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Sitting position - which leg?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by rmrf, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. rmrf


    Mar 6, 2006
    Holiday, FL
    I switched to bass from guitar and till today I used "classical" position (bass on left leg). But today I've tried to play in "contemporary" position (bass on right leg) and I've found it much more easier to play.

    Which postion are you using?
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Playing with it on my right leg early on caused a big problem for me when switching to a standing position. The bass naturally sits towards the middle of your body, much closer to your left leg. Now I practice with my strap on at almost all times, but when I don't have one, it usually goes on my left leg. The leg has to be centered a bit though, or else the bass' body is brought too far away.
  3. rmrf


    Mar 6, 2006
    Holiday, FL
    Thanks for megaquick reply :)

    I know that some players put strap only on right shoulder. Maybe this can help while using right leg?
  4. Lunardecay


    Mar 6, 2006
    I learned to play guitar/bass on my left leg so its never been a challenge to play while standing/walking/dancing/convulting, lol.
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    I can't recall any bassists who only wear a strap on their right shoulder...that would put a lot of weight in one place rather than dispersing it over the back and shoulders, and the bass would not be secure at all hanging off of one arm.

    If you're more comfortable playing on your right knee, go for it. Just be sure to practice in standing position just as much. Very few bassists get away with being able to sit through a performance.
  6. Geo313


    Jul 17, 2004
    I know this is gonna sound funny. but a little bit here and there, I agree with all of the guys who posted a response here rmrf. First of all, that's right, practice with your strap on but not only on your right shoulder. As Bryan says I don't remember seeing any bassist do that. I also come from classical guitar but appart from that, what Bryan says about the bass positioned towards the center of our body is correct. Find a strap length that feels comfortable and don't change it wether you stand up or sit, that way you'll always play in more or less the same position. Remember that practice is input of muscles memory, that means position, distances, etc.
  7. I have been struggling to find the perfect practice position lately, realizing that the way I practiced placed way too much stress into my body. I have switched from the casual into the classical postion but do find, as others mentioned, that I have trouble controlling some basses without using the strap while sitting. One benchmark for me wrt position is can I play comfortably in all registers without having to adjust my overall postion with respect to the instrument. My thought is that if I can't move comfortably up and down the full fretboard and also across the strings, there is either a fault in my positioning or the particular instrument may not be the best fit for me (or both).

    I may be totally out in left field about this but this idea keeps coming up for me.

  8. Shiveringbass


    Aug 21, 2005
    +1 with Bryan. I'm still facing that problem and there are some tricks that I still can't do standing while I can perfectly do them while sitting.
    Problem is that I've always practiced sitting with the bass on the right leg.
    I would never recommand this to anybody.

  9. rmrf


    Mar 6, 2006
    Holiday, FL
    Thanks for everybody. You saved me hours of practice to develop bad habit :)
  10. ianlightsfires


    Mar 7, 2006
    I practice on my right leg, and never gave any thought to how it would affect me while standing... because it doesn't. Now that I think about it, the bass really is in a different position... but I don't play any better or worse in either position. Interesting.
  11. I put it on my right leg. It just dosn't feel good on my left......
  12. rymix


    Mar 14, 2006
    Am I the only one who only ever plays the bass when standing up? And if so, is this necessarily a good thing?
  13. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    It depends on which one of my basses I'm playing, and the style and song that I'm playing. Typically, I use my right leg (I am righty) with the bass relatively level, unless I need the access, or the bass is oddly shaped for seated playing, which sometimes requires that I put it on my left leg, and keep the neck angled up a bit more towards vertical.
  14. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    +1 Agree 100 percents.
    When you play with your strap on while you sit it's the best way becuase when you stand up the bass should stay at the same position more or less (unless you use the "guitar at knee height" way to hold youe bass).
    Billy sheehan explain the same thing in one of his videos and that one of the most important things i learnt form him.

  15. I play with my bass on my right leg. I'm actually amazed that anyone plays with their instrument on their left leg. To me it doesn't make sense, because then first positition is kind of a reach, which is where we spend a lot of our time.
  16. GSRLessard14

    GSRLessard14 All-Things-Claypool Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2005
    Newington, CT
  17. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I try to play sitting down - I TRY - I don't have the best feet in the world, and it would be better if I sat down more to practice. But: I can't help it; sometimes I don't even realize that I stood-up. I can play fine sitting down, and I'm not one to jump or dance-around when I play - but still: I end-up standing almost exclusively when I play.

    Maybe I should try left-leg..?

    Hey - did anyone notice that Lunardecay's post is his first post??

  18. ebe9


    Feb 26, 2006
    South Africa
    right leg..........otherwise the neck pretty much disappears off into the middle distance........great for playing the higher registers but not much else
  19. Left leg, I've never had any problems with the neck or body wandering off for some reason.
  20. CrazyArcher


    Aug 5, 2004
    Depends on song and what position it requires, mainly on my left leg, but most of all I play standing up anyway.

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