Cables and Straps
Today, I'm going to talk about a couple pieces of Gear that are important to your well-being and the general well-being of your Bass: The Strap and the Cable.
Lets start with the Cable:
There are so many different things to think about, but its main job is to get the magic sounds from your Fingers and Pickups to the Amp. It's responsible for carrying the signal from your Pickups to the Amplifier, creating that oh-so-beautiful tone you love!
When you're looking for one, there are all sorts of brands that offer you anything from the simplest get-your-tone-from-point-a-to-point-b functionality to full breakfast service including a massage afterwords.
With such a large market out there, how do you know which to choose?
Well...... Here are a few pointers:
1. Price Range - Too cheap will make your Bass sound tinny and wrong. Too expensive is just that; Expensive. You can generally get a good one for anywhere from $30-50. I use a Planet Waves Cable and I'm more than happy.
2. Quality - Does it look like someone just used it in a Bullfight? If so, please put it down and/or find a Bull. You want one that will withstand a lot of abuse and will stand up to many nights of being used in bars.
Check the ends. Does it look tough. How does it sound? Can you try it out? Try and check everything you can before you buy it. The last thing you want is to get home and find out that it's actually made of Licorice. :)
3. Length - The longer it is, the more there is to get damaged. The best length that I've found for performances and shows is about 15-20 feet. This gives you plenty of room to move and doesn't give so much extra that you're scared to break it or get it caught on something.
So, What about Straps?
Straps are the all important link that stop your Bass from becoming purdy firewood in the middle of that all-important Slap Bass solo. They hold your Bass up and basically can look totally bad-ass if paired with the right Bass.
With Straps, you'll find that they share much in common with Cables when you're looking for a new one. You don't want one that's too long or that looks like it will shred into a million pieces at the first sign of abuse.
With Straps, because it's such a visually oriented piece of gear, there are a lot more options for gimmicks and embellishments just to improve the look of them. You want to make sure that whatever you buy, it's not going to hurt you when you put it on. Having a seat belt strap might look cool, but if it's digging into your shoulder for 2 hours, it might not be so cool after that, you dig?
You can get a good Strap for about the same price as a good Cable. Leather ones tend to be quite good, but if you don't want to use leather or don't like the feel, you can always use all sorts of other Materials. Some people even use rope! There is such a range out there that you should find what you're looking for almost no problem.
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