Carry a backup bass, or not??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tonynoriega, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. tonynoriega

    tonynoriega Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    As I pack for tonight's gig in Clearwater, the thought occured to me that if my bass (I play a vintage '66 Jazz) had a problem and stopped working, the trip back to Tampa for a backup is about 25 miles!! Here's my question: do any - or many - of you guys take a second bass for the reason I've brought up? It's 80 degrees here now and I don't like the idea of keeping a bass in the car - not to mention the threat of theft.

    Tony Noriega, Tampa
  2. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    Nope, the only thing I'd ever worry about is strings and I still haven't broke one. Or maybe a battery if I had active electronics.
  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I always bring a backup. Its like the American Express card.... never leave home without it! :D
  4. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    I tend to bring a backup, or maybe had gigs where I switched anyways, from a 4 to 5 etc.

    Every time I've broken a string onstage, there was no backup. From now on both the fretted and fretless cirrus is coming with me. I can finish the set on fretless if need be :)
  5. pointbass

    pointbass Semi-Retired Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I always have both a fretted and fretless with me, and either one can do the whole gig, if necessary ........ Both stay on stage, so theft/heat, not an issue :)
  6. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    I always carry two basses, because I never carry extra strings! I've never broken a string on stage and never had a bass die on stage, but take no chances. Like silky said, "American Express card".

    Usually, they are very different in tone so I can have a choice of sounds to use that night. And usually one is modern-ish and one is more traditional. Like a Cirrus 5 and a P5 or a Jazz 5 and a SR5.

    If I carry a third bass, it's almost certain to be my EUB.

    Most everything I do is at least one hour from anywhere, and often two. Hard to fly to the house and pick up a spare and then make it back for the downbeat!

  7. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
  8. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    i always bring a back up. if you dont, its just asking for it. i set up my stuff, my back up usually stays right on a stand behind my rig for easy access incase i break a string mid song.
  9. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Yes. I bring two. Always.

    I just don't COMPLETELY trust them little-bitty solder joints inside the control cavity, y'know? :cool:
  10. prockenklang


    May 22, 2003
    I always take two and sometimes three!!
  11. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I always take a back up. I've never had a bass fail, but just imagine how bad the situation would be if it did.
  12. Roundwound


    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Murphy's Law will apply. Although it took 20 years, I had a bass finally break down on stage during the first performance in the band I'm in now. Thank goodness I had a back-up because I was able to switch in the middle of the song. We have 3 guitarists in the band and they all bring back-ups, too.

    Any available back-up bass sounds much better than no bass. Although the risk of a bass breaking a string or electronics frying out is small, there's a lot on the line when things go wrong.
  13. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    I usually bring from three to seven basses to any gig. The Warwick Rack Stand keeps them all organized. If one fails, I have two to six others to choose from. Also, if the bass I have on clashes with my shirt or shoes, I have other choices... ;) ...
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I always take a backup to a gig. Always!

    In nearly 30 years of gigging I have only *needed* a backup less than a dozen times. But even when I don't need it, I enjoy the peace of mind.

    The most common failure was a broken string, but here are the most critical ones I've had:
    1) Broken nut that caused the E string to flop off the side of the neck
    2) Onboard preamp that began making a nasty loud crackling noise

    But even in the case of a field-repairable problem: is it fair to make your entire band take a break just so you can replace a broken string? Not IMO. Nor would I want to "man up" and finish the rest of the set with a flat tire (so to speak). It's much more professional to exchange basses between songs, or during a song if necessary.

    Again, I'm talking about gigging.
  15. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    This man is a consummate professional! :p
  16. I always take 2 basses and a spare DI. you never know!!!!!
  17. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    I usually don't bring a back up. I used to, but, at some point I stopped. I do , however, take a rather extensive " field service tool kit" with me. With it, I can fix just about any problem short of a broken neck.
  18. uglycicles

    uglycicles Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Southwest Chicago
    One of the best things I ever bought was an Incase Dub Bag.
    Always have two basses with me, always on stage, and everything is in one case.

    I also switch from 4s to 5s and back depending on the band and the set.
  19. I carry the ashbory bass in my car as a back up. Get a backup, even if a cheapo. See generally, essex thread. But the ashbory is nice to keep in your car. Does not have a truss rod. My A string broke during a gig so I had to play the little thing for the rest of the night.This was taken from a back yard party gig at Treasure Island. I also like to grab it and sit in with the tiki bar acts.
  20. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Don't people look at you strange when you put on the Ashbory, thinking it's a toy or a gimmick? The looks on their faces when you hit the first couple notes is PRICELESS!!!