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Lending someone your bass


bassbloke

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I take my hat off to those who are kind enough to share basses out, you’re genuinely warm-hearted people.

 

Not for me though. For me these days it’s neither my fault or problem if you’re not prepared enough for the gig you’re playing. 
 

If you’ve blown your amp up, go through the desk. If you’ve knackered your bass and don’t have a backup, well there’s a very important lesson you’ve learned. And if I lend you a bass a) I don’t know you so therefore it’s something of a liability and b) you likely won’t learn that important lesson…

 

I do love that many of you are so much nicer than me though!

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At one gig I played back in the early 90s, the band I was playing very raw and heavy doom stuff so, not wanting to be tempted by any fancy notes, I removed all but the biggest string, which was tuned down a long, long way. The bassist from one of the other bands came in looking to borrow a bass but wasn't desperate enough to rock a one-stringer. Quite ungrateful, I thought.

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3 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

I don't carry spare strings.

 

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't carry spare strings. A spare bass is understandable (still a bit weird in my book, but understandable), but if I broke a string in any of the bands I play in, I would look a complete idiot if I said I didn't have any spares. 

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16 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

 

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't carry spare strings. A spare bass is understandable (still a bit weird in my book, but understandable), but if I broke a string in any of the bands I play in, I would look a complete idiot if I said I didn't have any spares. 

The thing here is the difference in whipping one bass off and strapping on the spare and the time taken to change a string (not to mention the sudden gap in the performance while this is taking place). Each to their own, though. No right answer either way.

Edited by Steve Browning
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I ensure I always have a spare set of new strings and a set of 'worn-in' strings in the gigbag/case. If someone in another band (who I don't know personally) broke two strings and consequently asked to borrow my bass I'd politely refuse and offer to instead sell them the used set for a non negotiable amount of cash on a take it or leave it deal.

Edited by Jean-Luc Pickguard
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4 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

The thing here is the difference in whipping one bass off and strapping on the spare and the time taken to change a string (not to mention the sudden gap in the performance while this is taking place). Each to their own, though. No right answer either way.

 

I think you've misunderstood me Steve. probably my fault. I always go the spare bass route, but to not even bother taking spare strings = inexcusable in my book.

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20 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

 

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't carry spare strings. A spare bass is understandable (still a bit weird in my book, but understandable),

 

I have never carried spare strings for a bass, as I have never broken any on a gig. But I always carry a spare bass. If something goes I can swap it mid song and check what went wrong in the break. I wouldn't want to restring a bass mid song!

 

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Had the same thing in reverse, we were the support to a 'pro' band and their bassist broke a string (no spare bass, no spare strings! What a pro!). I had spare strings, he broke another one! I gave him another one and he didn't break any more. 

I had to leave before they finished packing up after the gig and was cursing that there was no thanks from the band. Some time later at the same venue, the sound engineer recognised me and handed me one of my wind up extension leads I'd left behind. When I opened it up out came a load of cash and a thank you note from the string breaking bassist! Restored my faith somewhat.

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6 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

 

I have never carried spare strings for a bass, as I have never broken any on a gig. But I always carry a spare bass. If something goes I can swap it mid song and check what went wrong in the break. I wouldn't want to restring a bass mid song!

 

I don't gig anymore, but I never carried spare strings when I did. In 40+ years of playing I've yet to break a string.

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3 minutes ago, Reggaebass said:

Out of interest who was the band 🙂

This was back in the 90s, a small venue in Luton with an indie band in the style of 'power of dreams'. Can't remember the name of the band other than they obviously didn't make it big. Their 'professionalism' might have had something to do with that!

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Strings can break if they're old and you remove them and put them back on. They get stressed in the opposite direction. I've only broken them when putting them back on, but guess that may be luck.

 

I've lent mine out at jam sessions for one or two songs but I stand close to the stage. 

 

I also take a spare bass. If a band needs to borrow a spare, they can borrow my spare. 

 

Electrical and mechanical failures aren't limited to strings and cables. 

Edited by TimR
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Check your gear regularly. I've never broken a string during a gig or had any other calamities whilst playing live. 

 

I have had plenty of gigs where the bassist from the other band has turned up with no amp and asked to use my amp... "Alright mate, my amp is broken/I have no amp; can I lend yours for the night?". 

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I made a conscious decision when buying my bass to buy a bass that could be gigged. 

 

I know not everyone has that luxury but a bass that I self insure and don't have to worry too much about being damaged or stolen is worth having far more than a bespoke £3k bass that no one can hear the difference. 

 

I have no idea how much my spare bass is worth.

Edited by TimR
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I dont gig anymore. But always (even for small pub gigs) had at least one spare bass, spare wireless system (I still have two identical Senheiser units) , DI incase the amp went down, tools and an old set of strings. At last count having abandoned Amps I had a Ampeg SCR DI in case the Helix went bang.

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1 hour ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

 

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't carry spare strings. A spare bass is understandable (still a bit weird in my book, but understandable), but if I broke a string in any of the bands I play in, I would look a complete idiot if I said I didn't have any spares. 

Grabbing a spare bass is rather quicker than restringing and tuning.

 

I tend to use a second bass for songs that require  a different sound. For example, my venerable old HB MB4 BLK is perfect for Buck Rogers, Song 2, Buddy Holly, etc, so carrying a 2nd bass does bring benefits above and beyond being simply a backup.

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