Standing position/roll angle

Wondering if anyone has any tips/tricks for playing when standing, particularly when it comes to the roll angle of the bass. I dont play standing up a lot, but when I do, I need to elevate my foot on my plucking side or play off my hip in order to reproduce the same roll angle of the neck as when sitting down. If I just stand normally, the fretboard is facing away from my body, whereas when I sit, I tend to have it angled so I can see it—this not only affects sight, but also wrist angle.

Do people who play standing up just learn to live with the different playing position or are there any tricks with strap setup to get the bass to “angle back” towards me instead of “flopping forward”?


The rear plane of the bass body is relatively flat, so it is going to naturally follow the contour of the player’s torso (chest/belly). Depending on the degree of topographical padding of a given player, the bass body and fingerboard planes are generally going to face forward much more than they would if the player were to “roll” them backward while sitting.

Since the bass hangs from a strap while standing, there is no way to “roll” the bass backward similar to when the player sits to play.

Josh and other bass teachers highly recommend that students let the bass hang from the strap while playing sitting down. That way, there’s no difference in the fingerboard orientation whether playing while standing or sitting.

Yes, it makes it hard/kinda impossible to look at your fretting hand while playing, but it’s worth learning how to do it if you ever want to play standing up. Hope this helps.


Yeah @MikeC is absolutely right. The only way to get comfortable with the roll while standing is to practice the awkwardness out of it.


Remember. In general the bass should be at a near 45 degree angle from our front of body. This will help a bit with visual.

TalkingBass’ sight reading class will help you not have to look down as well.

1 Like

Get yourself a beer belly and a short strap. :wink:


Two types of gas in one!


I dont play standing up a lot, lately just when i was moving and didnt have any chairs :joy: but i often play with a strap while im seated. My strap is adjusted high so the bass hangs almost touching my lap which makes the playing position and feel very similar whether standing or seated. Also i rarely need to look at my fretboard so being able to see the fretboard isnt too significant. In any case, if you want to feel comfortable playing standing, you just need to do it a lot… good old SAID principle :slightly_smiling_face:

Do you have side fret markers? They’re helpful when standing.

I very rarely play standing up, but I do practice with my strap sitting, I feel just a bare minimum of tension because I prop my foot on a stand.

is it a valid concern that the weight of the bass affects your endurance?


Depends …. You can train your body to do much more arduous tasks. Fitness and health etc come into this. The more you practice the more you get used to a thing.

1 Like