Poll: how many basses do you bring to a gig?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Admiral Akbar, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. None — I don’t play the bass

    4 vote(s)
  2. One is all I need

    203 vote(s)
  3. Two — Gotta have a backup, just in case

    195 vote(s)
  4. Two — I double on upright

    16 vote(s)
  5. Two — I need to switch for different tones (4, 5, FRETLESS, etc)

    60 vote(s)
  6. Three — I need my freedom, man!

    10 vote(s)
  7. More than three — sure, why the heck not?

    6 vote(s)
  1. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    Getting the idea for a poll from the latest interesting thread this morning by our esteemed @JimmyM — I was actually thinking of this during one of my gigs a week ago where I was switching between my Ken Smith 6 and ‘68 Guild Starfire: how many people bring more than one bass to a gig? How many maybe bring more than 2 to a gig?

    even in gigs where I’m not doubling on upright, I do like to bring 2 electric basses. One can serve as a backup, but really for me provides some more tonal and vibe options than just bringing one electric. I just like having the choice, wherever permitted. What say you, fellow TBers?
  2. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass.

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    20210703_174042.jpg 20200822_165725.jpg At least two, I always have a backup. sometimes as many as five. Lately it's been three.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
  3. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    One double bass for my jazz gigs. Used to bring just one electric bass before I bought my Gator double gig bag so most of the times I bring two (electric) basses (voted for "two-Gotta have a backup, just in case").

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
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  4. I only have two.

    So, two.

    And the argument for back up is pretty common on TB. In all of my years of playing I only needed a back up once and didn't have one. Never again. YMMV
  5. 2. Sometimes 2 4s, mostly a 5 and a 4, depending on gig
    '92 Stingray 5 / '14 Gibson EB4
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  6. A9X

    A9X Inactive

    Dec 27, 2003
    For years I only had one bass and only took that. Then SWMBO commented that I always had spares for the PA, so why not my bass rig? So now it would be 2 with an alternate path (DI) to the PA, just in case.
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  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Two -- gotta have backup. In the decades I've been gigging I've only had a half-dozen or so mid-gig failures, but each time I was grateful I could do a quick switch over to backup.

    I totally agreed with Jimmy: I bring two, but play just one (almost always). I never need to switch, so I don't. I definitely understand enjoying variety in tone, but for that I'll switch basses from one gig to another, rather than by set or by song.

    Should go without saying, but I'm just talkin' about my personal preference.
  8. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    I normally take 2, but sometimes 3. That covers me for backup as well as different tunings. And the set list is set up so that I only have to change out a bass once per set if even that.
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  9. Basslice

    Basslice Supporting Member

    May 11, 2008
    Western Massachusetts
    In one originals band I was in a while ago I would bring a fretted and a frettless for a couple of tunes. These days it is too much of a hassle.

    In our first post-Covid open practice (open to friends and neighbors) I brought my new basses - a Fender Jazz and a Squire P, that up until that point had not seen the stage with me.

    It was an error. I could not get either bass to sound good to my ears. The EQ on both are so different. I eventually got the P sounding ok, and laid off the jazz for the rest of the afternoon. Most people didn't know what was going on, but the band was rightfully pissed that I was eating up so much time. For the rest of the year I will be back to using my Ibanez SR1200 on gigs and the other toys in the studio.
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  10. Clark Westfield

    Clark Westfield Floyd Pepper is my mentor!

    Jan 30, 2012
    Central New Jersey
    Always 2.

    one for standard tune, the other for E flat.

    Also, works as a backup.
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  11. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    Most of my playing is done on upright. Sometimes I have to take the electric when I ask them if they want it. They have never asked me to take two electrics so I wont ask any more questions
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  12. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Fretless and fretted. On a special occasion I might bring a Ray and a P for variety but that's really not the norm. I could do one or the other but I like having one with rails and one without for different tones.
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  13. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    This ^

    Failures are rare but when they happen you gotta have a plan B. My backup bass (currently a SBMM Ray35) serves as a wet-weather or questionable bar bass too. Its job is to fill in when there's a problem OR step in the line of fire if things seem sketchy :D

    (Though I dig the Ray35 a lot and lately just play it cause I like it :cool:)
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  14. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    Love those Hiwatts!!! I had a Custom 100 back in the 70’s. It’s the only piece of gear I’ve regretted selling.
    PhatBottomBass1 likes this.
  15. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    I’ve never had a bass fail me on a gig ever. Amps, I’ll take a spare.
  16. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    That’s awesome. Spare amp makes sense. I’ve had an amp fail and went to a spare 3x. Also never a bass fail.
  17. Jamvan

    Jamvan The Bassist Formerly Known As Meh Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2014
    Used to roll with just one but started having too many weird little things happen so always have a spare with me now.
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  18. rickdog

    rickdog Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    Fretless (my Fender Frankenstein) and fretted (currently my Epiphone Jack Casady, sometimes my Rickenbacker). When I'm in good practice (which, after the long pandemic layoff, I'm not) I can switch in about 15 seconds: mute, set one bass down, pick other bass up, step on footswitch, unmute. Just long enough for the BL to say something about the previous and next songs ;)

    The band is on notice that if I ever bring three basses on stage, they will need to have an intervention.
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  19. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I always bring a backup that is completely interchangeable with my go to. I never had a bass fail until I did. Stuff happens and I was glad to be able to pick up the spare and deal with issues at the next break. I don't want to be the moron to hold up a show because I was too lazy to bring an extra bass. The only thing I don't have an extra of at a gig is a cab. I generally run through FOH, so if my cab fails, I still have presence in the monitors and for the peeps. Extra head? Yes, even though my backup DI would get 'er done.
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  20. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Finger Lakes area of New York State
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    I bring two amps, too, one of them a very small combo that will nonetheless do the job if the main one poops the bed.
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