The easiest way to make an electric guitar sound like a bass guitar is to use an octave effects pedal. Other quick ways of making the tone sound more like a bass include using the neck pickup, lowering the tone control on the guitar and using higher gauge strings.
How to Make an Electric Guitar Sound Like a Bass
- Get an octave effects pedal
- Change amp settings
- Use the neck pickup
- Turn your tone control down
- Use thicker strings
Differences Between Electric and Bass Guitars
Before I jump into the main ways to make your electric guitar sound more like a bass, it’s best to get clued up on the differences between the two instruments. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Bass guitars have 4 strings tuned to E-A-D-G and electric guitars have two extra strings tuned to E-A=D-G-B-E.
- The bass guitar is tuned an octave lower than a standard electric guitar.
- Bass guitars have thicker strings than electric guitars.
- Bass guitars have a longer scale length than normal electric guitars.
1. Use an Octave Pedal
The most important thing you need to do if you want to make your electric guitar sound like a bass, is invest in an octave pedal. As I mentioned earlier, bass guitar strings are tuned an octave lower than electric guitar strings.
It’s not possible to just tune your strings down either as they will be far too slack to play with. So your best option, is to get an octave pedal to make your guitar sound like it’s tuned an octave lower. Here are a few options of octave pedals to take a look at.
Behringer Ultra Octaver UO300
If you’re on a tight budget, then this is a great option. It’ll give you the important effect of lowering your tone by an octave and has a rugged design. You get a volume control built-in and the pedal runs off both a power supply or a 9V battery. Check out the Behringer UO300 on Guitar Center.
TC Electronic Nether Octaver Effects Pedal
If you’re looking for something a bit higher quality, but still without spending over $50, then check out the TC Electronic Nether Octaver. You get similar features to the Behringer UO300 but with an additional tone control to further dial in your sound.
Boss OC-30 Super Octave Pedal
This is one of the best value for money octave pedals on the market. It’s a Boss pedal, so you know you’re getting great quality sound and a super durable design. It comes with a drive mode to add distortion, and volume controls. It’s versatile and great quality. Check out the Boss OC-3 on Guitar Center.
2. Change your Amp Settings
- Bass: the refers to the amount of low frequency sound you hear.
- Mids: this refers to the amount of mid-range frequency you’ll hear. If you turn this down, your tone will sound thinner.
- Treble: this refers to the amount of high frequency sound you’ll hear. The higher the treble, the sharper the sound.
- Bass: 9
- Mids: 3
- Treble: 2
3. Use the Neck Pickup
- Neck pickup: the tone is warmer and more mellow as it favours bass frequencies. Usually it’s used for rhythm guitar.
- Bridge pickup: the tone is brighter and sharper as it favours treble frequencies so is normally used for lead guitar.
4. Turn your Guitar's Tone Control Down
5. Use Thicker Strings
So there you go! That’s how to make an electric guitar sound like a bass guitar! I hope you’ve found this article helpful, thanks for reading. Here are some other posts you might find useful: