It was snowing this morning, and that made the coffee taste extra comforting. The world seemed quiet and still for once, but it was time for a bit of rehearsal. So I sat down in my newly rejuvenated rehearsal space, I plugged in to my rehearsal rig, and I started playing.
Two hours later, I’m making another French press of coffee and reflecting back on how time travel is possible. Today I felt inspired, and without a real rehearsal agenda, I let my gear guide me through what was to be played. I like days like this.
But, what exactly is “gear” and why is it important? How many hours have I spent watching JHS pedals videos, various gear review demos, and countless rig rundowns?
I’ll start at the beginning. Gear is whatever we use to manifest our musical ideas from our brains until they become actual sound waves moving through the air. It can be as simple as a stick, or as complex as a series of circuits and software patches and computer clusters processing signals into unrecognizable oblivion to be reorganized just at the right moment before it comes out of the speaker...
Whatever gear is for you, it’s important. It’s important because it helps us survive. It helps us make sense of the chaos of the world.
I have lots of different kinds of gear: recording gear, rehearsal gear, touring gear, writing gear... I want to use this section of the Daysheet to go over a few of these categories, and explain why certain pieces of gear are awesome. I’m not sure which pieces I ultimately want to talk about, but I think since I was rehearsing today, I want to talk about my streamlined bass rehearsal rig.
Here’s the thing about rehearsal: sometimes it needs to be quiet. Maybe it needs to be quiet so you don’t disturb your neighbors, or maybe it’s because you’re not ready for the world to hear your playing...either way, quiet is key and headphones will be your best friend.
My bass rehearsal rig consists of a tuner pedal and an Ampeg SCR-DI pedal. I even have some guitar tech tools mounted to the board as well, just in case I need to make any adjustments during rehearsal. This whole setup is small enough to go in a backpack or a suitcase, which means I can take it anywhere I go. If I need some hotel room practice, I’m ready... if I need to run through a few things before getting on stage, I’m ready... if I need to accidentally spend two hours going down a rehearsal rabbit hole, I’m ready.
It’s a simple rig, but it’s comfortable. And it does exactly what I need it to do. The Ampeg SCR-DI has an auxiliary port with a separate volume control, so I can plug in my phone and jam along to anything I want. And with the headphone out, I can use the same in-ear monitors I use on stage so everything sounds and feels familiar. The tonal controls on the SCR-DI are also pretty versatile: it has a distortion circuit which can be blended with the clean signal, and it has the classic Ampeg EQ controls. And as a bonus, this isn’t just a rehearsal rig. It has a DI output and a 1/4” output, so it can easily be used as a touring fly rig, or as a backup to your normal stage rig.