How To Get A Fantastic Bass Guitar Tone

Every bass player in the universe wants to know how to get a fantastic bass guitar tone. However, bassists and the sound they're looking for can be completely different. If I'm looking for a funky, crisp, punchy sound, that is wildly unlike a warm, deep growl. But there is no right and wrong here. It's up to you and your personal taste. That's what makes playing and listening to bass so much fun. In this video you'll learn the seven most important factors affecting the tone of your instrument.

Supplies Needed

Dunlop Super Bright Roundwound Bass Strings

La Bella Black Nylon Tapewound Bass Strings

D'Addario Chromes Flatwound Bass Guitar Strings

Step by Step Instructions

I like the way the seven keys to a great bass tone are presented. There is no "most important factor", but rather an emphasis that each contributes a lot to your sound in its own way.

The first key is how you finger the bass. If you pluck the bass hard or easy, it will have a tone affect. Also, if you pull the string at an angle, it makes a difference. If you are fingering down at the bottom of the bridge, that also will give you a definitely lower tone.

The strings make a huge difference in sound. Roundwound, flatwound and tapewound strings all will give you a completely different tone. New strings also will sound brighter and more alive than a set of old, dirty strings.

The type and placement of your pickups on your instrument is an important factor. If you choose to use two or three pickups at the same time or just one, will also affect your tone.

The tone pot on your guitar can also give you more of a P-bass sound or a Jazz bass sound. Not every bass has a tone pot.

The type of wood that your instrument is made from will also affect the tone. If your guitar has an ash body or some other type of wood for the neck, the sound will differ than a rosewood neck for instance.

Of course, there is the amp you play through. This allows you to find a tone that you prefer. It's suggested that you place all of your EQ knobs at 12:00 and then gently move them to more of a treble or bass position as you experiment. Take your time and find the sound that you prefer.

The speaker or speakers you use will have a huge affect on your tone. Smaller speakers will give you a tighter, punchier sound than larger speakers.

The seven factors that have such a profound affect on your bass tone are important to understand. If you're not happy with your present tone, or you're just seeking something different, you've got the knowledge now to make changes. It might be a new set of strings. I'm thinking of trying tapewound strings for the first time. I'm not unhappy with my tone, but it can always get better. That to me is part of the fun of being a musician- the search for the perfect tone.

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