1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Effects for Musicals

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by RobWebBass, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. RobWebBass


    Apr 29, 2015
    Buffalo, NY
    Hey folks,

    I’m a double bass player who is relearning electric in the interest of getting into my local musical theatre world. I’ve dug out my old 5 string that I played in high school (an Ibanez SR 305 DX) and I’ve been putting in the time to get comfortable on the instrument again so I can play musicals that call for electric. My amp is a Markbass Mini CMD 121p.

    My question regards effects and pedals that are commonly used in a pit. I’m completely clueless in this regard but I’d like to familiarize myself with what will be expected if I step into a pit. What effects do you find useful when playing a musical, and what should I know about using effects in a pit?

    Thanks all for your replies.
  2. No good answers from me - just wanted to chime in and say that my family is big into musical theater - and I wish you the best. However, in terms of effects, I don’t hear much in most MuTH pieces. I’d tend to want to mimic your upright sound, perhaps with a bit of reverb or delay. Honestly, I’m a tad bit jealous :D
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It's not any different for musicals than any other type of music. Some music requires pedals, some doesn't. I'd get the book first before I started thinking about what pedals to use. Anything else is putting the cart before the horse.
  4. ARMunro


    Feb 21, 2015
    Fort McMurray, AB
    Volume pedals are key. The Ernie ball active and into a tuner so that you’re always where you need to be. Helps mute quickly. Reverb is nice. Compression as well to keep it all “even”
  5. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    If I remember correctly, Rent calls for chorus and an octaver but you could just play a 5. That's the only musical I've played thatst specified effects.
  6. BassAndReeds


    Oct 7, 2016
    I’ve played countless musicals as a reed player. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bass player use pedals, outside of a preamp. And what pedals you have won’t land you gigs. But your sight reading prowess will, so...

    At this point I wouldn’t worry about pedals. You most likely won’t need them. Work on your reading skills. That’s what will get you gigs.
  7. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Generally, effects are still the exception rather than the rule in show books, but there are some shows that do call for them. Chorus, octave and overdrive are probably the most common effects that you'll see:
    • Billy Elliott: chorus
    • Children of Eden: chorus
    • Footloose: synth pedal on "Let's Hear It for the Boys"
    • Heathers: distortion
    • Lizzie: overdrive, distortion
    • Mamma Mia: chorus
    • Rent: one version of the books calls for an octave pedal but as @elgecko noted, this was apparently a workaround for the range limitations of a 4-string bass and this can be played on 5-string
    • Tommy: fuzz, octave
    • Wedding Singer: chorus, octave, envelope filter
    ProfFrink and elgecko like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.