Practice bass/gig bass
Anyone out there practice with one bass because it makes gigging another bass easier?
I've been gigging nothing but an '86 Ricky 4003 for the last year and a half. It's by far the easiest-to-play bass I've ever picked up. It plays way better than the 4001 I had been playing for the previous 12 years. Recently, I picked up a Squier VM Precision in Amber and it's become my at home practice bass while the Ricky has remained the gig bass.
What I've found is that the slightly more narrow (front-to-back) and the slightly wider string spacing of the P has made the Ricky's neck more easy and comfy than ever to play on gigs. I love this because I'm always looking for ways to make physically and mentally playing the bass easier so I have more brain cells left over for interacting with my band-mates for improvised tangents and for interacting with the audience, mid-song at shows.
Anyone else out there practicing with and gigging separate basses for the sake of making the gigs easier?
I don't quite see how practicing on a different bass would make playing another bass easier - other than that practicing in general is good regardless of which bass you play. I would rather think that practicing on the same bass that you play at gigs would develop the right muscle memory for that bass. But if it works for you, great.
I guess there is some similar thinking for instance in sports; use a heavier ball while training to make the competition ball feel lighter and easier to throw, that kind of thing. I think it may help with building strength, and have a psychological effect, but on the other hand it may hurt your technique and timing when switching to your competition/gigging tool.
The analogy you bring up is exactly what I'm talking about. The proportions of the P neck seem to be forcing me into using a more proper technique to play more precisely. After spending a few days at a time with that bass, the gig bass feels like it takes much less effort to employ the sublte things I've picked up on using the harder-to-play practice bass.
I guess there's a good chance it's all in my head but man, the gigs these last few weeks feel like such a breeze after spending all my practice time on a slightly less comfortable bass.
I use the same bass.
1. Because itīs my only bass right now
2. I think itīs better to practice on the same bass you gig.
I have different basses for practice at home vs band rehearsals and gigs.
The main reason is that my main bass (gig/band rehearsal) sits comfy in its case at home while the other (home/gig backup) is all ready to go. But I also do it this way to get less wear on my favourite bass and to become more versatile as a bassist. Since my main bass is also my best bass, playing it with the band feels easier compared to home practice on the backup, but the difference is not that huge.
Sports teams break games down into many individual skills. Seems like using the P gets you to focus more on technique.
I don't know...Jaco said he liked to practice on a Jazz with a fatter Precision neck instead of his main fretless bass with the skinny Jazz neck because it made him feel like he could fly on his main bass. I've done it...I sort of think it works, but I wouldn't spend all my time practicing on the tougher bass, as switching to a bass you're not used to during a gig can sometimes lead to making mistakes from overshooting your mark.
Pretty cool that you found something that works for you man. Just shows it's good to try different things. I'll keep that in mind.
I practice quite a bit on my 8-string bass: triads, scales, etc
As well as running through whatever my current set list is and learning new songs.
I find that it has strengthened my fretting hand quite a bit, as well as forced me to
be much more precise when picking (both fingers and with a pick) as as not to get string rattle and bad notes.
When I then switch to my regular 4-string bass for gigging, I feel like I am a monster. Strong, fast, accurate and can play it for much longer.
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