Had my first gig (on bass) playing out at age 55 the other week. I have a PBass Lyte Deluxe in Mahogany that's been pretty well cared for. I'd asked a long-time bass playing friend of mine for advice on what to do about a belt when you HAVE to wear one (the gig was in a sanctuary - with a blazer jacket no less) - so two levels of scratch-ability. Here's what he responded. >>Alright, of course you don't take off your belt when you're up there next to the bimah. Let me walk you through some possibilities. Lately I have been sitting down when I play a gig, especially if I'm not getting paid. This way I don't get tired so fast and I don't scratch the back of my bass. HOWEVER, sitting has taken away one of my signature moves, the "deep" hip thrust. If you must stand try bending forward a little so the bass isn't rubbing on your belt buckle, look straight down, towards the ground with an expression of suffering and concentration, you will be able to hear the audience say "The bass player is really getting in to it" in hushed reverent voices. The only problem is that you will be in actual pain if you don't straighten out your back after three or four songs. Whatever you do don't be one of those fags who has the bass strapped way up on their chest. They stand up there with their self satisfied grins as they pick out clever rythms and their precious harmonic inversions. Sickening! Of course I don't see you doing the Sid Vicious thing either, bass slung down way low. arms hanging down straight. O f course this is one badass look, but it is almost impossible to pull off by yourself. (The Pistols had another bass player behind the curtain doing the actual playing while Sid was spitting into the crowd.). Since you are concerned about scratching your bass with your belt buckle it suggests to me that you have it positioned just about right. The body of the instrument centered just above the pubic bone with the neck pointing out as a natural extension of your johnson. Don't worry about scratching your bass, after a few scratches and gouges you will display these as a warrior displays his battle scars. (Think Willie Nelson's guitar). Also playing from this position you can perform the "deep" hip thrust, (although I would take it easy next to the bimah) and the above mentioned move where you lean forward and grimace as you mysteriously produce profound and moving bass lines. I hope you found these suggestions helpfull, yours truly, The Perfect Master<< Anyone else have stories, tips on how to handle the belt when one MUST be worn?? Thanks!