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What Bass Guitar Does Royal Blood Use

Mike Kerr of Royal Blood primarily uses a Fender Precision bass. His unique rig allows him to mimic guitar tones on his bass.

Royal Blood, the British rock duo, has stormed the music scene with a massive sound that defies their minimalist setup. Frontman Mike Kerr achieves an unparalleled sonic palette by pushing his bass through an array of pedals and amps. Kerr’s method blurs the lines between bass and electric guitar, creating powerful riffs that drive the band’s hit tracks.

His Fender Precision Bass, meticulously crafted to suit his playing style, transforms into the backbone of Royal Blood’s gritty, pulsating anthems. Kerr’s gear and technique together have redefined the potential of the bass guitar in modern rock music, making their sound recognizable and innovative.

What Bass Guitar Does Royal Blood Use


Introduction To Royal Blood’s Signature Sound

Royal Blood, a band that has redefined the modern rock scene, boasts a sound that’s as colossal as it is captivating. This UK duo, consisting of Mike Kerr on bass/vocals and Ben Thatcher on drums, has forged a sonic identity that’s both unique and fiercely powerful. The heart of their signature sound lies in a piece of equipment that might seem unassuming at first glance – the bass guitar. But not just any bass guitar; Royal Blood uses a specific model that turns the traditional expectations of a rock setup on its head.

Defining The Band’s Musical Style

Royal Blood harnesses a blend of gritty garage rock, heavy blues, and psychedelic rock, creating a cocktail of melodies that hit with a punch. Their distinct musical style emerges from the interplay between Thatcher’s thunderous drumming and Kerr’s bass guitar that roars through octave pedals and an array of amplifiers, effectively filling the sonic space that a conventional electric guitar would normally occupy.

  • Bass-driven riffs
  • Aggressive drum patterns
  • Vibrant rock energy

Role Of The Bass Guitar In Royal Blood’s Music

The bass guitar is the foundation of Royal Blood’s music, transcending the traditional rhythm section role and stepping into the spotlight.

Mike Kerr uses a Fender Precision Bass custom outfitted with bi-amp setups and unique effect chains to achieve his enormous tone. This bass, often processed through a variety of pedals, produces a sound so massive that it easily fills the sonic void left by the absence of a lead guitar. Here’s a breakdown of the setup that enables the unique Royal Blood sound:

Equipment Type Role in Sound
Fender Precision Bass Primary instrument with modified components for distinctive tone
Effect Pedals Generates a range of overdriven and modulated tones
Amplifiers Dual-amp setup for separate frequency management

This setup creates a soundscape marked by rich, fuzzed-out lows and crisp mids and highs, allowing the bass to sing with an almost guitar-like timbre. With this arsenal, Royal Blood delivers performances that shatter expectations and exemplify the power of innovation in music.

What Bass Guitar Does Royal Blood Use


The Bass Equipment Of Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr

Welcome to the thunderous world of Royal Blood, particularly the creative force behind their seismic sound: Mike Kerr. This British rock duo has redefined the role of the bass guitar in modern rock music, with their frontman Mike Kerr wielding his instrument to unleash monstrous riffs and groovy melodies. Let’s dive into the gear that Kerr uses to craft the distinct Royal Blood sonic experience.

Primary Bass Guitars Used By Mike Kerr

Mike Kerr’s weapon of choice on stage is predominantly a variety of Fender Precision Basses. These aren’t just any off-the-shelf models; they have become synonymous with the gritty, overdriven sounds that Royal Blood are admired for. Among his arsenal are:

  • Custom Shop Fender Precision Bass – The backbone of his sound.
  • Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI – For deeper, baritone textures.

On occasion, you’ll also catch him ripping on a Fender Jaguar Bass or a Fender Starcaster Bass, further showcasing the versatility within his collection.

Amplification And Effects For A Unique Tone

Mike Kerr’s signature sound doesn’t stop at his choice of bass; it extends into his extensive use of amplifiers and effects pedals. This combination allows him to achieve a range that covers both the low-end presence of a bass and the mid-to-high frequency grit of a guitar. His setup includes:

  1. Bass Amplifiers like the Ashdown ABM-500 EVO III, for pure, unadulterated low end.
  2. Ampeg SVT amps to add that classic rock meatiness to the sound.
  3. Various pedals and effects units , such as octave pedals, pitch shifters, and harmonizers like the Electro-Harmonix Micro POG, to really spice up the tones and textures.

Custom Modifications And Signature Models

Kerr’s customizations to his gear play a significant role in his unique sound. Fender even released a Mike Kerr Signature Series, which bears testament to his distinctive style and the impact he’s had on bass players seeking to break the mold. These custom models usually feature:

  • Modded pickups tuned specifically to Kerr’s liking, offering a fiercer output.
  • Custom circuits that permit a broader range of tones, suitable for the band’s versatile discography.
  • Unique looks that stand out on stage, such as the classic sunburst finish or a sleek all-black design.

The extensive custom work, along with premium materials, ensure each bass is primed for the raw power and energy that a Royal Blood show is guaranteed to deliver.

Evolution Of Bass Guitars In Royal Blood’s Discography

Evolution of Bass Guitars in Royal Blood’s Discography
Introduction to the evolution of bass guitars in Royal Blood’s discography

As an extraordinary rock duo, Royal Blood has consistently pushed the boundaries of what just two musicians can achieve. The magic behind their sound is heavily influenced by the evolving role of the bass guitar within their discography. From its raw beginnings to the intricate layers of their most recent work, we observe a fascinating development in bass usage, equipment, and techniques employed by bassist and frontman, Mike Kerr. Let’s explore the evolution of bass guitars in Royal Blood’s discography.

Analysis of bass usage on the debut album ‘Royal Blood’

Analysis Of Bass Usage On The Debut Album ‘royal Blood’

The self-titled debut album ‘Royal Blood’ brought a seismic shift in rock music with its thunderous bass tones. Mike Kerr’s approach to the bass could easily be mistaken for a standard guitar due to his ingenious setup comprising of a Fender Precision Bass partnered with a multitude of pedals, amplifying both the low-end rumble and the harmonics to cut through the mix. Here’s a breakdown of the core equipment that defined the album’s sound:

  • Fender Precision Bass: The foundation of Kerr’s gritty tone.
  • Boss PS-6 Harmonist Pedal: For pitch-shifting, adding extra layers to the sound.
  • Electro-Harmonix POG: To generate octaves and enrich the harmonic content.
  • Various Overdrive and Fuzz Pedals: To drive the bass signal into a more aggressive territory.
Progression to ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ and equipment changes

Progression To ‘how Did We Get So Dark?’ And Equipment Changes

With the release of ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’, fans witnessed a refinement in Royal Blood’s sound. While maintaining the aggressive edge, Kerr expanded his sonic palette. The addition of new equipment such as the Fender Jazz Bass and a more diverse range of pedals brought fresh textures and nuances. The table below lists the notable additions:

Equipment Use
Fender Jazz Bass Introduced as an alternative to his Precision Bass for a different tone.
EHX Micro POG An octave pedal essential in expanding the harmonic range of the bass.
Custom Pedalboard Mike Kerr refined his pedalboard setup to allow for quick changes between the complex sounds required for each song.
The latest gear and techniques on ‘Typhoons’

The Latest Gear And Techniques On ‘typhoons’

In the album ‘Typhoons’, fans experience a further evolution with even more layered bass sounds and a synth-like approach to bass playing. Kerr masterfully uses the Rickenbacker 4003 bass to explore more melodic territories and create song textures that are synonymous with dance-rock anthems. Among the new gear, the Moog Sub 37 stands out, elevating Royal Blood’s bass-driven narrative:

  • Rickenbacker 4003: Adds a bright and distinct attack to the low end.
  • Moog Sub 37: A synthesizer that offers the depth and versatility of a classic Moog, often blended with bass lines for added weight.
  • Advanced Pedal Techniques: Kerr continues to explore innovative pedal usage, creating richer and more complex sonic landscapes.

Impact And Influence Of Royal Blood’s Bass Setup

Royal Blood, the English rock duo, has undeniably disrupted the music scene with an unconventional bass setup that challenges traditional perceptions of rock instrumentation. Comprising of bassist/singer Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, this powerhouse band bridges the gap between bass-driven grooves and lead guitar lines, largely due to Kerr’s unique gear and techniques. With a sound as massive as theirs, it’s no surprise that Royal Blood’s approach to the bass guitar has sent ripples through the music community, reshaping the craft and gear choices for bassists and rock bands alike.

Reception By The Bassist Community And Critics

The bassist community and music critics alike have marveled at the sheer sonic presence Royal Blood achieves from a single bass guitar. The setup, often described as groundbreaking, uses a series of octave pedals and effects to create a sonic palette that serves both the role of the bass and a lead guitar. This unique method has not only earned the band critical acclaim, but it has also ignited discussions among bassists about the potential of the instrument in a band setting.

  • Expansive sound from minimal instruments
  • Innovative use of effects pedals
  • Re-imagined role of the bass in rock music

Influence On Modern Rock Bands And Bass Players

Royal Blood’s inventive bass setup has become a source of inspiration for modern rock bands and bass players looking to push the boundaries. Kerr’s ability to make the bass fill the sonic space typically occupied by guitars has inspired musicians to rethink the limitations of their instruments. This has led to a surge in popularity for octave pedals and multi-amp setups, as players aim to emulate Royal Blood’s thick, gritty tones.

  1. Increased experimentation with pedals among bassists
  2. More bands opting for duo formats
  3. Greater recognition of the bass’s melodic potential

Comparison With Other Iconic Bass Setups

When compared to other iconic bass setups, Royal Blood stands out for its minimalism and innovation. While legends like Geddy Lee of Rush or Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers are known for their intricate playing and complex rigs, Kerr’s approach is more about maximizing sonic possibilities with fewer elements. This approach could signify a paradigm shift in how the bass is perceived, possibly influencing future trends in bass guitar setups.

Bass Player Band Setup
Geddy Lee Rush Complex, multi-instrumentalist
Flea Red Hot Chili Peppers Fluid, funk-based
Mike Kerr Royal Blood Minimalist, effect-laden
What Bass Guitar Does Royal Blood Use


Frequently Asked Questions Of What Bass Guitar Does Royal Blood Use

How Do They Get The Sound In Royal Blood?

Royal Blood produces their sound using a bass guitar split through various pedals and amps, mimicking a traditional bass and guitar setup. Vocal effects and drum patterns also contribute to their full and layered sound.

Is There Any Guitar In Royal Blood?

Royal Blood does not feature a traditional guitar; the band achieves their unique sound using modified bass guitars and effects pedals.

What Guitar Does Mike Kerr Play?

Mike Kerr primarily plays a Fender Precision Bass. He’s known for his unique modifications, like adding an octave-up effect for a distinct sound.

Is Mike Kerr A Good Bass Player?

Mike Kerr, the bassist for Royal Blood, is widely recognized for his exceptional skill and innovative playing style, making him a highly regarded musician in the rock genre.


Diving into the world of Royal Blood reveals their distinctive sound partially hinges on their bass setup. Their gear, integral to their hard-hitting tunes, inspires countless fans and musicians alike. By embracing the same instruments, you’re a step closer to that electrifying Royal Blood vibe.

Keep rocking and experimenting with your own bass rig and who knows? You might just emulate—or even surpass—their sonic excellence.

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