Sea air /cruise boat gig/Plywood?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Andrew Jones, Mar 21, 2003.

  1. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass

    I was wondering what prolonged effects of sea air would have on a carved Double bass?

    If you did a cruise boat gig for 4 months would
    would that be bad for a carved bass?

    Better to go plywood only?

  2. I would take the cheapest heap of s**t that you can find that will get the job done, as it is quite likely to get totally f****d. But it depends what the gig is. When I was on ships for a few years, some gigs you would play in the same lounge night after night. Others, you would be on the deck in the sun, then an air conditioned room ,then an unaircontitioned bar full of people,then across to the other side of the ship (better run 'cos you've only got ten minutes between sets) to play back on deck in the cool night air. NOt every days schedule, but one day like that every week can seriously stress out any average piece of wood and glue. I only did that gig with a bass guitar, but the neck was moving so much that when I returned to the ship after a holiday ,I had a graphite neck fitted (to the bass, not me) which calmed the action down.
    Check out graphite double basses. I haven't played one, but some people seem to like them, and they may save some hassle.
    I have heard that plywood basses are good at taking knocks but are more prone to humidity changes?
  3. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Humidity is generally GOOD for a stringed instrument. It's dryness, or a rapid change from humid to dry that causes cracks. The humidity might soften a little glue in a seam here or there, but I wouldn't really worry about it. People have carved basses in New Orleans, don't they? Just make sure you have a nice long soundpost in there, and be careful about dropping it if you re-string or the bridge gets whacked. I did some time on cruise ships myself, and I have fond memories of raiding the Midnight buffet, and of 4AM ping-pong matches with the Jamaicans...YAH, MON!!!! ENJOY!
  4. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I'd get a carbon fiber bass... and a paddle.