Updated: May 15
A good bass guitar can take your music to the next level, but bass accessories and gear are essential for getting the most out of your instrument. I
In this blog post, we will discuss all the essential accessories and items you need as a bass guitarist. Whether you're just starting out or you've been playing for years, this list will help you get everything you need to make the most of your bass guitar!
There are a lot of accessories for bass guitar out there for bass players these days.
So many of them claim to be things that are "must-have" items too. But how many of them are truly essential?
And why is it so important that you have them?
I've been thinking back through my own gigging experience lately in an effort to figure out which items every bass player (in my opinion) should have in their gig bag.
Some are obvious, some are not so and there might even be a few you've never thought of having.
So if you're a bassist, what accessories do you truly need to go with your bass?
Must have bass guitar accessories are a tuner, a bass case, a bass guitar strap, jack cables, spare bass strings, a bass amp and a bass string winder.
However, before buying all these bass accessories, you'll first need a bass guitar.
So let's start with a review of the different types of bass and how to buy one.
How to buy a bass guitar for beginners?
The web offers many useful ways to find and buy different kinds of bass guitars, but ease of purchase is still no substitute for being able to try a bass before you buy it.
Basses have many forms and sizes and they should be used in varying places to see how they work. Making a trip to a few shops is a good idea.
When you explore your own preferences as a bass guitar player you will be able find out about the music style you want to learn, what you find comfortable in an instrument and what you like the sound of.
This helps a seller provide recommendations on certain types of bass guitars that would be good for you.
There are many types of basses to choose from, such as: acoustic bass guitar, upright bass, electric upright bass and fretless bass.
So with so much choice out there it's always a good idea to try things our first hand.
What to look for when buying a bass guitar?
When shopping for a bass guitar, it is important to take into account the type of music you want to play. If you are interested in playing rock or metal music, you will want to look for a guitar with a more aggressive sound. For this type of music, it is also important to have a guitar that can sustain long notes without losing its tone.
On the other hand, if you are more interested in playing jazz or blues, you will want to look for a bass with a warmer sound. In addition, the size and weight of the guitar are important factors to consider. A lighter bass will be easier to play for extended periods of time, while a heavier one will have a fuller sound.
Ultimately, the best bass guitar is the one that feels comfortable to you and that you are able to make the best music with.
How to choose the correct bass size?
There are different sizes of bass guitar which are known as different scale sizes of bass.
You'll hear some bass players talk about "34 inch scale" or "33 inch scale" and this simply refers to the length of the bass from the bridge to the nut. There are several different inch scales you can choose from.
You can also find other scale sizes such as 3/4 scale or 1/2 scale-sized instruments.
Particularly for players with small hands like young children, smaller scale instruments will make things like playing walking bass much easier because the stretches are much smaller.
The difference with these basses is that the entire instrument is scaled down whereas on the above example, the body size is the same and just the neck length is changed.
Whatever size you get it's important to get strings, gig bags and other accessories to suit the bass that you buy.
Buying a new vs. used bass guitar
When it comes to buying a bass guitar, there are pros and cons to both new and used instruments. New bass guitars will typically have a warranty, which can be helpful if there are any problems with the instrument. They may also come with a case or gig bag, and all the strings will be new.
On the other hand, used bass guitars may be less expensive and may already come with some accessories like a case or gig bag. They may also have been played in more, giving them a more broken-in sound. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and budget when deciding whether to buy a new or used bass guitar.
Should I play a 4-string bass guitar?
Deciding whether or not to play a 4-string bass guitar is a personal decision that depends on your musical goals and preferences. Many beginning bass players start with a 4-string instrument because they are generally less expensive and easier to learn than their 5 or 6-string counterparts. 4-string basses also have a more focused sound that can be an asset in certain genres, such as punk and metal.
However, if you're interested in playing jazz or other styles that require extended range, you'll likely need to upgrade to a 5 or even 6-string bass. Ultimately, the best way to decide whether or not to play a 4-string bass is to try one out and see how it feels. If you enjoy the sound and feel comfortable with the fingerings,
Different types of bass guitars
There are a variety of bass guitars available on the market, each with its own unique features. The most common type of bass guitar is the electric bass, which is equipped with a pickup and an amplifier. This type of bass guitar is perfect for those who want to rock out, as it produces a deep, rich sound.
For those who are looking for a more mellow sound, an acoustic bass might be a better choice. This type of bass guitar is quieter and typically has a softer sound.
Another option is the fretless bass, which is becoming increasingly popular due to its unique tone. This type of bass does not have any frets, which allows for a smoother, more fluid sound. Whatever your specific needs, there's always a bass out there for you.
Fretless bass guitars and upright basses
Fretless bass guitars and upright basses are two types of instruments that are often used in jazz and other genres of music. While both instruments share some similarities, there are also some important differences between them.
Fretless bass guitars typically have a more mellow sound, due to the lack of frets. This gives them a greater range of expression, but can also make them more difficult to play in tune.
Upright basses, on the other hand, have a brighter, sharper sound. They are also easier to play in tune, but their larger size can make them more difficult to transport. Ultimately, which type of instrument is best for you will depend on your personal preferences and the style of music you want to play.
How to choose an acoustic bass guitar?
Acoustic bass guitars are a type of string instrument that is typically played with the fingers or with a pick. They are similar in many ways to regular acoustic guitars, but they are larger and have a lower range.
When choosing an acoustic bass guitar, it is important to consider the size, shape, and weight of the instrument. The size and shape of the body will affect the tone of the instrument, and the weight will affect how easy it is to hold and play.
In addition, it is important to select an acoustic bass guitar that is comfortable to play and that has a good sound quality. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start. However, by keeping these considerations in mind, you can be a little more mindful and specific about the characteristics you want when purchasing an acoustic bass guitar.
How to choose an electric bass guitar
When it comes to choosing an electric bass guitar, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the style of music you want to play. Certain basses are better suited for certain genres of music.
For instance, if you're looking to play blues or jazz, an upright bass might be a good option. If you're looking to play rock or metal, however, a standard electric bass would be a better choice. Second, think about the size of the instrument. If you're a smaller player, you might want to choose a 3/4-size bass. If you're a larger player, however, a full-size bass would likely be a better fit.
Best bass guitar brands for beginners
There's no definitive brand that's best for beginners but many brands do a good job of catering for the beginner market well by offering bundle deals that come with bass guitar accessories like gig bags, guitar tuners, cables, tuners, an instrument case, effects pedals and so many other things that bass players need to get off to a great start.
Some of the best brands that operate in this market are Fender, Yamaha, Ibanez, Squier and Sire.
Many of these brands also make smaller scale models which are perfect for young children with smaller hands that can't yet execute runs and fills on a full-sized neck.
However, these aren't the only options. Some people will prefer to go off the beaten track.
Should I buy an off-brand bass guitar?
When it comes to bass guitars, there are two main options: name-brand and off-brand. Name-brand instruments, such as those made by Fender or Gibson, are typically more expensive but also offer better quality and sound. Off-brand instruments, on the other hand, are usually less expensive but may not be as high quality. So, which should you choose?
Ultimately, the decision comes down to a few factors: budget, level of experience, and desired features. If you're a beginner bassist on a budget, an off-brand instrument may be a good option. However, if you're more experienced or looking for specific features, you may want to opt for a name-brand instrument.
Whatever you decide, make sure you've chosen something that you like and will enjoy playing.
List some affordable bass guitar brands
There are a wide variety of bass guitar brands available on the market today, ranging in price from under $100 to several thousand dollars. While it is possible to find a decent instrument at almost any price point, some brands are definitely more affordable than others.
For beginners or those on a tight budget, Squier and Epiphone both offer a wide selection of quality basses for less than $500. Ibanez and Yamaha are also good options in this price range. If you're willing to spend a bit more, Fender's American Standard series offers excellent value for the money.
What are some more expensive bass guitar brands
If you've got expensive tastes or you're really looking to make a serious investment in a high-quality instrument then it makes sense that you'll want to spend more money.
If that's the case then you should look at bass brands like Sadowsky, Fodera or NewYork Bass Works.
GrooveTech Bass Tech Kit is an essential set of tools for any bass player. This kit includes all the essential tools you need to maintain your instrument in top condition. The GrooveTech Bass tech tool kit comes with everything you need to keep your bass guitar in perfect working order, including:
A wire cutter can be used on acoustic or electric guitars and basses.
An extra string winder/cutter which has a convenient notch to cut the ball ends from strings that are too long. It also serves as an end-pin rest when not in use.
And some screw drivers which are always worth having.
Let's kick off with an item we can all agree has to be present in any bass players gig bag. Regardless of the gigs you play, the level of player that you are or the style of music you play with your band, every bass player must have a good tuner.
For me, either of these options is great because a good quality tuner (either stompbox or clip-on) allows for accurate and ultimately silent tuning.
No one has paid to hear you tune your bass after all.
What I wouldn't recommend though is what I'll call a plug-in tuner which can't be used on a pedalboard.
Often these are sold with beginner bass bundles and sometimes double up as a metronome.
Don't get me wrong, they are accurate but the issue is that, because they can't be used on a pedalboard or as a clip-on attachment, you can't use them mid-gig.
They're less versatile and this means you won't get as much bang for your buck.
Bass guitar clip-on tuners are a handy tool for any bass player. They attach to the headstock of the instrument and provide a clear, accurate display of the pitch of the strings.
Clip-on tuners are an essential tool for bass players who want to keep their instrument in tune. They are also helpful for checking the tuning of other instruments, such as guitars and keyboards.
While many bassists prefer to use pedal tuners, clip-on tuners offer several advantages. They are easier to use, require less setup time, and are less likely to be accidentally knocked out of position. In addition, they are more affordable than pedal tuners and can be easily stored in your case.
Which clip on tuner to buy
PolyTune Clip is the world's first polyphonic tuner that tunes all strings simultaneously. The innovative PolyTune technology uses a moving magnet sensor to detect the vibration of each string, so you can tune faster and more accurately than ever before.
The ultra-bright display ensures a perfect readout no matter what orientation you clip it on your instrument. And with its adaptive design, PolyTune Clip automatically adapts itself to any environment or stage lighting conditions - making it easy for you to see if your guitar is tuned or not.
Bass players have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a buying a tuner. However, not all tuners are created equal, and some are better suited for specific tasks than others.
For example, bass players often prefer guitar tuners that offer a higher degree of accuracy, as even slight inaccuracies can have a significant impact on the sound of the guitar.
In addition, many bass guitarists prefer guitar tuners that have a "strobe" mode, which uses a rotating light to help identify subtle pitch changes. While any guitar tuner can be used to tune a bass guitar, those that offer greater accuracy and strobe mode functionality are often the best choice for this task.
Which Tuning Pedal To Buy
The TC Electronic Polytune 3 Mini is a tiny, polyphonic tuner that gives you fast, accurate tuning and a high-quality tone tool in one compact unit. Quickly tune up with polyphonic, chromatic and strobe tuning modes.
Bass Equipment: Bass Guitar Amplifier
When it comes to electric bass guitar amps, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you'll want to make sure that the amp has enough power to handle the low frequencies produced by the bass.
Second, you'll want to look for an amp with features that will help you shape your sound, such as EQ controls and built-in effects. Finally, you'll need to choose the right size amp for your needs. If you're just practicing at home, a small combo amp will be sufficient. But if you're playing gigs, you'll need a larger amp head and speaker cabinet.
With so many options on the market, it can be tough to know where to start. But if you keep these things in mind, you'll soon become a much more knowledgable buyer which will only help you find the right bass amp for you.
Which Bass Amp To Buy
The Fender Rumble LT-25 is a portable, compact bass amplifier that delivers a huge sound and features an 8” speaker and 250 watts of power. It is equipped with two channels (Normal & Drive), plus all the essential tone-shaping controls you need to dial in your ideal sound.
The LT-25 also has a USB output for recording into your computer or playing along with backing tracks, as well as an aux input for jamming along with your favorite
A preamp pedal is a small, portable device that can be used to boost the signal of a bass guitar. By doing so, it can help to improve the tone and clarity of the instrument. Preamp pedals can be used to achieve a variety of different sounds, from clean and warm to distorted and aggressive.
Most models also offer a variety of EQ controls, allowing players to further shape their sound. While preamp pedals are not essential for every bass player, they can be a valuable tool for those who are looking to take their sound to the next level.
Which Preamp Pedal To Buy
The SansAmp Bass Driver DI has been an arsenal staple for players and studios almost since the day it was introduced in 1994. This multi-function, multi-application pedal dials up big vintage tube tones, bright modern slap bass sounds, gnarly distortions, and all in between.
The Presence control is a semi-parametric EQ that controls the high end of your tone. The Drive control adjusts the amount of distortion from mild overdrive to heavy distortion.
Bass Guitar Accessories: Plectrums
When it comes to playing the bass guitar, the right plectrum can make a big difference in both sound and technique. For instance, a thicker plectrum will create a heavier sound, while a thinner plectrum will produce a lighter, more delicate sound. In addition, the material of the plectrum can also affect the tone.
A harder material like metal will create a brighter sound, while a softer material like nylon will create a warmer sound. Ultimately, the best plectrum is one that feels comfortable in your hand and produces the sound you are looking for.
With so many different options to choose from, finding the perfect plectrum for your bass guitar is simply a matter of experimentation.
Next is a decent case.
Simply put, your bass needs decent protection whilst it's being put in the back of vans, trains, buses and aeroplanes.
If your bass is broken due to a lack of good casing then it's bye-bye gigs.
They have really jumped on a trend for semi-soft cases. Meaning these cases offer the comfort that you get from carrying a soft case but also the protection of a good hard case.
Both of these brands also offer case models which come with a lot of storage which is perfect for carrying other items on this list.
Bass guitar hardshell cases are designed to protect your instrument from the bumps and scrapes of everyday life. Whether you're transporting your bass to and from rehearsals or gigs, or just storing it at home, a hardshell case is an essential piece of gear.
Bass cases come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it's important to choose one that's specifically designed for your instrument. In general, hardshell cases provide better protection than soft cases, but they're also more expensive. If you're looking for the ultimate in protection for your bass, a hardshell case is the way to go.
Next up is cables. And lots of them.
This is a brief but important point.
Get good quality jack cables of all sizes and types.
Yes, you need longer cables for instruments but you should also invest in smaller patch cables if you use pedals. They're neater and will make the floor space near you much less of a trip hazard.
You should also invest in spare speakon or speaker cables to connect your amp head to your cabs and always carry a spare power cable.
If one of these goes mid-set and you don't have a spare then that's the end of your gig. And that's a horrible feeling. Trust me!
Bass Guitar Straps
Next up, let's talk about straps.
There's a lot of debate over what constitutes a good strap.
For me the criteria are simple.
Get a strap that has thick padding and one that's wide enough to cover a large portion of your shoulder.
The reason is that bass guitars are heavy and after several gigs, this heavy bass could start to cause you pain and playing problems if you've got a bad strap.
Now, you might say that the solution here is about getting a lighter bass which is partly true. But the strap (if it's good) should be there to solve that problem.
Ultimately though, the problem isn't the weight. It's how that weight is dispersed.
If you look at high-heeled shoes you can see that (most of them) can carry the weight of the owner. But the reason they're so painful to wear is that all the weight of the wearer is concentrated down to one small point.
The high heel itself.
A thin bass strap will do exactly the same thing. It will concentrate the weight of the entire instrument down to a fine point when much more of your shoulder could be used to spread the strain out.
Get something thick like this gruv gear solo strap.
It's wide and that spreads the load of the bass evenly.
Finally, let's follow up with some obvious things that are so important they simply must be said.
Which Bass Strap To Buy
Gruv Gear's SoloStrap Neo 4.0-inch wide strap is designed to minimize shoulder and back pain by distributing the weight of your instrument evenly. Soft rolled sides provide comfort that doesn't dig into your neck, while the comfortable padded neoprene with faux leather tips prevents discomfort from digging in.
The unique length adjustment system is secured by metal screws, making it easy to get the perfect fit for your body and instrument.
Any bass player knows that strap locks are an essential piece of equipment. Not only do they keep your strap securely in place, but they also prevent accidental drop-outs during performances. There are a variety of different strap lock designs on the market, but the most popular type is the screw-lock.
This design features a small screw that tightens down on the strap, holding it securely in place. Another type of strap lock is the lever-lock, which uses a small lever to clamp down on the strap.
No matter which type of strap lock you choose, make sure to test it out thoroughly before
Which Straplocks To Buy
Ernie Ball Super Locks provide maximum durability and security for your instrument cable. The robust mechanics provide a secure connection to your instrument, while the 360 degree design provides complete protection from breakage.
Made from nickel plated steel, Ernie Ball Super Locks are an essential accessory for any guitar player or bassist who wants to protect their gear.
Handy Spare Items
Spare strings! Get a spare set and then a spare, spare set and then a spare, spare, spare set.
I've broken strings before on gigs and it's annoying, to say the least. But what makes it worse is when you don't have a spare. You'll be scrambling to change all your lines to new positions if you don't have a replacement in your case.
To go with that you should also get a bass string winder.
This is a genius little device that fits over the tuning head of your bass and allows you to restring in about one-tenth of the time.
I've changed an entire five-string set two minutes before stage time and had time to spare to tune up before the first song.
They're not expensive and they will save you so much hassle, energy and time.
For those of you using pedals and pedalboard then a power supply is a must.
So many venues and even recording studios have dirty power. By which I mean power outlets that cause your pedals to produce an awful "hum" noise.
If you have your own power supply that you can take to gigs then you can be sure that you'll have good power wherever you go.