Put simply, bass guitar pedals rock. They are ideal for any bassist looking to take their bass playing to a whole new level. An effects unit can make a seemingly mundane background instrument like the bass guitar a lot more fun and exciting.
It is also worth mentioning, that bass guitar pedals are just the right thing for more experienced bass players who want to add some more “flavor” to their bass solos. A bass wah-wah pedal is a great example of an effect that a bassist can use to help express his or herself better while performing a solo.
Effects pedals or stompboxes were first made for the six-string electric guitar; but later on bassists also got to rock out and experiment with new and exciting sounds, after bass guitar pedals were finally manufactured.
Some may not be aware of this, but it’s a fact that most amplifiers for electric basses don’t have built in effects (e.g., distortion, reverb), like many guitar amps do. This gives most bass players the need to get their effects from an outside source. They either end up buying a rackmount unit or buying individual bass guitar pedals, or maybe even a bass multi-effects pedal.
Bass guitar pedals/stompboxes are in most cases the better choice since they are conveniently small, more rugged, and less expensive. Effects pedals are also more ideal for live performances, whereas rackmounted effects are more often used in the recording studio. Although a rackmount unit offers a wide range of functions, you could also get a myriad of effects from a multi-effects pedal. Going with a multi-effects pedal maybe a better choice compared to a rackmount unit, due to the fact that it’s a lot smaller and lighter, thus making it more portable. It’s like choosing a laptop over a desktop computer.
Bass guitar pedals are almost as varied and pretty much come in the same shapes and sounds as the pedals made for its six-string cousin. Some of these include: distortion, chorus, wah-wah, and compressor. Effects like compressor are more used amongst bassists, compared to modulation effects like chorus which are used mostly by guitarists. This doesn’t stop certain bass players however, from experimenting with more “exotic” sounding effects while playing all different types of music.
What makes bass guitar pedals different from pedals made for the electric guitar is that they are designed and made specifically to work better with the very low tones that distinguish the bass sound.
In the past, bass players had to (and a few probably still) use guitar effects pedals with the bass. They were able to get a sound that wasn’t bad out of let’s say a guitar distortion pedal; however the low end frequencies got lost while using an effects pedal that’s supposed to be for a guitar and not a bass. Thankfully, a bassist no longer has to deal with this dilemma. Now a days, you can choose from many bass guitar pedals that will enable you to rock and still sound like you’re playing a bass.
Zoom B1on Bass Multi-Effects Processor
- 80 effects
- 14 Amp models
- Up to 5 effects can be used simultaneously
- 100 memory locations
- Onboard chromatic tuner, looper and rhythm machine