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Amtrak and Bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Sean Riddle, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. I’m currently planning a trip down to San Diego in December and I’m going to be bringing my bass along. Right now I’m planning on taking Amtrak (from either Ventura or Santa Clarita) and I’m wondering if anyone has some experience with traveling with a bass on Amtrak?
  2. none personally with a bass, but I did take Amtrack to Michigan a long time ago. The car I was in had 5 people in it. One person had an acoustic guitar and played for a few hours while the rest of us slept and read. It was a very relaxing trip. The guy could play and everyone enjoyed his music. I would think you could keep you bass with you in the car if its not busy. If there's is a lot of room, you may be able to play into a headphone amp to kill some time.
  3. @corndog Why the hell would Jazzcat_13 need a headphone amp?

    Are Amtrack trains that noisy?
  4. I’m not bringing an electric, I’m bringing a Double Bass
  5. yowzer, am on two hours sleeps and wandered over into the neighbors yard by accident. Thought I was in the bass guitar forum!

    Still wouldn't have been a problem on my particular trip, lots of room for everything.

    Good luck.
  6. :laugh:

    We've all hopped the fence at one time or 'nother, @corndog, rest easy.

    Not Amtrack, but I've had my bass on trains, ferries and all kinds of automobiles, my only advice is guard the bridge like Cerberus and do NOT accept the help of strangers — they think they're being helpful :rollno:, but they're not (just one ex: grabbing the end pin as I was stepping off the bus and then as soon as they were on the tarmac letting go as I'm halfway between bus and tarmac — no way to fight gravity :rage: ).

    My question stands, are Amtrack trains noisy? Been on numerous trains here and there, but only briefly on Amtrack (I think) between Menlo Park and San Fran nearly 2 decades ago.
  7. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    Guard the bridge and see if you can get an off peak time to travel. The trains can be noisy and no matter what, the chance of someone hitting the bridge are multiplied the more folks are on the train. An upright is a delicate piece of equipment...
    John Chambliss likes this.
  8. I'd check rental car prices against that train ticket, also. Amtrak is not cheap and it is slow! I took it from Oakland to Seattle once for a solo concert. It took 26hrs. I flew to Austria the next week and got to my destination (which in included a train ride through the alps) 4 hours sooner!
    Taking the bass was no big deal, though.
    jazzcat_13 likes this.
  9. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Damon has a good point about renting a car; I find I can get cars for half off bidding on Priceline. I haven't taken my bass on Amtrak but have taken the train between LA and SD with my bike and that wasn't an issue. They have a special car setup to allow you to stow your bike. Checking their website, it looks like they'd consider your bass oversize and would require that you check it, and may charge additional fees. Give them a call or chat with them on their website.
    jazzcat_13 likes this.
  10. Right now being 21, renting a car is not an option sadly. I just checked there website and their supposed policy with “oversized” musical instruments is that you have to buy an extra seat for it. Since I’m a student, I would be paying $68 for the round trip. If I took my car, it might turn out to be the same cost wise, but my car gave me some trouble this summer so I’m a bit leery of taking it on a long drive like that. @damonsmith did you find a way to sit/stand your bass on a seat or did you lay it down in the isle way?
  11. Actually, I brought bungee cords with me and bungee corded it behind my seat. I sat in the last row or something.
    $68 is not bad. Driving is still probably better, it is only 2 hours, right? I'd get an oil change and just drive. I would also get a lesson from Turetzky and lesson from Dresser!
  12. We’ll see how it plays out. I have a good friend from high school who lives there now and it looks like I’ll be staying with him, so luckily costs will be cut. And that is exactly the reason I’m going down! I’m going to have a lesson with Dresser (not Turetzky yet).
    damonsmith likes this.
  13. Lessons with Dresser are the best. He is so inspiring and he has figured so much out, like Bert before him.
    jazzcat_13 likes this.
  14. I’ve been putting if off for too long. Two of my CalArts bass friends who have taken lessons with him finally convinced me this summer, so I asked him after I went and saw his septet this Sunday (which was easily one of the most inspiring concerts I’ve witnessed). Definitely looking forward to it!
    damonsmith and John Chambliss like this.

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