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after 26 years of playing bass it finally happened, broke my...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by mr.black, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. mr.black


    Mar 4, 2008
    cherry... NOOOO! A frinkin string!! an "A" string! so embarrassed.

    happened 2 weeks ago and i can finally come clean and confess/talk about it. 26 years playing, tons of gigs/rehearsals/jams and never broke a string playing-(only when i was a 15 yo kid trying to restring/tune LOL!)

    it was to be a chill gig that had a backline so i traveled light 1 bass, tuner, and cables... thats it! big mistake! second song "A" string breaks outta nowhere... the rest of the set is a blur. i dont remember entire songs going by as i struggled to down tune that "D" that just ended up flopping and buzzing or as i tried to pull off riffs all on the "E". UGH!!!

    it was all totally my fault too, the strings were def beat and old. i should have changed them. now mind you i currently have around 18 BASSES, and didnt bring a backup... or even an extra string!!!

    A LESSON TO ALL. Do what ever it takes to be prepared for even the impossible during a gig. i learned to never take an easy situation for granted.

    rant over, peace my low end brotha's!
  2. Pretty sure I'm not alone in saying this is my worst nightmare. I virtually never take a backup bass to gigs (i.e. one not needed for a separate style), and I'd be just as screwed.

    Usually my worst fear is dropping the bass because of loose strap pins, so I make sure those are good and snug on the day.

    If I may ask, did your style play a factor? I rarely put that much pressure on mine.
  3. only string I've ever broke was my B string.
  4. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    For me 1 bass = none, 2 = 1.
    Having broken strings many times at shows (especially A's and E's) I'd never make the audience sit thru me changing a string, an extra bass always comes along.
    Just my own preference tho ;)
  5. mr.black


    Mar 4, 2008
    Nah, I dig in hard but def just a case of a far over due string, core wire snapped at the saddle. just bad luck as far as timing.
  6. I've never broken a string either, but from now on I'll carry a spare 'A' string for sure......

  7. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    How old do you guess that it was?
  8. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    we don't need no stinkin' A string! :bag:
  9. nashman


    Feb 11, 2011
    IMHO you should not be embarassed for breaking a string - it could happen to anyone at anytime. You might feel that way for not having a backup bass/solution however. We all learn by our experiences - good and bad. You might also consider any other single points of failure - e.g. amp/DI backup, spare batteries (for an active bass) etc..
  10. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    I have been playing for 48 years and have always kept a set of new strings in my case.
    I have never broken one, but I stay prepared.
    Probably, now that I've said this, I will break one tonight!
  11. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    I don't change strings very often, but when I do, I put the old set in the packaging the new set came out of, and put them in the case.
  12. :)
  13. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    4 strings broken in 50+ yrs. 1 A & 3 G strings

    ... the worst was breaking the A and the G one literally right after the other! Hopelessly out of tune! No spares or backup (I was 16)... A kid in the crowd has his bass in the trunk of his car as he had just come from band rehearsal - he ran to get it and let me use it the rest of the night. (and I no longer use picks)

    A G broke on the last song of the night and the core whipped up and cut me to the bone... ER scramble, 9 stitches and nerve damage on my left pinky.

    The last was while tensioning a new G String - wire wrapping around the ball end failed.

    I've learned, and have kept a set of rounds and flats in my main gig accessory bag for the last 30+ yrs.
  14. happens to me once in a while....about once a year, at a gig, but I can whip out a string change and tell a joke at the same time, takes about 3 - 5 min tops. Just gotta go with it and be ready like it happens all the time.
    My ghetto self rarely brings a backup.....festivals and high $$ gigs, yes, always, but regular stuff, nah.
  15. I had an E string break at the start of a set many years ago. Up until that time, I had never changed my strings. This was back in 1967. I just stood there trying to figure out what had happened. As luck would have it, one of the bands we were playing with had a spare. Lesson learned, started carrying an extra set. Now I carry a extra bass and yes, I change the strings once in a while. (I use flats so not as often as I should.)
  16. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    Exactly what I do.
    But I'll even write a date on them so I know when the last time my strings were changed. By keeping the already fit and tuning-peg-bent strings with you - if anything ever goes south, switching strings is a quick deal.

    I had an E string randomly unwind at the bridge on me last year during a set. The band played through the remainder of the song and I was up and running with a new string by the next song. Obviously a back up bass would've been more ideal (and I could've recovered quicker), but if you lack extra gear space, keeping a spare set or two that have already been fitted works out well enough.
  17. I have only broke a string once when i was a teenager. It was the A string if I remember correctly. But I was using a pick at the time (wow that was a long time ago now that I think about it) I have not broke any since I started playing with my fingers.
    Do people break more strings while using a pick than fingers? I suppose chopping away with a pick on a old set of strings it would be easier to break one, but I am asking for your experiences. Just curious.
  18. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    40+ yrs of playing
    zero string breaks, even with old strings
    but I usually take two basses anyway and keep the 2nd on the stand by my amp.
    Mooradian double gig bag makes packing two basses a breeze.
    easy to change basses on the fly...not so easy to change a string as quickly.
  19. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    I have some text files on a computer where I record information for each instrument I own. I record the strings history, and may include some notes of my opinion of them. One reason I do this is because there are so many different strings out there, I can refer back to the record and see what I used, and if I liked them. Otherwise, it's hard to keep track of what I thought about various strings used on various instruments.

    (Off topic: P-oddz. I bought my Fender Am Dlx P, and J from your fellow band member when he was at Casio Interstate. Now, I see he is at Cream City.)
  20. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia

    I like my strings to be pretty zingy all the time, and when they lose enough zing, I change 'em, but the old ones go in the case unless I have a fresh spare set.

    I used to play pretty hard, so a broken A string happened about every other month.
    You learn fast how to play around the broken string and to bring a backup bass so the down time is minimized (only our singer didn't usually notice I had broken a string for 2 or 3 songs).

    I haven't broken a string at a gig for a long time, but I still bring a backup to a full night show.
    If it's only one set, I'll take the chance and only bring one bass.

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