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Is Effects a must in playing bass guitar?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Jay Cortero, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Jay Cortero

    Jay Cortero Commercial User

    Aug 20, 2019
    Hey guys, I play bass 2 from now and i'm on a band, do i need effects? And if i do need what effects is a must?
  2. You don't need any effects, but you may really enjoy using them.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Effects aren't a must, but I do think a good overdrive pedal is useful as a lot of music these days uses it, and in some bands it's essential. Other than that, I don't think any of them are essential, not even compression, as a thousand people in here are going to chime in and tell you it's essential :D
  4. jebmd

    jebmd Gold Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Lothian, Maryland
    No, but they’re fun, especially when you find the tone you are looking for with one or twelve of them.
  5. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    You're probably smarter to not have effects.

    But that didn't stop any of us! :woot:
    Britsie, red_rhino, smogg and 12 others like this.
  6. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    It depends on the band. Sometimes clean bass just isn't appropriate for the mix.
  7. Michael League once said something like this: "The only time I use a pedal is when it's musically inappropriate not to".

    Nevertheless, here is my humble Effect Pedal Purchase Guide .
    equill, cactus1, DJ Bebop and 17 others like this.
  8. Basically Bob

    Basically Bob Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Simcoe, Ontario
    I have been playing for 25 years as a fairly busy hobbiest and have never used pedals. However, a chorus and boost pedal would definitely enhance a few of the songs we do and I am planning on putting a small pedalboard together soon.

    My recommendation would be to hold off until you identify a specific need and go from there.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
    jazzyvee, matante, FilterFunk and 9 others like this.
  9. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    completely essential. I refuse to play if I got no effects.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
    cosmicevan and Whippet like this.
  10. ShortyGetLow


    Aug 6, 2019
    All the cool kids are doing it....
    lo_freq_geek, rendevouz and Whippet like this.
  11. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    I own 2 bass pedals that are really fun but they don't come to my gigs with me 98% of the time.
  12. 4001

    4001 SUSPENDED

    wboyd68, jerry, FRoss6788 and 4 others like this.
  13. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

  14. Never use them.
    wboyd68 and Afc70 like this.
  15. Are they essential? - No. Do I have an ever growing pedal-board that I use at every gig? - Yes
    HCF, FRoss6788, HolmeBass and 2 others like this.
  16. Agree with some of the earlier posters that you really need to identify the WHY you need a pedal before you start thinking about WHICH pedal.

    That said. I use: tuner, synth, od, fuzz, compressor (limiter), reverb, delay, HPF/LPF + DI. But I play a very wide mix of genres so that stuff is needed for me to get the sound I (and my bandleaders) want.
  17. No, Good clean sounding bass sounds the best. It's the age we live in, we can't leave well enough alone
  18. As with many things, the answer is "It depends". What genre(s) do you play? What is the composition of your band? Do you solo? What kind of tone do you want to achieve? Etc.

    I use effects, but I don't let them get in the way (that Michael League quote mentioned earlier sums it up best). With effects there's always a bit of experimentation involved, too: What sounds great when you're playing by yourself may sound like utter crap when you're playing with the rest of the band (*cough cough gated fuzz cough cough*) so it's important to remain objective: When it sucks, it sucks.

    That said, the right amount of the right effect at the right time can truly bring a song to life.
    bass12 and AGCurry like this.
  19. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    No. A tuner is really the only must have item, and some amps have that built in.
    The rest are just sweeteners for doing specific things.
    FRoss6788 likes this.
  20. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    In some rooms, I need an HPF to keep my upright from turning into an explosive. Never used a pedal with an electric. Life is more betterrer if you keep it simplerer

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