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Could this work ok as a super cheap back-up bass? Is a back-up essential if gigging?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by KristinD, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Biggest danger is you might end up liking the backup bass better than your #1. Ibanez very well arranged ergonomically, and eminently upgradable. Beware. :D
  2. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    For $50, as long as the neck is decent, no string buzz, no electrical humm, it stays in tune, and what ever pick ups are in there work, it’s a deal. I would however subject it to a thorough debugging session be for taking it to a gig.
  3. JesterJoker010


    Nov 4, 2018
    A backup bass is a good thing to have in your backhand in case something goes wrong when gigging, but it is nowhere necessary.
    Back when I gigged I only had 1 bass with me.
    Luckily nothing ever did go wrong, not even a broken string.
  4. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    It's called "having a set of strings on hand". I think unless you get the call to back up Sir Paul while he does "Yesterday", everyone at Bob's Corner Bar and Grill can probably hang on 3-5 minutes while you change a string. Not that big a deal on 90% of gigs, and breaking a bass string is already incredibly rare.

    Remind me to never let you anywhere near any of my instruments. Honestly that just sounds like instrument abuse on your part, or the stuff was already beat down. If your gear is in great condition to start with though, it PROBABLY won't give up the ghost out of nowhere.

    Nice strawman.

    Anyway, the idea of a $75 broken pawn shop bass as a "backup" because "something could happen!" seems absolutely ridiculous to me. The whole point of a backup would be to have something super reliable albeit maybe not as sexy as your main bass. Something that starts already broken and you have to nurse back to health seems like a weird choice for that role. So maybe fine as a "second" bass, but not the best choice as a "backup bass", although presumably better than nothing.
    Son of Wobble likes this.
  5. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    Ultimately, my sound is in my hands. So I never fail to throw a spare in my ditty bag.

  6. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    It’s not a strawman.
  7. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    Just because you say that doesn't make it true. Literally everyone is going to die at some point. A mishap that takes a bass entirely out of commission MIGHT happen at any given gig. Maybe. But probably not. Even the things you can fix in a few minutes with strings, batteries, and basic tools are pretty rare.

    I mean, there's certainly nothing wrong with having an extra bass with you if you want. But it's really about risk analysis. And the risk for most people does not realistically add up to NEEDING a backup bass for most gigs.
  8. drummer5359

    drummer5359 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Pittsburgh PA USA
    I currently have eleven basses, I generally take a backup. Honestly, it's more for fun. I'll play one bass on sets one and three and a different one on set two. When I gig as a drummer most of the bassists that I work with only bring one bass.
  9. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    I didn’t create the definition of a straw man argument. I simply pointed out that my comment isn’t one.
  10. Omega Monkey

    Omega Monkey

    Mar 8, 2015
    You definitely didn't create it, you don't even seem to know what it means. You're arguing against a position that no one has taken to make your own position seem stronger.
  11. Wow. You really know me, don't you? Stuff happened over the last 40 years with gigs in the thousands. You shouldn't be so quick to judge.

    You are welcome to your opinion, but if you've ever had to make panic phone calls to your bass buddies trying to find someone to borrow a bass from in order to save a gig, simply because the wire in you're battery box let go you'll never know. Perhaps while your at it, you could explain how a broken solder joint constitutes "instrument abuse"?
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  12. js1


    Oct 1, 2006
    I take a backup amp and bass to most gigs for my band. On one of the few gigs that I didn't, I pulled my bass out of its gig bag only to find that the G string tuning key had snapped right off (??!!???). I have zero idea how it could have happened, but there you go.

    Played set one on a 3 string. My backup bass was delivered to me for the start of the second set.

    My class D backup bass amp has been pressed into use as a power amp when an amp failed on the house PA (aux in). I also will throw in one of the mini Mackie mixers, just in case.

    The show must go on, and all that.

    On gigs where I'm filling in, I'll chance it a bit more.
    KristinD likes this.
  13. grrg63


    Dec 14, 2005
    Ive been playing out since 1987 and only one time could I have used a back up due to a string breaking. Fortunately I was friends with one of the bass players in one of the other bands and he instantly offered his bass, a Les Paul, sort of a rare bird,which was the first & last time I ever used an LP. Not that I wasnt grateful to him.
    So, no, I dont bring a back up.

    Dont boil your strings, it weakens them and leaves them susceptible to breakage.
  14. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    I played a lot of gigs with an Ibanez SR305. I did find that maybe once a year, i have to adjust pickup screws that had loosened. Had a jack go bad, that kindahappens over time. Just be vigilent about it.
    I use it for a practice, rehearsal, and jam night bass now, and because of that it takes a lot of abuse. Its still kickin fine, i got it for $150 and have put 8 years on it now.
    KristinD likes this.
  15. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder

    Sep 27, 2018
    If an instrument is only played on stage, it can only break on stage. If it is played all the time elsewhere, chances are better that problems will arise in less critical situations.
  16. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    That's a pretty flexible bit of logic there.

    What follows is no less likely to be true...
    One could just as easily assume that more playing makes it more susceptible to problems and even more likely that the bass will break during what is likely the more vigorous and riskier use of live performance.

    For myself I rarely have time to practice and when I do it's often on my rarely-played-out frettless. Almost the only playing my main basses get is twice a week playing live.

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