The Myth of Neck Dive

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SleepyShark, Sep 4, 2019.

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  1. SleepyShark


    Feb 28, 2018
    The Low End
    Final Edit: I'm not denying the force of gravity's ability to act on heavy objects. In decades of playing, I've never had an issue with neck dive using the tools I use. Period. Yes, the thread is goofy/dumb, guys. Yes, the title is sensationalized. Carry on.

    Hey, everyone!

    Ah, neck dive. I see it all over TalkBass. Here's the thing: it should never be a problem as long as you follow the cardinal rule:
    • Whatever the bass, whatever the price, use the proper strap, and don't think twice.
    Cheesy, I know. But it really is that simple. There are way too many of you playing basses that cost thousands of dollars with a cheap <$10 strap you grabbed at Guitar Center. If you researched what the neck profile - down to the fraction of millimeter - to order from your custom builder, you should at least do yourself the favor of getting a proper strap.​

    Well, Mr. SleepyShark, what is a "proper strap?" We all have our preferences. Stop telling me how to live my life!

    Most probably missed it, but here's a post by Roger Sadowsky on neck dive from the other day: click to see hilarious demonstration. Note: I am (unfortunately) not affiliated with Sadowsky in any way; Roger just has more credibility on this than I do, so I figured I'd include a link to his post.

    In other words, any strap with a back material that grips. Suede is my personal favorite. ;)

    Also, stop sitting down to assess if a neck dives or not. You're balancing a long piece of wood on your leg, with the majority of it hanging over the side. Of course it's going to tip over... so would a 2x4.

    As someone who is probably a bit too into guitar straps, it really does make a world of difference. I won't push any particular brand, as there are many great offerings. With the right strap, even a Gibson Thunderbird won't budge.​

    I was a bad strap sinner before, but now I think I've found the light... What else are nice straps good for?

    I'm so glad you asked! Using a wide, padded strap can also help prevent back issues from long gigs, and can really take the pressure off of your shoulder.​

    In summary:

    Edit: I forgot to mention the other major contributing factor, thanks to Sid for pointing it out:
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I don't want an instrument that I need to make solutions for, I want instruments that hang well with any strap & any shirt.
    Flying B, TalHaz, downunder and 79 others like this.
  3. Yada Yada Yada. I am 61 years on this planet. I have personal experience with neck dive on a few occasions. Yes, straps can negate neck dive in some instances. However, I have owned a few that required innovative solutions. There ARE instruments that are predisposed to neck dive and strap selections will not solve the issue. Sorry to burst your premise.
  4. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    In my experience neck dive only occurs when basses are worn low. If I have to hold up the neck at all I’m going to have a long night. Wear the bass high and all problems solved, except looking tres cool.
    Relayer71, Crash 56, Lava and 10 others like this.
  5. SleepyShark


    Feb 28, 2018
    The Low End
    I mean, sure. That's ideal. I get what you're saying, but then you're probably limiting your choices based on a negligible problem. Neck dive literally won't happen if you invest a little bit of cash on a proper strap.

    It's like only shopping for cars that have tinted windows on the lot and refusing to look at those without. Tinting can be done to any car after purchase with a small investment.

    But hey man, live your life.
  6. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Neck dive is real. True, some straps can provide a little relief with some basses, but serious neck dive just can’t be cured with a strap. Well, McCartney’s hootenanny strap will do it.
  7. SleepyShark


    Feb 28, 2018
    The Low End
    No offense taken, my friend. Just having fun. It's an overblown problem IMO. I'm sure you're right than in 61 years you've encountered a few.

    To be fair, if I tied a brick to the end of a P Bass neck, it would dive regardless of strap.
    db59 likes this.
  8. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    To be fair, if you tied a brick to a P bass but played a Grabber, you’d have some annoying neck dive, no matter your strap choice. ;)
    elgranluis and Son of Wobble like this.
  9. SleepyShark


    Feb 28, 2018
    The Low End
    An omission from the OP for sure. Anything will dive if you wear it at thigh-level.
    dr doofie likes this.
  10. ShortyGetLow

    ShortyGetLow Inactive

    Aug 6, 2019
  11. Bryan R. Tyler

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

    May 3, 2002
    In that analogy, the windows would be permanently tinted afterwards. If you have a bass with neck dive and use a grippy strap to hold it still, the bass still has neck dive- you’re just masking it and having your shirt pulled on all night as a result. There’s countless basses with no neck dive at all- the solution isn’t to try to remedy bad design after the fact but to design it the right way from the beginning.
    earthimmigrant, Selta, Ukko and 27 others like this.
  12. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    The instrument with the worst neck dive that I ever experienced was this looker.


    Not even your fancy strap could help keep it in place, that I promise you.
  13. Nebula24


    Nov 23, 2017
    Norman, OK
    I love epi eb0 definitely a diver. Wider strap keeps it's mostly level. Works well enough. Thin strapped it wanted to touch the floor. :)

    No problem with my eastwood jetsons jr with default strap.
    knee_boarder likes this.
  14. SleepyShark


    Feb 28, 2018
    The Low End
    I don’t notice a pull on my shirts, but I wear them fitted snug.

    To be fair... It’s not a design flaw if it’s not a perceived issue.
  15. ShortyGetLow

    ShortyGetLow Inactive

    Aug 6, 2019
  16. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    It figuratively won't dive for me, & I don't want a thick strap tugging on my shirt. I want an instrument that was designed w/o the need for a thicker strap or a strap with suede.
    50mm is all I need in a strap-width

    "proper strap" is very loose here
    I've had "proper straps" by your definition & I abhorred them in the end.

    My ONE leather/suede strap is in a box of junk-straps.

    I'm shocked that a builder would come out with this in defense of their bass designs.
    dralionux, stigbeve, Ukko and 6 others like this.
  17. FRoss6788

    FRoss6788 Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    Could not have said it better.
    I'm not sure why there seems to be a need to defend basses with obvious design flaws. Let's call it what it is, a design flaw for the sake of aesthetics.
    T-Bird and Thumb, perfect examples, cool looking but shirt tugging. I'll pass.
    merseymale, 31HZ, MattZilla and 4 others like this.
  18. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Neck dive is a design flaw. There are two types of neck dive deniers in the world:

    1. Those that have never truly experienced a bass with bad neck dive.

    2. Those that will go so far as to staple their poorly designed, I mean cool looking basses to their backs so that they don't move. Edit: or will... hook their bass to their pants... apparently.

    Thankfully, most bass designers actually do care about balance - so I tend to think that most of the deniers in this thread actually fall into camp 1.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
    merseymale, five7, Rocker47 and 10 others like this.
  19. AboutSweetSue


    Sep 29, 2018
    I play a Gibson which supposedly has terrible neck dive. I wouldn’t know it because I realize that a leather strap pretty much solves the issue 100%.

    I am perfectly happy having to mitigate the issue with a strap. Saying you want a perfect bass that doesn’t need the strap to solve the problem sounds like unnecessary drama to me. But, whatever, plenty of things in this world to offend.
    Mili, Jon McBass and SleepyShark like this.
  20. Neck dive is the biggest flaw of my Reverend Watt. Mine has a 2+2 headstock and non-lightweight tuners, so I can't comment on the production model. A suede backed strap has helped some. But it's still unbalanced.
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