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your sitting technique

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by anonymous278347457, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005
    I was just wondering how everyone else played their bass while sitting down. Do you put the bass on the right hand side of your left leg, or the right hand side of your right leg?

    i seem to do the former, have my bass between my 2 legs, however i do do it the other way occasionally.

    what do you guys do?
  2. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    be careful not to practice in one position too long , my ribs are deformed from it , shift every 20mins-half-hour.
  3. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Being a couch potato, I sometimes practice laying down.

  4. anonymous278347457

    anonymous278347457 Guest

    Feb 12, 2005

    seriously? deformed? would it be ok if i just shifted between 2 positions every now and again?
  5. Chili


    Mar 8, 2005
    i dont think he mean literaly deformed lol
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I don't put my bass on any of my legs when practicing because I wear it high and I always use my strap. In fact, practicing without using the strap is a big mistake in my opinion unless you play 100% of your gigs seated and wearing the bass exactly the same way. You must make sure that you feel your instrument the same way either when sitting or standing. That's an aspect of practicing that is ovelooked most of the times, but it's very important (and this is the first thing that Billy Sheehan talks about in his first instructional video, BTW). Believe it or not, you may master a demanding lick when seated, but if your bass has a totally different position related to your body when standing, chances are that you won't play that lick that good. That's one of the many advantages of wearing the bass high.
  7. rprowse


    Dec 17, 2005
    Wellington NZ
  8. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I do it the only way I thought was possible. The way most basses are made to be. It sits over my right leg with the horn in the middle and the @$$ of the bass on the right side of me.
  9. paintballjunkie


    Jul 27, 2005
    i also wear a strap when sitting too. I used to play sitting all the time with my bass resting on my right leg,but whenever I stood up it was very hard to play because I was used to the bass being more to to my right side. So now, whether Im sitting or standing it's in the exact same position.

    on a different note, Alvaro, i just noticed your signature.:D
  10. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    And it was true! I couldn't believe my ears when that guy told me that.
  11. etb67

    etb67 Far Out Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2005
    Do you recommend always wearing the bass high? I've tried this once or twice and it really was not comfortable for me. I'm not one of the guys that hangs his bass down around his knees, I guess I would say that I keep it in a mid level position. but when I play while sitting down, the bass is in a slightly higher position, and I sit it on my right leg. This hasn't been a problem for me so far, but I haven't been playing that long. Is this the start of a bad habit?
  12. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Well, first I'd like to quote myself from another thread:

    "When I receive a new student, the first thing I tell him/her is that the bass guitar has the "problem" that, unlike most "ancient" instruments, there are many opinions about the way you should play it and all of them are valid if they work. This is specially true regarding instrument's height related to the body.

    This isn't really a "problem" when the student is a total newbie. I tell them: "If I tell you that something wrong, it means 'it's wrong according to the way I learned it', but maybe it's OK for a different teacher". The "problem" appears when I receive a new student with good experience playing with a different technique. I remember two students that arrived wearing their instrument really low, and I'm exactly the opposite. The say, for instance, "but Flea wears it like that". And I reply "I know, but I can't teach you to play like that. That's not the way I studied it", so I add "look, I know you already play that way and it may work for you, but let me try to 'sell' you my idea of how the instrument should be played and let's see what happens when the semester ends"."

    The thing is, there is nothing inherently wrong in wearing your bass low if that's the way you were taught and it works. I can say that it doesn't work for me, specially because my slap technique is based on the "thumb parallel to the string" approach (instead of perpendicular) and wearing the bass high is definitely the best for this. I don't play the perpendicular technique, but I feel that the bass should be lowered in order to get that properly.

    But if you ask me, my answer is YES. Learn to play with your bass high. I always make sure that the middle of my bass' 22th fret matches the end of my sternum. Here's a pic:

  13. AGCurry


    Jun 29, 2005
    Kansas City
    When sitting, I always use a strap. The lower bout goes between my legs, but the strap really takes the weight of the instrument. This keeps my right wrist straight.

    Looking at Alvaro's picture, my criticism would be that the position of the bass causes his wrist angle to be too close to perpendicular. But if causes him no pain, who am I to criticize?
  14. BassManDave


    Dec 19, 2005
    I also practice with my strap on. I can sit comfortably with the bass on my right leg and no play in the strap. I try and keep the sitting and standing arm positions the same. It doesn't seem to matter much for finger playing, but it throws my slapping completely off if I change position.
  15. Ive been playing drums a long time. If you can picture where your hand position would be if you were sitting playing the drums (snare) (right hand)and playing a ride cymbal (left hand). The strings sit about where my waist is and the neck at an angle almost perpendicular to my shoulder. That is the most comfortable for me. I can get to the lower register without an unusual wrist bend. On the plucking hand, I can get alot of power from the wrist from that position. I play slap with the thumb pointing almost straight down. I knew playing the drums would pay off eventually.
  16. bill_banwell

    bill_banwell Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2002
    Most of the time i practice sitting down with the bass on the right side of my right leg, although when i put the strap on and sit down, it comes up on my waist and its no longer resting on my right leg, i suppose this would be better for back posture aswell, because im not leaning over.
  17. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I used to be one of those guys that played with the bass slung way low, until I realized that my technique totally sucked while standing.

    Normally (and this may be a bit oddball to everyone, since I notice most people play with the bass sitting on their right leg) when sitting, I play on my left leg, since that's normally where my bass is while standing. So, what I did one day, is while sitting with my bass, I put my strap on, and adjusted it to the same exact height. It's still a lot lower than what most people play (since the bass is lower between my legs than on the right side), and now my technique is a lot better. Plus, it's more comfortable.
  18. Position is pretty much a personal thing, like everything else.

    From an ergonomic point of view, having the bass too low causes too much bend in the fretting wrist, especially when playing in low registers. Too high of a position causes a sharp bend in the plucking wrist.

    To get technical, both of these are palmar flexions and ulnar deviations, which are considered "bad" from a repetitive stress injury standpoint. This is particularly the case with the fretting hand if the thumb is kept anchored vertically on the back of the neck as is considered classically correct.

    That doesn't mean everyone is going to suffer medical problems since every body is built differently.

    As for position while sitting, you definitely should strive to have the bass in as close as possible position to where it would be when standing. That way everything stays consistent.

    For me, that is sitting on my right thigh. This brings the headstock much closer to the center of my body and precludes a long reach and wrist bend to get to the lower registers. Sometimes I'll move it over to left just for a little variety, but not as a standard practice.
  19. OrionManMatt


    Feb 17, 2004
    Is there any strap that works well for re-creating that position, Cristo? I always find it so much more comfortable for both of my hands when the bass is more centered to my body, especially when in first position.
  20. Sounds like you position like a classical guitar player.
    I play with the bass on my right leg, wearing a strap, but I use a classical guitar foot rest to raise my leg to a comfortable position depending on the chair I'm forced to use at the time.