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Practicing with a chheap bass; Performing with a good bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by axc1080, May 29, 2011.


  1. axc1080

    axc1080

    Mar 30, 2011
    Some guy at GC mentioned this to me the other day. He told me he practices on a cheap old Squire that cost him $200 and then he goes out and gigs with his American Fender P bass. He says practicing with a cheaper bass forces you to work harder and then when you get to playing with your regular bass, everything becomes plenty easier and your dexterity, proficiency, etc. improves. I've done it a bit recently, and I have noticed a different feel when I pick my up my usual ATK (I practice with a cheap ibanez gsr200) Thoughts, anyone?
     
  2. spaz21387

    spaz21387

    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I like practicing on the bass that im going to gig. honestly working a guitar center I bet the only bass he owns is the squier. There is nothing wrong with squier I own and gig 2 only because I dont have to worry about them getting taken or beat up at shows.
     
  3. Eric Albany

    Eric Albany

    May 22, 2011
    I do the same thing. I practice with my $85 SKY acoustic/electric bass and play my $280 Tanara electric bass when I'm not practicing.
     
  4. Jerry Callo

    Jerry Callo Banned

    May 23, 2011
    It may help or it may throw you off. A cheap bass isn't necessarily stiffer unless it has higher action. And practice shouldn't be approached from the standpoint of resistence anyway. I like practicing guitar, upright bass or piano, to work my hands in different ways.
     
  5. dgravesweiner

    dgravesweiner

    May 3, 2011
    I was given a completely unruly Lotus P copy and I learned on it for awhile. Then I got my MIA P and let me go ahead and say the Lotus set me back a little technique-wise. But that's just me, good luck
     
  6. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    Winnipeg
    My $180 Squier sounds better than my 1976 Fender Precision, so it gets used for both practice and gigs...
     
  7. JohnMCA72

    JohnMCA72

    Feb 4, 2009
    Another idea might be to practice on the expensive instrument & take the cheap bass out to where it's liable to get nicked, kicked, knocked over, spilled on, abused by other players if it's a multi-band gig, or even stolen when you're not looking.

    There's no automatic, direct correlation to the price of an instrument & its playability. A cheap bass can be set up to play well & an expensive one may play like crap. It all depends on the individual instrument & how well it's set up & maintained.
     
  8. I think it makes no sens at all!

    That would mean that your unable to switch from one instrument to the other smoothly!
    I own 14 basses, gig at least 10 of them on a regular (3 times a week) basis, when i play at home i just pick a bass i feel like playing, when i gig i just pick a bass that will do the job right!
    I never really have to think about what im doing going from one bass to the other, i know them all!
    This "working" harder on a cheap bass is rubbish, unless you have horrible technique or your cheap bass is setup like a bow it shouldnt make a difference!

    Just play what you like and what sounds right for the gig!

    (this whole thing probably comes from jaco practicing on a Pbass neck to supposedly work on his stretch!)
     
  9. My routine makes even less sense. I practice at home with my SX (essex) P-clone, but do rehearsals and live with my star performer - a 2010 Rickenbacker 4003.

    The only thing they have in common are LaBella DTB flats. Only once did the difference in scale length through me off. I started a song with the Ric a whole-tone higher than the rest of the band. That was embarrassing.

    I just hate the thought of unnecessarily wearing out the frets of the Ric. So expensive to refret.
     
  10. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    nothing to worry about if you're using flats...


    I always use the bass that suits the purpose. For practicing, I like using a P bass for two reasons - wider neck gives you more left hand exercise, and a single pickup makes you concentrate on playing

    than again, the same two characteristics also make it an awesome bass for gigging :)
     
  11. I don't get it.

    A great set-up is the great equalizer.

    I play a variety of basses, from the ultra cheap (Danelectro) to the more pricey (Fender USA and Rickenbacker), at private practice, rehearsals, and performances. I mix them up constantly without so much as a thought to their monetary value.

    All my basses get a thorough set-up and personalization to the instrument's character and my individual tastes and playing style.

    All my basses play and sound so good, I don't discriminate.

    I don't buy the "practice with a crappy bass that is hard to play, and then your good basses will seem to play like butter" philosophy.
     
  12. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    LA
    just to play the devil's advocate, playing the same songs over and over again can get so boring, that's why i like to play a crappy bass live, it's more challenging
    (hope this isn't too jack white hipster sounding)
     



  13. Cuttin' it a might close, there.
    :p
     
  14. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Cheap can be an indicator of monetary value, or cheap can mean something that is poorly made. I think it's an important distinction. Just because an instrument may have a low price point doesn't mean the quality can't rival an instrument costing several times more.

    I play my cheap Franken Hoppus when I practice and when I play. Unless I'm playing my Rickenbacker, which wasn't cheap. They each have their own unique voice and they are both invaluable weapons in my arsenal.
     

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