• Speed and aggression aren't the only elements that set Green Day apart from Bob Marley & The Wailers. One of the biggest differences is their bass sound. Pop punk bands usually incorporate a twangy bass sound, whereas most reggae bass is thick and heavy. You can set the knobs on your bass guitar amp different ways for different styles.

    Desired Tone

    Determine what kind of tone you're aiming for. Some tones sound better with particular styles and genres, such as a high tone for slap bass or more of a mid-ranged sound for rock. If you want to achieve the tone of a particular musician, search the Internet.


    Test the bass guitar you are going to be primarily using with this amp. One bass you use on a particular amp can sound incredibly different from another due to things like pickups, wood, strings, wear on the guitar, etc. Take a look at the various knobs on your bass guitar amp. There should be at least three EQ knobs: bass, treble and mid. Some amps have more knobs or sliders for more defined settings. Set your amp "flat". Do this by setting all of your knobs or sliders to zero so that all you hear is the sound of the bass. From this position you can adjust the other knobs accordingly. Turn each of them up and down until you get a sound you like. Take genre conventions into consideration, but don't forget about the idiosyncrasies of your specific bass, amp and playing. While the Internet and other musicians might suggest you turn the treble all the way down for reggae bass, this might not produce the desired effect with your particular equipment. The best thing you can do is experiment until you find what sounds right to you with each individual bass you will be using. If your amp has sliders, avoid the smiley face setup, boosting the bass and treble and leaving the mids flat. It lacks definition.


    Record your settings using whichever method works best for you. Write your desired settings down on small pieces of tape and stick them next to each knob. If you don't want to deface your amp, write your settings down and keep them in your bass case. If you work with more than one bass, be sure to write down the optimal settings for each one, as they will most likely vary somewhat.


    Tune My Bass: Bass Guitar Amps FAQ

    More Information:

    Tone Settings

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