Question about neck being heavy on my bass

I am new to the bass and the bass I have seems to be very neck heavy. When I hold the bass on my lap, the neck of the bass falls towards the floor. Is this normal or should it be more balanced? Just wondering if I should look for a different bass to learn on. Thanks for any info. Jonathan


This is called neck dive.

It’s more pronounced in basses with fender style headstocks, as well as basses with lighter bodies. It can be mitigated by installing lightweight tuning machines and putting on a good, wide and grippy strap. It never completely goes away, though.


I wouldn’t say go buy a new bass immediately, but yeah neck dive definitely does not help, especially when you’re a beginner. You’ll probably be holding up the neck with your fretting hand to keep it in position. That can lead to all sorts of problems such as gripping the neck too tight, not being able to use a light touch for fretting, not being able to shift your fretting hand quickly, etc… Not ideal.

See if you can mitigate it somehow. On top of what @MC-Canadastan has already mentioned, I’d add that some people also recommend resting your plucking hand forearm on the top of the body, which is going to (hopefully) prevent neck dive. I never really liked this though, because it restricts the mobility of my plucking hand. Anyways, worth trying.


So far everyone is assuming you are using a strap. Are you?
It would also be helpful to know what Bass you have and possibly send us a picture.

This has been discussed many times on the forum.
Here is a link to one of the topics.

For others just do a search for ‘neck dive’.

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Yes @Jonathan it’s a neck diver. It’s a design flaw and there is not much you can do.
As @akos said, if the neck dives not heavily, lighter tuning machines may help a little bit. But we’re are talking less than an ounce, so buying new tuning machines will be a waste of funds in most cases.

Sometimes it helps to move the strap connector.
Had a neck diver myself (Marcus Miller V9) and finally sold it with a big loss., but I am happy it’s gone.

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Neck dive is a pain. The bass body and neck act like a fulcrum and a lever, so the more weight you have further out, the more it pushes down. Fender headstocks are terrible for this effect. I had a Sire v7 that was neck divey and I sold it.

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And that it’s tight enough.

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Just about choking you is about the right height for the strap? No?

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Could they only afford one strap and had to divvy it up?

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Or trying to avoid buckle rash?

Thanks for the information. I will try to adjust the strap I have. right ow, I think it is too loose (certainly when sitting down it is). When standing it is better, yet it pull s on my neck in a slightly uncomfortable way. I don’t know, it just seems like I am fighting with the bass a bit. It’s not easy to get it to balance unless I essentially make the neck go diagonally towards the ceiling…

Which is a perfectly valid way to play, it just might not be YOUR way to play.

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Adjust the strap so it is tight while sitting down.
When you stand up the Bass should stay in the same position.
The neck should be at about a 45 degree angle.

If you are taking the B2B course Josh covers this in the first few lessons.
Actually I believe he also has a free video on this. Check out this link.

Check out this video as well:

I’m not sure anyone’s posted this yet but it worked for me and my hofner - basically tuck the strap into your belt at the back (go to about 1:20)


So simple it’s genius :+1: :+1: :+1:

I’d be interested to hear @PamPurrs take on this. :slightly_smiling_face: