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Showing Off or Using your gear


SteveC

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I have 3 nice basses, IMHO, and would like to get more playing time on them. Is it (perceived or real) showing off if I use them all for a gig. Maybe play one for the first set and then use another one, etc.?

 

They all sound, play and look great and I'd like to use them. I don't mind bringing one or two to a gig as I have a double gig bag.

 

I don't want to be the "look at all my stuff" guy, but I don't want to have my basses just sitting at home either. they sound too sweet. What do you all think?

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Rationalize it like this,

 

" This here is my main axe but, it is wise to have a back-up instrument just in case. Also, you never know, we might just get a request for something in a drop D tuning soooo....." :D

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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Hey, I just came from a Christian gig last night. Well, I currently have two basses and I bought them both...Why? Simple---Tone!

 

The show had two sets of two different genres. A preliminary rock set and a mellow country one. Of course, I had both my basses coz each offered the appropriate sounds I needed. Another thing is I can't get a J sound from my P (I surveyed things before the show and I simply can't dial up a good EQ for a P). Simple as that.

Bring 20 of them, who cares what anyone thinks?
Oh yeah, when you bring your basses also bring that punk attitude too. It would save your ego from being bruised. :D

If Jaco's bass sound farts, please forgive me for doing it always!

 

ONCE A LEVITE, ALWAYS A LEVITE.

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Why you ask? I mean to say, you have bought all of them to play them as you wish, why cares other opinion?

 

There are a lot of brand out there, and nothing can stop me to put on a DKNY or Levi's jeans or a copy from Bangkok, for example.

 

Branding are there to make people look good and to make people sound good (especially for bass).

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Go ahead and bring 'em, but don't be surprised if the bandleader doesn't give you time to switch.

 

I get requests to bring my electric along with the upright to jazz gigs. They say they want to "mix it up". Does the bandleader call a tune and wait on me to put down what ever I'm using to pick up the other? Only if it crosses their mind (and it usually doesn't). Do they arrange the set list with concern for my switching back and forth in mind? No they don't.

 

If you are the bandleader, that is another story. If you work out the set lists for your band and can coordinate the bass switches - great! If you're just a drone, playing bass for the musical version of "the man" (as I am, but I am not complaing), save yourself the aggravation.

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It's good to have a back-up, but IMO other than that, the extra basses should bring something else to the table, be it range or tone, or even lighter weight for the last set. If they all sound the same, I don't see the point of bringing more than one and a back-up.

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

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They don't all have the same tone, but they all sound good. One's a 4 fretted, ones a five freted, the last is a fretless 6.

 

tnb's point about time is why I have been using just the 5. It is the most veritile of them all and I can get by. I only really need the B string for a couple tunes. But I have my "project bass" jazz that sounds great and I want to play it out.

 

We usually have a set list, but we don't stick to it all the time depending on how it's going. Maybe I just need to say "hey, we wait for the horns to get music up, we wait for the lead singer to put a guitar on and off depending on the tune, and sometimes we wait for the keys to get the right patch pulled up, so why not wait for me a couple times a set."

 

Thanks for the replys so far. As usual, I was just curious as to what you all thought and do.

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I think it really depends on what type of gigs you are playing. For me, I'm used to playing 1 hour or less sets of original material. It's not reasonable for me to be switching axes during this set. Even the guitarist is playing either a Godin with a piezo bridge or a Carvin with a piezo bridge instead of changing for an acoustic. It's all about keeping things flowing and getting on and off stage as efficiently as possible. If your gig is different, then go for it!

 

One other thing to consider: how much tone-shaping do you employ on your amplification? If you are used to tweaking your EQ on your amp for each different ax, you might run into a problem.

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Originally posted by SteveC:

I leave the EQ on my amp alone and tweak each bass. I don't like to wait between songs either, so maybe a bass a set is the way to go.

I never changed basses, but one of the guitarists I played with changed guitars... We always did our best to keep those songs together. We had a pretty minimal axe-switching time.

"Bass isn't just for breakfast anymore..."

 

http://www.mp3.com/Addix_Metzatricity

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Well, when playing with a wireless system, I always made sure to use one strap, with the transmitter attached and switch only basses.

 

Back in the day, I would play with two Ibanez SR400's, one as a backup, an Ibanez SR645 5-er, and when I just got my Stingray and was still unused to that enormous neck, that just sat on the stand used for only one song.

 

Now, I use that Stingray as a primary bass, going to get a white SUB for a backup, or a used white Stingray if the price is right, and I'll probably keep my first and last SR400 on the stand for that P/J stuff.

\m/ Timothy Lyons
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Originally posted by Timothy Lyons:

Back in the day, I would play with two Ibanez SR400's, one as a backup, an Ibanez SR645 5-er.

How many people play with backups? Any reason? Sring breakage?

 

I've never done such a thing and I've never had a problem. Maybe I'm lucky.

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Originally posted by getz76:

Originally posted by Timothy Lyons:

Back in the day, I would play with two Ibanez SR400's, one as a backup, an Ibanez SR645 5-er.

How many people play with backups? Any reason? Sring breakage?

 

I've never done such a thing and I've never had a problem. Maybe I'm lucky.

I usually bring 1-4 and 1-5.

 

My guitarist brings 5 ( including a Gibson doubleneck ) ..... alternate tunings.

 

I try to arrange the set(s) to minimize the axe changing and keep the set flowing.

 

PJR

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I almost always take a fretted along with a fretless (or EUB), for varying reasons. The A/B switch lets me make switches quickly, and glancing over the set list gives me an idea of when to make it. Different sounds is the primary reason for switching, but my aching back likes variety, so I can hurt in a new and different place. And the basses I own are not a collection, I bought them to play, though some I keep for other reasons.

 

The last band was slack between tunes and I could switch whenever I felt like it, the current gig is faster-paced, as well as less-varied as far as requiring different styles of bass sounds, so switches are fewer. If you plan ahead and make a quick change as soon as the last note rings, it doesn't interupt the flow IMHO.

1000 Upright Bass Links, Luthier Directory, Teacher Directory - http://www.gollihurmusic.com/links.cfm

 

[highlight] - Life is too short for bad tone - [/highlight]

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How many people play with backups? Any reason? Sring breakage?

 

I've never done such a thing and I've never had a problem. Maybe I'm lucky.[/QB]

 

Up until recently, I could only afford one bass at a time; and I was playing out every week.

I guess options are nice, but I was successful with one (necessity, what a mother!).

I'm glad I have the option now! :D

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

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It doesn't take long to switch basses. One thing I know is that you have to remember that you have to switch basses. Today on the gig we started counting the tune and I realized, luckily before we started playing, that I didn't have the six strapped on and I was to play chords on that song. It only took a few seconds and I was able to change and recount the song.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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If you need them, then you need them. I use a Precision 4 (with drop D), a Jazz 5 and a Steinberger 5 fretless. None can do what the other does.

 

The whole band uses a number of guitars:

 

Gibson 335

Fender American Strat

12 string acoustic

6 string acoustic

6 string Flamenco nylon

Pedal steel E9th (10 string)

J-bass

P-bass

fretless bass

 

None can do what the others can do.

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I took a couple of basses to a gig I played this weekend in Illinois, but I ended up playing only the Jazz on Friday night and only the Modulus on Saturday. I take the approach that whatever sound I have isn't in the bass - it's in my playing. The main reason I took the Modulus in the second night was that the band ended up doing a bunch of disco type dance music, and I wanted to use the low string.

Dave Martin

Java Jive Studio

Nashville, TN

www.javajivestudio.com

 

Cuppa Joe Records

www.cuppajoerecords.com

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I have four basses, but never take more than two of them to a gig. For the rock gigs, I primarily use my Tobias 5-string; for a few country gigs I had I used my Jazz.

 

But I was taking both of them along. At the country gigs, I would usually switch to the Tobias at the end of the night because we would start throwing in a lot of rock for the last set. But at the rock gigs, I discovered that I simply wasn't using the Jazz at all. I supposed I intended to use the Jazz for "classic rock" numbers, and the Tobias for everything else, but the Jazz just ended up sitting there. So now, I still take two basses, but the second bass is there strictly as an emergency backup.

 

As far as trying to use different basses to get different sounds on stage, I threw that idea out the window too. While my band is a cover band, we don't make any attempt to sound "just like the record". We make each song our own, and having my own sound is part of making the songs my own. Plus, I'm the lead singer in the band, and I've found that having a consistent bass tone helps with singing and playing at the same time.

 

Besides, the active electronics in my Tobias allow me to dial in just about any sound I want right from the bass. I've discovered that I can get a very close approximation of a Jazz tone out of that Tobias, too. So the Jazz has become superfluous other than as an emergency backup.

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It's been a while since I last gigged, but for the past umpteen years I've only owned one fretted 4-string and one fretless 5-string. I used to bring both to my gigs because I used to use both during our sets -- some tunes were matched better with fretless and some with fretted. My bandmates were gracious in considering my need to switch basses for different tunes as one of the factors in the design of our set list, and we limited my switches to two, usually.

 

If you've got a back-up, I think it's a good idea to bring it if possible. You never know what's going to happen.

 

As far as giving all your basses a spin during a set -- sure...as long as it remains about the sound and the music and doesn't detract from the flow of the set.

 

If you really like how all your basses sound, you could either consider the possibility of using different basses for different sets (if you're playing more than one set in an evening) or switching up which basses you take to gigs, or which one is the "primary" bass for different gigs. (This may not be truly feasible, given that one's a 4 fretted, one's a 5 fretted, and one's a 6 fretless -- not necessarily all "interchangeable"! :) )

 

Personally, I'd like to have a single instrument that can pretty much carry the whole set and not fuss with switching. The only notable exception might be fretted and fretless differences. In social science we talk a lot about parsimony. There's your word for the day on the subject.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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My saying is "if it can go wrong, it will" so don't think it'll never happen cos it will, i always take a back up cos sometimes other bands don't have a spare, so share and share alike and you'll get a reputation for being a nice guy.
"i must've wrote 30 songs the first weekend i met my true love ... then she died and i got stuck with this b****" - Father of the Pride
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