Preventing Physical Strain and Sustaining one’s Health when playing the Double bass.
I have to write a disclaimer because I am not a medical doctor and these are only some observations I have made during my long career as a double bassist.
When I was at the height of my career I was very busy, and keeping my health was a necessity since if I did not work I was not paid. I can remember only three occasions in over 60 years when I had to give up a date for health reasons.
Of course, genes have a lot to do with it. I was as strong as a horse, but I ate right, exercised and slept well, but playing the bass does give rise to some physical problems.
Many bassists I knew developed a “widow’s hump” from sitting all day long hunched over a bass. It is most important to get your playing position right. The Alexander Technique can help you with this. You can help yourself by seeing to it that the stool you sit on is adjusted properly. One plague of bass players is varicose veins which you can help to avoid by slicing off the edge of your stool so that it doesn’t press into your inner thigh cutting off the circulation. Of course, sitting all day like a stork with one leg up and the other down doesn’t help.
Recently I realised that my body was out of alignement due to playing the bass for so long and I decided to consult a Rolfing practiioner. After only one session I found it to be of great benefit. You can Google it to find out all about it.