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I intentionally started a volume war

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by gregoire1, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. gregoire1


    Oct 19, 2008
    last night at rehearsal. I finally have a rig loud enuff to compete with my guitarist Crate tube half-stack (100watts). I started the night with my amp cranked but my volume on my bass low. That way I could secretly "ease" it up as the night progressed!
    After an hour, he had a puzzeled look on his face and kept adjusting knobs. By the end of the night, he apologized for his sound and said something was wrong with his amp and that he would be getting new tubes before next rehearsal.

    Its good to be the king!
  2. G-sound


    Oct 30, 2007
    Huntingtown, MD
    That's just too funny. I have this great mental picture of him fiddling with his amp with a bewildered look on his face.

    Hail to the king!
  3. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Score one for the BASS guys! (Now, just to be mature about this, did you ever let him off the hook? He could be spending a bunch of money on tubes that he doesn't need.)

    P.S. In practice that makes for a funny story. Don't do it live, it will just make you look like a jerk.
  4. gregoire1


    Oct 19, 2008
    Of course I can't tell him, or I won't be able to do it again next week!

    (the louder we are, the muddier the sound is though)
  5. gregoire1


    Oct 19, 2008
    are tubes expensive?
  6. If he's got the amp I think he does: 4 power tubes... yeah, that represents some bucks depending on the brand he'll purchase. I remember re-tubing that Ampeg half stack (guitar) I had as a teen.. geeeezzz that always broke the bank for me, and that was only a 50-watter!!.. :D
  7. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    In one of my bands I've often done the opposite. That band had real trouble getting a good mix (often drowning out the vocals, the guitarist always complaining that he can't hear himself even when he's the louder than everyone else etc) and so when I get tired of it I'll just start playing softer and/or turning my volume down incrementally.

    My singer and drummer notice immediately. The guitar player? Almost never. After the song the other two will look at me (either smiling or pissed off) and he'll be standing there wondering what's going on.

    Drives me nuts.
  8. gregoire1


    Oct 19, 2008
    Great idea, hmmmm...
  9. D Rokk

    D Rokk Banned

    Feb 19, 2009
    Delta Quadrant
    my last band the guitarist always said he couldnt hear himself no matter how loud he was.. the drummer was more worried about hearing the guitarist than me and they both played way way too loud.. when i finally got a real rig and they started there volume wars crap i turned it up to 5 and hit an open e..

    they both stood there gawking at me as i let it ring.. i muted it turned my amp back down and said "there is no need to be that loud" to which the drummer said "dude that made my chest hurt"
  10. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    Not to derail this thread, but my approach has always been to set up my rig the loudest I was ever going to play for a given gig/set and roll my volume back a bit so I could easily adjust dynamics from song to song depending on how loud the bass was supposed to be in the mix.

    On the other hand, my guitar player plays at the same volume for every song. Well, that's not exactly true. When I turn down he stays at the same volume. But any time I turn up, he plays harder regardless of what the mix for that song should be.

    Maybe I should just be earth shakingly loud all of next practice.

  11. I've posted this before. I used to turn my bass volume to zero when they were too loud. after the song I would ask if the bass was coming through and I always got the same answer. "yeah, it's fine"

    Now the guitar player has a sensible rig so all is well.
  12. Adam Bomb

    Adam Bomb

    Mar 26, 2008
    Bezerkely, CA

    I read this post this morning and it made my day.

    I've done TheBigO's trick too. I don't tell my bandmates that we are too loud (in rehearsal) as often as I turn myself down to the proper volume and watch them all sit there playing with a look on their face like somebody farted. Eventually, they work it out.

    But crushing/smothering every once in a while is important too and it feels Gooooooooooooooooooooood

    --Bomb :bassist:
  13. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    After I bought my current head and cabinets I had a nice opportunity to do that. The guitarist I was playing with had a Fender Dual Showman head and a 2x12 cabinet and he could get insanely loud - and liked doing it to the point where I couldn't hear myself anymore.

    The first time I brought my new (at the time) set up to his house to practice, his son sat in on drums. As usual he got louder over time, so I turned up a little louder, then he did, and our first legitimate volume war started. It didn't take long for his son to stop playing and throw his sticks down. We got so loud he was smashing the heads and cymbals but we literally heard NO sound from the drums.

    It was fun for a few seconds to realize that I was no longer going to be drowned out and it actually did solve the volume problem from then on. However, we also realized that was pretty stupid. We were in a small room with a wood floor, one wall was a large window, and one was stone fireplace - IOW very live! If we kept it up we could have really done some damage to our hearing. Luckily it only lasted a short time - and as I said the positive result was that it was a permanent solution to the volume problem.
  14. why do guitarists ALWAYS say they cant hear themselves?
  15. gregoire1


    Oct 19, 2008
    The guitarist did decide that nothing was wrong with his amp so he took his guitar to have the pickups checkd out. He is freaking out because we have a gig on Saturday.
    I asked him, "are you sure its not something to do with my new rig affecting your sound?" (I'm starting to feel a little guilty) He assures me its his bridge pickup on his strat.

    maybe it is???
  16. wow. thats an ego.
  17. Vic Winters

    Vic Winters Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    I don't even bother in my one band. Aint no way my BL600 and 2x15 are keeping up with a Les Paul through a JCM2000 half stack. That deep switch is my mortal enemy.
  18. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    It isn't all guitarists obviously, but really and truly this is a red flag for me. Any time any musician says this (and yes it almost always ends up being a guitarist) it means one of two things: inexperienced in playing in a band situation or selfish musically and sometimes both. Anyone who is only listening to themselves is going to be trouble.

    Without fail they are also the people that always use their "bedroom tone" with no concept of how things sit in a full mix.
  19. jnuts1


    Nov 13, 2007
    i showed up for an audition where everyone was wearing air traffic controler type headgear so their ears wouldn't bleed. i played for about 30 seconds before i gave up & just stood there. i think they jammed for over 10 minutes before they stopped to tell me it was a sick jam.
  20. Scordare


    Mar 2, 2008
    I was thinking the exact same thing!

    The guitarist probably has a bass heavy, scooped mid sound. Now that the bass has the power...you're taking up the frequencies that he listens to.

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