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Backups are worth the effort!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Stilettoprefer, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    At my house party gig last night we were rocking out pretty hard and apparently the bridge on my P bass couldn't take it haha. The intonation screw for the G string fell out, obviously leaving that string unplayable when the saddle fell over.

    Thank heavens I had my a backup bass with me! Unfortunately it had a cup of rum coffee spilled on it, but that'll clean up:p

    Lesson for those gigging without a backup bass! Stuff does happen!
  2. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    What a wuss.....can't finish a gig without a G string?????

    LOL...just kidding. A backup (even a crappy one) can be a life saver. I love my $100 Squier, my "trunk bass". It's almost always in the car, and I don't worry about it. Always does what I ask of it!
  3. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    Yeah, it's nice to own a beater bass that you don't have to worry about. If it falls off the stage, so what, just a little more mojo. I have a 90's Yamaha that plays good and sounds ok. I have been using it as my back up bass.
  4. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Also, regularly give your gear a once-over. You can't make your gear bomb-proof, but you'll catch a lot of little problems that would otherwise be gig-killers.

    For example, your intonation screw was working its way loose for a while, I'd bet. On some basses, the retaining nut on the output jack wants to work loose, or the screws on the strap buttons start to let go, or a slowly oxidizing pup selector switch needs cleaning, and so on.
  5. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Yeah, i'm definitely gonna check that screw more often!

    Don't want this to happen again:

  6. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    Anyone that doesn't bring a backup to a paid gig is crazy IMO.

    I had the EXACT same thing as the OP happen on a gig.... Unfortunately the tension of the spring on the screw launched the screw and I didn't find the screw until a month later. I would have been toast if I didn't have a backup bass. The bass was unplayable.

    BTW.... The screw ended up flyng 5-7 feet into my Ampeg cabinet.
  7. Auguste


    Apr 5, 2012
    I know available budget or lack of an available budget is an over riding factor

    We are somewhat lucky and have spares of almost everything except for the band members :)
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    It's called acting like a pro.

    Spare bass, spare strings, spare instrument and amp cables, tools, tape for cables and emergencies, AC extensions, outlet wiring checker...

    It's all part of acting like you've been there before and know what you're doing.
  9. How many people here always take a backup rig? I have one, but it's just another 150lbs of gear to lug around.
  10. Mike in Chicago

    Mike in Chicago Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    When I was still new to this "class D thing" I had my first one a PF350. Being a dinosaur, with the "preamp gain is for gui****s" mentality...I had the gain way down and was cranking the master until I had the dreaded "cut out issue" a number of times with that amp. Ampeg sent me another one, and I still never pushed the gain...and it was cutting out again. Got another one from them. Then, I was told to jack the gain...did it, and voila! the head doesn't cut out anymore. All the time, I was carrying around a SVT combo as a backup. Now I own a PF500, and I carry around my VT Bass to use as the preamp. Never any problems.

    All these years of playing, and until I found sites like this I never knew there was a difference between speaker cable and instrument cable. All the nice amps I've had, never checked anything like matching ohms or anything.

    Sunn Coliseums, SVTs, V4bs all that stuff, I thought I was always getting the lemons. Nothing ever sounded right. I always was more concerned with my playing. Now I'm sharper.

    I don't know how many years ago...not many we were playing out...starting out with "Highway Star" and we're about a minute into it and BOING! there goes my D string.
    No spares, I never broke a string in my life. This stuff happens. I'm more prepared now.

    So don't let some of these Bass God beatbags around here give you any guano about "not being professional" and all that stuff.

    You've never been around long enough to learn. They used to tell us at work, "the guy who thinks he knows everything is the guy you want to stay farthest away from"
  11. Dem chromez... :ninja:
  12. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I take a PV, XR8600D, two 600 watt, class D PA head along as a back up. If I need a bass amp backup, monitor amp, or even a PA rig, It will do the job. I bought it at a pawn shop, very reasonably priced. It weighs 25lbs (but feels even lighter.) I leave it in the car most gigs, have only needed it once (when some geezer idiot left his bass head at home). My last bass head, a GK1001RB went down one night when I didn't have a backup along for the first time in years. A backup bass and utility head is always along...even for practices.
  13. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Nothing better for a P bass IMO!
  14. tmdazed


    Sep 29, 2012
    I always have backup , don't matter if I am playing a backyard bbq or a hall. I primarily play my Dean zbass, but I will switch out to my GMR 5 about half way through. also keep my Yammaha fretless in the wings just in case, I do use it for 2 songs as well. Got a small sansamp I keep in my gear bag just in case , i keep tools, strings (both bass in my gauge and guitar mediums if one of the twangers break one) i have a set of 4 12ax7 tubes in my gear bag and at least three good cords, along with 2 spare 9 volt adapters for my pedals
  15. I'm all with you on tools and identical backup cables. I need to get a backup bass for sure. I just don't wanna buy a cheapo bass. I want another MM Stingray, and I don't have that kinda spare cash at the moment. I still doubt I will ever cave and take a spare rig unless I get a bigger car.
  16. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I like it. :)
  17. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    I typically take a spare bass but never a spare amp. I always have a backup di, though.
  18. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toledo, OH
    Why not? Grab a SUB on eBay for $250 and use it as a beater. Practice setups; loan it to kids; leave it in the car after a show; stash it at work to practice on breaks. Do things to it that you'd never do to your MM--put stickers on it. Experiment. Use it to demo how superior your MM is to a knockoff. It'll be fun. Cheapo basses are liberating!


  19. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    I agree. I think you could do a complete thread on this subject alone. I am real anal about keeping my Fenders and Gibson basses as close to new as possible. Get's to be a pain. Thats why I also own a beater. In fact I am using it in my avitar photo. No worries.
  20. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I'm not a smart man. I have two basses, but mostly take just one. No backup amp either. Oh, I have others, but they're too heavy. Never had a breakdown in 50 years of paid gigs yet (now you just watch, lol). Crossing my fingers, but I am on the path to getting an additional amp head. I do have a cheap DI in my bag, at least. And I keep my basses up. Playing about five gigs a month these days, regularly. Hope I'm not sorry one night.