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How to practise Bass while travelling

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by activebass, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. activebass


    Sep 19, 2013
    I thought I'd share this and maybe get feedback on how other TBers practise when travelling for work.

    After a 6 year hiatus, I picked up the bass again this year, but haven't been able to practise as often as I'd like, because I travel for work EVERY WEEK :crying:

    I recently purchased a Kala solid body uBass and a Vox amPhone.
    The headphones plug directly into the uBass and I can hang out anywhere in the hotel room and practise.

    Then, I realized I could use my smartphone to play songs or metronome and listen to it using earphones and put the headphones on top of the earphones.

    Also, when I record something i came up with, I just plug into my work laptop and record it. I can also practise while plugged into my laptop, albeit not as comfortable as with just the headphones.

    I'm overdoing it aren't I?

    Anybody else lug around gear to practise while on business travels?

  2. Do what makes you happy, my friend. Who gives a **** what anyone thinks about whether you are overdoing it or not? Music and participating in it is a great stress cope mechanism. I re-started bass playing a few years before I retired and loved doing it.

    I think the U-Bass is a pretty kool way to go myself. I would've preferred that to my un-travellable Dean EAB "El Kabong" bass! I use a Pocket Rocket when my sweetie wants quiet.
  3. StevieMac

    StevieMac Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    When I was travelling a lot I would be flying to the same location week after week and then onto the next one for weeks and weeks so I just shipped a bass to where I would be. Being able to practice on the road beats the **** out of watching TV alone in your hotel room.
  4. I travel a lot for work and I didn't trust united with one of my good basses, so put together a jazz from a body I got on TB and a mighty mite neck. I use the IRig and my headphones with my iPad and play in my hotel room off hours. I did get a nice gator case though and gate check it.
  5. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    I used to travel some for work, and I bought an Ibanez GSR200 (? I think) for like $75 and took the neck off and packed the body in one suitcase and the neck in another with my clothes. They didn't have the Kala back then. I was considering the Steinberger Spirit, but then got another job where I didn't travel.
  6. audreycashin

    audreycashin Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    long island, ny
    you need a 1/8mm double male to plug the amPhones into your phone or laptop....then you can listen with only the amphones and not the double set up...
  7. Gaolee

    Gaolee It's all about the polyester

    I typically find the local Guitar Center and pull something off the wall and play it for a while. They don't seem to mind. Some of the people there even seem to like it when I tell them what I'm up to.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I take a full size bass with me. Most of my travel is driving so it's easy enough to put it in my car and take it with me. If I were doing more air travel I would buy a Steinberger. I need to practice with a full size bass to gain anything.

    Get an interface like an Apogee Jam, download JamUp XT, and you can play your bass through your smart phone as well. The sound quality is much better than most expect (some use it for gigging and recording) and it's very easy to use.
  9. pmaraziti


    Feb 12, 2006
    Madrid, Spain
    I did for a while with a full sized bass that i was too lazy to take apart (bolt on neck) and that was a pain. i wish there was the kala option back then.

    But what worked very nicely was my Phil Jones Bass buddy , nice little headphone amp but again this was pre ipad era so it might look a bit dated now (?)
  10. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I travelled worldwide with a Steinberger Spirit, Pocket Rockit, small MP3 player and tuner. Spirits fit in overheads, but are easy to gate check and are tough.
    CTRick likes this.
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Many great ideas. Thanks.

  12. Your Kala Bass is sweet looking. Out of curiosity - what gage are the strings and how much do the strings cost $ per pack?
  13. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I take a bass as a carry-on in a gig bag. I include a Korg Pandora, a set of headphones, and appropriate cables. Plug iPhone or iPod into the Pandora and away we go.

    Usually this is the bass that goes with me.

  14. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    I travel constantly, and only get home for a couple of weeks every 2 months.

    My current travel rig is:

    Shorty P-Bass (this gets the neck taken off and thrown in my luggage).
    Zoom B3 (I can use the same sounds as I use live and at home)
    Headphones (For listening to the real tone I am getting)
    2.1 PC Speakers (For noodling when I don´t want to wear heaphones)
  15. For the people taking the neck off and putting it on repeatedly...

    Have you had helicoils or some other fitting inserted in your basses so you're not stressing the wood around the screw holes again and again?


    PS: My preferred travel bass would be Kala for portability, but for a full-scale travel I'd go with a Status Graphite Streamline...

  16. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    Yes, I ordered steel (not brass) threaded inserts from ebay. I think they cost about 6 euros for 8.
  17. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    My favorite travel bass is a neck-thru, so I try not to remove the neck. :D :D

    But seriously....even though it is a full 34" scale, it is my smallest bass. A couple inches shorter than my Music Man basses.
  18. pmaraziti


    Feb 12, 2006
    Madrid, Spain
    I am a big Status fan so +1 on this.
    Truth is that the Streamline is really a fully capable bass
    Check this out for instance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YSzB8s6TfI

  19. activebass


    Sep 19, 2013
    Sorry you had to travel so much. I miss my 2 year old daughter a lot while I'm travelling. :(
    And yes, I was thinking about all the time I was wasting watching TV. Then I started reading books..... then the project was extended.... so then I thought, forget the books, you need to be playing bass :)

    Well that's one alternative :)
    I think I would be too lazy to reassamble necks and re-string, but if I had to stay for extended periods I ight do that too.... or get a Steinberger as what others have suggested (and which I did not consider)
  20. activebass


    Sep 19, 2013
    See... I didn't even consider the Steinberger option and now I'm feeling a bit silly. My memory was of them being quite expensive, but after googling them today, I see that they now have a Made In China spirit version which costs $400.

    Maybe i should have gone for that. The other thing was that my band wants to start doing accoustic gigs too and while a Steinberger would be fine for that, I thought the Kala would be better for an accoustic setting and the Kala does sound really nice and warm and depend on how you pluck it does have similar tonal qualities to an upright.