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If you think it can't happen to you, you're wrong!

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by lfmn16, Oct 19, 2019.


  1. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I play guitar in a Rockabilly trio (guitar, electric bass, drums). The drummer uses electronic drums through his own system and we have a small PA which is perfect for vocals, but totally inadequate for anything else. We play at a low volume and don't mic anything other than vocals.

    We played a gig last week and everything was working perfectly. Last night, we get everything set up and the bass player plugs in, no sound. Check all the settings/switches, still no sound. Swap out all the cables, still no sound. Fortunately, the guitar player (me!) ALWAYS brings a backup head (Ampeg PF-800). We plug it in and are up and running in 5 minutes, start on time.

    If you think bringing spares is overkill, you're just wrong. The head weighs about 12 pounds, takes up very little room and is adequate for bass and guitar. This is one of our regular clubs, and although we could have run him direct through the PA with the vocals, it would have been really ugly.
     
  2. garp

    garp

    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Nice save. I sure hope the bass player learned a lesson other than to always rely on your preparedness.

    I always have a back-up plan...for me, anyway. I ain't lugging a spare Leslie for the B3 player, and anyone electing to play an electronic drum kit is on their own. As I frequently opine here: "The show must go on. But if it doesn't, it sure as heck ain't gonna be the bass player's fault."
     
  3. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    I play my bass with a VT DI sansamp direct into the PA.
    The PA also handles 4 vocal mikes,kick drum,and keyboards. We’re a 4-piece,2 electric gtr/keyboards/bass/drums,playing moderately heavy rock,and I’ve really enjoyed going ampless starting earlier this year. I haven’t missed my amp/cab at all. (But i do carry a markbass 12 combo as a backup).
     
    dramatwist and newwavefrank like this.
  4. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Portland
    I’m about to retire from playing after 50 years of performance and the number of times I’ve needed a backup string, amp, cab is proportionally insignificant to the efforts to keep spares around. The FOH would have worked okay, not great but sufficient for the venue/event.
     
    John Bess, bigswifty1 and Mr_Moo like this.
  5. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    True, it's not practical to carry a spare for everything. A backup head and bass/guitar though? It's just common sense; for me, anyway.
     
    QweziRider and mexicant like this.
  6. mexicant

    mexicant

    Aug 28, 2012
    Mid Michigan,USA
    I carry a mb200 for a spare head and always bring a spare bass,it brings me peace of mind knowing i have a backup plan.
     
    McG and lfmn16 like this.
  7. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    I need a backup bass (only have one), and only have to deal with a small pedal board. I go direct with in-ears, so the reliability factor with my "rig" is high. Although, I do need a backup for one pedal that has one of those lesser "hard-click" switches that failed at a couple of shows.

    Mainly, I keep it as simple as possible to avoid problems. Fyi, I have rented in-ear systems when kine has been rebuilt a few times, and use a cab or the PA when my system would go down (rare, but happened after tons of shows).
     
  8. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    I need a backup bass (only have one), and only have to deal with a small pedal board. I go direct with in-ears, so the reliability factor with my "rig" is high. Although, I do need a backup for one pedal that has one of those lesser "hard-click" switches that failed at a couple of shows.

    Mainly, I keep it as simple as possible to avoid problems. Fyi, I have rented in-ear systems when mine has been rebuilt a few times, and then use a cab or the PA when a system konks out for whatever reason.
     
  9. Back when heads were 30lb minimum and rack sized I definitely would have agreed with you. If you can afford a second class D head, there's little reason not to bring it along.
     
    lfmn16 likes this.
  10. I don't carry a spare amp or head. But I did take some time and plug my bass straight in to the board and also from my wireless into the board so I could play around with the settings in case I'd ever need to do that at a gig. Just my way of prepping.

    Being prepared is great and I agree we should all do it, it's just how you want to do it.
     
  11. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Ha! It was while setting up at this past Friday's gig that I heard the guitar players frantic cry "#*£¥~!! Does anybody have a direct box!?!?" I was happy to reply "Why, yes, I do!"

    -robert
     
    pcake, Artman, woodyng2 and 1 other person like this.
  12. mrcbass

    mrcbass

    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I carry a lot of spare stuff, but not head or amp. I do have a DI in my spare bag, so could deal with an issue. I have tons of cables and batteries and other sharable stuff, but there just comes a point where spare stuff is excessive for $50 bar gigs. Most venues I play in are pretty tight (ie no space for extra stuff laying around) I really don't want to leave a full rig sitting in the parking lot all night. I don't even like leaving my empty cases in the parking lot...
     
    Thorny1 and biguglyman like this.
  13. zon5string

    zon5string Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    My bass teacher once said, "Always carry a 9 volt battery, a set of .009s and a drum key."
     
    Garret Graves likes this.
  14. the only spares I carry are strings..... I also have 2-3 leads so can change leads if necessary
    if my amp dies, then I can plug into the mixer for FOH.... I don't have a spare bass so spare strings are the next best thing
     
  15. kcducttaper

    kcducttaper

    Jul 1, 2019
    It's happened to me too. I was getting set up for a set and my Eden Nemesis head started making all kinds of weird whirring and whooping noises. Turned out, the capacitors in the transformer section had gone bad. Similarly, I've had a string pop in the middle of a set. If you budget allows it, it's always good to have some form of backup. Note, you may have to budget this money away from your beer fund.
     
    pcake and lfmn16 like this.
  16. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I think you hit on the problem.

    I understand that carrying spares isn't convenient for everyone, but I don't get some people's strident resistance to being prepared for emergencies. I've carried an extra head hundreds of times without needing it, but being able to start on time, sounding like we should, everyone happy and not worrying about getting a crappy bass sound and ruining the vocals through a PA not equipped to handle a bass was worth it.

    One time our opening act's bass player's bass quit working. He tried a few quick fixes, then reached over to his stand and grabbed his spare. They were back up and running in under 2 minutes.
     
    kcducttaper likes this.
  17. 1bassplayinfool

    1bassplayinfool -Nowhere Man- Supporting Member

    I carry extra strings, cables, and a backup amp just in case. (all the time BTW)
    Only bring a backup bass when I use my active bass if the battery decides it wants to quit without notice.
    Two cabs too. If one dies I can still make it through the night...
     
    lfmn16 likes this.
  18. My main head is a GK MB500. I always have my Sansamp BDDI with me that I can use as a back up to get to the PA, but usually my MB200 comes with me. I also have in my bag a ProCo RAT pedal. In a pinch, our guitar player can power a speaker and have a clean and dirty channel to use if need be.

    BnB
     
  19. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    hbarcat and lfmn16 like this.
  20. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Somebody has to be the adult!
     
    pcake likes this.

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