Sometimes, simple playing gets a bit monotonous. Some of us just want to simply experiment, and see what we can create. One of the best ways to create something new is through the use of effects.
But what kinds of bass guitar effects are there, and how can they benefit your playing?
First off, you should understand something; effects aren’t magic, and they won’t make up for laziness. This means that you shouldn’t buy an effect pedal to simply avoid hard practice.
A pedal may cover up some mistakes, but most of them will be as noticeable as if they were still naked. Don’t make the mistake of thinking an effects pedal is a get out of practice free card; it isn’t. You will still need to put in your hours every week, and you will still need to work just as hard.
That being said, effects pedals can make your hours of hard work fun to exploit.
Just like a guitar pedal, the most basic bass guitar effects pedal type doesn’t actually do anything special. In fact, the most important of all bass effects pedals is the noise suppressor.
If you have a tube amp, a noise suppressor will be your best friend. It will get rid of the hum of the tubes, or the hiss and pop of dying (and hopefully soon to be replaced) tubes. Noise suppressor pedals, or sometimes referred to as noise gates, won’t get rid of those dead notes or anything else, but will make your rig as quiet as a mouse.
Next up, the distortion pedals. Some bassists, like guitarists, simply love distortion. Not only are distortion pedal great for adding a little bit of extra edge, but they can transform your bass guitar into a whole new instrument. Distorting your bass guitar will give it more depth, further aggression, and most of all, an awesome tone. These can all be used to supplement rhythms, or to take the lead in a verse. Check out this article for a detailed look on using bass guitar distortion pedals effectively.
The third basic bass guitar pedal is the wah pedal. The wah pedal for a bass works exactly like the wah pedal for a guitar; it can either compressing your tone, or shift its pitch upwards.
The wah pedal is a fun way to add texture to a verse or even a chorus. Not only are they fun to use, but they can change the properties of a riff so that it sounds completely different. They can also do this for a solo, as well.
The final bass guitar effects pedal we will discuss is the bass chorus pedal. The chorus pedal adds a harmony to each note you play. That harmony can be adjusted from slight, to enormous. This can not only add an extreme amount of contrast to a riff, but it can also make single note riffs sound livelier.
Don’t Depend Overly on Effects
In the end, as we said at the start, no pedals will make up for a lack of practice. However, if you are looking for a new way to add depth to your hard earned techniques, bass guitar pedals are a great tool to use.
For more hardcore bass effects ideas, check out this video.
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