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Do you really bring a backup for everything?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Taylor Livingston, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Oregon, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    All the time on TB and in Harmony Central reviews I see this maxim repeated:

    NEVER gig without a backup!

    Obviously I understand the point of this, and agree with it in theory. But it's simply not within my means to have a backup for everything. I can only afford one bass that will do what I need, I can only afford one preamp and poweramp, etc. Also, even if I could afford a double of everything, it would be absolutely ridiculous to bring an extra rack, extra cabs, and so forth just in case the first of something went out.

    So my question is this: do you guys really have a backup for everything? Do you own and schlep 2 of everything you own? Is it common for gigging bands to do this?
  2. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    extra strings and a cord.. I haven't had to use either one in years..
    Get reliable equipment and you won't have to worry.
  3. i always bring 2 basses to gigs..rarely bring extra strings....but if you are playing with only one bass..extra strings are a must.

    I don't know many people at all that carry double of everything....if any.
  4. deaf pea

    deaf pea

    Mar 24, 2005
    Cuernavaca 1 hr S Mexico City
    Seymour Duncan/Basslines SMB-5A Endorsing Artist
    No . . . but I DO (usually) carry an extra amp, extra bass, extra cable and extra strings . . .

    Yes, it IS common for "national touring bands" to have "extras" of EVERYTHING . . . for EVERYBODY . . .

  5. extra strings extra cables extra battries
  6. thesteve


    May 28, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I haven't hauled extra anything in awhile...when I buy new stuff I sell the old stuff.
  7. alexmoore10


    Apr 3, 2007
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown Engineering Amplifiers, Elites Strings and Cosmic Ears IEMs
    I always take strings, spare leads, batteries but apart from that I haven't taken two basses in years
  8. Rudyboy98


    Jan 25, 2008
    South Bay, CA
    Sometimes a couple of basses are enough for me and extra cables...not double of everything else. :)

    Double cabs/amps/effects...they are too much to carry around and takes up too much space!
  9. Vic Winters

    Vic Winters Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Bass, strings, batteries, cables, DI, tuner.

    I should probably buy or make a few extra patch cables.
  10. I take Spare cables, Strings and fuses just in case but thats about it. No need to buy extra of everything if you buy quality first time.
  11. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    i bring an extra bass, some extra cords, and a DI, just in case. but that 's it.
  12. Well, the heaviest piece of equipment is the amp, so I'd suggest a DI box as the backup, weighs 100x less, but will save your arse.

    Extra bass seems sort of a no brainer, if you play alternate tunings, or your main axe scres up or dies, or if a string breaks...or anything. Most important thing to bring a backup of imo, because there is no workaround for not having the very thing that you play if the first one screws up.

    An old set of strings seems easy enough to have, no point in throwing them away.

    Bring a spare of each type of cable for sure.

    And a couple 9v batteries

    The tools that most people keep in their bass case anyways (wirecutters, hex wrenches)

    Put it all in a duffle bag and it doesn't add up to that much weight. just having the stuff will promote thinking about their functions and you'll be able to make amends before the show starts, ie if your action is messed up its easy to forget to change it till the show starts unless you see the tool that changes it.

    Also, if you're a pro and have all the gear you'll need, are worried about backup gear and want to burn some money on it, just put an extra amp head in the rack rather than having a whole nother rack.
  13. Slain


    May 23, 2007
    Extra leads only, my gear is reliable enough to not die on me.

    But seriously, I do not see the point in bringing extra strings. You cannot change a bass string on stage in the middle of a song. It just doesn't happen.

    1. Take the broken string off
    2. Get the correct spare string
    3. Attempt to saddle up and hope it's cut to the right length, or embrace a scratched bass from the excess string
    4. tune up
    5. continue playing

    By now, the set is probably over... meh, just my $0.02
  14. Pretty much everything except an extra amp (new band I'm playing with is going to be DIing at gigs, IIRC). I have a "gig bag" with plenty of extra strings, instrument cables, tools, etc. I always bring two basses as well.
  15. Fnord Explorer

    Fnord Explorer

    Feb 3, 2008
    I have never broken a string, never had something go wrong on a bass or amp or any other piece of gear. I don't have a backup for anything. Not even extra strings.

    I dance with the devil!
  16. So you only play one song at your shows?
  17. 44me


    Jun 17, 2002
    Bedford, NH USA
    I carry spares for most for most of the small stuff - cables, strings, batteries, fuses, pre-amp tubes, line cord, etc. I also carry basic tools for simple repairs. How often has your bass quit with no warning? I keep my gear in top condition and only bring a backup amp to high profile gigs. Most of my spare stuff and tools are used helping other guys on the gig who are less inclined to keep their own stuff in good shape.
  18. Howlin' Hanson

    Howlin' Hanson Lighter cabs, please.

    Sep 3, 2007
    Austin TX
    I would think that you should be able to change a string in 4 minutes or less. Change that string while the keys player use his left hand during one song, he's just been hiding it in his pocket for most of the gig anyway ;)

    If your band is a three piece, change positions on your fret board and compensate until the break.
  19. 44me


    Jun 17, 2002
    Bedford, NH USA
    I've only broken a string once mid-set in recent memory. I finished the set with three strings and changed it on the break - no big deal.

    I like the idea of carrying a DI.
  20. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    I seriously can't understand how someone can break a bass string? I find it impossible to do even on purpose.

    Anyways, in my last gig i had one bass, one cable, no spare batteries and generally one of everything and nthn went wrong :)

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