Gearing up for live shows
I am a bassist in my mid 30's. I played in a band back in college, but it was just a basement band, and since then I have just been a bedroom player. I have recently began jamming with other players recently and am possibly hooking up with a guy putting together a band to do live shows and cut an album. This guy already cut an album almost totally on his own that is pretty good.
So I have never really played live other than some open mic nights, and it will take a while before the band comes together at a performance level. But I want to be prepared, and want to know what, if anything, I am missing that is crucial/recommended/desired for a gigging bassist. Here is what I have at my disposal:
Basses - I have two basses in my stable right now, Fender Jazz with active pickups and a P-Bass I put together. I will be adding a third in the next 6 months as my SGD Lutherie powered Fenderbird comes together.
Amps - I have a Bassman 135 and 215 cabinet I love the sound of, and it can get pretty loud. If that can't hack it, I sold my BG250 to the guy I would be playing with, and I could combine it with my Ashdown 515 for a makeshift 350w 215 stack. The Bassman also has a 1/4" line out to go to a PA.
Other - I have a headstock tuner, cables, cases for the guitars, I have an old passive direct box, and an old AB Switch Pedal.
Thanks for your help.
I would recommend a pedal tuner, my headstock tuner can get a little crazy with all the vibrations at a live show especially when on a portable stage
DI box would've been my answer, but you seem to have that covered.
Spare cables, a XLR cable or two...
If the Bassman only has a 1/4" line out, use that to connect to your passive DI box, then XLR to the PA. Be careful though, because the line out is most likely dependant on the master volume.
If you don't have super loud stage volume, the Bassman will most likely be sufficient. If you have PA support, don't worry about it.
I think you're good. If you take two basses (as you should), you can skip the extra strings.
put together a gear bag.
a couple of extra 1/4 inch instrument cables.
Black extension cord (at least 25 feet)
Black Power strip (black because it blends\hides better on stage than those garish Orange ones).
Definitely a pedal tuner. (Boss TU-2,TU-3, Korg Pitch Black)
extra batteries (9 volt and \or AAs)
Are you gonna sing at all or talk to audience?
microphone + Stand + XLR cable.
Also since you're bringing 2 basses. Get a 2 instrument stand\tree. that way you can do a quick change if needed.
And before the show, during breaks and afterwards your bass isn't just leaning against the amp waiting to fall over.
Extra instrument/mic cables
Mic/cable stand if needed/extra mic clip
Extra mic stand
Back up mic
AC extension cord
Extra power cables for amp if it uses removable type power cable
Extra speaker cables
Back up bass head/amp or DI option if amp fails.
Gig bag/case or 2. I like a snare case/bag for cables.
Short mic stand/mic for cab
Extra guitar strap
Guitar polish cloth
Fast fret string cleaner (personal pref)
Gerber or Leatherman multi tool
My gigbag is a simple, cheap backpack I got at some conference I attended.
It contains everything I need to play a small to medium club gig (or similar) except a bass, a speaker cabinet, and any pedals I can't do without.
It weighs 14.5 pounds as a result of the weight reduction kick I have been on recently. Mind you, this includes the amp head.
Here is what is inside:
Now that write this, there might even be a couple things here I can still do without - I am constantly trying to reduce to the necessary.
I also keep a spare set of strings in each bass case, and I usually cram a stand into some pocket on the bass case as well.
I've found a good rule of thumb is: take an extra everything if possible.
Make sure you have a box of tissues.
You are going to be crying at the end of the show because you had so much fun and are wondering why you didn't start this 10 years earlier... ;)
2 xtra speaker cables
2 xtra inst. cables
xtra patch cables
spare set of strings
VTBass or other dirt/pre
GK 1x15 Neo
I carry most/all of what's been mentioned to gigs, but I wouldn't be anywhere without a cheap pair of reading glasses if it came to changing strings/doing small setup changes. Of course I'm old, but hey...
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