Okay, so my main instrument is guitar, meaning all my focus and knowledge goes into that one instrument. But I have joined a band as their bassist and I literally have no idea how to get good tones, what equipment’s best, what basses are best, if there is a point in getting pedals etc. The band is heavy metal so any advice based around the info given would be much appreciated!

Since you’re in a heavy metal band, you should totally invest in a 5-stringed bass guitar. That B string will increase your musical range and provide you that extra rumble. A 4-string is fine as well, but you will have to downtune frequently, get heavier strings, and fix the action on your bass guitar. 

The two pedals I’d recommend that any bass guitar should have is the EHX Bass Big Muff Pi and Tech 21 SansAmp VT Bass pedals. The Bass Big Muff Pi is a pretty sweet distortion pedal with several EQs to prevent you from losing any low-end. The VT Bass is a pre-amp pedal with so many tonal possibilities, it’s insane! The bass amp I use is a 50-watt combo Ampeg 1x12”. It isn’t much, but the VT bass pedal made me sound exponentially louder and better. 

Depending on your amplifier, my EQ is usually 6.5 Treble, 9 Mid, and 7 Bass. I dialed back the treble and bass a bit so that I don’t sound clanky or muddy. The mids are high so that I don’t get drowned out in the mix by my bandmates, lol. After that, I do most of my toning through the VT bass. The packaging for the VT bass will come with a card that has example EQs for rock, funk, motown, etc. 

As for equipment, it depends on your budget. Obviously, the best kind are expensive. I haven’t gotten to point where I am able to buy my dream bass guitar and rig! I’m still a college student! I suggest you go to Guitar Center and keep an eye on the used equipment that other bassist’s have sold. I bought one for $79 that sounds great and plays well! There’s a chance you’ll find a gem. However, shop smart whenever you’re in GC. xD 

You can’t go wrong with the Classic Vibes Jazz basses for 4-string. There is a P-bass model, but it’s too heavy for me. I like the way the jazz basses feel due to its thin neck and lightness. For 5-strings, take a look at Ibanez. They also have thin necks and are light as a feather. Try out different types of bass guitars until you find one that feels good to you. Even great bass players can make a “sucky” bass guitar sound awesome. Plus, you can always change the electronics to something that isn’t generic. 

Welcome to the world of the bass guitar! Remember, it is an instrument that is easy to play, but hard to master. Once you get the hang of it, I’m pretty sure you’ll have an appreciation for what bass guitarists do. 

Anyone have any tips for learning songs by ear on bass?


I want to start learning more bass lines, but I don’t want to use tabs or video lessons. I want to be able to learn them on my own. However, I’ve realized that doing that is so much harder than it sounds. Anyone have any good tips to share on how I can improve this aspect of my playing? Also, what are some songs that would be easy to learn by ear?

Please and thanks.

When I attempt to learn a bass line I use a set of guidelines that help me determine where a particular note is on the fretboard.

1) Know every note on the fretboard. This is especially important because there is a wide spectrum of notes under your belt. There’s a shortcut I learned from my teacher in the past. Look at Figure A below: 


She says that for every A on a string, there is a D under it on the next string. For every G on a string, there is a C under it on the next string. Also, group the notes B-C and E-F together since they are next to one another anyway. For every B-C on a string, there is E-F under them on the next string. See the pattern so far? 

Take that principle and you can apply that to any part of the fretboard.

Don’t forget, lowering a note a half-step, or one fret, makes the note flat (♭). Raising a note a half-step makes it sharp ( # ). 

EX.1    G - G#/A- A - A#/B - B

It’ll take a bit of time to get it down pat. Picture it in your head, keep this in mind, and just fill in the rest. Lol. 

2) Start with open notes. Obviously, you know that you have four strings. Starting with the first string under your chin, you have your heaviest string, which is that open E—the lowest bass note you have in your sonic space. From there, you have your open A, D, and G strings. You’ll notice that the notes get brighter as you pluck these strings from top to bottom. This just helps me pick out some of the notes are in the bass line and how far down  I’ll need to play. Many bass guitarists use open notes to easily transition between notes as well as give themselves that small window to preserve stamina. 

3) Listen to how notes sound in relation to other notes. Pick a note. Ask yourself, “Does this note sound lower or higher in pitch?” This way you have a general idea of the area you need to cover. 

My favorite note is the A note on the E string then I just go from there.

Bonus) Watch someone cover the song. Maybe, you’re just lazy and just want to know where you’ll be playing. I do it a lot. Lol. 

Don’t be ashamed to look at a video or tab to help you out. Learning a song by ear takes a lot of practice. I have trouble with it myself too, but these three steps make the job a bit easier! 

Hope this was helpful! 


Songs: Get Lucky - Daft Punk, Dimension - Wolfmother, Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People, How Far We’ve Come - Matchbox 20, Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes, and any song by Sex Bob-omb (Scott Pilgrim). 

Advanced: Sometimes you’ll run into songs that are in a different tuning. Most of the time, a song will have a combination of hammer-ons, pull offs, slap and pop, and bass slides. It’s up to you to figure it out! 


I have literally never seen this bass before in my entire existence, and i can’t find a single youtube review on it. Though I’m heavily considering it since before i can remember I have wanted a Lake Placid Blue Precision (with a white pickguard but that can be easily rectified). So i need someone to tell me if it’s any good please, please please :3 I’ve been considering the Classic Vibe 60’s Jazz for many months now but this may just have taken the biscuit so to speak :3

The Vintage and Classic Vibes basses are pretty good beginner-intermediate bass guitars. Especially for their price! Precision basses sound really meaty and have a deeper low-end than a jazz bass, which has a high mid range; losing some “rumble” for more punch. However, you can change all that with a pedal such as the Tech 21 SVT bass, which I use to create different sounds. Invest in that pedal!! You’ll love it!!

Since, you’re considering a P bass. You should know that this type of bass has thicker necks. The density of the neck (plus the wood used to make it) will determine how much sustain, clarity, and tone it has. Both the Vintage modified and my Classic Vibes P bass have a maple neck giving them a bright attack while the rosewood fretboard adds a little warmer sound. This is perfect for classic R&B, motown, and even rock. (Listen to: James Jamerson, Nate Mendel) The reason I mentioned the Classic Vibes P bass is because you’ll find reviews on it to get a feel for the Vintage modified you want. It’s pretty heavy on my shoulders so I’ve been switching to the jazz bass because it’s lighter. Their thin necks make it easier for me to play along the fretboard, solo, and add bass fills. You can’t go wrong with the Classic Vibes 60’s bass!

Edit: Since you’re a bass guitarist, you probably already know all this. XD



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I’m reblogging again just incase, lol. I’ve followed too. 


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