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How many of you gigging bassists own only one bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lichtaffen, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    I gig twice a month with my present band and see no need to own more than one bass. I have a Lakland Joe Osborn and I love it to death. The band leader/producer loves my sound and has asked me to not change a thing (including string type). I sold all my other basses and I'm married to this one now. After years of buying/selling/trading I have my perfect sound (and look) and plan to be identified by it.

    I know the argument for having backups, but he has a 51 P reissue that I could always grab if needed.

    Anyone else fall into this category? You must own only one bass and be gigging.
  2. MostlyBass


    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    I own one electric and one upright. In 25 years of classical playing I've never needed a backup. Of course I wouldn't want to play anything other than my Solano bass anyways :)
  3. MN_Bass

    MN_Bass Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2008
    I have my one and only trusty P, 05 Lakland BG Skyline, it's well roadworn, but it takes whatever is thrown at it.
  4. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Depends on your definition of gigging... but I play live on a regular basis to a few hundred people at a time. And I only have one bass, one elctric guitar and one acoustic (I vary from week to week as to what I play, but bass most regularly).

    If any of them failed there's a viable replacement either in the building (bass) or within a two-minute drive (guitars, via my brother-in-law).

    I might feel differently if I was travelling and gigging but at the moment I know that I'm covered if anything goes wrong.
  5. Dbassmon


    Oct 2, 2004
    Rutherford, NJ
    Many bassists, including myself, like have a few different choices. P Bass, Jazz, Fretless, a bass strung with flats....etc.

    A well maintained bass is about as reliable as it gets. Some will argue that a backup is good idea and that is hard to argue with although, I have never had a bass die on me, but it is possible.

    Many of us enjoy playing different basses and have enough disposable income to afford more than one. They all have their own personality, so-to-speak, they play a little differently, sound differently and I get bored sometimes. Time to pull out the (which ever bass) and change things up. New bass, new ideas, renewed interest.

    If you are a recording artist, some tunes call for different basses, if you don't have them, you can't play them. Helps to get recording gigs if the producer knows you have a varied arsenal of basses.
  6. deshi00


    Mar 26, 2010
    columbus ohio
    i did for a long time - now i own 4, 2 come with me to everyshow (they are in 2 different tunings, standard and drop c, so I have been considering bringing a 3rd as a back up in standard
  7. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    I don't exactly qualify for this club; I own seven basses, and I have on many occasions brought two or three at a time to a gig.

    But -- ironically, or perhaps just inexplicably -- for many of my highest profile or most critical gigs, I have often brought only one bass. I have never needed a backup in almost 40 years of professional gigging, so the only reason I bring more than one instrument is if I need the expanded timbral palette a different instrument provides.
  8. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    I used to have over a half dozen EBMM basses. Because of financial constraints, I had to sell every single one. So for about 6 months I wasn't gigging, and had NO bass equipment. I have since bought 2 EBMM SR5's and a nice rig. I still wasn't really gigging, so I sold one of the SR5's to get another cab. Well now that I just started gigging again, I bought a backup (Schecter), and now I feel like I'm covered.

    I like the idea of having a backup on a gig, even if I don't need it. I think in all my 30+ years of gigging, I've broken maybe 4 strings, and that was years ago, when I was digging in too much.
  9. aasti3000


    Jul 18, 2012
    jlepre - How's that Specter P bass 5 string? So far so good? (sorry to be off topic)
  10. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Parsippany, NJ
    Well I had a chance to play this bass with a guitarist and drummer last night at a small jam. I have to say I was very impressed with how this bass really cut through the mix, but still had that Pbass thump. The controls are very sensitive, and it took me a few minutes to get the right combo. Pretty much half way on the tone, and 3/4 on the neck pup. Then I would adjust the bridge pup for the right amount of sizzle.

    Next will be a live gig, but that won't be until October. So far I'm very impressed.
  11. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    I used to be a one-bass guy for years, but now I think it's prudent to take a backup to a gig. Things fall over; connections come loose; stuff happens. As the infamous disclaimer for investments intones, past performance constitutes no guarantee for future results.

    The show must go on, and I refuse to let it go on without me, so I take a spare. It's easy.
  12. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    That is a very wise statement. I'm pretty sure at some point I'll buy another bass, but at this point I just want to focus entirely on one bass to the point that I know it like the back of my hand. We did have a gig in Philly (8 hours from me) where I brought the 51 P in a crappy gig bag as a backup. I always bring backups of all cables and a Sadowsky DI in case the amp craps out. I always have two cabs with me and I even have a backup amp at home if needed.

    I didn't want this thread to focus on the backup concept. It was more an investigation to see if anyone has one instrument they stick to it exclusively.
  13. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    For over 20 years I played a Stingray exclusively and never had a problem. Now I play a P or J depending on the gig. Rarely bring both so I guess I'm a 1 bass per gig guy!
  14. xring


    Sep 16, 2003
    I do stick to one instrument exclusively. I have 5 basses, but my 2 mains are exactly the same, except for color. Haven't needed the back up yet, and will probably end up leaving it in the case at gigs instead of on the stand, ready to go. After thinking about it, maybe not - more apt to be stolen that way?
  15. MIgroove22


    Apr 5, 2011
    I have two basses, but my Fender Jazz bass is all taken apart and hasn't been played in probably a year. Good thing the only bass I need is my Rickenbacker 4003, which I love to death!
  16. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    Put that Jazz back together!
    eJake likes this.
  17. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    I always took two. My P and my Schecter.

    The P only had a problem once. But it wasn't bad enough to stop me from playing it for the rest of the gig. It's tone was perfect for that band, so I didn't wanna swap out and readjust my amp to make the Schecter sound the same.

    The Schecter had a problem once as well. The battery died during a marching band thing. Luckily my girlfriend had her P close by and I just used that for the rest of the game.
  18. k31bassman


    Feb 4, 2010
    When I was gigging regularly (20 years ago), I never brought a backup. Just took my Alembic Series 1. Now I don't gig regularly and have about 10-12, depending on how I count them. Hmmm......
  19. I've got about one half dozen basses in regular rotation for recording a lot of singer/songwriter, pop, rock, country. Precision does 75%, Hofner 10%, miscellaneous 10%, Jazz 5% if I had to guess the last few years in the studio. I really like contrasting tools but if I had to do it all on the P I wouldn't lose work over it.
  20. CharlieD


    Jul 15, 2012
    I own more than one bass, but I usually just use one. Sometimes two if I need a fretless for something.