Effects pedals on blues

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Diegombass, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Diegombass


    Sep 19, 2012
    Do you think you need any pedal for blues music?
    What kind of effect do you use? Soloing? Background?
    What do your mates think about?

    My guitar player doesn't use effects pedals, tube amp and lots of reverb always on. The harp player distortion enhancer octaver always on and tube amp heavier than mine.
    But when I take out the tuner, they look me like *** is it? :D
    Ellery likes this.
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    I like a little bit of overdrive for the blues. When I am playing an amp that doesn't have built-in overdrive, I get good results from my Fairfield Circuitry Modele B (always-on Barbershop).

    I don't think I've ever been asked to take a bass solo in a blues band, so I can't help you there, sorry.
    alack likes this.
  3. Frodolicious


    May 29, 2018
    Omaha, NE
    Fuzz (I use a lighter setting) and compression are the pedals I like to use for blues. I try to incorporate others like delay or reverb too for fun :D
    Low84 likes this.
  4. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Need? No. But my “blues tone” usually involves a comp, overdrive, and a Low Pass filter.
    Gabbs likes this.
  5. I use Way Huge Pork Loin, Empress Compressor, tech21 chorus, lpb2ube tube preamp for warmth.
    Robertron likes this.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Agree that you don't need FX for blues, but I always enjoy adding at least a little extra sumthin-sumthin to my tone no matter what kind of music I play -- and that includes blues.

    When playing with a conservative blues band I use gentle overdrive and/or compression, and I don't advertise that I'm using FX. ;)

    For my original blues power trio -- which plays straight blues along with rockin' blues in the Hendrix/Trower/Mahogany Rush vein -- I use heavier overdrive, or distortion, and have even used the Tech21 dUg Pinnick pedal set to Kings X style distortion. Fortunately the bandleader had no problem with it. In fact he recently complimented my tone: he was glad I dialed in some aggression in the mids/highs as opposed to a low-end-heavy sound used by some other bassists he's worked with.

    On that note: keep in mind that your bandleader/bandmates might be fussy about how much FX you use. But I hope not. :)
  7. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    My preferred effects for my bluesy tone is compression and depending on the mix overdrive and/or low gain muff fuzz.

    Do you have any clips of this tone? I love hearing how other bassists use their Porkloin with other effects.
    Do you run the Porkloin into the Empress or after the Empress?
    The Empress is one of the three compressors I'm debating on buying I just don't know how it would sound with my Porkloin. I use the Porkloin always on, unity gain, with just a touch of hair on the tone so you just hear a gentle buzz under my clean tone but extra wetness with my octave and envelopers.

  8. Bass-tuner-1/2 LPB2UBE-chorus-pork loin-1/2 LPB2UBE-empress

    On effect at the time. Compressor always on, so thé lpb.

    Robertron likes this.
  9. Depends on the company I am keeping. For the more traditional or conservative bunch I'll play it pretty straight with just a warm tone maybe a little Octaver on a ballad. For the more open minded I might just go whole hog crazy, got a couple of those in the jamming stage right now that could shake some things up if they can bear the fruit. Thyme may tell. Thyme indeed.
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Short-scale bass into an Aphex Xciter or Smoothie comp. Maybe a little OD for some of the edgier numbers. Not much beyond that.

    Recently I picked up a Barber Linden EQ and I’m now thinking that might be the only pedal I want or need besides a transparent compressor like a Keeley Bassist. Remarkable little EQ for small dollars. Highly recommended.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  11. If it ain't broke...

    Doesn't matter to me.

    When I've played in small blues bands, I've used a Boss OC-2 (just to thicken things when the guitarist goes for an extended solo), and a modded Cry-baby wah, into a V4B/215 cab. That was it.

    In larger bands, bass right into the amp. MAYBE add the OC-2. But that's about it. Whatever the song/band can stand.

    Some players sound awesome without (obvious-sounding) effects. While others, let's just say they really should reconsider their profession...
  12. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    For a blues band, you could use some kind of overdrive to get a little dirt, unless you use tube (pre)amplifier. In my case, I would use Eden Glowplug pedal. Other than that, I would bring the usual trio of pedals which do not colour my sound: tuner, compressor and HPF.

    On the other hand, I do not consider any of the above pedals a "must" (except tuner, of course) so, for some gigs, I would show up with tuner in my pocket-especially if the stage was small or I was travelling by public transportation.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  13. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    AZ, USA
    Tubey OD
    Zbysek likes this.
  14. dlb1001


    Jan 30, 2007
    Very true. I have gotten some murmurs when I used a Stingray at a jam; heard the guy leading the jam, 'Music Man...!' Probably depends how old school the bandleader is.
  15. ugly_bassplayer


    Jan 21, 2009
    Played a long time in a blues band. You need to hold a solid bottom and support. Effect pedals I used was a VT bass for a little dirt and a cheap boss EQ for boost during solos. That and a tuner and you're set for 99.99 % of blues gigs.
    Zbysek likes this.
  16. GrapeBass


    Jun 10, 2004
    Graphic designer: Yorkville Sound
    Traditional blues would only require the simplest of gear, a tube amp, a decent cab (no tweeter) and a passive bass. K.I.S.S.

    The only thing I would add is a non-effect, a HPF/LPF.

    ficelles, macmanlou and Zbysek like this.
  17. Diegombass


    Sep 19, 2012
    I use a green Akai 1997, the sound guy congrats me for the tone, even other blues musicians congrats me (bassists most of all), but my band leader says "but it is green!"
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Facebook comment from a blues bandleader who's a friend of one of my current bandleaders: "I only hire bassists who play four string; guys with more strings play too much. I also prefer P-bass over J-bass."

    I saw absolutely no hint that he was joking. It's incredible that there are only two basses in his world, P and J. My #1 bass is P-style, but the low B string would disqualify me. And I'd be perfectly okay with that: I'd rather know up front that a potential bandleader is so intolerant.
  19. McFarlin


    Oct 27, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Blues? Try a Fairfield Unpleasant Surprise with a Rainbow Machine.
    CapnSev, FilterFunk and ficelles like this.
  20. Wooly John

    Wooly John

    May 16, 2014
    I've been making a list of pedals for blues based on recommendations from talkbass and other forums and YouTube videos - here's a list of pedals to explore (I haven't tried any of these, other than a tuner). Maybe those with more experience could comment:
    1. Tuner
    2. Compressor
    3. Octave
    4. Reverb/delay
    5. Chorus
    6. Synth fuzz (Souzphone, Tuba sounds)
    7. DOD Meatbox SubSynth
    8. Envelope filter
    9. Vintage Microtubes (Darkglass)
    10. High Pass Filter
    Diegombass likes this.
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