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Wearing bass low?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Tupac, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    How do people play like this? The only comfortable way to fret is with my fingers practically glued together. I've noticed that players who do wear low are usually rock players who play in pentatonic and never need to cover more than 3 frets. But then there's always guys that leave me in wonder like Les Claypool and TM Stevens. I'm going to be playing in a band where low is the standard, but I can't play like that for the life of me, nor can I pull off the Tim Commorford badass look. I use four finger per fret most of the time and moveable anchor, both of which go out the window standing up. Can anyone give some tips for adapting?
  2. JoshXR


    Apr 3, 2008
    Missoula, MT
    Practice. Seriously, it just takes some time to adjust. Experiment with the angle of the neck and see what works for you.
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Low may be the standard, but you need to use ergonomics that don't injure you. Temper your inclination to be trendy and keep with playing positions that work for you.
  4. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Yep, just practice with different kind of angle's and take the one that suits you fine. Robert Trujillo almost plays with his feets, so for me that's Mission Impossible 7 :p xD
  5. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    It's music, not a fashion show, wear the bass were it feels comfortable playing.
  6. Emre Hanli

    Emre Hanli

    Aug 22, 2009
    Just don't hurt yourself. Listen to your body, when there's pain, there's usually something wrong. Be safe...
  7. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    Over the years I experimented with a variety of heights and angles. For finger style playing, I hang it real low. My right hand is at the same height as if it were buried in the pocket of my jeans. My right hand and shoulder like it that way. If I use a pick, which doesn't happen very often, I like the bass a little higher up. If the playing gets more complicated, I grab the neck and lift it so it's more vertical. I think we all have our preferences.
    I don't quite understand what you mean by 'glued together'. Do you mean your hand is moving about all the time to reach the next fretting position? If so, I'd certainly consider taking some lessons.
  8. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    You are going to be playing in a band where low is the standard?? Why is there such a thing as a standard of bass strap height in a band... I think that if the band won't let you play your bass like you feel most comfortable then you shouldn't be in that band, it might hurt your playing over time and if a band cares more about how they look while playing that isn't going too far. Just play like you usually do, having the bass that low can't be good for your hands (unless you only have to play roots and its simple harmony).
  9. 2behead


    Mar 8, 2011
  10. Do what I do and play in the middle? Really just keep playing around with different strap heights until you find one that's comfortable for your playing style. Either that or practice until you can play comfortably with your strap set low. That's really all you can do I would think

    But really, who cares how you wear an instrument as long as you sound good while playing it? That's the problem with too many bands/artists nowadays anyway: looks over sound when it should be the other way around
  11. Peepaleep

    Peepaleep Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Las Cruces, NM
    It all depends on the band. If it is a very successful band that will afford you a very comfortable lifestyle it would make sense to fit in with the band's image. But if you're playing for girls and beer money it's best to play how you're most comfortable.
  12. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    I guess some people like money more than music.
  13. Peepaleep

    Peepaleep Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2010
    Las Cruces, NM
    Some people do.

    Look at it this way - how many of us have jobs besides music that pay the bills? I'd guess that most of us here on TB work our "9 to 5" and then play music on the weekends or during our free time. Sounds reasonable?

    If you have a chance to be in a very successful band as long as you conform to their image, you can consider this your 9 to 5 and you can play the music you want any other time. I see nothing wrong with that.
  14. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    + 1

    There are plenty of OTHER things to obsess about besides how low your bass is slung lol ;)
  15. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY
    That's me too. Too high cramps my right hand.
  16. I like the "hand in pocket" feel also. It kills my shoulder to play high. So does sitting down with an electric. Acoustic bass is alright, thick enough to give some stretch. I just don't like feeling all cramped up. Gotta be free and flowing.
  17. I have three holes on the end of my strap, each about 4 inches from the next hole, and I use them all depending on the gig and how I feel.

    I find the trick to playing well at any height is to have a nice relaxed wrist - if you're not relaxed you can hurt yourself playing in any position.

    Bottom line, I'd say play where you are most comfortable over what "looks good" every time. But that's just me.
  18. johnnynitro


    Jan 14, 2012
    I used to be the "King of Low" But over the years as ive needed to get around the neck easier,And faster I have raised my bass some But it's still low. Just be carefull ! And onosson is right Have a relaxed wrist !!
  19. Sonic

    Sonic Lord of the Grump

    Personally, I'm much more comfortable playing high. The top horn of my bass sits just below my collar bone and I find it supremely easy to play that way. That said, do what suits you best. If you like playing low, play low (Rob Trujillo plays by his knees) but if you're comfortable high, go high (Ryan Martinie par example). Just because the rest of your band looks one way, doesn't mean you do too. You're the bassist, you're going to need all the standing out you can muster ;)
  20. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a REAL THING. Wear the bass where it is comfortable for you. Timmy C of Rage can wear it wherever he wants - it's his playing that does the talking.

    I wear my bass lower than most people - I have long arms in relation to my height. Wearing the bass too high is just uncomfortable to me.

    Match the dress code, smile and play comfortably. If they kick you out because of your strap height, it's not worth it to play in that band.

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