What’s the big deal with neck dive?

So I have a Jazz Bass that I’ve been using since day one, and it doesn’t neck dive when I play it standing up, so no problem.

I recently gave in to GAS and got a beautiful Les Paul Bass made in Korea in the 90s. Now due to the design of it, and the fact that it doesn’t have a top horn for the front strap, it is very neck heavy. I knew there would be a neck dive issue when I bought it, but figured I’d see how it goes and adapt accordingly.

I stuck a regular guitar strap on it and started playing standing up. If I take both hands off the bass then it slowly rotates from the neck being slightly above horizontal to being slightly below horizontal. That’s the neck dive I guess. The Les Paul Bass is about the same weight as the Jazz Bass but it’s far more unbalanced, for sure.

What I don’t understand is the issue that people seem to talk about? Because if I have my left hand holding the neck, it won’t go down. I get that that may be an issue over a long period of time. But it didn’t seem to be an issue over a couple of hours practice.

But more than that; my right hand inner forearm is always resting on the top of the bass body so that my right hand is in the strumming position, and my arm naturally acts as a counterweight to the neck. So long as my right arm is on the body then it’s impossible for the bass to dive.

The only time it can happen is if I remove both arms, and that seems like an unlikely scenario when I’m playing it.

So either I’m missing something here, or neck dive doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal if you have either hand on the bass? And regardless of what my left hand is doing, my right arm is always resting on it.


I’m glad its not a big issue with your bass. I used to have an Explorer and a Thunderbird and they both had major neck dive. I loved both of them anyway. But if you let go of them the headstock would almost hit the ground.


Oh yeah, if I let go of it the neck will definitely rotate downward. But if I keep my right forearm on the body then it can’t. And that seems like a natural position to rest it on (unless I need to stretch my arm or shake out my hand, but again then the left hand can just take up the slack).

I guess I was expecting something much worse, or more dramatic. But it just seems fairly easy to deal with, without actually doing very much.


It’s something that bothers some and not others.
It’s yet another feature or “flaw” for folks to discuss ad nauseam. Like tonewood and fine Corinthian leather.


It irritates the hell out of me :rofl:

Like, it’s not a dealbreaker for an instrument, but more like “why put up with this annoyance when it is easy to fix?”

Luckily it is easy to fix for many instruments. All it took for me was a tuner change.


From what I heard all you guys from Galway are pretty ripped, so a little bit of neck dive isn’t an issue.

Weedy little taffs like myself, just don’t have the arm strength to deal with a heavy headstock. But my other arm is huge with all my alternate plucking I’ve been doing for the past few years. Fact.

If it doesn’t bother you, fabulous. Keep on trucking.



Definitely. One of my favorite basses (and one of the two I have kept) had pretty serious neck dive stock. It’s not a reason to give up on an instrument.

It may be a reason to mod it though :slight_smile:


It also doesn’t sound like a serious case of neck dive. I tried to like a telebass very badly, but if you weren’t holding the neck up it was diving, and not slowly. It wanted to hit my ankles badly.

You would think that a bass without a horn would have a neck dive issue, not always the case. I have had several Streams which are whales without a horn, and none of them had a lick of neck dive. You can balance the bass without a horn. I also have a bass with a Destroyer body - it doesn’t dive either.

Speaking of balance, they make non conductive weights for car wheels which you can add to your control cavity to balance the bass and control dive. I almost tried it, but returned the bass.


Swapping the tuning machines is easy and makes the bass lighter. :+1:


That too, but in the case of my tele bass, not sure that would have been enough. It was like bam! floor


I imagine it’s not a big deal sitting in your house going through BassBuzz and the like. I imagine it’s a much bigger deal for a touring musician who has to deal with it night after night, song after song.



I mean I specifically said I was standing, not sitting. And I also specifically mentioned it might be more of an issue for longer sessions (longest being 2 hours so far).

But also; a lot of posts both here and elsewhere, about the issue of neck dives, are made by people that are presumably not actually touring musicians dealing with it night after night, song after song…


Neck dives are a non issue to most people till it isn’t, lol.

If it have one bass and the neck dive is killing me then I’d do something about it by either change the tuners or add a counterweight at the body. That said, I’m more into the whole look and feel of the instruments than their quirks. If I have a gig that I would have to be on stage for a long time then I’d bring a bass that wouldn’t give me any attitude, lol.

When I’m invited to play nowadays it’s different, I just bring whatever basses I want to show off I don’t really care how unbalanced it it as long as it looks and sounds the part.


The only thing I know for certain @simonpwood to any question about bass after 2 1/2 years of playing is:

Q. Insert question
A. Depends

The wonderful thing about this for me is it’s all subjective. I love my Fender Jazz bass with flat strings and play it through a multi effects unit (Line 6 HX Stomp).

Some people on here will absolutely hate that set up. They’d rather have their hand slammed in a car door than choose that rig. None of us is right and that’s a wonderful thing.

I hope you’re having as much fun as me. Bass kicks ass. :metal::metal::metal:




I think we could revisit Coke/Pepsi


Answer is still Dr. Pepper



Tea obviously


How to fix your top heavy bass or guitar (no mods) - YouTube :wink:

And no one has mentioned a Hofner yet?

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