Back Pain *sigh*

I hate to even have to write this post but I’m hoping that there maybe other vibe players who could give me some insight on this.

I’m 6’4”... so most of the vibes I play, including my own are to low for me. I tend to bend over the instrument a bit because of this and it has started to catch up to me. I haven’t been able to practice for the last few days due to the severe pain I’ve had. It’s even at the point where I haven’t been able to work. Of course, I’ve gone to the chiropractic but the pain comes and goes. My question for you is how can I raise my instrument without buying a new frame that does raise ($$$)? I’ve heard of putting blocks under my wheels but am lenient of doing so because my wheels don’t lock. Any help is really appreciated! I want to get back behind the instrument and be comfortable. Thank you!

you can get something like dog bowls. some of them when you turn them upside down have a dip in them. understand? the wheels sit in the dips and stay there. i played with a mallet player in germany who was very tall.

also you should talk to allyman. and look up his posts here. he's an expert on exercises and ways to strengthen yourself. he works with musicians and athletes. you could probably do a skype consultation with him. i'll ping him.

you can also make wooden blocks with dips in them so the wheels rest in them and don't move.

hey allyman!

Traveling home from Key West today...I’ll check back in in a bit...thanks!

When I was a student at Berklee in 1978 I remember seeing Ted Wolff (a tall guy!) play vibes with wooden blocks under the legs, exactly as Tony describes. Not sure where he had them made, but they worked well. The pedal will be at a steeper angle, but that is a small price to pay for comfortable playing. Perhaps reach out to Ted and ask him.

The cheapest and easiest way:
Go to the building supplies store and buy 4 sand-lime bricks.

...I can be reached at

Back pain sucks the life out of everything including making music. I'm happy to help if I can.


Coach Al Lyman, CSCS, FRCms /

I really appreciate that! I’ll be reaching out to you shortly.

I appreciate all the help everyone! Just another reason I love this site.

Yes, fabricate some blocks for under the wheels. I've done this many times and many ways. It's not hard. Put a spacer in the pedal mechanism, if you have an m55 style pedal. You'll need a longer bolt and perhaps an extension for the linkage between pedal and damper bar. Get creative!
Cure for back pain is back bends. Sounds counter-intuitive I know. Get a good yoga teacher/studio, and practice yoga every day.
Good luck.

for years, I have been using blocks under the wheels on my older instruments. I am 6"1 or so... I have the crappy ones I made out of 2X4's which some non-skid pads on the bottom and a caster cup nailed to the top.

I also have some REALLY nice ones that a friend of mine who is a woodworker fashioned for me. They aren't cheap because they are custom woodworking, but they really work very well and are beautiful. I'll take a picture or two and create a separate post where you can see those pictures.