less time worrying about how "crazy" and "hardcore" they look on stage and more time on how they sound on stage. This has nothing to do with you, this is just a topic that irks me.

    If you OWN a tune, not just know it, but OWN it, you can move around all you want. If you feel the need to thrash around on stage and whatnot, it will only come after having enough control over your technique without having to think about it. Then you'll begin to groove a little bit, start looking around, interacting with other band members and the audience, maybe do a little dance or something. But, the point is, you have to practice practice practice all your parts. Remember- let your playing speak for you, not your random body gyrations.
  19. dawgawd


    Mar 23, 2000
    I actually have a much harder time sitting than standing while playing, it feels to awkward. Perhaps it is because I have long arms or something, but I really like to stand when I play just so i can stretch my limbs a little more. And another note about jumping around...

    make sure your strap is securely attached to you're instrument. I am sure everyone can tell you a story or two about have a strap come unhooked while playing, it sucks. And jumping around makes it all the more likely to happen. All my straps are permanently attached to my instruments by a primitive home made straplock system involving washers. This works for me because i almost ONLY play while standing.

  20. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    What everybody is saying about wearing the bass too low....I did that when I began as a teenager. My bass has gotten higher as I've gotten older. A lot of practice and playing songs with a good groove should force you to begin moving around.