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Backup basses at gigs

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by submelodic, May 2, 2002.

  1. submelodic


    Feb 7, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Is it common practice to bring a backup bass to club gigs? I don't mean for those players who switch instruments for different sounds, just an extra in case of a broken string (or worse). I've personally never broken a string at a critical time, but I'd hate to change strings mid-set.:eek:
  2. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I was looking for a back-up, but ended up getting a fretless. It is a back-up in a way though. I can play all of our songs on either. Long enough to get through the set and change a broken string.
  3. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I make it a regular habit. It paid off last gig.
  4. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I used to take a backup bass to gigs, but haven't for years. I've never broken a string (in 26 years of playing), and never had a problem with a bass during a gig. I do still take extra strings, but have never needed them.
  5. Although I used to break strings all the time, for some reason I haven't broken one in about 3-4 years. I do bring two basses to every gig, like Zulu Funk, a fretted and a fretless. So if a string actually did break I would have a back up that I can use. Normally I only bring the fretless to practice since that's the bass that I need the most work on.
  6. Just bring the strings -

    I saw John Patitucci play about a month, maybe 2 ago, and he was crankin' out this solo, and DAM! It sounded like someone shot him! Sure enough he broke a string and kept going. He managed to change it in no time between songs. Actually he ripped the broken one out of the headstock while playing cus it was floppin' all over the place.

    Thats the kinda stuff I like to see pro's handle - shows how professional these guys really are.

    Later -
  7. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    i don't like to have more than one bass out of its case at a time when i'm gigging...

    that being said... i can change a string in less time than it takes to put one bass away, get another one out of its case, change straps, plug in, make sure i'm in tune, and go.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree - I take spare strings, spare batteries etc. But there's no way I'm taking a spare bass - if you're that worried, how about a spare amp and rig as well!! ? And then maybe a spare car in case that one breaks down....etc etc ;)
  9. surly u would have a suport band/ headlining band you could borrow one of if worst comes to worst
  10. I always bring a backup bass. It's already tuned, has its own strap and sits in a stand next to my amp. All I have to do is stomp on the mute switch, swap basses and continue. I can do it in about ten seconds.

    There's never been a technical reason I needed to swap basses - I think it's a comfort thing for me.
  11. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Nope. I have two basses, each a different tuning, (and they stay that way to preserve the strings.) However, if one bass should go on the fritz, each bass is interchangeable as far as tunings, thanks to my BEAD 4 string.
  12. Hey Keith, that's kinda funny about John Pattitucci. I saw him at Yoshi's in Oakland not too long ago, and the same exact thing happened! broken C string, yanked it off... ha
  13. Well, I'd like to able to act all foppish, and say "Yes, I have four back-up Electric Bass Guitars"...but the simple fact is, I own only ONE functional bass, and I don't gig. Yes, rather lame, eh? But that's the life of a youngin' on the rise. I have a feeling, though, when I do start gigging, I owuldn't bring another bass strictly as a back-up. Maybe for different sounds, or songs, but that's it. As someone stated above, you can always steal a bass from another band if you have to...assuming there are other bands.

  14. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    In seven-plus years, I have only had a backup with me for three or four gigs (it was actually my drop-D bass). I have never had a problem at a gig, but there are a few times when I've made myself nervous thinking about a string breaking and what I could/would do about it.
  15. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    We very, very rarely have another band playing with us. We play mainly clubs gigs, and they only have one band a night, 3 one hour sets. Still, I don't take a backup.
  16. I haven't gigged seriously in years, but my personal preference is not bringing a backup. To me, it's just one more thing to worry about getting broken or stolen, and the less stuff you bring, the less you have to drag back and forth to the car.
  17. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I always take two basses to a gig. Usually one fretted and one fretless, but now that we've given up on girl singers, it'll be two fretted.
  18. I always have 2 basses at each gig. I rarely break strings and haven't broken one in years but one night about 10 years ago I broke 2 in the same set at the same gig! I'm older and wiser now but i still bring my Reverend Rumblefish and my MIJ fretless Jazz Bass to every gig. I play both so they are tuned and each has a strap and the one that ain't strapped on is sitting in a stand waiting.
  19. Munjibunga said...

    I always take two basses to a gig. Usually one fretted and one fretless, but now that we've given up on girl singers, it'll be two fretted.


    [reads again]

  20. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    LOL! Hot Damn, I've been in THERE!

    I've been gigging for 25 yrs now, and I always take a spare...and have never once had to use it. I can't bring myself to go without one, though. Hell, I even feel funny going to rehearsal with one bass.

    Unless it's an upright gig, that is....

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