Instrument Insight

14 Must Have Bass Guitar Accessories That You Need

Find out what kind of must have bass guitar accessories you need to get, how to choose, features to look for, and a hell lot more!

As a bass player, you know that having the right accessories can make all the difference in your sound. From picks to pedals, strings to straps, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to outfitting your bass. To help you make sure you have everything you need, we’ve put together a list of 14 must-have bass guitar accessories:

1) Bass Amps

Fender-Rumble-Bass-Combo-Amplifier

You’ll need a bass amp to amplify your bass and make it sound louder. If you have a performance in front of a small audience, have an upcoming gig, or just want to practice at home, bass amps are an essential piece of gear. But you have to choose it wisely.

There are a variety of different bass amps on the market, so you’ll want to choose one that’s suitable for your needs. Here are some steps that you can follow to choose the right one:

5 Steps To Choose The Right Bass Amp For You

i. Consider the size of the amp: You’ll need to choose an amp that’s large enough to fill the room or venue without being too loud.

ii. Decide on the type of bass sound you want: Do you want a clean, clear sound or a more distorted, grungy sound?- Consider the features you need. Some bass amps come with built-in effects like reverb or delay, while others are more basic.

iii. Consider your budget: Bass amps can range in price from around $100 to $1,000 or more.

iv. Read reviews: Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, read reviews from other bass guitar players to get their opinions on the amps you’re considering.

v. Try it out: Once you’ve made your decision, try out the bass amp to see how it sounds.

N.B. Don’t forget to get an amp cover as well as it is used to protect your bass guitar amplifier from dust, dirt, and other debris.

2) D.I. and Preamp Pedals

StompLab-Multi-Effects-Modeling-Pedal-Guitar

A DI (direct input) pedal is used to connect your bass to a PA system, recording console, or any other type of audio device. It converts the bass’s signal from an unbalanced instrument level to a balanced line-level, which can be amplified without adding noise.

Preamps are used to boost the bass’s signal so that it can be sent to an amplifier or recording device. They can also be used to shape the sound of the bass, by adding distortion, EQ, and other effects.

Choosing the right preamp model for your bass guitar is a matter of personal preference. There are many different types on the market, so you’ll want to try out a few to see which one you like best. Following the below steps will make the process easier:

5 Steps To Choose The Right Preamp For You

i. Consider your bass’s pickups: Passive or active? If you’re not sure, consult your bass’s owner’s manual.

ii. Consider the type of sound you want: Do you want a clean brighter sound or a more distorted, overdriven sound? Choose the desired pedal as per your ideal sound.

iii. Consider the features you need: Some preamps have built-in effects like EQ or reverb for example delay pedals, while others are more basic. You may also look for the loop pedals for recording purposes.

iv. Consider your budget: Preamps can range in price from around $50 to $500 or more.

v. Read reviews: Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, read customer reviews from other bass players to get their opinions on the preamps you’re considering.

3) Tuners

A tuner is a device that helps you tune your bass guitar by measuring the pitch of the strings and displaying the results on a screen. There are a variety of different tuners on the market, so you’ll want to choose one that’s right for your needs. Some the types of bass tuners include Standard Tuner, Clip-on Tuner, Pedal Tuner, Electronic Tuner, and App-based Tuner. Here is a little more about these in segments:

A. Clip-on Tuners

Clip-On-Tuner
KLIQ-UberTuner-Clip-Instruments

A clip-on tuner is a small, lightweight device that attaches to your bass guitar’s headstock. It’s a good choice for bassists who want a tuner that’s easy to use and transport. More benefits of a clip-on tuner include:

i. Easy to use: Clip-on tuners are easy to attach to your bass and start using.

ii. Accurate: Clip-on tuners are accurate and can be used to tune your bass quickly and easily.

iii. Inexpensive: Clip-on tuners are relatively inexpensive, making them a good option for bassists on a budget.

B. Standard Tuners

A standard bass tuner is a device that you place on a flat surface, like a table or desk. However, some bassists prefer to mount their tuner on their bass guitar’s body. More benefits of a standard bass tuner include:

i. Easy to see: Standard bass tuners are easy to see, making them a good choice for bassists who want a tuner that’s easy to read.

ii. Versatile: Standard bass tuners can be used to tune other instruments as well, making them a versatile option.

iii. Inexpensive: Standard bass tuners are relatively inexpensive, making them a good option for bassists on a budget.

iv. Easy to use: Standard bass tuners are easy to set up and use.

v. Accurate: Standard bass tuners are accurate and can be used to tune your bass quickly and easily.

C. Chromatic Tuners

Donner-Chromatic-Guitar-Tuner-Bypass
KLIQ-MetroPitch-Metronome-Instruments-Chromatic

A chromatic tuner is a device that can be used to tune any instrument, not just a bass guitar. Chromatic means all 12 notes. The chromatic tuner is a must for bassists who want to play in non-standard tuning or check their intonation across the neck. It can also be used as an ear training exercise when paired with microphones on some models (many do).

D. Pedal Tuners

A pedal tuner is a device that’s designed to be used with an amplifier. It attaches to your bass guitar’s output jack and tunes your bass through the amp. Pedal tuners are a good choice for bassists who spend more time practicing, jamming, and in practice pads. More benefits of a pedal tuner include:

i. Handy: A pedal tuner is a handy device that bassists can use to tune their bass quickly and easily.

ii. Precise: Pedal tuners are more precise than other types of tuners, making them a good choice for bassists who want accurate tuning.

iii. Choice of pros: Many professional bassists use pedal tuners, so you know they’re a good choice for Serious bass players.

E. App-based Tuners

An app-based tuner is a device that uses an app to tune your bass guitar. It can be connected with your android, ios, laptop, or desktop. It’s a great option for beginner players as you can use an app-based tuner to tune your bass quickly and easily.

Here are some steps to follow when choosing a tuner:

7 Steps To Choose The Right Tuner For You

i. Consider the type of tuner you need: There are four main types of bass guitar tuners: clip-on, pedal, chromatic, and app-based.

ii. Consider your needs: If you’re a bassist who wants a tuner that’s easy to use and transport, a clip-on tuner might be the best choice for you.

iii. Consider the features you need: Some bass tuners come with features like a built-in metronome or a chromatic tuner (which can be used to tune other instruments as well).

iv. Consider your budget: Bass tuners can range in price from around $10 to $100 or more.

v. Read reviews: Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, read reviews from other bass players to get their opinions on the tuners you’re considering.

vi. Try it out: Once you’ve made your decision, try out the bass tuner if possible to see how it works.

vii. Follow the pros: If you’re not sure which bass tuner to choose, follow the pros and go with the one they use.

Now that you know the different types of bass guitar tuners, it’s time to choose the right one for you. Consider your needs and preferences, then make your decision. And don’t forget to try it out before you buy. You can do this by borrowing from a friend or going to a music store.

4) Headphones

A good pair of headphones is a must for any bass player. Headphones allow you to hear your bass clearly, without distractions from other instruments or noise in the room. They also allow you to practice silently, so you don’t disturb others around you. There are two main types of headphones: over-ear and on-ear.

A. Over-Ear Headphones

Audio-Technica-ATH-M50x
beyerdynamic-770-PRO

Over-ear headphones are the type of headphones that most people think of when they hear the word “headphones.” They have large ear cups that go over your ears, and they’re typically more comfortable than on-ear headphones. However, they can be a bit bulky and difficult to transport.

Popular brands for over-ear headphones are Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, and Beyerdynamic. And the features you should look into in over-ear headphones are:

i. Comfort: Most over-ear headphones are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. But some models, like the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x, are more comfortable than others.

ii. Sound quality: Over-ear headphones typically have great sound quality. But there are some models, like the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro, that have better sound quality than others.

iii. Durability: Over-ear headphones can be a bit fragile, so you’ll want to choose a model that’s built to last. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x and the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro are both durable models.

iv. Price: Over-ear headphones can range in price from around $50 to $500 or more.

B. On-Ear Headphones

Jabra-Elite-Titanium-Black-Ear
Beats-Solo3-Wireless-Ear-Headphones

On-ear headphones are smaller and lighter than over-ear headphones. They have ear cups that sit on top of your ears, rather than around them. On-ear headphones are a good choice for bassists who want a compact pair of headphones that they can easily transport.

Some popular brands for on-ear headphones are Jabra, Beats, Sony, Sennheiser, AKG, and Marshall Headphones. And the features you should look into in on-ear headphones are:

i. Comfort: On-ear headphones can be a bit uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. But some models, like the Jabra Elite 45H, are more comfortable than others.

ii. Sound quality: On-ear headphones typically have good sound quality. But there are some models, like the Beats Solo3 Wireless, that have better sound quality than others.

iii. Durability: On-ear headphones can be a bit fragile, so you’ll want to choose a model that’s built to last. The Jabra Elite 45H and the Beats Solo3 Wireless are both durable models.

iv. Price: On-ear headphones can range in price from around $50 to $300 or more.

5) Instrument Cable

GLS-Audio-Guitar-Instrument-Cable

An instrument cable is a must-have for any bass player. An instrument cable is used to connect your bass to an amplifier. Instrument cables come in different lengths, so you’ll want to choose one that’s long enough to reach from your bass to your amplifier. The most common lengths are 10 feet (3 meters) and 20 feet (6 meters).

There are two main types of instrument cables: unbalanced and balanced. Unbalanced instrument cables are the most common type. They’re less expensive than balanced instrument cables and they work well for most bassists. Balanced instrument cables are a good choice for bassists who have long cable runs or who need to reduce noise in their signal.

Some popular brands for instrument cables are Mogami, Monster, and Fender which have some really decent cables. And the features you should look into in instrument cables are:

i. Length: Instrument cables come in different lengths, so you’ll want to choose one that’s long enough to reach from your bass to your amplifier.

ii. Connectors: Instrument cables have two types of connectors: XLR and 1/4-inch. XLR connectors are typically used for balanced instrument cables, and 1/4-inch connectors are typically used for unbalanced instrument cables.

iii. Price: Instrument cables can range in price from around $20 to $100 or more.

iv. Warranty: Instrument cables are a bit fragile, so you’ll want to choose a model that has a good warranty. Mogami and Monster both offer lifetime warranties on their instrument cables.

6) Guitar Straps

LEKATO-Guitar-Electric-Adjustable-Holders

A guitar strap is another must-have for any bass player. A guitar strap is used to hold your bass in place while you’re playing. Guitar straps come in different lengths, so you’ll want to choose one that’s long enough to reach from your bass to your body. The most common lengths are 50 inches (127 cm) and 60 inches (152 cm).

Some popular brands for guitar straps are Levy’s, Ernie Ball, and Dunlop. And the features you should look into in guitar straps are:

i. Length: Guitar straps come in different lengths, so you’ll want to choose one that’s long enough to reach from your bass to your body.

ii. Material: Guitar straps are typically made from leather, nylon, or polyester.

iii. Price: Guitar straps can range in price from around $20 to $100 or more.

iv. Aesthetics: Guitar straps come in different styles, so you can choose one that matches your bass guitar and your personal style.

v. Comfortability: You should opt for a comfortable strap.

The Levy’s Leathers 2″ Polyester Guitar Strap is one of the cool guitar accessories that you can opt for.

7) Straplocks

Straplocks are a must-have for any bass player if you want to put the straps on. Straplocks are used to keep your bass guitar from falling off your shoulder. Straplocks come in different sizes, so you’ll want to choose one that’s compatible with your bass guitar. Some popular brands for straplocks are Schaller, Dunlop, and Ernie Ball. Industry-standard Ernie Ball Super Locks can be a great option.

8) Guitar Picks

Fender-Premium

Guitar picks are used to pluck the strings of your bass guitar. Guitar picks come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. The most common materials are nylon, plastic, and metal. And the most common shapes are teardrop and triangular.

Some popular brands for guitar picks are Ernie Ball, Fender, and Dunlop. And the features you should look into in guitar picks are:

i. Shape: Guitar picks come in different shapes, so you’ll want to choose one that’s comfortable for you to hold and use.

ii. Size: Guitar picks come in different sizes, so you’ll want to choose one that’s the right size for your hand.

iii. Material: Guitar picks are typically made from nylon, plastic, or metal.

iv. Price: Guitar picks can range in price from around $5 to $20 for a pack of 12.

The Fender 351 Shape Premium Picks of 12 pack is another one of the best cool guitar accessories for bass that is worth having a look at.

9) Extra Strings

Ernie-Ball-Regular-Slinky-Nickel

Having an extra set of bass strings or spare strings will save you any day from having to stop your bass playing. Bass strings usually last around 3-4 months with regular use. But, depending on how often you play, they may need to be replaced sooner. Bass guitars have 4, 5, or 6 strings, so you’ll want to choose a string set that’s compatible with your bass guitar. String sets typically come in light, medium, and heavy gauges. The most common gauges for a 4-string bass (G, D, A, E) are:

i. Extra/Ultra-Light: .030-.095

ii. Light: .040-.100

iii. Medium: .045-.105

iv. Heavy: .050-.110

v. Extra Heavy: .055-.115

Some popular brands for bass strings are Ernie Ball, Fender, and D’Addario. And the features you should look into in bass strings are:

i. Gauge: Bass strings come in different gauges, so you’ll want to choose a set that’s compatible with your bass guitar.

ii. Material: Bass strings are typically made from steel, nickel-plated steel, or stainless steel.

iii. Price: Bass strings can range in price from around $20 to $60 for a set of 4 strings.

iv. Personal Preference: In the end, it’s all about personal preference when it comes to bass strings. You’ll want to experiment with different brands and gauges to find the sound and feel that you like best.

10) Bass String Winder, Cutter, And Ruler

A bass string winder is a must-have for any bass player. A string winder is used to replace bass strings. A string cutter is used to cut bass strings. A string ruler or gauge is used to measure the thickness of bass strings. They all come in different sizes, so you’ll want to choose one according to your needs and situations. Some popular brands for these are Schaller, Dunlop, and Ernie Ball.

11) Cleaning/Polishing Kit

Dunlop-6503-Body-Fingerboard-Cleaning

A cleaning/polishing kit is used to clean and polish the finish on your bass guitar. A cleaning/polishing kit typically includes a cleaning cloth, a polishing cloth, and a bottle of cleaner/polish. You’ll want to choose a kit that’s compatible with the finish on your bass guitar. Some popular brands for cleaning /polishing kits are Music Nomad, Dunlop, and Ernie Ball.

You shouldn’t forget to clean your bass strings at regular intervals as well for ensuring their longevity. These kits are also used as bass string cleaners. Here’s a comprehensive guide on this that you can follow.

12) Maintenance/Tech Kit

Ernie-Ball-Musicians-Tool-Kit

A maintenance/tech kit is another must-have accessory for any bass player. A maintenance/tech kit typically includes a set of Allen wrenches, a set of screwdrivers, a set of pliers, and a wire cutter. You’ll want to choose a kit that’s compatible with your bass guitar. Some popular brands for maintenance/tech kits are Music Nomad, D’Addario, Dunlop, and Ernie Ball.

13) Bass Guitar Stand

RockJam-GS-001-Adjustable-Vertical

A bass guitar stand is used to hold your bass guitar when you’re not playing it. Bass guitar stands come in different sizes and types, so you’ll want to choose one that’s compatible with your bass guitar. Some popular brands for bass guitar stands are Schaller, Dunlop, and Ernie Ball. Some of the types of bass guitar stands include:

i. A-Frame: An A-frame bass guitar stand is the most common type of bass guitar stand. It’s a simple, lightweight, and inexpensive stand that’s easy to set up and take down.

ii. X-Frame: An X-frame bass guitar stand is a more heavy-duty stand that’s made for touring bassists. It’s more expensive than an A-frame stand, but it’s also more durable.

iii. Tripod: A tripod bass guitar stand is a heavy-duty stand that’s made for touring bassists. It’s the most expensive type of bass guitar stand, but it’s also the most durable.

iv. Multiple Guitar: A multiple guitar bass guitar stand is a heavy-duty stand that’s made for bassists who have more than one bass guitar. It’s the most expensive type of bass guitar stand, but it’s also the most durable.

14) Gigbag/Hardshell Case

gator-lightweight-polyfoam

A gigbag is a soft-sided case that’s made for bass guitars. A gigbag typically has a shoulder strap and handles for easy transport. A gigbag is less expensive than a hardshell case, but it’s not as durable. A hardshell case is a hard-sided case that’s made for bass guitars. A hardshell case typically has wheels for easy transport.

FAQ

Q. What Accessories Do I Need For My Bass Guitar?

Ans: To have all 14 mentioned in our list in your bucket list is definitely a plus. But you can also opt for the most essentials according to your needs. For example, you have an upcoming gig where you have to perform while standing. In this case, immediately opt for a bass guitar strap. Some accessories are essentials in anyways though for example, tuners and spare strings.

Q. How Can I Look Cool While Playing Bass?

Ans: Apart from having a cool-looking bass, you can use some cool accessories. For example, putting a cool bass strap on your shoulder will enhance the poshness of your bass playing to another level. Here is a full guide on this though.

Final Verdict

So, these are the 14 must-have bass guitar essential accessories for bass guitarists for their musical journey. Bass guitar accessories are essential for any bass player, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. By having these accessories, you’ll be able to keep your bass guitar in good shape and sounding its best.

Whoop! There’s a ton of information that I just threw at this piece. I hope this guide was helpful in some way, shape, or form. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

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Thanks for reading and bass on!

Author | Bass Guitar and Gear Expert at Instrument Insight | Website

Fred L. Robinson is a young man from Mansfield, TX. He has always had a great passion for music and bass guitars in particular. At the age of 28, he is an expert on bass guitars and their related equipment, materials, history, and origins. Fred works as an author and bass guitar expert at Instrument Insight, where he uses his vast knowledge to help people make informed decisions about their bass guitar purchases.

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