Hercules GS415B Stand
In the debate between A-frame or tripod instrument stands, we’d always plump for the latter, and Hercules’ GS415B is a splendid example. It features an auto-grab system, the mechanism of which is triggered by the insertion of your bass’ headstock. A pair of arms contract, contact points cushioned by `specially formulated’ foam gently retain your bass, and a pair of catches click across to prevent it falling forwards and out. Your bass’ body leans on the two larger of the three tripod legs, cushioned by foam pads, and the whole thing folds down to about a third of the size of a mic stand.
Fender Metro Bass Gig Bag
Whilst you can easily pay considerably more or less for a bag, Fender’s Metro offering is a keenly priced carrier made from luggage-grade polyester and worth checking out. It satisfies the two main criteria that justify a gig bag’s existence: sufficient internal padding to cushion your baby, in this instance 25mm high-grade foam, and padded rucksack-style straps that make wearing it over your shoulders stress-free. It zips up in smooth, unhindered fashion, it’s water-resistant (not completely waterproof), and storage provision numbers three well-sized outer pockets with plenty of space to stash the items below.
Snark SN-10 Tuner
It’s essential, especially for the clumsier members of the brotherhood of low, to have a robust, reliable on-stage tuner. The term robust means we sidestep the clip-on headstock option and head straight to Snark’s excellent SN-10 chromatic foot pedal tuning panacea. Design-wise, its art deco, silver-dome vibe is appealing, die-cast metal construction guarantees it’ll take a kicking, and the read-out screen is big, with a multi-colour, easy-to-read display. It responds quickly to your input, can be calibrated to various altered tunings, while engaging via silver stomp switch also mutes the Snark’s output for unobtrusive use in the live environment.
Comfort Strapp Pro Bass Series Strap
With most modern four-string basses weighing over 4kg and the proliferation of even heavier five- and six-strings, your strap has to have some form of comfort provision, and Comfort Strapp’s Pro Bass Series is just about the best out there. You get three adjustable lengths (short, long and extra long) with non-stretchy neoprene padding that’s 10mm thick and 85mm wide at the shoulder for excellent cushioning support without added bounciness. It’s neatly stitched for security and durability, and each leather end features two slots for strap buttons/locks, which simply refuse to widen or become compromised in any way. This is quite simply a must-have.
Planet Waves DP002B Bass Pro Winder
Unlikely as this may be, if you ping a string at a gig, speed of string change is of the essence ± and if you factor in possible issues relating to strain on the wrist from manual changes, you’ll rapidly see why Planet Waves’ Bass Pro Winder string winder is such an essential piece of kit. Made from tough plastic composite and looking like an old football rattle, you also get hardened steel clippers at the far end, with an additional plastic arm for snipping duties. The slotted head that fits over tuners is designed to be used with both modern T-shaped and traditional cloverleaf buttons… which is nice.
Xotic RC Bass Booster
The identity of the one `essential’ pedal in a bass player’s armoury is debatable, but we’d argue that for even those busy gigsters unenamoured by effects, some form of tone fixer is a damn good idea, with Xotic’s RC Bass Booster being one of the best. A level booster with two-band EQ, ruggedly hand-made in the USA, it’s a half-standard stomp size belter that simply makes your bass louder without colouring, via volume and gain dials, with the option to add/subtract 15dB of bass or treble. For setting song-specific EQs, fixing hollow stage issues, kicking in a different colour or giving some active juice to a passive bass, the RC is a great option that’s easy and intuitive to use.