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Acoustic set bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BWileyTally, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Sorry, not exactly sure where to post this, it's related to a specific type of bass so I'm assuming this is the correct forum. If not please move and accept my sincere apologies.

    I'm in a band. We're electric and we play rock and roll. As far as bands go you pretty much become friends with other bands while playing out and such. Anyways, long story short. Another local band has asked me to fill in for several dates in the near future and all future dates their regular bassist can't attend their gigs. They are an acoustic band, playing acoustic sets, some with amplification and others without (but power is available). I've committed to it for him as I would really love the opportunity to play out more often and besides, they are paid gigs.... Resulting in my question.....

    Is it a good idea for me to shell out some money for an acoustic bass or should I tote along a small amp along with my electric bass? I didn't ask Frank (the other band leader) as I didn't think of it at the time, and to save some face I'm asking the TB community.

    If purchasing an acoustic is in my best interest what types/brand should I be looking into. I've never thought about acoustic basses before and don't know any pitfalls to look out for etc. Keep in mind that money IS an issue, otherwise I would just go get a new acoustic. Some venue's are supplied with amplification, some I will have to provide and a couple of dive's are acoustic only on the porch (again, there are plugs available). Music to be played is pretty much 80's - today rock as well as originals.
  2. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    I would just tote an amp. Actually, I would just tote a direct box. If you have a fretless with flats that would be the kicker.
  3. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    An acoustic is fine for playing solo but is easily drowned out, even in small settings, by other instruments. I agree with just getting a small amp.
  4. Osprey


    Jun 20, 2005
    First off, the acoustic band heard you playing electric, so probably that's the sound they admired when they asked you to play.

    Second, an acoustic bass guitar won't be audible at all in any other band! That's why an upright bass is so big: to get volume. So you'd end up amplifying the acoustic. Now it's possible that the look of an acoustic really matters for the new band but (see above!) I doubt it.

    Third, with a bit of twiddling on your amp, flat-wound strings and maybe foam muting you can make quite a good thumpy sound on your electric bass.

    Finally, and rather oddly: I'm in a similar position to you..a rocker often playing with a singer-songwriter playing acoustic. I loved the P bass with flats in the rock band, but in the more exposed musical situation with just an acoustic guitar I now use a graphite-necked, J-pickuped bass with round wounds (quite old ones, but round) and find the clarity and beauty of the notes suits that music best.

    So if you need an excuse to buy new equipment go ahead, but my guess is it will just be cosmetic. Good luck!
  5. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Back in the early 90's, I played a bunch of gigs with an acoustic band at open mics and that sort of thing.

    I always used an electric bass. For me, it just sounds cleaner. Less extra noise and feedback issues.

    I agree with the flats and foam idea.
  6. Thanks guys, you've helped make up my mind. I play a P with flats on it already so I'll look into the foam recommendation to experiment a bit with as well.
  7. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    You're all set. A P with flats is the PERFECT bass for acoustic sets.

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