Playing live bass brings many challenges and bassists know this all too well. From the placement of speakers to venue shape, everything affects your tone and how it translates to the crowd. Many diy bassists cannot afford a FOH (front of house) engineer to tweak the mix from the sweet spot in the back of the crowd. Luckily, for the rest of us there are a few things to ensure that your gig goes smoothly.
Be patient with the sound crew. They are total strangers, but know the room and can hear what you can't. Give them a chance and try not to have a spinal tap moment
Make the setlist as big as possible. It's fine to squint, but make sure everyone can see this sheet. A good spot is usually on the back of the monitor, where the crowd cannot see it.
Extra Batteries! A dead tuner helps nobody, so go ahead and grab a ton of fresh batteries for the road. Also, extra strings are key for live gigging. You'll want backups of your backups to make certain you are never at a loss for bass strings.
Route your guitar cable so that it never gets unplugged. Not all bassists have a deluxe wireless setup. The rest of us must use cables and avoid stepping on them and unplugging. That would be the true mark of an amateur and make you look like a complete tool.
You bass amp should sit flat on the floor, which grounds the sound and gives you a foundation. From there, you can tweak and find the best tone. This may sound obvious, but don't set drinks on top! A Pyrotechnics show is not needed here! Don't blow a fuse and ruin the night.
Written by Ben Long
Ben Long is a composer, sound designer and lover of all guitars, new and used. His music and sounds can heard in countless video games and across every major TV network. When he's not making music, you can find Ben tinkering with technology. Find him on Google+ and say howdy!