Let’s face it: for logistical reasons—or, sometimes, “creative” reasons (you know who you are, guitar players)—you don’t always have access to a dedicated bass player. You could just get yourself a bass and play that, but then you’d have to invest in and learn your way around a whole new instrument. Why not just get that groovy low end from a guitar you already know and love?

Here’s how.


To get a straight up bass sound, you need to drop your guitar signal an octave. The easiest way to do that is to plug into the Bass Octave Deluxe. It has three knobs—one that controls an aggressive, growling sub-octave signal, one that controls a thick, beefy sub octave signal, and one that controls your dry signal. You can choose to go with one of the octave signals or blend the two together to your taste. Guitar players can use their dry signal to great effect with this pedal for other applications, but since you’re going for a pure bass sound, roll the Dry knob all the way off. Now you’re ready to groove.

MXR<sup>®</sup> BLUE BOX<sup>™</sup> FUZZ

If you want more of a glitchy dub-style sound, get yourself an MXR Blue Box Fuzz. It splits your signal into a synthy square-wave fuzz on one hand and two-octaves-down signal on the other. Blend the two to your liking—there’s a huge range of possibilities for such a simple-to-use pedal, allowing guitar players to cover a lot of bottom end.


If you’re feeling adventurous, you could string up your two lowest strings with Dunlop Nickel Wound Bass Strings—105 and 85 gauge, to be precise. The great Chet Atkins did so on his famous Octabass Guitar to great effect, creating fat, thumping bass lines to play over. This is a bit more involved than just using pedals, and may require some adjustments to work correctly, so talk to your guitar repair tech before making any modifications on your own. We think this setup would sound absolutely killer with a downtuned garage/doom duo.


Now, go forth, and make thunder. And maybe let your bass player buddies know that you’re not trying to replace them.