Do you need a backup bass.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pica, Oct 28, 2021.

  1. pica


    Nov 26, 2009
    So my question is do you need a backup bass. I realize during a show a string may break or a battery may go dead but have you ever actually had to change basses during a show and for what reason.
  2. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Ya don't need it till ya do.

    Only had to swap once due to an intermittent vintage pickup.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yes. Always. And, yes, several times I have had to grab my backup. A couple of output jacks went out on me. And I have broken strings.
    J_R, Rabidhamster, HolmeBass and 12 others like this.
  4. I've had basses go bad at rehearsal, and for that reason I'll never go to a gig without two. I've swapped a bass once at a show, but the problem turned out to be a cable.
  5. MIMike


    Jan 1, 2013
    West MI
    It depends…do you play songs with alternate tunings? It might be helpful to just change Basses instead of changing tunings. Breaking a string? You can fumble through the rest of the song, then quickly change the broken string before the next song (yes, you do need backup strings). Dead or dying battery…should definitely have spare batteries, and should probably change them often enough that you avoid this on a gig. Or, be able to operate the bass in passive mode as well.
    I occasionally have brought two Basses to a gig, but only for variety reasons, not necessarily as backup. I have only broken a string on a gig twice in my life, and changed out the broken one between songs.
    I vote “no” you don’t NEED a backup…unless you feel like YOU do.
  6. Texaspandj


    Feb 13, 2021
    Heart Of Texas
    The only time I ever take a backup is if we're doing a live taping otherwise that's a big Nope.
    Regular maintenance and knowledge of FENDER wiring keep me pretty worry free about my bass having issues. However, I do keep a set of strings, extra cable, extra strap, extra tuning key and a roll of electric tape in my gig bag.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2021
    Slimz, Mickey666 and arbiterusa like this.
  7. lowdownthump

    lowdownthump Supporting Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    Yes you do . Just in case.
  8. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    I've had to use my backup bass on a couple of occations.
    6stringfretless likes this.
  9. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Suspended

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Only if you want to keep playing when your main bass has issues. I don't care how much maintenance you do, stuff happens. I was playing my '73 recording Les Paul at home and one of the tuners gave out. How would you anticipate that, and what kind of maintenance would have prevented it? People who think they can never have an issue are only fooling themselves.

    I've told the story more than once. I was playing a gig and the bass player in our opening act's bass quit. He took about 30 seconds to trouble shoot, switched basses and they were playing again in a little over a minute.
  10. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass. Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
  11. Fernando Costa

    Fernando Costa

    Aug 4, 2013
    Well, I've never needed to use a backup instrument, like an airplane emergency door, but I want the door to be there.
  12. Wouldn’t hurt.
  13. Not slagging on you but someone will inevitably say that you should search the topic because this has been discussed to death. Doesn't bother me, just a guess.

    In all my years of playing I've needed one twice and those were both in the early days where I didn't have the $$ to have a backup bass. Now I always take two, always. Too many variables, it's an easy thing to do so why not. Better to always have one and never need it than to need it and not have it.

    And I usually play both of mine at a gig so there's that too. :thumbsup:
  14. Skullheadrac


    Jun 13, 2018
    So Cal
    need? No.
    Is it nice to have? Yes.
    droo46, roccobass, AGCurry and 4 others like this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I had to use my backup a few times, and I think it's important to bring a backup for paying gigs.
  16. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
  17. Siggy

    Siggy Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    I allways bring a backup. Thinking that if I broke a string it's quicker it switch then to replace it. This year in mid set a wire came loose on my volume pot.
  18. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    I have never brought a backup bass. Maybe just luck but never needed one. Always brought critical spares (strings, battery and some tools, duct tape) but never had a bass go inoperable on me.
  19. Smith357


    Jul 7, 2018
    As a former US Marine my motto is; "Two is one, one is none."
  20. I always take two basses on the road/to gigs. I haven't had to use the backup bass yet but in my mind it is always better to have and not need than to need and not have. It is a minor hassle to deal with two basses compared to dealing with issues in a live environment or coming across as unprofessional.
    whbjr, amper, Mickey666 and 6 others like this.
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