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Bass comfort and long gigs

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by redshot, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. redshot


    Nov 8, 2010
    Porto, Portugal
    After 5 years of being a light tech for a band, I've been asked to fill the bass player's position. The ultimate upgrade :p

    My issue: that band's concerts usually last 3.5 to 4 hours without intermission (yes), so I have a decision to make, which bass to choose? The 6 string Yamaha, heavy but amazing sound, or the 5 string Ibanez, light but not-so-good-but-still-okay sound?

    In other words: Would you sacrifice your physical comfort for an amazing sound, specially during those long gigs?
  2. jonnybass1


    Dec 9, 2011
    Brampton, On
    Yes go with the lighter bass because honestly you won't notice the tone difference much at all during the live set.
  3. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    and of course, you might play better if you are feeling confortable. I would prefer to play good with not-so-good tone than play just ok withan amazing tone.
  4. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Long term physical discomfort inevitably leads to injury. Make sure you invest in a quality wide padded strap. A must have for long gigs.
  5. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Don't be a girl. Play the bass and have fun.

    (Sorry, but I just don't get the whole "My bass is too heavy" thing.)
  6. redshot


    Nov 8, 2010
    Porto, Portugal
    I do have a wide one, but not very comfortable after a couple hours playing, so a better one is in order :)

  7. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Well...are n't you the lucky one !!! ?

    I'm sure there are lots of people who wish they could say the same thing. ;)
  8. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    IME it's more about weight distribution and good balance. A neck diver on a too narrow strap becomes uncomfortable very quickly and makes for a long night regardless of actual weight. (with in reason of course)
  9. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Wonder what the female TB'ers will think of this remark !! :rollno:
  10. sowilson


    Jul 5, 2013
    4 hours????? Hit the gym. You're going to need to work on your core, back, and shoulders.
  11. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    Who plays for 3.5-4 hrs non-stop? Dude I'd stay on being the tech, or find another group to play bass. This sounds like torture :)
  12. Find a bass that's comfortable and sounds great. There is no need to settle for one.
  13. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Genzler Amplification/Spector Basses/Mojo Hand FX
    I totally get it...My back "kills" me some nights just doing one hour sets with breaks. I can't imagine doing a 3 1/2 to 4 hour show with no break or chance to sit for a few minutes...

    Believe me...standing up there trying to put on a happy face when you are about to drop to your knees because of excruciating back pain "ain't fun"...
  14. +1 on weight distribution! Make sure whatever bass your using, that the weight is not pulling to the neck side too much.
    Try adjusting how high or low your wearing the bass. This can make a big difference on your back, and on your wrists.
    Don't be a tree! Move around. This will keep the weight from pulling down on the same area all night.
    Have fun! Don't focus on your back all night. If your having a good time grooving with the band, you won't think about the discomfort as much. Kind of mind over matter if you will.
    Sit on a stool if you need to and it's appropriate for the situation.
    Get them to play shorter sets! Four hours on stage is ludicrous! Breaks are a good thing for you AND your audience. How you gonna hit on chicks if your on stage all night? ;)

    My .02ยข,
  15. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Since when do Ibanez instruments not sound good?
  16. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    I agree. If you're in decent shape, hanging a bass off your shoulder for an evening is no big deal. You won't need a special strap, it's easy to haul heavy amps, and you won't be tired at the end of the night.
  17. Bassdirty

    Bassdirty Supporting Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    Not sure which Ibanez, but I had an SR505 that was so light, I almost weighed less while I was holding it. well, you get my point.
    Personally, I find it sooo much nicer having a light bass on a long gig.
  18. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    lightest basses i've played were a vintage gibson grabber, 84 squier jazz, and a vintage vox clubman
    not sure if i have ever played for more than 90 min at a show, but the 83 L2K seem pretty heavy during the last couple of songs and i'm about 6'4" and 190
  19. Mike Lull M5, I bearly know it's on, and killer tone!
  20. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    If you really prefer the Yamaha, try it once and see how it goes. Bring the lighter bass along in case you need to switch.

    Don't let anyone else convince you to do something that causes you physical pain or even injury. For me, if the heavier bass only make you "uncomfortable," then by all means go for the tone. But if it is going to cause neck or shoulder problems that could stick with you, then no tonal difference is worth it.

    Some folks can play basses as heavy as they want and not have issues, which is great for them... but that doesn't mean their advice is good for you. Take that from someone who has had to avoid playing for periods of time due to neck and shoulder problems.

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