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Spare bass for gigging?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Vegiehead, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Vegiehead


    Jan 23, 2006
    Hi Guys

    Im wondering if its common for bassists to take a back up bass to a gig?

    Reason i ask is we are about 3 months from gigging as a guess and i have noticed both our guitarists have a spare guitar incase they break a string or whatever..

    Now i know we bassists dont break as many strings but im wondering is it worth while getting hold of a back up bass?


  2. ollybarclay


    Dec 14, 2005
    always worth a back up.

    i remember when my band were first starting out i snapped a string and asked very politely if i could borrow one for the remaining 2 songs and no..nothing. had to make do with 3 strings. was not fun.

    MUCH easier to quickly mute your guitar grab another one plug in and miss maybe 30 seconds max of the song.

    provided you've got them both strapped up and tune them both beforehand.

    having said that since that show i broke that string i've never broken another live. however, the input on my corvette failed one night on tour and i'm so glad i had the streamer as a backup!!
  3. Vegiehead


    Jan 23, 2006
    Good point

    I'd only thought of a string breaking .. when you think about it a lot more can go wrong and like they say if its going to go wrong it will go wrong at the worst time.

    I feel another bass comming on :bassist:
  4. I agree.

    About thirty years ago I had the misfortune to break three - yes, THREE - strings in one gig. Needless to say, I can remember it like it was yesterday.:eek: :eek: :eek:

    Always carry a back-up now and (touch wood), I have never needed it.:smug: :smug:
  5. My 2 cents.
    1)Yes, always bring a back-up bass
    2)When you bring a back-up bass, you might as well use it.

    I have a fretted and a fretless bass. I bring both of them to our gigs. Some songs sound better on my fretted bass other on my fretless. But in case I break a string, I can finish the set on my other bass.
  6. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    I could not have said it better myself. I have 3 basses (4 string fretted, fretless 4 and a fretted 5): different instrurments for different purposes. I always bring at least to of them to gigs as a back up and so I can use which insurments works best.

    Things go wrong at gigs so be preapred. Regardless of whether you have a second bass or not, bring extra strings, picks, batteries, cords, ect.

    Finally, have a game plan to deal with such things. I saw a bar band recenlty where the guitar player broke a string and signaled this to the singer. When the song ended, the singer calmly said "We're taking a five minute break to deal with a technical problem. be right back" They actually looked happy walking of the stage to go to the bathroon or have a smoke, while the guitarist calmly changed the string. He tuned up with the amp on that could have been a cue for the band to come back to the stage which they did and the show went on.

    I was so impressed at their profesionalism in calmly and quickly dealing with this problem.
  7. BassChuck

    BassChuck Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    In over 30 years I've only broken a string once. My fault, I was into the "well, Joe Osborne never changed his strings" school of thought.

    Spare bass? Hey, its the best excuse I can think of for buying a fun bass. (spouse's love that 'responsiblity' angle of that argument too)
  8. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I always carry spare strings. Aside from that, it depends on the gig and how far I am from home. In 30 years I have only had one string break.

    I have been bringing two basses for the past six months to gigs with my band. The fretless comes out for the first set as it's got jazzier tunes, blues, reggae. The remainder of the night is with the fretted Blade and my pedal board.

    One of my regular freelance gigs is with a guy that does a lot of 50's and 60's stuff. My old P with the 62 reissue jazz neck comes out specifically for playing with him. He likes that tone and my playing adjusts to it.

    It's only been in the last five years that I've had the luxury of more than one bass. I did 30 years of playing with just one bass and did just fine. I'm not a physically agressive player. I have a fairly light touch.

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