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Outdoor gig in -16°C dergee cold

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Brian K, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Brian K

    Brian K

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Am I crazy to play a carved bass at an outdoor gig next week in -16°C or so cold? The bass is pretty tough compared to others I've owned, is 2 years old with no cracks, and I plan to keep a wet dampit in it the whole time, and to slowly bring its temperature up and down on the gig day.
  2. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    There's not enough money to get me to play outdoors in those conditions.
  3. Keep water away from it, and then pass on the gig.
  4. Steve Swan

    Steve Swan

    Oct 12, 2004
    Burlingame, California
    Retailer: Shen, Sun, older European
    This is a good exercise in developing healthy boundaries for yourself. Say in a loud, firm voice, "NO, THANKYOU."
  5. I would be more concerned about how to play wearing mitts....
  6. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Yes, and after the gig you mak have to learn how to shim
    cracks that may develop.
    Get rid of that agent!
  7. Brian K

    Brian K

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Sorry, I should have been more clear.

    I'm looking for info on the potential for damage to the instrument, not opinions on anything else.

  8. eyeballkid

    eyeballkid Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    wes virginny
    I would never subject an instrument I cared about, or an amp, to those conditions.
  9. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I think you're bass will "probably" come out OK, but if called on to play something like that I'd use my "beater" bass. I left one of my basses in the back of my sons car last year.......a week of below 0 degrees C. and after a slow warm up it was fine. But no guarantees.

    You're right of course to slowly increase and decrease the temperature.

    Your bass will "probably" work fine. I'm more interested in how you'll keep your hands working.
  10. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I wouldn't take my bass guitar out in that kind of weather, much less my acoustic bass. I know you're not interested, but FWIW, about 25 years ago, I played outdoors in 45 or so degree weather. The steel strings got cold, my fingertips got cold and then slightly numb. Without knowing it, I was pressing harder and harder on the string, and as a result, got a bone bruise on my left index finger tip that bothers me to this day if it's cold where I'm playing. It's just not worth the possible injury to you and your bass. My real question is, though, what kind of idiot asks musicians to play outdoors when it's 16 below?
  11. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Cracks and stress issues to the wood aside, there is a high chance that you'll develop some finish checking or such due to the low temperature and different expansion / contraction rates between the wood and finish.

    'Probably not the best for a fully carved bass, but I support you 100% for not acting like my little old grandma and being a sissy about playing outside in the cold. Speaking as someone who has played music outside multiple times in December at the Mt Everest basecamp and on the other end at the bottom of the Grand Canyon in August when it was 120F+ in the shade, keep up the good fight and rock that freezing gig like it was your last one!

    Since it relates to the conversation at hand, have you seen my field testing section?


  12. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    It's 40 degrees outside my house right now, and even at that temperature I would have zero desire to perform out there for any real length of time.
  13. eerbrev


    Dec 6, 2009
    Ottawa, ON, CAN
    In case you fine ladies and gentlemen south of our border didn't catch it, that's -16 centigrade. about 4.5 degrees your temperature. still cold, but not as cold as you may have thought.

    In regards to playing a carved bass out in the cold, Mr. Condino's the guy to listen to, I think. There's a likelihood of damage, both minor and major, and were I you, I'd find a spare ply bass lying around and use it if I could.

    That said, I'm not you, and I wish you the best of luck on your gig!
  14. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    You are crazy to play outside in 5 degree temperatures period.
  15. gottliver


    Dec 20, 2004
    im in montreal, i can barely walk 10 minutes in sub zero temp without my hands freezing up..even if i had a weather proof instrument, im not sure i could play it...
  16. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I'd be using a ply bass, and I'd be wearing gloves. Worry more about the warming up than the cooling down, that's when the wood expands faster than the finish.

    Those super stretchy one-size-fits-all jobbies are surprisingly transparent when you're playing outdoors in the cold! ;)
  17. Ummm......No.
  18. Ratbut


    Mar 26, 2009
    Clarksville, TN
    Who is going to show up to that show? My guess is Hockey fans who are bored and not happy about the strike. Rock on brother.......
  19. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Naturally the real question is what kind of rosin to use at -16 C. :D