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Yank

Spare Instruments

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When did musicians on a local level start bringing spare instruments to a gig? During the '60's, '70's and '80's guitarists and bass players that I played with only had one good instrument. When they bought a new one, they traded off the old. In the '90's, when I played guitar, I had a second for open tuning, but for bass gigs, just the one. Is this a millennial thing?

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Old instruments don't die. The factories keep producing them and selling them, but there is a limited market. Thats why the two guitarists in the band own about 20 guitars between them.

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I just used to take spare strings to gigs, but for the sake of carrying one extra thing out of the house, if a string goes mid song, I can just grab the other Bass off the stand and crack on. Saves any downtime.

In our cover band, we do a lot of parties / weddings / events and on those sort of gigs, the clientele can be less forgiving of downtime than the local punters at the dog and duck.

I still take a backup for Pub gigs though, it's just habit for me now.

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I haven't seen many pub level bands bringing spare basses/guitars, extras for different tuning yes but not just spares - how often are you seeing this?

If you're seeing this a lot I would have thought it's because people seeming have more disposable income to spend on toys than they did in years gone by rather than the age of the actual musicians.

I'd say it's different for wedding/corporate bands though, but I think that's because they're providing a different service & should rightfully come more prepared.

Edited by Lw.

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We play in two different tuningsvand rather than keeping tuning, it's easier to have another bass/guitar. I would most likely take a spare anyway in case of broken strings

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When I started playing in the 70s a lot of the musicians I was interested in had huge collections of instruments, so naturally I aspired to the same. Back then if I could have afforded a second guitar, I would have owned one. When I started gigging regularly on bass in the early 80s I bought a spare pretty much immediately.

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Always have since I started playing live in the mid-late 80's. Most of my guitars have been Floyd equipped so having a spare was essential and it's a habit I've carried over into the bass playing world. Mind you, as a lead vocalist as well it can be tricky to swap - not that I've had a reason to except the one gig I hadn't taken a spare bass on stage (no room) and broke a string!

Edited by DaytonaRik

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Always take two, if one fails for any reason (broken string, flat battery, electronic failure, exploding scratchplate) then it is an easy job to swap over quickly and not hold up procedings, bit of a buzz kill if you have to hold up the set whilst you restring bass. But that's just me.

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In real terms musical instrument are cheap at the moment...check out the "for sale" thread, Ebay and Gumtree...there are bargains all over the place...in the past a good bass cost well over a months salary, now they're closer to a week's.

If you haven't got a spare (and a spare for that one) you're missing out on the bargains....leaving more for people like me (explains why I currently have 12 basses).

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Providing there`s room I always take a spare along. In fact I`ve got a bass on the way to fill that position as I don`t like taking two expensive basses out with me, so the incoming is a Squier which will be perfectly good as a backup.

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I own 14 basses, so why shouldnt I take a spare anyway? It's an excuse to use them, as I frequently rotate them!

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1480949471' post='3188294']
Providing there`s room I always take a spare along. In fact I`ve got a bass on the way to fill that position as I don`t like taking two expensive basses out with me, so the incoming is a Squier which will be perfectly good as a backup.
[/quote]

And now, having changed my mind - and my basses - yet again, I now take two US Precisions with me to gigs/recording etc.

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Certain popular, international internet forums (though prominently US based) have certainly perpetuated the apparent "need" for people to take spare instruments to gigs.

I've never seen a drummer taking a spare kit to a gig, but I admit to taking additional guitars. Have never taken a spare bass to a gig though. Maybe I should start. :D

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I would take a spare if I gigged

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I take spare strings and a mini head, but not a spare instrument. Cannot envisage a situation when an instrument would become unplayable. I keep the set of strings I took off most recently as spares, so they don't need stretching in. Apart from my P bass with the 8 year old La Bellas on it, that is.

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What if one gets stolen ? Surely then you would need a spare

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I only take a spare if I tour. If it's just a date or two, I tend to just take the one.

[attachment=247649:1r82sm.jpg]

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In 32 years of regular gigging I don't think I've ever needed a spare bass. A spare set of strings yes, but even then I can't recall the last time I broke one - possibly in the early 90s. I've had my amp break down a couple of times and had to plug into the desk, but even that is a very rare event. I didn't even have a second bass at all until I joined basschat

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I had a bass go dead, luckily at a rehearsal and I had a spare. A wire had parted company with the jack socket and was easily fixed but would have spoiled my night if it had been a gig with no spare. I think of it more as why wouldn't I take one?

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And then the GAS and peer pressure took over ...

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[quote name='Geek99' timestamp='1497992022' post='3321901']
What if one gets stolen ? Surely then you would need a spare
[/quote]

See Burrito's answer below your post. I someone pinched my bass on a one-off gig, I'd be down the nick giving details to the rozzers, not playing. As my instrument never leaves my side, it's reasonably unlikely (I won't tempt fate by saying impossible) to happen.

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[quote name='Yank' timestamp='1480931618' post='3188050']
When did musicians on a local level start bringing spare instruments to a gig? During the '60's, '70's and '80's guitarists and bass players that I played with only had one good instrument. When they bought a new one, they traded off the old. In the '90's, when I played guitar, I had a second for open tuning, but for bass gigs, just the one. Is this a millennial thing?
[/quote]

You can now pick up a pretty good bass for less than 3 gigs money. In the 80s my 'cheap' bass cost quite a lot more in real terms.

.

Edited by TimR

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I blame Bass websites for feeding my GAS

when I gigged from 1980 to 1997 I only ever had one bass and one amp. When either wasn't good enough for me I traded up.

Now, thanks to TB and BC forums, after taking bass up again in 2009, I have 5 basses, two guitars, two bass amps, two cabs etc etc

Last Friday I went in to a local shop to buy a new cable. He had an SX Jazz Bass in black........

I still have 5 basses....because I bought that SX and gave my SX shorty to my bandmate's two teenagers to jam with their dad, they are both multi talented,sax,piano,guitar, keys,drums, and now bass. At least I donated one of them hehe.

I blame YOU, people of BassChat !


PS the new Jazz is a Standard Series, so entry level, $290AU. It plays like butter,super slim neck. Pickups are passable, certainly no worse than those in my $900 MIM Jazz. Definitely my new backup bass but maybe my gigging bass.

Edited by bazztard

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[quote name='bazztard' timestamp='1498022260' post='3321968']
I blame Bass websites for feeding my GAS

when I gigged from 1980 to 1997 I only ever had one bass and one amp. When either wasn't good enough for me I traded up.

Now, thanks to TB and BC forums, after taking bass up again in 2009, I have 5 basses, two guitars, two bass amps, two cabs etc etc

Last Friday I went in to a local shop to buy a new cable. He had an SX Jazz Bass in black........

I still have 5 basses....because I bought that SX and gave my SX shorty to my bandmate's two teenagers to jam with their dad, they are both multi talented,sax,piano,guitar, keys,drums, and now bass. At least I donated one of them hehe.

I blame YOU, people of BassChat !


PS the new Jazz is a Standard Series, so entry level, $290AU. It plays like butter,super slim neck. Pickups are passable, certainly no worse than those in my $900 MIM Jazz. Definitely my new backup bass but maybe my gigging bass.
[/quote]
This is very true, I fancied a Thunderbird for a while but it was thread on here that got me properly looking, then ad on here appeared and I now have a Gibson I don't really need (bass number 6) but I'm not sorry as it sounds gorgeous.

Exposure to stuff doesn't help in lots of ways :-)

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