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Practicing without an amp?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Huda, Aug 14, 2012.


  1. Huda

    Huda

    Dec 15, 2007
    Israel
    Hi all,

    It is possible to practice without being tied to an amp?

    Can I plug my bass into a pair of headphones?

    Or can I route it through an iPhone and then into a pair of headphones?

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. vinomonom

    vinomonom

    Jun 22, 2011
    well i used to plug my headphones into the out put of a multi-effects pedal if that helps.
     
  3. FunkyMcNasty

    FunkyMcNasty Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2010
    CO
    You can get a little headphone amp for about $20-30
     
  4. tabdog

    tabdog

    Feb 9, 2011
    I don't know about plugging into
    a iPhone, but there are a lot of
    headphone amps out there that
    cost as little as $40 like the Vox
    Amplug AC30 Headphone Amp,
    or $80 for the Rockman Bass
    Ace Headphone Amp. If you want
    better sound you can spend
    hundreds.

    The quality of the headphones
    makes a big difference,

    Tabdog
     
  5. Check out the Korg Pandora. It's a compact modeling/effects box with a headphone amp (or you can run the output to an amp or recording equipment). The amp / cabinet modeling sounds better than the dry signal of a basic headphone amplifier. Plus, there is a stereo Aux input for mixing in an audio source and playing along with it.
     
  6. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods!

    I use the Amplitube App on the iTouch or iPhone. Buy an iRig plug and your set.
     
  7. willbassyeah

    willbassyeah

    Oct 9, 2011
    Singapore
    i used to use the pandora mini, great little practice tool, it is a multifx, with metronome, drum beat, tuner, really a handy practice tool, has aux input, so that you can jam a long with songs, you can travel with the thing, plug a headphone into it and practice, going to sell mine though,

    as currently i am using zoom b3 to practice, plug a usb into the laptop and you can practice with songs, futhermore it can be use as audio interface which means you can do some computer recording. which is good because listening on how you play will allow you to hear your weakness better. the zoom has also metronome, drumbeat plus looper. really a perfect practice and stage tool due to its versatile fx
     
  8. João Bourgard

    João Bourgard

    Jan 21, 2010
    if you bass has a pre amp good enough it might work directly but i would no bet on it...

    the real solutions are (as many just said):
    Multifx box with head phones
    The little headphone amplifiers that are relatitly cheap
    or a pre amp pedal
     
  9. zenman

    zenman

    Jan 30, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    I do about 99.9% of my practicing unplugged, no headphones, nothing but bass. How loud do you really need to be?

    I suppose if you used effects that wouldn't work out so well.
     
  10. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toledo, OH
    ^This. Leave your bass out on a stand where you can pick it up between tasks for a few minutes at a time. Don't even bother plugging in.

    Also, search the archives for other threads on the topic. A popular and useful method is a small mixer and headphones; this setup is great for learning tunes if you're in a cover band or transcribing stuff. With a stereo mixer, you can pull your signal into one ear and the track you're learning into another. Works great for the instructional materials that are available, too. My iPhone + DI box + mini mixer + headphones = the perfect practice/tune learning desk.

    --Steve

    P.S. Added a photo; $60 mixer + DI and you're good to go. Don't even need the DI, really--you can adjust the trim pot on the mixer channel. Again, learning songs is a snap with an iPhone. I don't even have to download the songs we select--just find them on YouTube, learn 'em, and you're off to the races.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. recreate.me

    recreate.me

    Apr 2, 2010
    Ontario
    Most of the time i don't plug into anything, depending on what I am trying to accomplish. Actually for the last 8 months i was away on business and didn't even have an amp and i still played my Fender Jazz acoustically lol

    I am just practicing fretting or plucking i don't even care what it sounds like, because its just useless anyway. If your fretting scales you don't really need to hear the note just know that you fret and pluck correctly. Put a movie on, and enjoy!

    If I wanna hear what I am doing i will use a pick, which tends to be loud enough.

    Only recently have i started plugging headphones into my VT bass, but that's kinda annoying since its mono...
     
  12. wrench45us

    wrench45us

    Aug 26, 2011
    if there's a need for a DI in your future -- for a home recording studio or connction to PA out and about, a lot of those have headphone jacks and some sound shaping with EQ and some sort of compressor

    But I think the last time this came up the cheap headphone amp or mixer came out as most cheapest common solution.
     
  13. Pacer1991

    Pacer1991

    Aug 14, 2012
    I have a Vox amPlug. It cost me $50 and can fit in my purse. I bought it for when I travel.

    I'm just a beginner, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I can say that I'm happy with my purchase.
     
  14. wrench45us

    wrench45us

    Aug 26, 2011
    "Most of the time i don't plug into anything, depending on what I am trying to accomplish. Actually for the last 8 months i was away on business and didn't even have an amp and i still played my Fender Jazz acoustically lol

    I am just practicing fretting or plucking i don't even care what it sounds like, because its just useless anyway. If your fretting scales you don't really need to hear the note just know that you fret and pluck correctly. Put a movie on, and enjoy!"

    I'm prety sure if I did this I'd develop soem pretty bad habits like not damping opne strings and too much pressure on the fretboard. I switch to headphones once in a while to listen closer to my bad habits. In the summer, it's too hot to get under cans much of the time and I practice through a little Rumble amp and even that hides a lot of poor technique. I can't imagine what playing acoustically for a few months would do.
    But that's me and I'm just learning and don't have good habits engrained.
     
  15. wong99

    wong99

    Jun 6, 2012
    Another +1 for this.
    For me about 50% of practice with no amp.
     
  16. miiitch

    miiitch

    Nov 27, 2011
    Germany
    i quickly stopped doing that when i got my amp.
    been plucking way too hard, because i couldn´t hear what i was playing without amplification, so it sounded like ass through speakers.
    not to mention playing with a light touch is easier and less stressful
     
  17. Jhengsman

    Jhengsman

    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    ^
    I agree, it is either through the amp or a Tascam guitar trainer with headphones for me. I understand any piece of equipment is as likely to be as if not more expensive then a simple 10 watt practice amp. But then the OP seemed worried about space and running chords, not cost
     
  18. I have a full studio in the basement, but for most practising I typically plug into the mic in of my desk PC, and listen through two little desktop speakers with a sub. (Or with headphones, depending on time of day.) There I have access to any tunes on my system, Best Practice software if I need it, and the net for anything else.
     
  19. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    LA
    pignose piggy in the box, stereo to mono adaptor, numark dj headphones(don't put the headphones on just point them towards you)

    i'd only suggest this if you want extreme fuzz at very low volume though
     
  20. PLUS 1 to waht PaulMcCnj said near top of page 1.

    I have a line6 pod, which is also a great headphone amp, as well as pre-amp or to run live; ampless, but the Korg Pandora pxb-4 is frankly more amazing. Both of course have chromatic tuners that can handle a 6 string bass easily.

    With Pandora, you can plug in a seperate sound source as previously stated, has looping, drum patterns. Although I have never used it, the Pandora has a phrase-trainer; slows licks down for learning..Amazing little box. Not as many sound choices as line6, but because of the aux line in, the Pandora has become my main-go-to box. Also, the Pandora can run on batteries for remote use if desired; all in a tiny palm-sized unit.

    Whether using Line6 or Pandora, emulated sounds are overall pleasing. Both also offer "unusable/strange" sounds that would best be suited for making science fiction back ground music...my opinion; no flames, please...

    Importantly: USE A DECENT SET OF HEADPHONES, as bass frequencies and sound pressure levels will quickly destroy cheapy phones. I use a $50 Sony set..Just fine, but I wouldn't chance much lesser quality.
     

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