Delicate Sound of Thunder: A Bass Player’s Essentials

Regardless of whether you’re taking up bass playing as a career choice or a hobby, you’re going to need some essentials in addition to your bass guitar.

Delicate Sound of Thunder: A Bass Player’s Essentials

Here are some items that are must-haves for every bass player out there:  

1.     Gig bags and cases

Transporting your instrument safely from one place to another is of the essence – after all, it is the instrument that has made you fall in love with creating music in the first place. Besides, every bass guitar has its own feel – it’s all about the neck and the fretboard, and should these get damaged, you can rest assured that you won’t find the exact same instrument anywhere in the world! You basically have two options here:

·         Gig bag – These are usually bought at the same time as your instrument – every music store employee will tell you that you’re going to need one. You might not be planning on performing somewhere, but gigs aren’t the only events that you’re going to need a gig bag for – collaboration is essential in modern music, especially if you’re a bass player and you can’t really expect everyone to be coming to your home for practice sessions. Every bass player should own a gig bag.

·         Hard-shell case – Hard cases are built with a complete instrument safety in mind. Now, you might not care about your second-hand Squier by Fender bass, but even this basic model has a soul. On the other hand, if you are a proud owner of a $1,000+ instrument, trust me, you do not want to risk transporting it in a gig bag!

2.     A strap

Sure, you can sit in a chair and play, but playing bass while standing up gives you a completely different feel. In fact, this is arguably the only proper way to do it! Well, you simply can’t play any type of a guitar standing up without a strap, so this is one more addition to your list of essentials!

3.     Cable

Not many musicians tend to go with an acoustic bass, especially as newbies – these are extremely difficult to play for a beginner compared to the electric bass; the difference is even greater between an acoustic guitar and an electric one.

Well, the only other alternative is an electric bass, but without a cable, you won’t be able to hear the sound as clearly as you would when playing an electric guitar. Getting a cheap cable will do the trick for now.

4.     Amp or an amp simulator

Okay, this was bound to make its way on the list and this is going to be a long one; I mean, without a place to plug your cable into, there really isn’t a lot of use for your instrument. If you’re looking to buy an amp, go small at the very beginning. Unlike with electric guitars, low-end bass amps do not vary drastically in quality, so you can feel free to go cheap here, as long as you make sure that you’re buying a new and never used one!
However, people increasingly invest into processors and sound cards, as the former can be used even for live gigs, while the latter is perfect for home/studio use.

But what makes the two better than a good, old-fashioned tube or digital amp? Simply put, quality processors, such as Axe-Fx, are perfectly capable of outmatching any sort of amp. Although these tend to be extremely expensive, they will provide you with any effect you can imagine, which will save you a lot of money in the long run, while making transport for gigs a breeze.
Sound cards, on the other hand, give you a unique opportunity to record your playing, which is absolutely essential for perfecting your playing skills and tone! These can also come very cheap and can be used both in a studio and at home. Make sure, however, that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to get yourself a quality set of headphones and monitors if you’re into recording, given that this is much easier and cheaper than noise-isolating your entire room!

5.     Electronic tuner

Sure, there are tons of mobile apps that you can use as tuners, but these simply aren’t precise enough. Getting an electronic tuner is recommended, especially for beginners – you need to get used to the proper tuning!