Let’s be honest, us bassists have it rough. We never get the credit we deserve, no one seems to care about us, and the guitarist always gets all the attention from fans. Totally not cool. We put so much effort into the band, frankly, we don’t have the time to do makeup like the guitarist does. I guess the fans only care about appearance these days, rock is dead.
I’m kidding, being a bassist is awesome. But it’s even more awesome when you use these hacks!
Always Have an AC-Receptible Tester
You show up at a gig, plug in your amplifier and get everything all set up. Take a quick look around, it’s a nice venue, looks like there’s going to be a decent crowd tonight. Everything’s going well, you’re excited and you feel awesome. Then it’s time for soundcheck. After everyone’s gone and all of the levels are correct, you hear the sound guy in the back yell, “BASS!”. This is your time to shine, it’s your turn to show off a little before the show. You turn the volume on your instrument, but then it all falls apart when you go to switch on the amp. It doesn’t turn on.
It doesn’t make any sense! You’re volume’s up on the amp and your bass, you know the battery isn’t dead since you just replaced it yesterday, what could be wrong? Why isn’t it turning on?
Don’t let that happen to you. When you show up at a gig, before you plug in the amp be sure to test the outlet first with the AC-receptacle tester. It’ll let you know beforehand whether or not it’s a working outlet, and good ones will tell you what’s wrong with it. It can also prevent you from blowing a fuse, getting shocked or having intense humming. All of which, you don’t want to have happen at the last second before a gig.
You can find them for really cheap at any hardware or electronic store. Or, you can buy one here.
Carry Extra 9V Batteries
Even if your bass isn’t active, you should always carry some extra 9V batteries. Why? Here’s the deal: you don’t want to be the guy in the text above. You’re a prepared bass player. Life’s tough as it is, but you don’t want to be “that” guy in the band.
As I said, even if you don’t have an active bass, there’s still use for a 9V battery. I’ll tell you what I mean.
Let’s say you ARE “that” guy - but it’s not the amp this time. It’s the speakers.
When you show up at the gig, test the speakers by holding a 9V battery up to the end of your cable. (Keep the + side at the tip, and gently touch it.) If the sound carries through the speakers then you’re all set, if not then you’ve got a bad speaker my friend.
Flat Rubber Washers
Do you know what the scariest feeling in the world is? But do you actually?
I’ll tell you what it is. It’s that moment when you’re jamming, you’re rocking out and having fun just like always, but then all of a sudden one side of your strap comes off and your bass swings away from you.
That is the worst feeling I’ve ever felt. Ever. When the bass goes, my heart goes too. The fact that I’m only 5’3” doesn’t help either because my instrument nearly scrapes the floor before it falls to the ground. I hate it.
Thank God for these little guys! Since you’re already buying that receptacle tester, you may as well buy some rubber washers while you’re at it because they will save your life. Literally, they might save you from shaving off a few years from those stressful moments when your strap gives up on you. Simply slide those on right after you put on your strap. That's it!
Hope the tips help, stay cool bassists.