How do I Get Good Sounding Tone From a Bass Guitar Rig?

Written by wesley deboy
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How do I Get Good Sounding Tone From a Bass Guitar Rig?
Get good tone from your bass guitar rig. (Bass Guitar image by JMS from

Achieve a good sounding tone from your bass guitar rig by making various changes to your signal chain. Experiment with a variety of sounds by trying different picks, finger picking techniques, bass guitars, bass guitar tone settings, different bass amplifiers and different bass amplifier settings. Each change you make can affect the rest of the signal chain drastically.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Experiment with playing styles. As with most instruments, the sound of an instrument can change dramatically based on how you play it. Try switching from a felt pick to a plastic pick to your fingers, and make note of how it changes your bass rig tone.

  2. 2

    Try different settings on your bass guitar. Don't just set the bass tone on your guitar and forget it. The settings on your guitar are just as important as the settings on your bass amp.

  3. 3

    Try different bass guitars. If a bass guitar's tone sounds bad from the start, you can do little to improve it with your bass amp. Each bass guitar will have a different tone and sound differently paired with your bass amp. Since "good" bass tone is subjective from song to song, you might find that changing bass guitars from song to song works well for the different styles of music you play.

  4. 4

    Brighten your bass tone by putting new strings on your bass guitar. Each type of bass strings has a different tone.

  5. 5

    Cut everything below 50Hz to reduce standing waves of 30 or 40Hz. This will help clean up your bass sound by cutting out the frequencies that the audience cannot hear easily.

  6. 6

    Boost your equaliser at about 80 Hz to increase the fatness of your bass tone.

  7. 7

    Compress your bass signal to achieve a more consistent bass tone.

  8. 8

    Enhance the deeper bass frequencies of your bass tone by setting your bass guitar rig up against a wall or in a corner. The acoustics of the room will naturally enhance the lows of your bass tone when set up this way. Alternatively, set up your bass rig close to the middle of the room to de-emphasise the low frequencies of your bass tone.

  9. 9

    Use a distortion pedal to help your bass cut through the mix. You do not have to make the distortion noticeable---just enough to give your bass tone an enhanced presence.

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