Connect with us

Bass Edu

The Electric Bassist’s Guide to Surviving an Acoustic Gig



The Electric Bassist’s Guide to Surviving an Acoustic Gig, Reprinted Courtesy of

If you’re used to playing electric bass, switching to an acoustic bass for a set can be intimidating. In addition to the technical adjustments you need to make in the move from an electric bass to an acoustic bass, there is also a whole new set of equipment considerations you need to take into account. After all, you can’t show up to that small coffee house gig with your full stack (technically you can, but you might scare the audience away when you load in!)

Playing without a towering wall of amps behind you and an arsenal of effects can seem less than ideal for electric bass players who are used to playing in loud, heavy rock bands. But acoustic gigs don’t have to be boring, and you can still let your attitude and style shine through- in fact, they may even be more visible to the audience since acoustic performances are so stripped down! Acoustic gigs require a different approach to the instrument, but your job is the same- hold down the low end and keep the groove going. In an acoustic setting, you may need to lose the bells and whistles and get back to basics.  Here are some essentials that you will need to make your acoustic gig stress-free.

  1. An acoustic bass. While this is not total essential, the warm, earthy sound and vibe of an acoustic bass fits perfectly alongside other acoustic instruments, such as an acoustic guitar, a cajon, or a piano. Compared to an electric bass, an acoustic has a warmer, mellower sound.

Using an electric bass on an acoustic gig is a viable option if you don’t have access to an acoustic bass. If you do several acoustic gigs, try using flatwound strings for a warmer attack. You can also adjust your tone by rolling back some upper mids to dial in a more acoustic sound.

  1. Instrument cable and/or an acoustic pickup. With an acoustic bass, in most cases, it will need to be amplified to be heard! If you’re playing around a campfire or in a very small room you probably can get by without amplification, but when numerous other acoustic instruments are involved you will need to either bring an acoustic pickup, microphone, or instrument cable, depending on what kind of acoustic bass you have.

Two common types of basses are acoustic and acoustic-electric. Acoustic basses need to either be mic’ed up or fitted with an acoustic pickup that will allow the bass to be heard through an amplifier or PA, much like an electric bass. Acoustic-electric basses come with onboard electronics that allow you to run a quarter inch cable to your amp, and may even come with onboard equalization.

  1. An electronic tuner. If you’re using an acoustic-electric bass, feel free to bring along your trusty pedal tuner and plug it in before sending your bass to the amp. However, if you choose to go all acoustic, you will want to bring along a clip-on tuner or handheld tuner. A clip-on tuner is small, portable, and convenient, and as its name implies, clips onto your bass’s headstock and detects the vibration of the strings through the body. A handheld tuner senses the pitch of your instrument through a built-in microphone. It ultimately comes down to personal preference which tuning method you use, but definitely do not show up to an acoustic gig and try to tune out loud to your guitar player!
  1. A fresh set of strings. This is optional, as some players prefer the muddier, mellower sound of well worn in strings. However, it’s important to consider acoustic strings are generally a more important part of an acoustic bass’s tone compared to an electric bass, which is often run through a preamp, effects pedals, and an amp’s EQ before the final tone is sent through the speakers. If you have an acoustic bass and are going to be mic’ed up by the soundman, fresh strings can go a long way in making sure that you sound your best (and stay in tune)!
  1. A suitable amplifier or PA system. While most small venues that host acoustic acts will provide a PA, it is possible that you will need to bring your own form of amplification. Choosing a specialized acoustic amplifier can really help in conveying the nuances and intricacies of your bass. Acoustic amplifiers often are more portable and manageable than their electric bass-designated counterparts and may even offer additional inputs for the rest of your band to plug into, providing an all-in-one solution that’s more practical than each musician bringing his or her own amp or PA speaker.

The AG300 is ideal for Acoustic Bass

The Carvin Audio AG300 is a compact, ideal system for acoustic bass.  Two hundred watts of power, clean headroom, three-band equalization, and lush digital effects make it a versatile solution for small gigs. It also has three channels to accommodate the rest of the band.

Knowing how to adapt to an acoustic gig is very important, even if you’re primarily an electric player. You never know when an open mic gig, record store acoustic set, or coffee house gig will end up on your schedule.

Visit online at

Bass Edu

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I



Jaime David Vazquez - Lessons For Bass Guitar

Triads & Inversions Part I

Hello bass players and bass fans! In this issue, we are going to study the triads and their inversions.

It is very important for all bassists to understand and master the triads, but it is even more important to understand their different inversions.

In Part I, we are going to learn what the triad is in fundamental position.

The Formula consists of root, third and fifth.

Degrees of the Triad

Major Triad: 1 – 3 – 5
Minor Triad: 1 – b3 – 5
Diminished Triad: 1 – b3 – b5
Augmented Triad: 1 – 3 – #5

Fig.1 – The C, Cm, Cdim & Caug triads
(Fundamental Position)

BASS LINES: Triads & Inversions Part I
Continue Reading

Bass Edu

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque



Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice's Bassist Lewis Bridges - From the Album, Grotesque

Premiere! Bass Playthrough With Foetal Juice’s Bassist Lewis Bridges – From the Album, Grotesque

Bassist Lewis Bridges Shares…

“Gruesome’s sparse intro marks a stark contrast from the intensity of the rest of the album.  The original intention was to keep the bass simple but colourful, however as I worked on it, the lines grew more expressive and the more striking flourishes began to emerge.  The intensity builds into a harmonic minor passage that takes us into the drop — a signature death grind cacophony.  This is where Foetal Juice thrives.  You’re getting a full-on right-hand barrage to in the face to take you into a groove-laden mulch-fest.

I owe my throbbing bass tone to the Darkglass Alpha Omega pedal borrowed from our sound engineer, Chris Fielding (ex-Conan), mixed with the clarity of the tried and true Ampeg SVT CL.

As mentioned earlier, colourful basslines are important, especially in a one-guitar band. Chucking some funny intervals and odd flourishes here and there brings life into the brutality. There’s no point sounding brutal if it’s not gonna be fucking evil too!

Recording this playthrough was hard work. This was not the fault of James Goodwin (Necronautical), who was kindly filming and is ace to work with, but because in true Foetal fashion, we had stinking hangovers — and that jam room was hot!”

Follow Online

FB @FoetalJuice
TW @FoetalJuice
IG @foetaljuice
Youtube: @Foetaljuice

Continue Reading

Bass Edu

Bass Lines: The Circle



jaime Vazquez

Bass Lines: The Circle…

Hello bass players and fans of bass! This month we’re going to study “The Circle.”

The Circle of Fourths can also be called “The Circle of Fifths or just The Circle.

Practicing the scales, chords, and ideas in general via the circle has been a common practice routine for jazz musicians and highly recommended.

It is a disciplined way of working through all twelve keys.

Plus, many bass root movements to jazz and pop songs move through sections of the circle.

Fig. 1 – “The Circle”

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thecircle, #thecircleoffourths, #thecircleoffifths,#scales & #chords.

Continue Reading

Bass Edu

Approach Notes – Part 5



James Rosocha

Continuing our lesson of Approach Notes, Part 5…

In continuing with the concept of approach notes being applied to chord tones, this lesson approaches the root, third, fifth, and seventh degree of each arpeggio inversion by incorporating a double chromatic approach from above, and a single chromatic approach from below. 

The first examples approach the root of a G major 7th arpeggio as a double chromatic from above and a single chromatic approach from below -before continuing to the third, fifth, seventh, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the root, continue to the third, fifth, and come back down.

The next example approaches the first inversion of G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the third, continue to the fifth, seventh, root, double chromatic from above/ single below to the third, continue up to the fifth and seventh, and back down.

The third example approaches a second inversion of a G major arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above/ single from below approaches the fifth, continue to the 7th, root, 3rd, double chromatic from above/ single from below to the 5th, continue to the 7th, root, and back down. 

This final example approaches a third inversion of a G major 7th arpeggio.

A double chromatic from above and below approaches the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, 5th, double chromatic from above and below to the 7th, continue to the root, 3rd, and back down.

Be sure to pace yourself with these lessons to avoid burning out.

Being overly ambitious with your practice schedule can lead to unrealistic expectations. Try learning one approach note concept and one chord type a week. Change your practice routine as necessary and tailor it to your needs as a musician. Good luck!

Continue Reading

Bass Edu

BASS LINES – The Blue Notes (Minor Blues Scale)



jaime Vazquez

Hello bass players and bass fans! Happy New Year 2024!

In this issue, we are going to study the blue notes.

In blues, jazz, and rock, a blue note is a note that (for expressive purposes) is sung or played at a slightly different pitch from standard. Typically the alteration is between a quartertone and a semitone, but this varies depending on the musical context.

The blue notes are usually said to be the lowered third(b3), lowered fifth(b5) and lowered seventh(b7) scale degrees. The lowered fifth(b5) is also known as the raised fourth(#4). Though the blues scale has “an inherent minor tonality, it is commonly ‘forced’ over major-key chord changes, resulting in a distinctively dissonant conflict of tonalities”.

Blue notes are used in many blues songs, in jazz, rock and in conventional popular songs with a “blue” feeling.


The A Minor Blues Scale

1 – b3 – 4 – (#4/b5) – 5 – b7

A – C – D – (D#/Eb) – E – Bb

The grades(blue notes):

b3, (#4/b5), b7

C, (D#/Eb), Bb

See you next month for more full bass attack!

#bassmusicianmag, #basslines, #bmmbasslines, #groovemaniac, #thebluenotes, #minorbluesscale & #bluesscale

Continue Reading