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What Bass Guitar Does Nikki Sixx Use

Nikki Sixx primarily plays Schecter bass guitars. His signature model is the Schecter Sixx Bass.

Nikki Sixx, co-founder and bassist of the iconic rock band Mötley Crüe, has left an indelible mark on the music industry, not just with his songwriting and onstage antics, but with his choice of instruments as well. Renowned for his aggressive playing style and stage presence, Sixx’s weapon of choice reflects his persona and playing needs.

His partnership with Schecter Guitar Research has resulted in the creation of the Nikki Sixx Schecter Sixx Bass, an instrument that bears his personal touch and is engineered to withstand the rigors of heavy rock performances. This bass guitar stands out with its killer tone, durability, and design, tailor-made to Sixx’s specifications, offering bass players an option that truly resonates with the spirit of rock and Sixx’s thunderous bass lines.

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Introduction To Nikki Sixx And His Impact On Bass Guitar Culture

Introduction to Nikki Sixx and His Impact on Bass Guitar Culture Among the pantheon of rock music legends, Nikki Sixx stands as a towering figure, particularly in the world of bass guitar. His name is synonymous with the evolution of the instrument and its prominence within rock ‘n’ roll. As a founding member of Mötley Crüe and an influential songwriter, Nikki Sixx’s style and attitude have cemented his status as a bass icon, inspiring countless musicians to pick up a four-string and follow in his rebellious footsteps.

Brief Biography Of Nikki Sixx

Born Frank Carlton Serafino Feranna, Jr. on December 11, 1958, Nikki Sixx’s journey from a turbulent childhood to a rock superstar is a tale of resilience and creativity. Sixx’s early affinity for music led him to pick up the bass guitar, carving out a path that would lead him to the forefront of the heavy metal and hard rock movement in the 1980s with Mötley Crüe. His raw energy and dedication have solidified his place in music history.

Nikki Sixx’s Influence In Rock Music And Bass Guitar Scene

Beyond the wild on-stage antics and notorious lifestyle, Nikki Sixx’s contribution to bass guitar culture cannot be overstated. His aggressive playing style, coupled with a knack for catchy hooks, has influenced an entire generation. Sixx’s bass tones, characterized by a grit and growl that cut through the mix, defined the sonic backbone of Mötley Crüe’s hit tracks and contributed to the band’s signature sound. His legacy extends into the creation of bass lines that are not only powerful but intrinsic to the identity of rock music culture.

What Bass Guitar Does Nikki Sixx Use


Nikki Sixx’s Signature Bass Guitars

In the world of rock and roll, few bassists have created as much buzz with their instrument choice as Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx. His distinctive sound is not just a product of his aggressive playing style but also of the unique bass guitars that he has employed throughout his stellar career. Let’s dive into the iconic and custom instruments that have become synonymous with Sixx’s thunderous bass lines.

Gibson Thunderbird Bass: The Iconic Choice

Gibson Thunderbird Bass: The Iconic Choice

Nikki Sixx’s relationship with the Gibson Thunderbird bass is legendary. Known for its meaty sound and classic looks, the Thunderbird has been Sixx’s go-to instrument during the height of Mötley Crüe’s fame. This rock ‘n’ roll behemoth contributes greatly to the band’s signature glam metal sound with its rich tones and powerful presence.

Custom-made Basses for a Unique Sound

Custom-made Basses For A Unique Sound

Alongside the beloved Thunderbird, Sixx has also employed a range of custom-made basses. These instruments are tailored to his specific needs and aesthetic, offering him the ability to really stand out on stage and in the studio. With custom modifications and unique designs, these basses have helped Sixx bring a fresh edge to Mötley Crüe’s music.

The Rise of the Nikki Sixx Blackbird Bass

The Rise Of The Nikki Sixx Blackbird Bass

A pivotal turning point in Sixx’s bass-playing career came with the introduction of the Nikki Sixx Blackbird Bass. This signature model, a collaboration between Sixx and Gibson, offers players a slice of his signature tone with its customized features and sleek design. The Blackbird quickly rose to prominence, becoming a favorite among both fans and fellow bassists looking to capture a bit of Sixx’s iconic sound.

Technical Aspects Of Nikki Sixx’s Bass Guitars

Delving into the technical aspects of Nikki Sixx’s bass guitars reveals a world where precision meets rock ‘n’ roll flair. Nikki Sixx, mostly known for his role as the bassist and primary songwriter of the band Mötley Crüe, has become a legend among musicians, particularly for his distinctive bass sound and style. Understanding the tools of his trade offers insight into how his aggressive yet melodic lines cut through the mix of some of the most iconic songs in rock history.

Specifications And Features Of Sixx’s Bass Guitars

Nikki Sixx’s choices in bass guitars are as bold as his on-stage persona. Over the years, he has wielded a plethora of basses tailored to his needs. The most iconic among them is the Gibson Thunderbird, custom-fitted to suit his aggressive playing style. Here are some specifications and features that stand out in Sixx’s bass guitars:

  • Body: Sixx’s basses often feature mahogany bodies for a rich, resonant tone.
  • Neck: The necks are usually constructed with rosewood or ebony fingerboards and are designed for fast, fluid playability.
  • Scale Length: He favors a 34″ scale length, which provides a comfortable balance between tension and playability.
  • Frets: Jumbo frets are a common feature, accommodating Sixx’s dynamic playing technique.

Pickups And Electronics: Crafting Sixx’s Tone

Pickups and electronics are integral to shaping the unique sound Nikki Sixx pulls from his bass. His instruments often sport active pickups, known for their higher output and punchier sound. The Sixx Signature Blackbird, for example, includes:

  • Pickups: DeepSixx active pickups, which are designed to deliver a powerful and articulate tone that slices through the mix.
  • EQ: Onboard active EQ circuits with dedicated knobs for bass, mid, and treble frequencies allow for meticulous tone shaping.
  • Controls: Volume and blend controls offer further customization, allowing for the perfect balance between clarity and grit.

Hardware And Aesthetics: The Visual Appeal

A bass guitar isn’t just a musical instrument; it’s also a statement piece, especially when Nikki Sixx straps it on. The hardware and aesthetics of his basses are just as important as their sonic capabilities. Elements such as:

  • Bridge: A custom high-mass bridge, enhancing sustain and resonance.
  • Tuning Machines: Precision tuning machines, ensuring that his bass stays in tune throughout rigorous performances.
  • Finish: Signature models are adorned with a sleek black finish, exuding an aura of mystery and rebellion.
  • Inlays: Unique inlays, such as the ‘Opti-Grab’ handle and custom graphics, contribute to the bass’s personalized look.

True to Nikki Sixx’s style, his basses are often customized to feature striking visual elements that stand out on stage. The combination of sleek design with road-tested durability means these basses are both eye-catching and ready to endure the rigors of touring.

Nikki Sixx’s Playing Style And Bass Setup

Renowned for his role as the primary songwriter and bassist of Mötley Crüe, Nikki Sixx has left an indelible mark on the world of rock. His aggressive, melodic approach, combined with a penchant for visual flair, is not just limited to performance but also extends to his customized bass setup and playing style. Diving into the details, we’ll dissect the elements that make up Sixx’s signature sound, from his bass playing techniques to the gear that powers his thunderous tone.

Analyzing Nikki Sixx’s Bass Playing Techniques

At his core, Nikki Sixx’s bass technique is shaped by his rhythmic precision and raw power. His attack on the strings is confident, often employing a pick for faster passages and clearer articulation. This choice contributes to the punchy and commanding presence his bass lines have within Mötley Crüe’s sound. Furthermore, Sixx has a unique ability to weave together simplicity and complexity, creating memorable hooks that serve as the backbone of the band’s biggest anthems.

He’s also known for his use of palm muting to accentuate rhythm and to add a percussive element to his playing. This technique, along with his use of hammer-ons and pull-offs, allows Sixx to transition seamlessly from smooth runs to gritty, impactful riffs that drive the songs forward.

Live And Studio Gear: Amplifiers And Effects Pedals

While Nikki Sixx’s thunderous tone is unmistakably his, part of the secret lies in his meticulously chosen gear. For amplification, Sixx often favors a setup that can deliver both sheer volume and nuanced tones.

  • Ampeg SVT classic heads are a staple, known for their raw power and reliability.
  • Cabinet-wise, he opts for Ampeg 8×10 enclosures, ensuring his sound cuts through the mix with clarity and definition.

When it comes to effects, Sixx exhibits a minimalist approach, though he isn’t afraid to employ chorus or octave pedals to add depth or to highlight specific moments within a song.

String Preferences And Maintenance Routine

Even the finest gear requires dedication to maintenance, and Nikki Sixx cares deeply for his strings. He primarily uses heavy gauge strings which provide durability and a fuller sound, crucial for a heavy-hitting rock environment.

String Brand Gauge
Dean Markley Blue Steel .050-.110

His maintenance routine involves regular cleaning and changing of strings to prevent corrosion and maintain tonal quality. Every string change involves a detailed neck check and instrument setup to ensure consistent playability. Sixx’s exact maintenance routine remains tailored to the rigorous demands of his performance schedule.

The Evolution Of Nikki Sixx’s Bass Guitars

Nikki Sixx, the iconic bassist for Mötley Crüe, is as renowned for his musical talent as he is for his unique and evolving choice in bass guitars. This section delves into the various instruments that have amplified Sixx’s prowess on stage and in the studio over the years. Fans and aspiring bass players alike look to Sixx for inspiration, and the evolution of his bass guitars reflects the dynamism of his career and his impact on rock music.

From Early Days To Mötley Crüe: Tracking The Changes

The journey of Nikki Sixx’s bass guitars has been one of innovation and style. Starting off in the early days of his career, he played a range of different models, each reflecting the raw energy of the era’s rock scene. As he rose to fame with Mötley Crüe, his choice in instruments began to take on a more personal tone.

  • Gibson Thunderbird Basses
  • Custom-made Hamer 12-string basses
  • BC Rich Warlocks

These instruments were not just tools for Sixx but extensions of his persona on stage, ushering in distinct sounds that helped define the band’s gritty aesthetics.

Collaborations With Manufacturers And Endorsements

Nikki Sixx’s quest for the perfect bass did not stop at merely selecting from existing models. His passion led to collaborations with renowned manufacturers, producing signature models that captured his vision of what a bass should be. One such notable partnership was with Gibson to create the Blackbird bass, a unique instrument tailored to his specifications. Subsequent deals saw endorsements and the release of other signature models:

  1. Epiphone Thunderbird Nikki Sixx “Blackbird” model
  2. Schecter Sixx Signature Series bass

The collaboration cemented Sixx’s status not only as a performer but as an influencer in the design and manufacturing of bass guitars.

Influence On Other Bass Players And The Industry

Nikki Sixx’s impact extends beyond the success of Mötley Crüe and into the broader music industry. His bass guitars, notable for their distinctive sound and design, set a precedent that many other players have sought to emulate. Not only have his instruments served as a model for rock bassists, but they have also contributed to innovations in bass guitar manufacturing.

Influencing an array of musicians, from beginners to professionals, Nikki Sixx’s role in shaping the instrument can be seen in:

  • The prevalence of darker, edgier designs common in rock music
  • The push for higher-quality manufacturing to meet the demands of aggressive playing styles
  • The development of signature gear designed to capture the essence of an artist’s sound

His legacy is not just in the music he’s created but in the culture of bass playing he’s helped to foster, inspiring countless musicians worldwide.

Where To Buy Nikki Sixx’s Bass Guitar Models

Attention all bass enthusiasts and aspiring rock stars: If you’re aiming to emulate the thunderous bass lines and iconic stage presence of Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, you’ll need the right gear. Fortunately, the bass guitar models favored by Nikki Sixx are within your reach, and we’re here to guide you through the process of finding the perfect one for your rock ‘n’ roll endeavors.

Whether you’re a collector, a professional musician, or a hobbyist, you have several options to purchase a bass like the one used by Nikki Sixx. Check out authorized dealers, limited edition releases, the second-hand market, or affordable replicas and tributes.

Authorized Dealers

For those searching for brand new and authentic Nikki Sixx bass guitars, authorized dealers are your go-to option. Top brands such as Gibson and Epiphone often have official dealers around the globe. Buying from these trusted sources ensures you get a legitimate instrument with the manufacturer’s warranty and customer support. Visit the official websites to locate authorized dealers near you.

Limited Edition Releases

Occasionally, manufacturers release limited edition bass guitars that replicate the unique specifications and design of Nikki Sixx’s instruments. These models can sometimes only be found at select retailers or through special online sales events. Stay updated with your favorite music stores and sign up for newsletters to get notifications about these rare opportunities.

Second-hand Market: Tips And Warnings

For budget-conscious fans, the second-hand market is a treasure trove of finds. Check out online platforms like eBay, Reverb, or local classifieds for used Nikki Sixx bass models. Keep these tips and warnings in mind:

  • Verify authenticity: Ensure the bass is a genuine Nikki Sixx model.
  • Check condition: Request detailed photos and ask about any modifications or repairs.
  • Seller reputation: Review feedback and ratings from previous buyers.

Replicas And Tributes: Affordable Alternatives

Not everyone can afford a premium, signature model. Replicas and tribute basses provide a more cost-effective route to owning a Nikki Sixx-inspired instrument. These alternatives capture the essence of Nikki’s bass without the high-end price tag. Check out guitar shops or online retailers for models that are influenced by the rockstar’s legendary sound and aesthetic.

Conclusion: The Legacy Of Nikki Sixx’s Bass Guitars

Nikki Sixx’s indelible imprint on the world of rock is not just through his music but also through the iconic bass guitars he wields. The conclusion of our deep dive into the legacy of Nikki Sixx’s bass guitars leads us to not only appreciate the tools of his trade but to understand their wider cultural impact, the inspiration they continue to provide to budding bassists, and to contemplate what the future holds for Sixx and his cherished instruments.

The Cultural Significance Of Sixx’s Choice Of Instruments

Throughout his career, Nikki Sixx has selected bass guitars that not only complemented his aggressive style of playing but also resonated with the aesthetic of the era. His choices invariably turned into cultural symbols that transcended music, influencing fashion trends, graphic design, and even the industrial design language of that period. From the sleek lines of his customized Thunderbird basses to the gritty appearance of the “Blackbird” bass, Sixx’s instruments became synonymous with the visual identity of heavy metal and glam rock, markers of a musical revolution.

Nikki Sixx’s Continuing Influence On Aspiring Bassists

The legacy of Nikki Sixx’s bass guitars is not confined to the past; it continues to reverberate through the corridors of music schools and the quiet bedrooms where the next generation of rockers practice their craft. His aggressive attack, coupled with a melodic sensibility, sets a benchmark for others to follow. Sixx’s signature models, produced in collaboration with brands like Gibson and Epiphone, not only provide a tangible connection to his sound but also serve as a beacon, inspiring countless young musicians to pick up a bass and start their own musical journeys.

Future Prospects For Nikki Sixx And His Bass Guitars

As we gaze into the future, the excitement surrounding Nikki Sixx and his relationship with his bass guitars only intensifies. Whether it’s new custom models or reissues of classic designs, the potential for innovation and evolution in Sixx’s instruments is vast. His enduring influence suggests that any forthcoming bass guitar bearing his influence is poised to captivate not only fans of the era that birthed Mötley Crüe but also a new audience that respects the blend of vintage soul and modern edge. The saga of Sixx’s storied instruments is far from over, with the promise of further shaping the sound and look of rock music for years to come.

What Bass Guitar Does Nikki Sixx Use


What Bass Guitar Does Nikki Sixx Use


Frequently Asked Questions For What Bass Guitar Does Nikki Sixx Use

What Basses Does Nikki Sixx Use?

Nikki Sixx primarily plays Gibson Thunderbird basses. He’s also known for custom models like the “Blackbird” made by Schecter.

What Bass Guitar Did Mötley Crüe Use?

Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe primarily played Gibson Thunderbird basses. He also used Spector models for certain tours and recordings.

Can Nikki Sixx Play Bass Well?

Yes, Nikki Sixx is known for his proficiency as a bassist. His skills have been a foundational element of Mötley Crüe’s music success.

What Was Nikki Sixx First Bass?

Nikki Sixx’s first bass was a Gibson Thunderbird. He bought it second-hand at age 17 before co-founding Mötley Crüe.


Nikki Sixx’s choice in bass guitars paints the portrait of his iconic sound. His loyalty to Gibson Thunderbird models stands as a testament to their quality and impact on rock music. Whether you’re a budding musician or a devoted fan, Sixx’s gear reflects his enduring legacy in the industry.

For those inspired by his electrifying performances, exploring similar instruments could be your first step towards rock stardom.

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