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posture/stance question

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by spots, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. spots


    Feb 7, 2004
    boston, MA
    DB beginner here...
    I've been playing upright for about 2 months and the stance aspect still bothers me. Uptil about 2 days ago, i had always stood with the bass's side leaning on me, with the nut at about eyebrow level. This worked well for pizz and for starting out. But i recently started work with the bow (german) and immediately ran into trouble. I couldn't play the E string at all without slamming my wrist into my hip.
    Also about two days I got Rufus Reid's "The Evolving Bassist", which advocated leaning the bass with the inside of the left knee as a contact point on the back and the side of the lower abdoment with the side of the bass. I've been trying to switch to this "style" but I find the transition difficult. For one, I can't balance the bass at all in this position, which leads me to grip the neck with my thumb. I also get fatigued pretty quickly in my right foot, which holds alot of my weight while playing. Anyone got any tips for stance or balancing the bass? Is it just something that will eventually click? or am i doing something wrong? :help:
  2. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    I am no expert on this subject, but, if possible, I think it would be well worth it to check out this kind of thing with a teacher. What may work for one person, may not be best for another.

    If its not possible to meet with a teacher, I have learned, when standing to play for arco that I have to turn the bass fingerboard towards me to get to the E string. I rest the bass not on my side, but, more or less, in the area where the leg joins the hip bone. It seems to naturally balance there for me and I don't end up having that problem of putting a lot of pressure on the thumb. I find this all takes time to get it right.

    Did not understand the Rufus position. Is this a sitting position? I personally wouldn't do something it is seems to be uncomfortable or hurts. Not good at all. If it is sitting, I have found it easier to play arco sitting, but piz standing.
  3. Check out this thread.

    Good stuff on posture, different methods of holding the bass etc.

    Pretty good chance you're not gonna nail it in two months. I've been playing for a score or so of years, and I'm still fussing with it.
  4. Playing bass is a very phyiscal acticity. There is really no way to tell you how to position your instrument, the only way to learn it is either trial and error which is not great for some obvious reasons, or the right way, which is to find a good teacher who will work with you hands on to troubleshoot your technique. The best teachers I've had have physically adjusted my body while I play, in order to get into the right combination of positions and movements. Without feeling the right way to do it, I think it's very difficult to figure out something as broad and difficult as basic bass technique. Hope that helps... good luck and go find the best teacher you can. Beg the principal player from your local symphony to instruct you in exchange for ironing all the pleats in his tux shirts or something... :-D