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Perfect ratio?

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  • Perfect ratio?

    Ok so I should preface this by saying that the couple of times I've used this forum, unlike the other ones, you guys have been really helpful and knowledgeable. With that comes a certain traditionalism, for lack of a better word at least. Proper technique calls for strap height to set the bass at the height it would be at if you were sitting with proper posture. The only thing is I look like a total dweeb. Now as I mentioned you guys probably think that my concern with how it looks is totally ridiculous and that I'm acting ridiculous by even suggesting that ascetics is even comparable to techniques, but I'm 17. I'm into more contemporary hardcore rock music, and I'm in a punk band where up until this point I've been playing my bass past my torso. Image is important. But so is technique. What is the best ratio that provides me with proper technique, a means to keep me wrists in a healthy position, and pretty much get as low as possible so I don't look stupid?

  • #2
    There is nothing more punk than going your own way and doing what works for you and giving the proverbial finger to anyone who doesn't like it.

    If you feel you play your best with it a bit higher, and that's what you want to do, make it part of your image and make it work somehow. You don't have to follow the low-slung stereotypes set by Johnny Ramone (and others) in the 70s... OTOH, if you want to try wearing your bass a bit lower, then feel free - but I'd limit it to what feels comfortable and doesn't inhibit your playing - ultimately, style isn't more important than the music, is it?

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter


    • #3
      I think its a very personal decision. The "right" position can vary between different bass players. It could also depend on things like how long are your arms. For me personally, I play bass much comfortably while sitting or basically wearing the strap at that relative height. I think the most important thing regarding the guitar/bass height is if you can keep the angle between your hand and forearm straight, which will limit the amount of strain on your wrist. Also the more you can position your palm over the fingerboard, the more leverage you will have to fret notes, which in turn will also reduce finger fatigue.
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      • #4
        I think that, ideally, the bass should be played in a nearly upright position, so that the left wrist is nearly straight and the right hand is at a comfortable height. for me, that's about waist level. Ultimately, each player has to find what works best for him, and, if that includes how it looks to others as a consideration, then it does.
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        • #5
          I just hang my bass where it's comfortable. For me, that means the body is centered about where my belt is, which is a couple inches lower than where it is when I'm sitting.
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          • #6
            I believe that, as davie pointed out, it is important that you don't hurt yourself.

            After playing for several decades, I am dealing with the effects of tendonitis which I believe is a result of poor posture
            "Isn't it a pity, isn't it a shame,
            how we break each other's hearts
            and cause each other pain"