Playing bass in the sun... what to do?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tb-player, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. tb-player

    tb-player sarcasm intended… always! Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    I have a gig this weekend, playing an outdoor festival. It's on the beach, right next to the Atlantic Ocean. We play at 1pm. It's an hour-long set.

    My Overwater is my #1 bass, but it is very expensive. I was thinking of playing it for this festival, but I am not sure how I feel about taking it out in direct sunlight and with all that corrosive salt air at the beach.

    Granted, I also have a fairly inexpensive p-bass that would probably work. But it's a good gig & I'd like to have my best gear on-hand.

    Would you play your best bass in that environment?
    In case anyone is curious... game day decision, the weather was calling for a high of 78, 0% chance of precipitation & a light ocean breeze. Plus, the stage was covered. I played the Overwater. Great set.

    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    James Urbaniak and Miles_ONeal like this.
  2. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA

    Now, I'm a proponent of USING the "good stuff". But I've also played a zillion shows on the Mid-Atlantic coast.

    On the beach? Mid day? You'll need sunblock. That calls for a thick poly finish (Trust me on that.) Sweat. Sand. Salt. High temps. Sharks. Boat drinks that can be spilled by drunk people suffering from heat stroke. It's the perfect storm.

    Grab the P bass for this one show. I have never played a festival and had ANYONE say "Why is that guy playing a P bass?" It'll do just fine.

    If it were NEAR the beach, or at night, or indoors at the beach (removing one or more of the environmental concrens) I would say go for it.
  3. While I don't know much about Overwater basses,
    I do know that salt air is not your basses friend.
    So, my counter question would be;
    just how much is this gig paying?

    Also, chances are the P bass will get the job done
    and likely be simpler to repair if there are any ill effects.
  4. If the temp is going to be at all high
    a pair of wrist sweat bands might be in order.
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Is your P good enough to gig? If so, bring it.
    gozbass, Sywannab, baileyboy and 2 others like this.
  6. tb-player

    tb-player sarcasm intended… always! Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2019
    Yeah, my p-bass is nice. But, the Overwater is my main gigging bass... plus, it's a five-string, which would be really nice to have on a couple of tunes. But I have no hesitancy bringing the precision. It's a beast. Just not my first choice.

    I guess I wasn't sure if I was being paranoid about the beach, salt air & sun.
    Nunovsky likes this.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I wouldn't bring my best if I were playing right on the beach.
    pcake and Gorn like this.
  8. mbell75


    May 23, 2016
    Nope. Why would you play a bass worth thousands at any gig? Risking scratches, dents, dings, getting thanks. Only way I would ever gig an expensive bass was if I was playing arenas and had a personal guitar tech babying my gear. Find a nice, used MIM Femder for $300 and gig that, or use your existing P on gigs
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    What's the temps? Prolly need some water on hand. Maybe a hat.

    Good luck!
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Just don't sit it in the sun all day and it'll be fine. An hour at the beach isn't going to kill it.
  11. AboutSweetSue

    AboutSweetSue Guest

    Sep 29, 2018
    It’ll be fine.
    gebass6, Joonbug, Cheez and 4 others like this.
  12. Agree with wristbands. Maybe some chalk if you have sweaty hands. Works for Steve Harris!!
  13. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    Wear sunglasses and a hat. Oh, yeah. Don't forget the shorts and sandals, too.
    gebass6, giacomobass, alpla and 8 others like this.
  14. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    This is why I have a nicely set up Squier 5 on hand for times I dont want to take my expensive main player.
    I've played at Seahawks games when its thirty-something out, sprinkling out, and 5 hour wedding day in mid-day sun.
  15. Jon McBass

    Jon McBass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2017
    South Carolina
    Shorts! <ducking>
    Winslow, BLDavis, City and 3 others like this.
  16. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    It's really up to you. Probably most of the nastiness the bass will encounter will be sweat dripping from you. If you want to keep the bass nice, either leave it at home or plan on doing some major detailing to clean it up after the gig.

    Sweat, salt, sand, and sun screen can be pretty rough on an instrument if not removed. I suggest you make sure and wipe down the bass real well before you put it in the case, otherwise all the gross stuff will be transferred back to the bass after you clean it.

    I gigged a Yamaha TRB6P for 13+ years. It didn't have many dings in the finish but the hardware was a bit rough due to many outdoor gigs with rain and sweat where the bass got put away wet and dirty. When the musicians function as sound crew, roadies, drivers, etc, the instruments don't tend to get babied as well as they should, especially when a storm blows in mid set, and you have to pack and load 7,000lbs in the rain.
  17. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Inactive

    Nov 20, 2000
    Harrison Mills
    Good lord, it’s only an hour. That’s NOT going to hurt the the bass. You pay all that money you’d BETTER go play it. Life is too short to be all precious about this kind of occasional situation. Want to buy something expensive you won’t be a dweeb for leaving at home? Get a really nice boutique couch.
    Swerve, whbjr, Inky13 and 24 others like this.
  18. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    So a guy owns nice Rolls Royce and a Chevy Cruze and wants to go to the beach, which car should he take?
  19. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder

    Sep 27, 2018
    Does any one care what the bass player plays?
  20. LowRick


    Mar 24, 2019
    Depends... does he want chicks?

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