The Five Pedals that EVERY Bass Player needs!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by archisland, Oct 11, 2021.

  1. archisland


    Mar 5, 2016

    Did a list thingy. I have a feeling that it'll annoy quite a few people! :D
    zubrycky, BOOG, groooooove and 3 others like this.
  2. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    It’s one opinion. And a good start for anyone who is contemplating getting their first pedal.

    And I don’t think you’ll actually annoy people. But You’ll definitely find many who will disagree with your essential selection. Especially if they’re not rock bassists. For example, I wouldn’t consider an octave or drive/distortion pedal a necessity. And I’m a bass player who doesn’t believe in using chorus on bass at all. ;)

    About the only pedal you’ll probably find almost full agreement on is a tuner.
  3. archisland


    Mar 5, 2016
    Haha I know :) But the title “The five pedals that every rock/metal and/or top 40 bass player should consider for his or her pedalboard!” doesn’t have the same ring to it :)

    In a way, I envy guys who just go straight into the amp and are happy about it - but, then again I’m also pretty darn happy with my own tone and the options it gives me :)

    to each their own, I guess!
    BOOG, scott sinner, BlueTalon and 2 others like this.
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    A lot depends on the amp they’re using. One big mistake some pedal users make is trying to compensate for an inadequate amp. Best piece of advice I ever got when I started exploring pedals was: “Don’t spend money on pedals when what you really need is a better amp.” Especially now that five decent pedals can easily cost as much as a good amp.

    So the first priority is to get your amp choice squared away. Because it’s as much a part of your instrument as the bass guitar itself is. After that you can rock out on pedals as much as you want without fear of wasting your time or money.

    Yep! Because at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters. If it’s good for you then it’s all good. Period. :cool::)

    First rule of the road on your music journey: Never sign on to anyone’s trip but your own. :thumbsup:
  5. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Boost, overdrive, distortion, vintage fuzz, and crazy off-the-chain post modern fuzz.
  6. I always think that those « essentials » lists are a bit funny. It all depends on what you play, the context you’re playing in and even how your playing evolves. I grew up a metal bass player. I hated distortion on bass back then. I didn’t use effects. Now, I play… well I’m not even sure what style my band plays but we like it. My playing is somewhere between jam band funky jazz rock progressive alternative. Anyways, now, on the board, 5 essentials to me would be envelope filter, bass synth stuff, drive, chorus and maybe octave. Always on compressor makes room on the floor as well as a rack or built into your amp tuner! ;)
    Gearhead17 likes this.
  7. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2001
    Holland, MI
    Hard to imagine a gig you couldn't handle with dirt, octave, filter, and something that wobbles. Add a fuzz and I'm pretty much all set.

    But none are essential, and for proof I submit most recordings ever and hundreds of years of combined experience, including fifteen of mine, with no effects other than studio compression.
    BillMason likes this.
  8. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I have 5 pedals on my bass pedal board
    Octaver>volume pedal>AutoWah>Chorus>EQ

    So I have 2 of his 5, but I can also set the AutoWah or the EQ to give me some OD/dirt
  9. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    design likes this.
  10. TTA


    Jun 10, 2021
    I have a stereo splitter, ab switch, wah… distortion (tuner, eq, compressor, mild to wild distortion, di out, dirty and clean out, headphones out, ipod/midi in)
    erratick and zontar like this.
  11. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Suspended Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
  12. WillyW

    WillyW l’art pour l’art, fonction de baise

    Dec 10, 2019
    My 5

    Jim Nazium likes this.
  13. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Still haven't found a use for an Octave pedal in a live situation. The cover bands I have been a part of have never needed it. It's really about the tone you are trying to achieve and the band you need to use it in. "Essential Pedals" is really an oxymoron.
  14. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Right on. Those are the pedals I have on my board, minus the overdrive which I have on my amp head.

    That being said, I use the tuner a lot, the compressor is always on (mild setting) and the others get used sparingly.
  15. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    Cool video, a nice primer for people getting started with effects.

    I'm not an effects guy, so i think it's useful to think of pedals in two categories: utilities and effects.

    In your video, I'd call the first two utilities, and they are indeed useful for most bass players. The other three are neat effects that are cool for many, but not useful for those of us who play clean 100% of the time.

    Other utilities that I find useful for non-effects players:
    • line switcher (for switching between multiple instruments without unplugging; can also match gain between passive and active instruments)
    • EQ
    • HPF
    A lot of these utilities will be applied at the mix desk in a pro live or recording scenario, but they are super valuable to have in your signal path when you have anything less than top-flight FOH support.
  16. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    Not bad. Except its a want, not a need.
  17. BD Jones

    BD Jones

    Jul 22, 2016
    Here's my list of the five pedals every bass player needs:

    I like to keep it simple.
  18. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    It was the first pedal I thought of relative to the cover music I play. So you’re right on; the gig is the most important thing here.
    Gearhead17 likes this.
  19. Mark_70


    Dec 31, 2013
    That's actually pretty close to what I've got..
    Tuner (boss)
    envelope filter (MXR - okay, not on your list..)
    compressor (MXR)
    chorus (some old Ibanez pedal)
    distortion (YYZ pedal)

    I need to get a bit larger board so I can - wait for it - put the micro POG on there too; that's the octaver :)
    So then I would have 5 out of 5 + the bonus of the envelope filter.

    I don't know that I would call any of them "essential" other than the tuner. Good video!

  20. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Fuzz Face, Tone Bender Fuzz, Muff, Octave Fuzz, Oscillator Fuzz.

    Hmm, that’s 5, no filter fuzz?
    BillMason and Dubious Aa like this.
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