Why is playing so uncomfortable???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NightmareCinema, Apr 18, 2003.

  1. NightmareCinema


    Mar 27, 2003
    I have been playing guitar for almost three years and bass for a few months, on guitar I can honestly say I can't play one full song without messing up a few times, even if it's a simple song and of course I suck at bass too. The problem? I always feel uncomfortable when playing standing up. Even sitting I usually feel a bit awkward, but standing I just get fatigued and usually my left shoulder (right hand player) starts killing me after about a minute of playing, my hands start getting very fatigued after about five minutes too. I've tried playing really low which was better on my right hand but not great, really high and everything in between and I just don't feel comfortable, my shoulder always feels uncomfortable no matter what. I've tried all kinds of relaxation techniques and nothing. I've even been to the doctor and there is nothing wrong with me. I've seriously considered qutting both instruments b/c this is extremely frustrating, anyone have any ideas of what I could do?
  2. If you want to get better / more comfortable at playing standing up, just play standing up all the time. I used to be like that too then I realized when am I ever going to play or even jam while sitting down? If you practice while standing up all the time it will probably feel more natural eventually.
  3. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses, Taurus Amplification
    I don`t know - those problems usually dissapear after a month or two of playing - hands get used to a bit unusall use of muscles, position etc. But after three years this shouldn`t be a problem. Only two things I can think about is that your right hand positioning is very wierd and simply wrong, or that you`re playing very, very hard and tense.

    While stading try to position your bass guitar excacly the same as it were when you were sitting. If I play sitting, I hold my bass like a classical guitar, simply because it allows my right hand wrist to be straight. When I stand up, my guitar position doesn`t change at all.

    The only REAL advice I can give you - go to a guitar/bass teacher and discuss your problem with him. We cannot se your hands while you play, he will.
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    One suggestion: fill in your profile so we know what gear you have.;)
  5. christle

    christle Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Aside from the other good advice here make sure you have a comfortable wide strap. Narrow straps are just plain hard on the shoulder when playing bass. Visit Carol Kaye's web site and read the playing tips she has posted in her education section. Loads of tips on playing comfortably. Fliptrique advice about seeing a teacher is also very solid advice. I heartily recommend that as well.
  6. Redhotbassist


    Oct 19, 2002
    I think it would be a lot more comfortable for you when your standing up and playing is too fiddle with your Strap and just keep adjusting the height to see what is comfortable with your shoulders

  7. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    You could start an exercise program to strengthen your back and shoulders. Physical well-being might improve your playing from a spiritual standpoint as well. You might also talk to a physical therapist about recommended hand exercises. Just be careful not to over-do it.

  8. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Don't think, feel!
  9. NightmareCinema


    Mar 27, 2003
    Thanks for the replies, I'm going to look for a new more comfortable strap and see if that helps. I work out and I'm in great physical shape, so I doubt my shoulder just isn't strong enough.
  10. any strap will do fine.... i found that when i played standing up my strap would wander on top of the muscle on my collar bone which hurts alot... id suggest making sure the strap is on the prominent bone of your shoulder... i cant remember the nameof that bone but it seems to be alot more comfortable and i found that if you lean the bass body down too much it will add a little bit of weight to your shoulder and hurt a little more so my suggestion would be to build your shoulders up a little bit.. hockey works great for this... ;) and try to find a way to balance out the body and the neck on your shoulder... usually you can adjust the strap a little bit and make a balanced feel... but also make sure you arent supporting the neck from diving with your hand... that also adds more stress on your shoulder... im talking my self in circles but try to find a balanced spot for your bass and try to not support the neck with you hand... this will help a little bit.... hope this helps....
  11. Try to find a Get em Get em strap. They are the standard width but they are much more comfortable. I used to use wide ones until I found these, they are a little more expensive but they don't hurt my shoulder. They are also longer for us bigger boys.