Volume 14, January 2022
Musculoskeletal symptoms of double bassists: a literature synthesis

by Frances Levenderis and Bridget Rennie-Salonen

Abstract: The most frequently occurring performance-related health problems in musicians are musculoskeletal. Research on the performance-related health aspects of double bass playing, particularly musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS), is limited. Therefore, this literature synthesis aims to consolidate the existing research on the MSS experienced by double bassists. This article examines how the double bass has been represented in the musicians' health literature; explores the literature on double bass players' performance health; and investigates double bass pedagogical literature containing health-related information. Recent studies on double bassists' MSS provide a good foundation for further research. A promising amount of valuable health-related information can also be gleaned from non-academic sources such as double bass educational books. Double bassists experience MSS in the back, neck, and upper extremities, including shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, and fingers. However, the exact prevalence and risk factors of these MSS cannot yet be conclusively determined due to the small number of studies focussing on the double bass, the small numbers of double bass participants in research on string players' MSS, and the grouping of the double bass together with other instruments in these studies. Further research ascertaining the types, frequency, severity, and risk factors of double bassists' MSS, is necessary for the prevention and rehabilitation of double bassists' performance health problems, for enhancing performance, and for optimising pedagogy.

Keywords: Double bass; double bass pedagogy; musculoskeletal symptoms; musicians' health

1. Introduction

2. Background

3. Literature on musculoskeletal symptoms in string players

4. Literature on double bass players' performance health

5. Literature and resources on double bass pedagogy

6. Discussion

7. Conclusion



About the Authors