What basses should I bring?!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Morris2103, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. Hey everyone. I've been given an opportunity to play bass for a band who are set to be doing paid gigs and a chance to become a resident house band in the future. My try out is tomorrow and I haven't a clue what basses to bring with me. They are a classic rock style band. I'm toying with the idea of bringing my squier and my ibanez sr600.. or either one of those and a fretless.. I'm bringing two Incase one decides to explode or something... no idea what to do... arrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhh
  2. Something Fender-ish is always a safe bet, a lot of folks can't seem to get their preconceived non-bass player notions past it's gotta look like/sound like a Fender or it doesn't count. Hell a lot of bass players can't even get past that mindset. Some are even likely to look down on a Squier no matter how good it sounds, how much it's modded etc because "it's not a REAL Fender". Whatever. A lot of closed minds out there. Fretless for classic rock? I don't think so, not initially anyway.
  3. TrevorOfDoom


    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Take whatever bass you are most comfortable with.
    Only that one.
    Rock the audition hard, leave 'em begging, then later you can talk about different basses and tones with them.

    You can bring 19 basses with a thousand amazing tones, but if you bung up the audition, none of it matters.
    TheBear, Jhengsman, Willopis and 12 others like this.
  4. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Classic rock - I assume you are talking covers. Take a look at their photos on their website or youtube to see what the vibe of the band is and what the guitarist(s) is/are playing. You want to fit in.

    - multiple threads here from people who lost out on auditions for Squier hate.
    - sounds like no need for a fretless
    - bring one bass. Bring the bass you play best.

    When in doubt, a (Fender) P or J. Can't go wrong with that.
  5. The only fender i own is fretless. Closest thing I have is the squier. It's pretty much the first audition for bass I've done, and I've read that some people are gear snobs and won't even acknowledge anything other than fender.
  6. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    I play classic rock gigs all the time with my American Special Precision and Squire Precision fretless. Take the two you mentioned above and just play the [email protected] out of them. If that doesn't work, or they aren't hip to your guitars. Move along, nothing to see there. Life's way too short to deal with gear snobs. IMHO

    Did I mention- play the [email protected] out of them....
  7. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I think it's a great idea to bring two basses. It's always good to have a backup in case you have any problem with #1. Plus, if you don't have one that is your clear #1, having two options might come in handy. Who knows -- when you get there, see every else's gear, etc, you might suddenly decide that one is a better choice than the other. You'd hate for that to happen and realize that's the one you left home. Another potential advantage is that you can tell them that you brought two basses because you weren't sure which would fit better with this particular band. That might get you some bonus points for thinking about and being concerned about such things.

    If one or more of them happen to be (ignorant) gear snobs who think non-Fenders aren't good enough, just tell them with confidence that you don't agree, and that you think your Squier (say) is a better bass than most of the Fenders you've played -- perhaps adding, "...except for my fretless Fender, which I didn't bring tonight," which should earn you some cred.

    Good luck, and let us know it goes.
  8. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I'd bring a bass with 2 pick ups.
  9. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    A Squier looks like a Fender, of course. That oughtta be close enough.
  10. if the audition info hasn't specified a certain type or model, then bring what you are comfortable with that will get the job done. Worrying about your bass or sound is not something you should do at the audition. You didn't say if you are providing your own amp or using one provided. If you are brining your own gear, then Use the bass that sounds best with your amp, that can cover the songs you are auditioning with. (As a rule of thumb, if you are sounding like the bass parts you are covering, then you are fine.)

    I have been through many auditions, both as a BL looking for players, and as a player looking for a gig. Most of those gigs I knew if a player could play before he even started the song, as was setting up. Initially, I was looking for feel, playing ability, stage presence/comfort playing with a band, and most importantly, if they got along with the others in the group. Brand of gear was a non issue as long as they were playing well and getting a reasonable tone.

    I have done work as a session player and as a hired gun for touring bands/national artists. As far as the audition goes, be prepared, be courteous, confident, and professional. Get quickly set up, dial in your sound, and be ready when they want to start. Bringing a spare bass or equipment was always a good sign a player had some experience playing; equipment will fail at the precise moment it is needed the most. Expect that and be prepared. Be light hearted and have fun! People like fun happy people, and often will pass over a better technical player to be with one that really has a blast playing and is generally fun to be around.

    Good luck, kick some butt, and don't worry about the brand of bass you are playing, as long as you do well, no one will care.
  11. Awesome advice from everyone! Thanks a lot!.
    buldog5151bass likes this.
  12. Yes, a precision or jazz. Anything else may raise a wary eyebrow. One bass will suffice.
  13. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I'd say if you have a P or a J, then just bring one of those. If you don't, then I'd say bring two basses and suss it out when you get there.
    Admiral Akbar likes this.
  14. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    Irregardless of labelling other musicians who prefer Fenders as "snobs," the reality is Fenders are what most people prefer to hear. This includes not only Precision and Jazz basses made by Fender, but also P and J style basses made by Sadowsky, Alleva-Coppolo, Lakland, Xotic, Nordstrand, Suhr, Pensa, G&L, ESP, Atelier, Nash, Crook, etc., and yes, even Squier.

    The plain fact that the vast majority of records which feature electric bass are Fender or Fender-derived is for good reason: they are damn good, well-designed, consistent instruments that sound great with a band live and on recordings.

    That said, bring the bass you are most comfortable with. Squiers (Fenders) are perfect. As for fretless, I would only go there unless you feel super comfortable, can play it in tune, and know for a fact exactly which tune or tunes actually require it or where it would be preferable to your main axe. The last thing you need is to expose yourself "fishing for notes"
    on a FRETLESS getting yourself in trouble when you could've just nailed the tune on a fretted and moved on--I should know, that happened to me on an audition once!
  15. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I would bring two basses. The one I play is the one I'm most comfortable with and sound the best upon, while meeting the demands of the gig. One bass with a wide tonal range for the audition in case they don't like the sound and ask you to change it. I would have a spare with me just in case. That looks good because it shows the band you are a reliable player who thinks ahead. I always bring two basses to gigs in case one develops a problem I can't fix on the gig.

    If they hate on your because of the brand of your gear then I think that's a red flag. I have built and sold basses, and I play a $139 SX jazz knockoff at all my gigs. The brand does NOT matter so long as you can play it well. I think most experienced people would likely agree. The fretless for this gig is a non-issue.
    Bunk McNulty likes this.
  16. RickyWoo


    May 26, 2016
    Basses? It's an audition. Bring one and show them you play bass. Don't bring a bunch for show and tell.
  17. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    Another vote for bringing the instrument you're most comfortable with. Come in prepared and nobody will care what bass you're using. Full disclosure: When I was doing a lot of freelancing, I always brought a P bass or similar. It's not gear snobs, it's people who don't know anything about bass playing who thing the Precision is the be-all end-all. You don't have to deal with that now; just know the material and position yourself next to the drummer.
    jazzyvee likes this.
  18. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Know the songs, know the songs, know the songs. Know them so you can change key if they call another key. There's reall no place to hide on bass, you either know the tune or you don't. If you sing, know the background parts. If you sing lead, be ready to sing one.

    Set your volume to the drummer, but stay on the low side. Better to be asked to turn up a bit, than have them wondering how you'll take being asked to turn down. Watch their dynamics. I always try to set up on the high hat side, near the drummer. It makes eye contact and conversation easier.

    If they have a web site, or media available, notice their look and vibe. In other words, don't show up for the interview in sweats and sandals. They might be schleppy at practice, but you should look gig ready.

    And it's not a pop quiz. If you only have three or five tunes ready, call those tunes. If they do extended versions, be alert and watch the other guys for signals. If your eyes are glued to your fretboard, it's not going to fly.

    Be a good hang. Have fun.

    Good luck!

    Notice I didn't mention gear once?
  19. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    1. Go to hardware store and buy turpentine, or sandpaper. Whichever you prefer.

    2. Grab your Squier bass by the neck and hold it securely.

    3. Use either the sandpaper, or turpentine with a cloth to gently rub off all letters printed on the headstock.

    4. Bring the Squier bass to the audition. Leave the other 2 home.

    5. If asked what kind of bass if is at the audition, lie and say, "Not a clue. Someone gave it to my father about 30 yrs ago and all I know is it sounds freaking awesome!"

    That's what I would do.
    wmmj, leomilani, punchdrunk and 2 others like this.
  20. I wouldn't worry about gear snobbery. It happens a lot less often in real life than reading TB would have you believe. Best of luck!
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