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Gear for gigging.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Ripper91, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. Ripper91


    Jan 6, 2008
    I've been playing bass for almost 2 years and I've recently joined an indie/rock band, we've been practicing at the music department at my school so gear hasn't really been a problem and we will hopefully be playing a school show or two before we go on to more serious gigs.

    However I have little in the way of equipment to play a gig outside of my school I own an Epiphone thunderbird, a Squire p-bass and a small practice amp. I don't really know much about amps, is it common to run the bass through a PA or do i need to mic up an amp, if so what sort of amp should I be looking to buy?

    Also as you can imagine I’m looking to also get a better bass at some point for around £400-£500 any recommendations would be appreciated.

    Finally what else will i need to invest in in order to start gigging seriously?

    Cheers :)
  2. Incognitus

    Incognitus Amen!

    Mar 25, 2006
    Eagle River, Alaska
    It all depends on where you're going to be playing, what you're playing, and how many people on average. Just look around for a good amp and a good 210 or so.

    To answer your question:
    1.) Amp
    2.) Cab
    3.) Cables and misc. items needed for connection.

    Don't really worry about getting a better bass yet. Focus on being able to put out your sound and being heard without destroying equipment.

    Look around in the Amps & Cabs forum for more and better information.
  3. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    well, taking into consideration the fact that you already have 2 basses, id say invest in a good amp. great deals can be had if you go used, you get about twice as much for your money than youd get buying new.

    peavey s a great way to go, and there are respectable ampeg rigs for not too much. awhile ago i was eyeing a fender bassman 2x10 for a little over 600 :ninja:

    my .02 :)
  4. +1

    I picked up my Bassman 1 X 15 for around that price.

    Loud enough for everything I`ve encountered so far.
  5. Ripper91


    Jan 6, 2008
    Thanks for the advice, so I'm right in thinking that I would just play through an amp/cab at a small gig rather then micing up ect?
  6. butchblack

    butchblack Life is short. Do good. Find and do what you love.

    Jan 25, 2007
    Waltham Massachusetts

    Yes. Unless you're in a fairly large club with a good soundman on staff you won't be going through the PA or board. I'm using a GK backline 600 through an Avatar SB 112 neo cab and it's plenty for anything I've encountered. I noticed you listed £ so I don't know if Avatar is available there. A used Backline 600 with a 212, 210 or 115 cab should work fine. Choose the cab on what sound you're after

    My 2¢
  7. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick, Mesa Boogie, Joyo, Dr. J, Levy's Leathers
    The formula seems to be: Fender P-bass + Ampeg = Indie Rock sound.

    I'd recommend a used Ampeg B2R or B5R, it would probably work out well for your type of music and your budget. And for a cab, there are a ton of budget cabs out there nowadays that you could check out. Maybe an Avatar or if you can find a used Genz-Benz cab, that would be my choice. Look for a 2x10 or 4x10. 10" speakers are probably preferable for the sound you're going for.

    I think the bass is a less important thing for you to get right now, but when you get to that fork in the road, I'd look into upgrading your Squier P to a used Fender P-bass, either made in America, or even an early 90s P made in Japan.

    Other gig essentials will include:
    1. A good quality backpack or other type of bag (QUALITY is a must, so your strings and cables don't end up poking out the sides all the time). I bought one of the ones from Walmart made by Ozark with the extension handle and the wheels for for pulling it around for about $35, and it's been awesome so far.
    2. Extras of everything you can manage... batteries (if your bass is active or you have effects pedals), strings, picks (if you use them), instrument cable & speaker cable (please note these are not interchangeable!), guitar strap (you don't want to rip or otherwise be without one). Also bring a power strip and extension cord... they come in handy more often than not.
    3. Tool kit of some sort (most essential would be a screwdriver of each type - phillips and flat, pliers, allen wrench set)
    3. Flashlight. Doesn't need to be a Million Candle power floodlight... just something you can use off to the side of the stage to look through your bag with the house lights down. I have a little LED keyring flashlight I keep in my pocket, and it works perfectly. Cost me around $1.00. It is priceless though.
    4. Notebook and pen. This is a must-have for me. For writing that last-minute set list to replace the one you guys lost, to get contact info of someone you can network with, or just to get the number of that hot girl who's been watching your every move ever since you stepped on stage.
    5. Pain relievers... even if you never get headaches, at some point you will get one right before a show, and you'll really appreciate the relief when they kick in.
    6. Glasses (I wear contacts, but on an occasion or 2, I've lost one right before a show and I'm blind without them, so I keep a backup pair of glasses in my bag just in case.
    7. Spare shirt, deodorant... I don't know about you, but I move around a lot when I play, thus I sweat a LOT. Talking to that hot girl from #4 would be way better if you weren't smelly and disgusting... but double check with her before changing... she might be into that.
    8. Copies of your band's demo if you have any. Hand them out. People love freebies.
    9. If you're in N. America... most important! Make sure to have a 3-prong adapter in your bag in case the place you're playing sucks and doesn't have a 3-prong outlet for you to plug into.

    10. Just remembered this 02/21: Spare set of keys to your vehicle. You never need them till you need them! ;)

    Other non-essentials that I bring anyway just in case:
    1. Extra mic clip
    2. picks for the guitar player (even though this should be HIS job, you'd rather spend a buck on picks to keep in your bag than hear him whine and cry about losing his ONLY pic right before you go on)
    3. digital camera (just in case you see someone you'd like to have a pic of, or more importantly, in case there's someone who can snap some action shots of your band for you)
    4. various connectors and adapters... ya never know.

    As you play particular venues a few times, you'll start to make mental notes of certain things you like to take with you to THAT venue... maybe they only have 1 outlet for the whole stage... you'll see what I mean once you get out and start gigging.

  8. DonovanBankhead

    DonovanBankhead Banned Commercial User

    Aug 25, 2001
    Springfield, MO
    Owner - FretSpot.com; Vice President - Springfield Music
    Great post, Puarija. Now I need to go shopping!
  9. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick, Mesa Boogie, Joyo, Dr. J, Levy's Leathers
    Thanks dkb, there's probably a few other things I forgot, but off the top of my head, that's what I keep with me for gigs. Oh one more thing I do keep in my gigbag!!!

    Spare set of car keys

    At some point you will be loading out of a late night gig and it will be freezing cold outside, snowing, icy, and all-around miserable, and you will go to start loading up your van or whatnot and "Oh ****..." doors are locked, keys in ignition. You'd rather have a spare key than break a window or spend $40+ to have a tow service come unlock the vehicle.
  10. Ripper91


    Jan 6, 2008
    Thanks a lot for all the responses, good job I won't be gigging seriously quite yet because It looks like I have a lot of spending to do :)

    Cheers for the help.
  11. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick, Mesa Boogie, Joyo, Dr. J, Levy's Leathers
    Don't be discouraged... you can get away with omitting a bit of this stuff until you really get going. And you can make do with cheapies for the backup items. No reason to spend big on stuff you may or may not ever use. In an emergency low quality is better than none at all!

    Good luck.
  12. eedre


    Feb 26, 2007
    St. Louis,MO
    While I don't, a lot of people will disagree with you here basing their opinion on the fact that you don't need any rig larger than what you need on stage for monitoring because the PA is the only thing the crowd hears.

    I've always struck a middle ground here. A good bass with a good rig - not crazy good stuff on either end.
  13. krazyduck


    Jan 27, 2008
    noob alert!

    I'm new to bass, but I see everyone mentioning amps and cabs, why those more then just a combo?
  14. santucci218


    Jan 26, 2007
    more options with separate units.


    Oct 24, 2006
    verry important
  16. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    If you have PA support check out the Ampeg BA115 combo, you canusually pick them up used for $249.
  17. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    If the kids never gigged he's going to be playing low end gigs for a few years yet so House PA's are something way off in the future. I think it's also safe to assume the band doesn't have a mighty PA to run him through.

    It is great to turn up with a bass and a DI, and have everything else run for you, but very few people can rely on that at every gig. For most gigs the bass amp IS what the audience hears (or not!).

    Combo's are great for home and practise - love my kickback. However once you scale them up that portability/convenience factor doesn't scale with them. If you only need a 1x10" then combo is the way to go, but that isn't going to cut it on a lot of gigs. It's much easier to carry a seperate cab or two, and a seperate head/rack - try finding a 1x15+4x10 combo! Then try lifting it. Then try fitting it in your car!

    You also get to mix and match - I'm currently running 1x15+1x12 bi-amped (working very nice), but there's a 2x10 and a 2x15" out back that I'd use if the gig was different. You can also upgrade/gas independantly. I don't always take the 12. I don't always take the 15 for a small gig (or where there is good PA).

  18. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
    True - but quite a lot of places have PAs... but I'm a big fan of having my own amp regardless of whether I have PA support. I need to feel it behind me to get into the music.
  19. krazyduck


    Jan 27, 2008
    ahh, thanks a lot.
  20. Either invest in a good head/cab or get yourself a Sansamp bass driver. This gives you a DI (direct input) for any decent PA system and helps you contour your sound to pretty much any baclkine gear.

    Hell, with a good enough PA you don't even need a backline if you have a sansamp.

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