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jazzyvee

Allowing someone to use your bass at a gig.

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This evening I had a gig this evening where we were the second of two bands playing.

Anyway about 3/4 of the way through the first band set the bass player walks into the dressing room with our trombone player and sheepishly asks if he can use my bass to finish the set as the jack socket on his bass had stopped working...........

My answer was a clear but polite. "No I don't lend out my basses"
I did feel sorry for his predicament but I've always had a policy of not allowing anyone to use my instruments, guitar or bass, at gigs or jam sessions. There have been rare occasions where I've let someone I know really well try my bass out at my home or rehearsal but never on a gig.

Funnily though a few minutes later we could still hear bass coming from the stage so I guess he managed to fix something somehow and finish the gig.

What would your response have been?

Edited by icastle
Font size correction.

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I probably would have let him borrow mine, but it would have been dependant on his (and his band's) attitude throughout the evening. If they'd been arrogant 'too cool' types or in anyway disrespectful to the equipment then absolutely not!

In saying that, my equipment isn't high-end - I'd have a different outlook if I was gigging a £3k bass.

My inner tech says alway bring a backup...personally I rarely do, however it's unusual for electronics on a bass to just die. At the first hint of trouble I'm on it right away, and I always give my gear a quick once over before gigs.

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If he genuninely had unforeseen tech issues and I had a good feeling about him I might have helped

This is a different situation too someone not coming prepared and assuming others will provide

However , only you where there and able to judge this particular case


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My basic policy is: bring your own bass. If it breaks: should have brought a backup. Then again: if it's a guy I know and/or I've seen him playing well, he can borrow my bass, depending on which one I have with me. Cheapo Jazz: no problem. Road Worn P: preferably not. '66 Jazz: never ever ever. Never. No.

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as long as they've proved not to be a pratt, no problem. It's only a bass. I always love it when people play my old '75 P bass, especially if they don't really play/like P basses. They always say how amazing it is.

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If he was a nice guy I would have let him no worries.

But as it's said above, if it was a £3K pride & joy I doubt I would have.....but saying that If I had a £3K Bass I'd have sold it & bought nice campervan for my family to enjoy rather than spend £3K on a bass lol.

So the answer is yes I would have helped him.....If he was nice.

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I probably would have let him use mine too. I would take a backup anyway to a gig so offer that one, or offer my main bass and I would play the backup if all else failed. As people have said: if he was an arrogant prat I may have said no but otherwise would have said ok. I am fond of saying to my children: Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself... If I was in a bind, through my stupidity or not, I would hope that someone would be generous. Plus,I wouldn't fancy playing to a pub full of disenchanted punters because the previous band only did a half set..

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My bass is personal to me and I do not let other people play it. No exceptions. There is no excuse for not bringing a back-up to a gig, I play a US Fender P and always have a cheap Squier P with me at all gigs, just in case.

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I'm in the house band for a jam night so, every month I see how people treat gear that isn't their own.

Even people I know and really should be able to trust leave me thinking; why are you trying to break my cabs?

Some players do seem to treat their gear well but I have two rules; I control the volume when someone uses my back line on a jam night and I don't lend my basses at any time.

I've seen hundreds of bass players digging bits out of their basses with belts, studs and chains so mine will never be lent.

I only own quality gear so these rules are not negotiable.

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Whether they would be able to play it is another question, but I may have done so in the circumstances...
and I liked the guy. My basses are high-end and would cost £3k to replace but if the deal was genuine
then maybe. I would also likely have some tools so that we could try and repair his if something like electrical.
I think that would be the better way forward, all round, tbh.

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I'm pretty much the same as most of the others
I usually carry a backup bass, and think that's the sensible approach
So he really should have a backup too

Again, it depends on which bass I was using
Some basses, I'd rather not loan to a stranger
But if he seemed a genuine enough guy - I'd loan my backup bass....

I was in a band who played an afternoon session of 4 bands
We were last but one, and the band who were on last,
saw themselves as the "main band" even though that wasn't really the case.....
They were young, and really full of themselves

Our drummer had loaned them his kit, and while onstage were sarcastic about us, as we had played covers

EDIT: The lead singer had said "we don't do covers - we're an original band - we can write our own songs"
and 2 songs later, launched into a well known cover song!

At that point, if it had been my bass amp they were using, I'd have gone onstage and removed it
Our drummer decided to let it go though....
At the end of the evening, I had already left
- the drummers father came to thank our drummer,
but The drummer nor any other member of the band bothered to say "thank you, for the loan of your kit"

So I'm much more cautious about loaning stuff since then....
Again, it's all down to their attitude when asking etc

Edited by Marc S

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Funny one isn't it. Most of my gigs on bass are on multi band nights.....frequently there'll be at least one, maybe 2 bands that are made up of 15 years old that haven't got an amp loud enough to use, my position is that no one uses my rig at all. The other week a friends band were on the bill before us and there bass player (also a friend) was struggling to get a rig to the venue for whatever reason, for him I would have made the exception as I know him, know that he wouldn't abuse my gear etc.

With an actual instrument, I dunno really. My Bass has an unlaquared finish so scratches really easily, and is actually pretty battered....but they're my scratches, my wear and tear, I'd be pretty miffed if someone else gouged it! I think if someone had a tech issue mid set, as long as they hadn't acted like a twat during the evening then I'd lend them my bass. If they turn up without a bass (I've seen that happen once, then they can jog on!) We were playing a festival this summer and in the penultimate song our guitarist broke a string....he doesn't take a spare guitar to gigs so the band on after us kindly offered him a guitar so that we could finish our set....so this has made me more inclined to help out.

....and one final tale of irrelavance, back in April I got a US custom shop Strat. The day later I took it down to a friends gig (he is a very well respected blues player) so that I could hear some SRV tunes played live on it! There's few guys that I'd trust more with my gear than him though, and he's kind of been my mentor for a decade!

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My answer would be "sure,if you can play it left handed". It would depend on the circumstances and their approach, if circumstances outside their control have led to this situation and they are duly respectful and grateful then it should be ok. Although I can understand why someone wouldn't want to, when our guitarist was asked if a complete stranger could borrow his brand new Gibson Les Paul he wasn't too happy.

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No-one's ever asked me. I'd probably say no, unless I knew them. But seeing as most people would rather set fire to themselves than play a Gibson bass, I don't think it'll be a problem any time soon ;)

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Our bass is a 6-string fretless. Anyone can borrow it if they wish. :mellow:[size=4] [/size]
[size=4]We've played many gigs with a shared backline, and I'd far rather let others use our gear so that we have our own when we play. Sometimes complicated (my drums are set up lefty, so we do a little ballet for the change-over..!). I can't recall ever any problem with others using either our backline or, on more rare occasions, our instruments. Frankly, I find some of you to be a funny old lot, and wish you well in never having to ask for help from a colleague. To each his/her own, though, I suppose.[/size]

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Absolutely not. I've done it in the past and regretted it. People don't give a stuff if they damage your gear, they treat it the same way we treat driving range golf clubs, weights at the gym or supermarket trolleys. I would have offered to have a go at fixing it though as I usually have a soldering iron and a few basic components and tools in my gig bag. And saying that, if it was whoever ridiculed me in the past for having such a comprehensive gig bag and said it was over the top, I would call a c-bomb and tell them to go f-bomb themselves.

Same goes for amps, cabs, microphones (that's like wearing someone else's dentures), mic stands, pedals, DI boxes or anything I have to wait around until the end to get back. This applies to strangers and people I have no track record with, there are a select few that I'd be happy to lend stuff to but not my main basses.

One the plus side, I will and do help out loads if folk are decent and in a pickle, for example:

I will try to fix your leads, sockets, pots etc. I won't touch your amps though.
I'll help you lift and carry as I always have a trolley.
I'll make tea. Oh, yes, I excel at this.
I'll give you a lift if it's it not too far out of the way.
I'll take your mate to hospital after he fell and gashed his head.
You can borrow my tuner for your initial tune up but after that it's back in my gig bag.
I will even make you an impromptu strap out of cardboard, nylon string and gaffer tape because you're not borrowing mine. (Actually done this twice and they're pretty good).

I will also give you unlimited free advice on how to be a proper, responsible band member who doesn't have to go scubbing stuff cos your ill-prepared. We live in an age where good gigging gear is cheap and the know-how for fixing and maintaining gear is freely available so there's little excuse for the vast majority of imposition upon strangers that I see out there.


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Absolutely would have loaned him my bass for the rest if his show, if, as Geoham mentioned above, they seemed like nice chaps.

Not everyone can afford back-up equpiment nor the means to move it around...imagine having to sit our your own band's set due to a technical problem...?

Edited by ahpook

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I don't think it's fair to demand that a young player in an originals band takes a spare bass to every gig, I only had one bass when I was starting out and I know lots of people here still take one bass on a gig. If he had turned up empty handed I'd have laughed in his face but a faulty Jack socket mid gig could happen to any of us, I'd have lent him a bass this time although the five string still gets me out of being asked as does the upright when these things occur.

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If he hadn't turned up with his own bass it'd be a no. In this situation, unless he'd carelessly dropped and broken it or something similar,I would have to say yes.

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[quote name='Sean' timestamp='1413193851' post='2575579']
Absolutely not. I've done it in the past and regretted it. People don't give a stuff if they damage your gear, they treat it the same way we treat driving range golf clubs, weights at the gym or supermarket trolleys. I would have offered to have a go at fixing it though as I usually have a soldering iron and a few basic components and tools in my gig bag. And saying that, if it was whoever ridiculed me in the past for having such a comprehensive gig bag and said it was over the top, I would call a c-bomb and tell them to go f-bomb themselves.

Same goes for amps, cabs, microphones (that's like wearing someone else's dentures), mic stands, pedals, DI boxes or anything I have to wait around until the end to get back. This applies to strangers and people I have no track record with, there are a select few that I'd be happy to lend stuff to but not my main basses.

One the plus side, I will and do help out loads if folk are decent and in a pickle, for example:

I will try to fix your leads, sockets, pots etc. I won't touch your amps though.
I'll help you lift and carry as I always have a trolley.
I'll make tea. Oh, yes, I excel at this.
I'll give you a lift if it's it not too far out of the way.
I'll take your mate to hospital after he fell and gashed his head.
You can borrow my tuner for your initial tune up but after that it's back in my gig bag.
I will even make you an impromptu strap out of cardboard, nylon string and gaffer tape because you're not borrowing mine. (Actually done this twice and they're pretty good).

I will also give you unlimited free advice on how to be a proper, responsible band member who doesn't have to go scubbing stuff cos your ill-prepared. We live in an age where good gigging gear is cheap and the know-how for fixing and maintaining gear is freely available so there's little excuse for the vast majority of imposition upon strangers that I see out there.
[/quote]
I do all of this too but you know the first time you leave home without a spare bass the Jack socket is going to go mid song, lets hope you don't meet yourself coming the other way.

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1413194349' post='2575586']
I don't think it's fair to demand that a young player in an originals band takes a spare bass to every gig, I only had one bass when I was starting out and I know lots of people here still take one bass on a gig. If he had turned up empty handed I'd have laughed in his face but a faulty Jack socket mid gig could happen to any of us, I'd have lent him a bass this time although the five string still gets me out of being asked as does the upright when these things occur.
[/quote]

Interestingly the double bass has been the one that I've let other players use, but only in very specific situations with players I'd trust. A few years ago my band kept being at the same gigs and festivals as a friends' band from Glasgow, and we often sorted it out between us to bring and use one bass. I think I've played as many gigs on his bass as he has on mine. It helps that my insurance covers accidental damage while on loan.

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I look after my gear in an almost psychotic manner and will very rarely loan anybody any gear.
Folk I know, who will respect my gear are different though.
Even then, I will say to them "If anything gets damaged, I will need you to put it right".
On the VERY rare occasion I need to borrow something, I offer them that guarantee .
My attitude is from several years back when I loaned a relative youngster my original, immaculate, first run, ABM 500. He dropped it, laughed and said "oops".

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I think in your circumstances I'd have said yes - he was nice about it, the situation (hopefully) wasn't his fault, and there was some urgency. But at the same time I can understand your reluctance given you barely knew the feller, and it would depend on the bass you had with you. If somebody were in need on a night where I'm gigging my Epiphone then I wouldn't be too worried...on the other hand, I'm bringing my Gibson to this Friday's gig, and no bugger's getting their mitts on that, no matter how dire their circumstances!

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