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The Fretless Hunchback...does anyone else get this?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Mike Flynn, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. Since I just got my new fretless a week ago I have found that due to the fact it's a gorgeous bass to play, and that I have been waiting to arruve for about a year due a slow custom build etc, I find that as I'm still working on my intonation etc that I am getting a stiff neck and back in the process. I find playing standing up preferable to sitting down, for years now, though I do sit down to practice, mainly when I'm transcribing stuff, so I don't any way to get over this while I'm still getting to grips with the new bass, any tips would be welcome - or similar experiences to compare ro.

    The other reason I mention this is because I know a really great pro-jazzer who plays in a Jaco style, his name's Rob Statham (any UK TBers should leep an eye out for him with Theo Travis and John Etheridge - cos he's a great muso and bassist) but this guy has a seriously baaaaaaad posture when he plays, it's like his body is really bent round the bass - which seems to help him play great, but his back looks f***ed up!

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I find that this happens to me when I hunch over my bass. And when I am sitting down, it tends to happen a lot. I just had to force myself to sit in a beter posture, and that helped alieviate a lot of the problems.
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Is it because you're always looking at the fingerboard when you play?

    If you need to look at the neck often, I find it's helpful to emulate a (modern) classical guitar player's posture in a seated position: instrument at a 45 degree angle, right foot on the floor, back straight, and with the back of the instrument, your knees and your stomach forming a triangular space, so that the face of the instrument's tilted up slightly towards you. This way you can look at dots/lines/the entire instrument without having to hunch or bend your neck.

    This could be an instrument problem as much as a technique problem. A lot of instruments with rounded lower body edges slide around on one's thighs when playing seated, and the player tends to compensate by bending his body over the instrument to keep it in place. Similar issues occur with instruments prone to neck-dive. Wearing a strap when sitting can help with this.
  4. Cheers Chris, good advice - I'll defintely give that a go - while I'm wood shedding so much! Man, I have been putting the hours in this weekend - that fretless is great - but I just keep thinking, I still have sooooooo much to learn, but it's obviouly good learn sitting/standing comfortably!

  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    No prob. Enjoy the new fretless.