For bassists on the road, size does matter.
There are a few extra challenges that come with the bass guitar being just a little bit bigger and, more importantly, longer than a standard guitar. At 6’2” and 190 pounds when I was 14, however, I was happy that the bass was a little bigger. I always thought I looked like a guitarist playing a mandolin whenever I strapped on a standard guitar, so I definitely picked the right instrument for my size.
Growing up, I remember seeing many of my bass heroes (mostly heavy metal), like Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, playing a Precision. These basses looked huge on some of these guys—like battle axes or Viking swords.I spent a few years coveting a P bass before I could actually afford one and spent those years with a short-scale Gibson EB-3 knockoff. At 18, when I finally got my first P, I strapped it on at home (in front of a mirror, of course) and my disappointment was monumental. The bass on me looked like a Strat or Les Paul on one of my slightly less tall guitarist friends. Since then, I’ve gravitated towards at least traditional-sized or larger bass guitars. A 35"-scale instrument doesn’t scare me at all. I even sought out a rare, long-scale Flying V bass that would make someone my size look small. We all want our instruments to sound great and look cool, and the size-to-human-body ratio has obviously been my thing to obsess over.
No space for bass? I’ve spent quite a few years as a full-time touring bassist. While I love my session work, bringing the music to the people live is my primary passion and why I wanted to be in this industry so badly in the first place. There is something very gratifying about the instant approval from a crowd, and in this day and age when recording is so easily manipulated, I feel that the one-take energy of a live show is what separates great from good musicians. So let’s dive into some of the challenges we bassists encounter when travelling with a bass, and how to manage those few extra inches.
For starters, a standard guitar will typically fit in the trunk of many small cars, both sideways and straight in. In my slightly smallish Audi A5, my hardshell bass case will not fit. My only option is to use a gig bag, load the bass diagonally into the trunk, and close the lid with extreme caution. In some of my friends’ cars with slightly bigger back seats, we can easily stand guitars straight up on the floor behind the front seats and still have plenty of room to set a suitcase or a pedalboard on the back seat right behind the guitar. To do the same thing with a bass guitar, one has to angle the bass into the back seat to avoid the frame of the car door, and then slowly move the bass up to a standing position.
The biggest and most obvious challenge is flying with a bass. I see a lot of folks asking for advice on this topic on online forums and the like, so I’ll offer my two cents on the matter. Many people assume that checking an instrument in an approved hardshell fly case is the way to go. It’s certainly an option, but flight cases can be very expensive. And unless you only fly Southwest or are a premium credit-card holder with another airline that might allow you one checked item for free, you’re going to pay to check your bass.
The big air scare. Have you ever sat in a window seat above the baggage door of a plane’s fuselage and watched the bags get loaded onto (make that thrown onto) the conveyor belt and into the plane? That experience alone will make you pensive for life as far as checking an instrument goes. Of course, this leaves carrying your bass onto the plane as your only other option, which can be scary if someone tries to shove their roller bag into the same overhead compartment and hits your instrument’s neck in the process. My trick to avoid that scenario is having one or both guitarists in the band put their guitars in the same overhead compartment as my bass. This also usually makes the cabin crew happier since you won’t appear to be hogging an excessive amount of overhead space with your instrument.
The other useful trick is to put your smaller carry-on item in front of your instrument’s neck. This may be frowned upon, since you are supposed to keep your smaller item by your feet, but it’s sometimes necessary in order to protect your baby. (Those extra inches on your bass will also help ensure that nobody else will try and fit another bag in the bin.)
Finally, and most importantly, the Federal Aviation Administration made it illegal in 2012 for gate agents and cabin crew to deny your carrying a bass on ifthe overhead bins or closet can fit it. While this was a big victory for us musicians, many airline employees still seem unaware of the details. Printing out a copy of the law [FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012,SEC. 403. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS] and carrying it with you is always a good idea.
Remember: Don’t let anybody make you feel bad about those extra few inches.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.