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Outside Gig in 40 Degree Temperature(Faranheit)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FunkHead, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Will very cold temps harm the finish on A Bass? Specifically Rickenbacker or Fender Poly. I'm not sure what finish is on the RIC but's a 2012 4003 Maple-Glo. I am tempted to pick up a used Ibby to use for the Gig.
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Poly should be fine, nitro can craze if you take it from real to cold to warm quickly. Fender gives an info sheet with their nitro coated basses, at least I got one with my Jaco. I do not know if nitro will just crack because of the cold.
  3. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    Temperature extremes will check, (crack) a finish. A warm bass taken suddenly outside into cold weather is not a great idea.

    If you gradually cool it down and then gradually warm it up you have a less chance of checking. I wouldn't do it with a Rickenbacker though.

    Pick up a cheap "bar bass" for gigs like this. Squier maybe?
  4. 77PBass

    77PBass Banned

    Dec 5, 2007
    I played a gig in Potsdam NY with my 4001 and it was -12 degrees. The stage was wrapped in plastic with a couple of holes cut in the front for our faces. I played with gloves with the fingers cut off. Bass made it through like a champ. 40 degrees is nothing.

    On the other hand, a friend with a vintage '59 Goldtop Les Paul nearly killed himself when he opened his case to find that the finished checked after driving 5 minutes from a club top his home in Postdam after a gig in -10 degree weather.
  5. Buy the second tier bass for this gig. 40 probably won't give you a problem if you take the bass outside in its case and let that come down to temp for a while before you pull it out and then bring it inside in the case and let it come up to temp for a while before taking it back out. But why risk it. I have a MIM Fender Jazz for such gigs (all outdoor gigs and seedy bars) and it makes me feel smart.
  6. themarshall


    Jun 26, 2008
    cochrane wi
    I doubt 40F is cold enough or the temperature change great enough to hurt a poly finish. Certainly no worse than going from, say, a hot trailer to an AC'd environment.
  7. jason the fox

    jason the fox Often rocks and rarely rolls.

    Jul 2, 2013
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I played at an outdoor gig 2 weeks ago, close to the same temperature. Played 2 AmStd Fender Precisions.

    Everything seemed fine - no issues with the finish, or even the set up/necks.

    It was a damp night though, and moisture got to be a little uncomfortable on them, but it turned out ok.
  8. Zero issue, even if you newer Ric is nitro (edit: Just checked... it isn't... looks like they stopped using Nitro around 2005 according to the website... so really zero issue). Going from 20 degrees immediately to 75 degrees or something with an old nitro finish.... maybe an issue and you should let the bass slowly warm up in the case. 65 to 40, forget about it and play!
  9. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Thanks for so many good replies. I jammed our whole set list on my Squier Fretless and realized how easy it is. I am going to Gig with it and keep my Fender SH Bass in the car for backup. The Gig is This Saturday October 26th Lake Myers Campground Mocksville, NC. Please come out & see us if you are near by.
  10. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    I'm glad I read this as I have an outdoor gig on Sunday. Personally I think it's a bit nuts, but then again people are beer fest crazy these days and I can't argue with that.
  11. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    There comes a time when your fingers won't move no matter what you want them to do. That seems to be about 40°.
  12. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I hope it stays a bit warmer until after the show. As they say...."The show must go on"
  13. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    I did a 16 song gig in 41 degrees and my hands were sorry for a week.
  14. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    I tried playing fretless in 40F weather once... It was terrible haha. Had to keep a cup of hot chocolate on hand to heat my left hand back up between songs. By the end of each song my intonation got noticeably worse:p
  15. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
  16. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

  17. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    FWIW you can play bass with gloves easily. Cut the finger tips off if your using round wounds or they'll eat through the gloves. Your sound won't be affected at all. I've had to do it many times.
  18. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    Put one of those dish-antenna-looking radiant heaters on the stage right in front of you. I've done it several times with great success.
  19. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I know there's a DJ at this Campground most nights. Maybe there'll be some sort of heat provided. I am going to check with My Drummer and see if he knows. I was hoping the warmth from all the adoring fans would be enough.:):D
  20. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    I live in California. We don't even go outside when it is 40 degrees! 40 degrees is sub-arctic and requires thermal layers and insulated boots. At least where I live, if you put on an outdoor event and it was 40 degrees you would probably need the Rolling Stones or maybe even ELVIS to get an audience to show up.

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