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flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 234
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2014 - 5:28 am:   Edit Post

Fellow Small Body Short Scale Series Bass players,
When doing a quick search on this issue there are plenty of suggestions on how to adjust for neck dive on a Small Body Short Scale Series 1 Bass. All though this is a small issue to me, the bigger issue is the way the Bass sits in general. When playing standing (On Stage) the Bass will hang with the top horn forward and the bottom resting on my body. I correct for this now by raising my right leg slightly and resting the Bass on it. This in turn levels the Bass flush with my body top and bottom. In a small experiment I stuck a towel under the lower part of the Bass and Wala!, a much better and more comfortable playing positioning.
Bottom line a towel? Well, is just not a permanent solution and lifting the leg gets somewhat tiring after a while? Any ideas or is this something that I will just get used to?
Thanks always for all the input,
~Pete
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1945
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2014 - 6:13 am:   Edit Post

I use a wide strap with suede on the body side to control the dive. The wider strap also distributes the weight better and makes it more comfortable for me. I hold my bass high so it more less has it's center line cross my bottom rib. This let's me tuck the bass under my right arm further helping with dive and playing position. It also results in the top of the bass angled in and the bottom (control side) being angled away from the body. I will say the small body is definitely not a bass you do the rock star sling with like you might a Fender style bass. For me it is better slung up high like you see the old jazz guitarists do.

Keith
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 236
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2014 - 7:00 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Keith,
I did try this however I felt that it puts the Neck a little too far to reach on the upper neck. Iím somewhat small in stature 5í8Ē and after playing for awhile this reach just doesnít feel right. Besides it puts the headstock over my head! Lol
Thinking about this some more maybe if I could design the equivalent of a small clip on fanny pack with soft material it would push the bottom out some. Maybe stop buckle rash. For that matter I could make it a pump filled bladder making it adjustable!! Sorry I digress.
~Pete
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1946
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2014 - 7:08 am:   Edit Post

Pete,
I'm only an inch and a half taller. Look at the headstock being above your head as wearing a crown.

Changing instrument positions does create an unnatural feeling until/unless you get used to it. I always held my basses higher than a lot of folks so the small body position didn't feel that strange. Making a belt mounted pad sounds like a good idea to try if it let's you play at a comfortable position.

Keith
5a_quilt_top
Advanced Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 218
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2014 - 8:26 am:   Edit Post

I have a short scale Stanley Clarke Sig Deluxe.

Using a wide strap helps a lot as does wearing the bass a little higher. FWIW: I balance mine just above my waistline.

I'm 6'-3", so this higher playing position feels natural for me - almost the same as playing when seated - YMMV.

When the bass is worn higher, it forces my plucking / picking arm (in this case my right arm) to naturally cradle the body of the bass and keep it in a position to minimize any neck dive.

My advice would be to obtain a wide leather strap with an unfinished / rough underside and experiment with raising the bass to where there is no neck dive when you aren't touching it and then lower it accordingly to where you feel comfortable playing it - you might be surprised by where it winds up!
tubeperson
Senior Member
Username: tubeperson

Post Number: 462
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2014 - 10:38 am:   Edit Post

Levy's make a strap with an adjustable 5 inch shoulder pad. They retail for around $50.00 for leather. They are often listed on eBay for $45.00. Gruv Gear makes the Damian Erskine strap which looks promising.
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3802
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2014 - 11:54 am:   Edit Post

I have a regular leather strap on my shorty bass which is probably about 2" wide. I did try using a suede strap but what it did was to pull my shirt's left shoulder as it nosedived and made it more irritating.
Now I rest my forearm on the top edge of the bass not too dissimilar to how you see pictures of John Entwhistle with his exploiter basses or Stanley Clarke. I also have the bass resting against my right hip so the neck is angled away from my body probably more than I do with other basses or guitars.
There is still a bit of neck dive but not enough to put me off my stride and now I have learnt to naturally adjust the bass as I'm playing it's hardly noticeable.

The top edge of the bass leaning forward away from the body is interesting and it's probably minimised by having my forearm on the top edge of the bass but It is noticeable more or less depending on what technique I'm using with my right hand or if I let go of the bass for any reason between songs it neck dives and tilts forward at the same time.
I can't say I've found it a problem whilst playing though. I do have a 1970's semi-acoustic Gibson 335 style guitar which does the same thing.

As for the hang height I can see how playing the bass up high up would give more of a chance of controlling movement but I think how well that worked could also be influenced by the physique of the person playing the bass and I think whilst it may be easier if you do a lot of slapping I would find that position difficult to articulate plucking fingers and probably quite tiresome.

From my own experience of playing the shorty, I've adapted to the way the bass wants to hang and whilst it is real characteristic of the style of the bass it is controllable enough to become almost inconsequential and second nature. Time with the instrument will really let you know what works.
Some players never get used to it and will probably off load the bass for that reason. Hopefully you won't get to that stage as they are incredible basses.

Here is a picture of how I tend to play this bass. I cut off the excess from the strap after finding the position I liked so there is no adjustment now. However recently I have actually been thinking of dropping the bass down slightly lower to change the angle of my wrist probably because my other basses are a little lower and I've got used to that.

60096_427570539191_547129191_4647882_1953774_n.jpg

Jazzyvee
hammer
Senior Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 445
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2014 - 12:01 pm:   Edit Post

Same height and struggled with the same problem with my SC Standard until I got used to wearing the bass higher as others have described. It took a while to get used to it but its now such a comfortable position and feels so natural that I wear all of them that way. For me, it also makes it a lot easier to mute notes when I find the need to control the enormous sustain of an alembic thru-neck bass.
bsee
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 2660
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2014 - 12:41 pm:   Edit Post

Wide strap and a suede-like bottom really help it hold position on the shoulder. It also doesn't hurt to order a super-heavy body and a skinny neck. Well, it hurts, but it helps with dive. Nobody expects an SC to weigh in near 13 lbs.
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 237
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2014 - 6:43 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you for all the responses,
It looks like the consensus is to raise the Bass and or get a wider strap. At the moment I do use a 3Ē leather strap with a suede backing (Pretty comfortable).
Jazzy, I just got back from a rehearsal and thatís how Iím defaulting with the Bass positioning as well. Itís different but not too bad. I just feel the Bass leaning forward somewhat disconcerting, the neck dive I can live with.
At the moment I donít see myself raising the height, I found the added reach a little tiring.
Peace,
Pete
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 8084
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 - 12:53 pm:   Edit Post

To rid a little of the lean you can do what Stanley does - just use a large washer and wood screw to fasten the strap directly to the bass. You only have to do at at the heel, but it will reduce some of the tilt-away.
pauldo
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 1102
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 - 3:00 pm:   Edit Post

There is a member here who developed a very unique 'harness' system (I believe it was designed more for people with back issues).

For me and my Distillate the harness provides a means of having the bass nearly float in front of you - no neck dive at all.

Prior to the harness I actually moved the bridge side strap button up about 2" and it helped a bit with the neck dive.

It can be seen here in this thread:
http://alembic.com/club/messages/411/41664.html?1329696239
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 238
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 - 4:08 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Pauldo,
Interesting I don't have the same issues with my 85 Distillate. Maybe the extended horn and the larger shape the Distillate stays flush to my body. Itís that leaning forward with the Series that Iím wrestling with.
~Pete
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3803
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 2:39 am:   Edit Post

How about something like this.
http://heartbeatdistributors.com/products/gruv-gear/bass-and-guitar-accessories/duo-strap-signature-guitar-strap

jazzyvee
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 239
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 5:23 am:   Edit Post

Mica,
Are there close up photos of Stanleyís strap setup?
Jazzy,
Wow this looks intriguing! Mostly on how easy it is to put the Bass on with 2 straps.
This is why I value this site so much!!!
~Pete
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 673
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 10:26 am:   Edit Post

OMG, It looks like one of those things you see with a baby attached! You can breast feed while you play! (sorry, just had to say that).

I also sometimes play a ss series and got used to it after a week or two, but I do play it up high.
flpete1uw
Advanced Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 240
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 6:46 pm:   Edit Post

Thatís funny Dave!
Sort of like a Papoose, you can get so caught up in the mechanics and solutions you can forget how it looks!!
Still there maybe something here if there was a way to combine the system to a single one shoulder style. Anyway over thinking again. Thanks for the laugh!
~Pete
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 3829
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 4:10 pm:   Edit Post

Here is one I found today that may be more suitable and less intrusive but not sure if it would solve the forward lean of the bass.

http://slingerstraps.com

Jazzyvee
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1953
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 6:44 pm:   Edit Post

There's an Alembic part of the way down this page.

Keith

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